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How strong is your Faith?


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I wasn't sure which forum to put this in, here or ATC, but I know it will get more looks here.

Let me first say, I am not judging this guy in any way!!! This topic was brought up on a radio show with the same preface. It's an interesting question to those of Faith.

The kidnapped Fox journalist that was recently released and video is out of him claiming to have converted to Islam during all of this. I don't now his beliefs before the incident so I realize this may be his first ever profession of faith.

Anyway, If it had been you that was kidnapped, and the denouncing of your current faith was the condition of your release or risk being beheaded...Would You Do It?

I personally would like to think my faith is strong enough that I would choose death. But I have never had a machete to my throat and asked that question. As a Christian, I know that even Peter denied knowing Christ before he was crucified. I don't think Peter thought about it until later. I think his human instinct was one of survival. I am ashamed to say that I can't say definitively what I would say. As a Christian, I understand I am not perfect and that there was only one person who was. But I also know that true faith would be claiming Christ as my savior and suffering the Earthly consequences.

Anyone care to comment? Do you know what you would do? If your heart was right but your human instinct won out, how do you think God would look at it?

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Interesting question, and one that nobody can answer honestly until they face that situation themselves. We all like to think we would do the right think, but it's almost never that smple.

For example, what is the greater good in this situation? What if he were the only parent of small children who would be orphaned by his martyrdom? What if, by surviving, he had vital information that would save hundreds of lives by preventing a terrorist attack? If he lied and renounced his faith, then immediately recanted the moment he won his freedom, would anybody legitimately blame him. After all, it's not considered to be a true conversion if it is done under duress.

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I could not.

But Centanni said he did it at gunpoint...

I still could not. There are too many Brothers and Sisters that died under Rome. I could not dishonor them by wimping out. God can forgive anything though, so...

But I could not do it. I would be the guy in their trying to win over the Muslims.

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Obviously if someone in that situation isn't a Christian, they are and probably should just say whatever will keep them alive. For me, with the caveat that no one knows what they'll do when the threat is immediate and real, I couldn't deny my faith in Christ to live. First of all from a practical standpoint, there's no guarantee that the next thing to happen after "conversion" won't be to put a bullet through your head anyway. Second, as David said...generations of our forerunners in the faith died because they refused to either bow to Caesar, declare their allegiance to the godless regimes of Pol Pot, Lenin, Stalin and Mao and so on.

I hope I'm never put in that position because extreme stress and impending death can wither the resolve of the strongest people. But I would hope that by God's grace and His strength, I'd keep the perspective that my life is in His hands and not he that wields the sword.

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I sometimes wonder if this is the right question we should be asking ourselves about. In theory, at least, it should be easy for a Christian to act correctly when the question is so black and white, so obvious and right in front of him/her, with martyrdom and assured paradise only minutes away.

As Christians, perhaps instead we should be asking ourselves:

Do I honestly attempt to help the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, the imprisoned every day? Do I really turn the other cheek, even when only verbally assaulted, much less physically assaulted? Do I really love my enemy? Can I hold my temper and forgive my brother seventy times seven? Do I judge not? Do I genuinely try to live by the Golden Rule every second of every day in every situation or do I just give it lip service?

I think it's much harder to say "yes" to these questions than it is to say hypothetically that we'll make a on-time, instantaneous choice for death and resurrection in the next life over denying Christ. Which is really harder to do: to make a one-time instant decision for immediate salvation (i.e., take the quick ticket to heaven), or to live for years following God's will day in and day out (i.e., taking the long, hard, difficult road)?

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I dont know. Was Christ turning the other cheek while he was cleaning out the Temple?

Christ never said He should/would turn the other cheek, he just asked us to. We are not asked to duplicate his life and actions. He had a mission on Earth that is not our's. For example, He didn't ask us to spend forty days in the wilderness fasting and praying, nor to die on a cross for the sins of the world either. He may be the one case where "do as I say, not as I do" might be correct because none of us can, nor should we attempt, to usurp God's role or mission (assuming you accept the idea of Jesus as God Incarnate.) That's why I thought the whole "WWJD"--What would Jesus Do?--idea was misdirected. IMO, it should have been WDJT-What Does Jesus Teach?, or WWJHMD--What Would Jesus Have Me Do?

And he defintely taught (See Matthew 5:39 KJV): "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." I'd say that's pretty unambiguous if you believe the gospel of Matthew accurately records his words!

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By example, He turned the other cheek when He replaced the ear of a Roman soldier. He turn the other cheek on the cross. As far as the den of thieves, that was physical manifestation of the spiritual battle. "Be angry an sin not," is tough for us, but easy for God. Faith is where it's at.

Proverbs 23:7, "For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Heaven is a much better place than earth.

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There was also no Church nor Gentiles present when he made those statements. Matthew was written FOR us, but TO the Jews.

He also was a Jew in good standing and had sacrifices made for him and his family, etc. Are we not Gentiles? Are we not of the Church as Paul taught.

Are we to observe the ways of Moses as Christ lived and taught?

Matthew 5

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Why kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of God?)

4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law

17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.


21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherwill be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,[c]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

25"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.[d]


27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'[e] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.


31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'[f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.


33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

An Eye for an Eye

38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Anyone here actually think they are living this today?

1 Timothy 5:7-9 (King James Version)

King James Version (KJV)

7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man


So if we take the Word of God at face value, you ready to live like that?

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Wasn't that a bylaw? The bylaws, if followed, would keep an Israelite from breaking the commandment(s). Israelites are under and not grace.

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man

Did he write the commandments on our hearts?

The Perfect Law of Liberty

Indeed Christ, through the prophet Jeremiah, foretold that He would write His law on our hearts under the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10), but does this mean that we will automatically obey the law simply by accepting in faith that Jesus is our personal savior?

Let's notice what one of the inspired writers of the New Testament had to say about this. The apostle James states that unless we are "doers of the word, and not hearers only," we are deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). In verse 25, he tells us how to be doers of the word: by looking into the perfect law of liberty and continuing in it. In other words, we are to look into God's inspired word--the Bible--to find the "perfect law of liberty," and then keep that law!

Does this contradict Christ's statement that He will write His law on our hearts? Of course not! However, it does provide insight into the way in which Christ writes it. It shows that, upon our acceptance of His sacrifice, Christ does not simply turn us into spiritual robots who automatically have knowledge of what His law is and how to keep it. Rather, after conversion, He expects us to study the Bible so that we can understand the perfect law of liberty and then abide by it. As we make a diligent effort to do this, He through the Holy Spirit, writes His law on our minds (by leading us to an understanding of the law) and on our hearts (by empowering us through the Holy Spirit with the self-control to keep the law).


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