Chaplain Sarah will lead the Wednesday evening "From Jesus to Christ" class this week. The film will examine the Roman persecutions of the early Christian church. While history suggests that the persecutions were regional, in the places where Christians were rounded up and arrested, things could get pretty grim.
Pliny the Younger was governor of Pontus/Bythnia in the early second century. His first encounter with Christians is recorded in letters he wrote to the Emperor Trajan. Pliny wasn't sure what to do with the Christians, so he followed this approach:
I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.
So in this day and age, in a nation with free expression of religion, when Christianity has been culturally acceptable for thousands of years, here is a question ... what does your faith cost you? What sacrifices have you made, and what sacrifices would you be willing to make, for the sake of Jesus Christ? Is getting out of bed on Sunday morning a sacrifice? Giving for the church a sacrifice? Self-identifying at your workplace as a Christian a sacrifice?
How far would you be willing to go if Christianity were persecuted today? At what point would you give it up, deny your faith, and go on with your life?
How much does it matter to you?