Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Is There Evidence to Convict You of Being Christian?

This past weekend was a very special time of worship at my church as we mourned the events of Good Friday and celebrated the resurrection of Easter Sunday. Of course 2,000 years ago, after the tomb was found empty Christ followers soon began to be persecuted, arrested and even killed. It was a dangerous time to be a Christian.

Recently a youth in Portland, Oregon was placed on trial for being a Christian. Ed Langlois of the Catholic Sentinel reported, “The public trial spanned two weekends as witnesses--including friends, teachers and the parish priest testified about the 15-year-old’s life. In the unscripted adversarial proceedings held in a darkened church, teen legal teams grappled with the question--what makes one a Christian?”

This was the most creative process that I’d heard of that was a part of Kelly Olsen’s (pictured) preparation for the sacrament of confirmation. Youth minister Mike Ashland is the catalyst behind the trial.

For example, defendant Kelly’s mother was called to the stand and testified that Kelly did have a Bible and rosary but had not been seen using them. But the bulk of the testimony pointed to accounts of helping the homeless, attending Mass, acts of kindness and generosity.

In the end the jury found the defendant guilty of being a Christian and Kelly was therefore sentenced to “live and die as a Christian.”

How would the scenario play out for you? Keith Manuel of the Louisiana Baptist Convention points out that as your faith is being scrutinized and questioned you might declare,

“I’m a member of a Christian church.” Yes, but how difficult is it to join a church?

You might say, “I’ve been baptized.” Does baptism prove anything other than you got wet?

“My parents are Christians and I grew up in a Christian home.” Yes, but doesn’t the Bible teach that everyone must personally commit their lives to Christ. Christianity is not genetically passed on.

Jesus said that those that follow Him keep His commandments. And, Jesus declared that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love people. A lover of God worships God. A lover of people befriends, serves, and gives to bless and meet their needs.

If arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am doing a study on James and it is convicting me more and more to ensure that I challenge myself to live a Christian life - would I be convicted of being a Christian 24/7, no I would not, but that is what I strive for...
Jackie B