The Fellowship of the Unashamed
A challenge from the grave
Everywhere you look there are indicators of the growing hostility toward the Christian faith. Consider the headlines from this past week. A nominee for Secretary of State gets grilled in a confirmation hearing because of his traditional Christian views on marriage. Army Chaplains are being punished for espousing basic Christian beliefs and sharing them with the people to whom they are called to minister and serve. Colleges and universities across the country are systematically attacking Christian doctrine and marginalizing the voices of people of faith.
All this pales in comparison to the persecution endured by our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. From Myanmar to Syria, Vietnam to China and so many other places around the world, following Jesus is costly, more costly than most of us in the US can imagine.
So, in solidarity with the global body of Christ in chains, and in defiance of a growing program of intimidation and marginalization here at home, it’s good for us to read the words of an oft-quoted young man from Rwanda.
The story goes that in 1980 a young man from Rwanda was forced by his tribe to either renounce Christ or face certain death. He refused to renounce Christ, and he was killed on the spot. The night before he had written the following commitment which was found in his room:
I am part of the “Fellowship of the Unashamed.”
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Christ Jesus.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I am a disciple of Christ Jesus. I must go til He comes, give until I drop and preach until all know. And when my time is up, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear.
How about you? Will you live the surrendered life of a faithful steward and join the fellowship of the unashamed? Will you ‘go til He comes and preach until all know’? Will you live this week in such a way that your colors will be clear?