"...and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; ...if we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied."For those of you not at CBC, this is from I Corinthians 15.
The end of my freshman year of college, I had a crisis of faith. Something happened in my life that totally rattled me to the core, and it made me re-evaluate everything I had ever been taught or believed. I came to the conclusion that night that as foolish as it might seem, as scary as the unknown was to me, I could honestly say that even if I died and found everything I believed to be a lie, that my life and this world would be a better place because of the Christian principles I adhered to. So I found the Apostle Paul's comment that if the Resurrection is untrue then our lives are worthless and to be pitied a bit shocking. I understand what he is saying and his context. Why would he or other believers put their lives at risk for something that is a lie? That would be most sad indeed. Yet in our free and prosperous country where we are never really persecuted for our faith (I'm not saying discrimination doesn't exist, but that can hardly be called persecution.), how can we be pitied for holding to our faith? Maybe I will die having never tasted alcohol or drugs, having never slept with anyone but my husband, nor had the pleasure of a 2 day weekend as church always consumes a day. But none of those things should make anyone pity me. I suppose there are people who might find the lack of my "freedom" appalling, but I find that the freedom I have in Christ make those minor things to be shackles of bondage and not freedom.
It also makes me appreciate our country all the more. We Christians are so spoiled here (not that I'm complaining...I'm glad!). To be able to live out my faith every day without fear of repercussion is such a glorious opportunity and freedom and one that keeps my life from being a "pitiful" experience.