Skip to comments.Converting at Gunpoint
Posted on 08/27/2006 3:53:25 PM PDT by sionnsar
I just learned of the release of the two kidnapped reporters, Steven Centanni Olaf Wiig, in Gaza. We thank God for their release and safety. They reported that they were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint and they complied.
The implications of this are profound. A Christian who says any statement against Christ (be it coerced or not) has committed the sin of apostasy. "But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven." Matt 10:33.
The Chronicles of the first 500 years of Christianity testify that this was the gravest sin known to man, far worse than sodomy, adultery, murder, etc. because it is a direct act of blasphemy against Christ. It is forgivable, but it is the worst sin because one denies the very channel and mode of forgiveness and salvation, that is Christ Himself.
But my worries are that most Western Christians see no problem with this. "Oh, they didn't really mean it. They were a gunpoint!" All the early martyrs were at "gunpoint," and they refused to speak against Christ, affirm the gods, or confess Caesar as "Lord." St Paul could have "tricked" his persecutors and continued to evangelize the world by getting out of jail free if he had just said to Nero (if even he didn't mean it in his heart), "Yeah, yeah, Nero. You are the Lord. I won't be a Christian anymore." But St Paul did not do this. He refused to act or speak against Christ and instead he bore his neck and allowed his head to be cut off for the glory of Christ. And his witness was magnified.
Everything we do matters. Every single thing and our witness to the world, our evangelism, depends on our steadfast testimony to Christ at all times in all places. If the Muslim sees that we are not willing to die for Christ they will not see that Christ is worth living for.
He assumes they're Christians.
And I do believe we are living in the end of times; for wrong actions are constantly justified as being correct, and right actions are condemned. I agree, many Christians will view this as a minor infraction; however I believe that God is not going to agree with many Christians. On Judgement Day, the opinions expressed by many Christians just isn't going to matter a whole lot.
Peter denied Jesus 3 times.
They did not really convert, they just said they did to murderers to survive and be released.
Not a big issue IMO.
What struck me about this story was that most of my friends, if they heard I was martyred (assuming I didn't wuss out) would think it was stupid of me to do so. "C'mon, everybody KNEW you didn't mean it! Why not just do it!"
Lead me not into temptation, but if I AM tried, Lord, grant me the Grace to show not any steadfastness of mine, but the wonder of thy work in me. And don't let it hurt too much, please. Thou knowest, Oh Lord, what a wuss I am.
I don't agree with this statement. If Muslims see that "we" are not willing to KILL for Christ then they will "see" that Christ is not worth following. That how they appear to think to me. Crazy.
Woah there, boss. The Bible does not say to do this.
The Roman Church chose to readmit them without being re-baptized. The only sect I know that chose to keep them out permanently were the Cathars, but there may be others, I cannot be sure.
So it was not a sin?
I don't understand where the Holy Spirit comes in, after all one of the Holy Trinity was present with Peter every day.
I see it as choosing eternal life over eternal death.
I sure hope that God does not allow me to be in the situation where I have to make that decision. If he does, I hope he gives me the strength to say that "I am a follower of Christ", rather than deny him.
Just in case anyone is wondering, Mini-14 is a Christian and is saved by the grace of God. I hope I don't get booted off of FR for saying this.
Re-read my post carefully. Look at the quotes and the last word which is "crazy".
I'm saying that considering the way these nutcases think they likely think that Christ is not worth following because unlike Allah he does not teach death. And that's something they like. Death.
Whatever the answers to the questions (whether they're sinning by denying Christ, or whether they need to be re-baptize), the parallel to the early church situation really stunned me. Just like when the early Christians had to face the threat of denying Christ, so do some of us, Christians who live 19-20 centuries later.
Too many threads on this very subject open at once. Thank you for the clarification, I did read that wrong.
This article and its author focus on whatever religious infraction or sin the journalists committed. The real story and concern is what the kidnapping goons did, i.e., force a conversion. Heck, were not we told these were the downtrodden of the world who just want us to stop oppressing them? Maybe the really just hate us because we are not Muslim. Maybe that is what we should be thinking about, not forced "conversion."
Baptism of the Holy Spirit: A few referenced here...
Matthew 3:11: "...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit..."
Mark 1:8: "...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit..."
Luke 3:16: "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit..."
Luke 24:49: "...stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." (see fulfillment in Acts 2).
John 1:33: "...the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit."
Acts 1:4-5: "...the Promise of the Father..."; "...you will be baptized with the Holy Sprit..."
Acts 2:1-4: "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages..."
Acts 2:14-18: "...I will pour out my Spirit..." (quoting Joel 2:28 and 29).
Acts 4:31: "...they were all filled with the Holy Spirit..."
Acts 8:14-17: ...prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit..."; "...as yet the Spirit had not yet come upon any of them..."; "...they received the Holy Spirit..."; "...the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands...".
Acts 9:17: "...Jesus...has sent me...that you may...be filled with the Holy Spirit."
Acts 10:44-48: "The Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word..."; "...the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out..."; "...people who have received the Holy Spirit..."
Acts 11:15-16: "...the Holy Spirit fell upon them..."; "...you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit..."
Acts 19:1-6: "Did you receive the Holy Spirit...?"; "...the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied..."
People should give these two guys a break - they must have been terrorized. In judaism, coherced conversions are not recognized. Period. You are supposed to "live by the Law", not die by it (Maimonides).
For sure, why get yourself killed with fruitcakes when you can make a false promise, get released and maybe help to instead bring down these people's destruction?
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