I realize I am a little late to the party on this but…
Dr. Ben Carson recently lit up social media with a simple response to the mass shooting in Oregon where witnesses say nine people were murdered for being Christians.
In posts on both Facebook and Twitter Carson appears in a picture holding up a sign reading “I Am A Christian” and urged his followers on both social media platforms to change their Facebook profile picture or Twitter avatar to a picture reading #IAmAChristian.
The response to this, both positive and negative, has been overwhelming but what really stood out to me was this.
I am not sure who Armardo Hall is but there is a lot of truth in those words.
Just for a second, imagine watching someone taking a bullet in the head because of their faith, then being asked about yours. What would you do?
Without minimizing a tragedy or appearing like I am making light of a very serious situation, I have actually thought long and hard over the years about what I would do if I ever found myself face to face with a crazed gunman, regardless of what he was demanding from me or asking of me.
Would I break down and cower in fear, begging for my life to be spared?
Would I disarm him as I have quickly and effectively done with fake guns in karate class hundreds of times?
Would I retrieve my own gun and shoot him before he shoots me?
Would I somehow know exactly what to say to make him put down his gun and surrender peacefully?
Fact is, I don’t know and can’t possibly know what I would do unless I find myself in such a situation so every one of my thoughts on the matter involve pure speculation. Every one of my thoughts, that is, except for one. I will never never deny the savior who was tortured and died to redeem me just so I can draw a few more breaths on Earth.
But why? Sounds counterintuitive to go against our human insinct to survive, doesn’t it? Sounds especially counterintuitive when all we have to do to save ourselves is something we have been conditioned to do almost without thought or very often without remorse since we learned to speak, doesn’t it?
But denying your savior, even if it may mean certain death, isn’t the same as: Did you eat that cookie? Were you jumping on the bed? Did you do your homework? Does this make my butt look big? Where were you last night? Do you love her? Why are you late? Where are those expense reports I asked for? Or; is everything on this tax form true and accurate to the best of your knowledge?
God tells us in 1 Peter 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
What those verses mean is that God has promised us an incorruptible inheritance, that is undefiled and fadeth not way, reserved in heaven for you.
He further promised absolute assurance to the believer that it is God, not lying to save ourselves, who will preserve us by His power until the day we will be with him.
If you understand those things, you must also understand that you have to live your life unashamed of your Savior, Lord, and God, no matter who asks and no matter what your answer will cost you.
The Apostle Paul proclaimed in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Think Paul was saying we are to live by faith but only when it’s convenient and safe?
The obvious exit question here is this. If you are a Christian, would you deny your savior at gunpoint?