Defending our Belief

A reading for Thursday, October 30, 2014: Luke 11:53-12:12.

"When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities..." When is the last time you heard of someone being brought to anyone to defend the faith? There is certainly a cultural and historical gap between these words of Jesus and the faith we experience.

There are places in the world today where Christians are persecuted. The most recent example was in northern Iraq as ISIS advanced against the villages and churches there. For the most part, however, none of us will face such a testing.

Perhaps that's the reason for the lukewarm response to faith in the western world of today. But it's not even in all the western world. A friend of mine in Guatemala once told me the difference between protestant faith in Guatemala and that in America. He said, "In Guatemala faith costs us something." In a Catholic nation where poverty and corruption of politics rules the day, those that profess faith in a different way are at risk.

But what do we in America risk in following Jesus? Is there a cost?

What if the cost of following Jesus is in the lifestyle we live over against the lifestyle of others who do not claim such a belief in Jesus? What if it's a set of priorities that will not be compromised simply because others find it inconvenient or difficult to work with? What if it means we are not the best player on the team, or the most successful at work, or even have to miss the event everybody else is attending? What if our belief costs us something?

Truth is, we might not have to defend our belief in Jesus but we certainly must live a life worthy of Jesus' defending of our belief... "I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God."


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