In this post I would like to invite my readers to post their opinions and thoughts. I will not necessarily be giving my own conclusion as I have not come to one concerning the problem I intend to present. Having said that, let’s get on with it…
I recently watched a movie called Silence. The movie follows two Jesuit priests who go looking for a lost priest who supposedly apostatized in medieval Japan. Without spoiling the movie for those who haven’t yet seen it, the movie asks a very provocative question: What does it mean to deny Christ?
Matthew’s Gospel records “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (10:33). But suppose you are in a country which has outlawed Christianity spreading the Gospel. You are captured by the authorities. You prepare yourself for martyrdom; instead of treating you cruelly they actually are somewhat kind. Sure, you are imprisoned; but you get three square meals a day. Yet day after day, for weeks or months, you are forced to watch the Christian you have brought to Christ tortured and killed in the most horrific ways. You are told by the authorities that if you deny Christ, they will stop killing the Christians. The authorities have also made it clear that you will not be killed because they have figured out that martyrdom only increases belief in the Gospel Now, you have been in the country long enough to know keeping their word is an integral part of their culture and you have every reason to believe that what they say they will do will come to past.
The question I pose to my readers is this: Is it denying Christ in public for the purpose saving the lives of an unknown amount of Christians acceptable before God, if in your heart you maintain your belief?
I would appreciate your candid and frank responses. However, I do ask that disagreements be handled in Christlike and Christian manner.