- Religion and Philosophy
What Would Be Your Response?
More than twenty years ago, while taking a break from studying, a class of high school freshmen was asked the following question: “If gunmen broke into the room in the next five minutes and announced, ‘We are here to kill all Christians,’ how many of you would acknowledge your faith?”
We looked at each other. Only one person had her hand raised. To my shame and disappointment, I was not that person.
This is a true story. Given the length of time, I cannot remember what brought on the question, but my response has stayed with me throughout the years. It was a human response rooted in worldly principles. Twenty years ago, worldly principles were all I could comprehend; yet I knew not raising my hand to the question was wrong. Self-preservation is a strong pull, as illustrated by Peter in the high priest’s courtyard. Peter was prepared for battle at the Mount of Olives, drawing his sword and striking Malchus, a servant of the high priest. Yet, as the realization of Jesus’ fate became apparent, Peter’s thoughts turned to survival. He denied knowing Jesus three times as foretold to him: “Then Jesus answered, ‘Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!’ ” (John 13:38, NIV).
If actually faced with a situation such as the one in the question, who’s to say the girl who raised her hand would follow through? Who’s to say that I wouldn’t be the first to lay down my life? I don’t know, but I do know that day changed my life because it forced me to change my way of thinking. I knew instinctively that my response was wrong. I just needed to know why. If asked the same question now, I would raise my hand just as confidently as the girl in class based on my relationship with God and the knowledge of His Word.
How would you respond?