The gun is pinned to your forehead. His eyes, glazed over as he stares straight through your soul. The sweat is beading on his forehead and his voice growls with a distinct edge that seethes evil. You’re trembling. Terrified. Your friend lies beside you in a pool of blood. Head blown open with scattered brain and flesh sprayed on your clothes.
He pushes the barrel harder against your head as his hissing words confront your worst nightmares…
“Are YOU a Christian?” He scowls.
He peers around the room with a sudden paranoid jerk, as a whimper from the corner radiates the deafening silence of the scene. Facing you once again, shoving the barrel of the gun so hard in your head that you fall back and catch yourself with your trembling leg.
“ANSWER ME NOW!”
He grabs your hair and pulls you up to his face and you shriek as your throat clenches and tightens so you can’t breathe. You are gasping for air, but can’t take it in. You start choking on your own fear, knowing this is it. It’s here. Evil has found you.
He throws a punch to your right cheek and the blow knocks you down to the ground, falling hard- but you don’t feel anything. You are numb with terror as your body jerks upright in defensive mode with your hands covering your face. He grabs your hair again and snaps your head back so he can look into your tearing eyes, but they are closed. He yells at you to “Open your f$#@!*# EYES!!” He is visibly shaking and losing his control. You open your eyes, now into the barrel of his trembling gun as he cocks the revolver and you gasp. The whimpers and choking breaths are evident in the room now. This is it. The moment you feared most.
“Are. You. A. Christ. Follower? ARE YOU??!!”
What would you do?
Oh dear God in Heaven, can you imagine?
I have imagined this type of scene in my mind and many more similar to this, since I saw the news of the shooting in Oregon. I flash through all the horrific things going on around the world- The be-headings overseas, the brutal slaying of innocent lives in so many places I lost track, and right here in our country. My mind swirls back and forth trying to wrap my mind around the madness of our world.
And I wonder.
If it were me…
What would I say?
Would I pull a Peter and deny my Lord for the sake of my life?
Would I choose life for my children?
Oh my beloved children! That has been my first thought every time I play this scene out.
“My children! I can’t leave my children!” I scream when I picture it playing out…
What. Would. I. Do?
I honestly don’t know.
Sure, there are many faithful Christians out there who would give their life and their last heartbeat for the honor and glory of Christ. I truly believe that with all my heart.
Maybe I would too. I’d like to believe I would. I’d love to write my passionate testimony of absolute determination and claim my undeniable decision…
But I can’t.
Maybe you can’t either.
You see, if you haven’t had a barrel of a gun in your face, or your hands tied behind your back with a knife to your throat…
I’m not sure any of us can be so confident.
Perhaps you might “Peter” out too.
Fear does things to you.
So does staring at the door of death.
I’m guessing, anyway.
What I find so interesting, is that I know many believers who have trouble sharing their faith in the most ordinary of circumstances. I know others who feel awkward and don’t dare delve into claiming what they believe, for fear of looking ‘weird’ or even worse, a ‘nut-job’, or even worse? “A Bible-Beater”. I know people who have no interest in going out on that limb for the sake of their Savior. They quietly pray and go to church and stay safe in their inner circles. I call them the quiet Christians.
I get that. I really do. I am often silent in a world that screams judgment.
Maybe? Some of those closet Christ lovers may be the brave souls who say “Yes” to the murderer, and those who shout from the mountaintops that Christ is KING would cower in denial.
It could happen.
I think no one truly knows, until they are facing this horrific standoff.
What would you say?
What would I say?
I want to say “YES I AM A CHRISTIAN!”
I want to say this always. In awkward moments. In intimidating circles. In uncomfortable situations. In passing conversations. In hard debates. In blog posts.
With a loaded gun to my head. With a knife to my throat.
I’m guessing we all can declare we want to claim Christ as our Savior, if that in fact is what we deeply believe.
Here’s the thing.
While we wait and wonder and worry- petrified about the thought of evil finding its way to us. And we wait and wonder and worry about how we would respond- if we actually would say out loud “I am a Christian” to a violent, sick, mass murderer who wants to kill us…
We might discover that claiming our faith is much easier through those awkward moments, intimidating circles, uncomfortable situations, passing conversations, hard debates and blog posts compared to the deranged psychotic killer staring us in the eyes.
It kinda puts things in perspective a bit, doesn’t it?
It does for me.
Maybe. Just maybe?
Sharing our faith with someone in any of those less dangerous situations would be the best way to honor the sudden and tragic loss of 9 beautiful believers who answered “YES.”