9/01/2006

The Peter Principle

I'm delighted that Steve Centanni of Fox News and his cameraman were released alive by the Palestinian terrorist thugs who kidnapped and held them for nearly two weeks. One of the things that's sparked a lot of comment since their release is the forced "conversion" to Islam they professed at gunpoint. That's been rolling around in the back of my mind for a few days now, and here's my observation.

I don't know what I would do with a gun in my face. I would like to think that I would not accept the "invitation" even with the threat of death. I don't know Centanni's religious persuasion, but the history of the Christian church is filled with martyrs who died rather than renounce their faith in God. Our heritage as believers is derived from people who could not be swayed by torture or even death.

But the real world often intrudes on what we say we would do. None of us who have not been faced with such a threat can say for sure how we would respond. Peter vehemently and postively vowed that he would never deny the Lord, just a few hours before doing so repeatedly. Yet my reflection wouldn't be complete without this closing thought. Peter did deny Christ to save his skin...but he ended his life as a martyr for his faith. He may have failed one test, but he (and God) refused to allow that failure to be the final word on Peter.

So here's my thought for today: Even if you have failed the Lord (and we all do, in ways large and small), that doesn't have to be the end of the story. Maybe rather than being called on to die for your faith, you were called to live it--and failed. Get up and run to the Father for strength and forgiveness and get back in the fight.

And one short PS. Any "religion" that gains its converts at gunpoint is too weak to be worth much in this world or the next.

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