Do you confess Christ?

October 13, 2015

Matthew 10:32-33

So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
           Messages ping back and forth between a friend and I in the wake of another mass shooting. Facts had begun to emerge that victims were asked about faith and if he or she was a Christian. This sat like a ball of molten lead in my gut. These individuals were and are part of my spiritual family, my spiritual siblings. What a horrifying proposition that someone so similar to myself could have this occur. Inescapably, via text, the two of us pondered, “Would I have the courage to confess Christ under pain of death should the terrifying occasion present itself?”
           I agonized over this for the rest of the day. Christ is so clear on this without mincing words or giving a symbolic parable. He clearly indicates if you deny Him, then He will deny you. I reasoned that in this situation, I could simply lie in the hope of being spared, and, later, go to confession, hanging my head in shame. Way to commit the sin of presumption while planning on denying Christ, Rosalie! Darn, I’m so holy! The courage is strong with me. NOT! What a coward.
           I sat on this passage for a few days, unable to let it fall from my heart and mind.
           Seeing the distress I was enduring over the question, my friend finally sent a message, “Don’t worry! This sort of scenario is so unlikely.” Then, with a precipitous and lasting weight, an awareness shook me into exclamation. The opportunity does present itself, and daily!
          Why was I pondering if I would deny Christ when I knew I would avoid praying before my meal in a restaurant out of shame or embarrassment? Why was I pondering this scenario when I would try to conceal a book I was reading for fear of what others may think of me? Why was I thinking about this when I would send a housewarming gift to my friend moving in with her boyfriend?
          I was am denying Christ in small ways, often. I understood, in that moment, that all people are given the chance to acknowledge Him before men.
          We deny Him when we avoid charitably correcting our friends who are sharing an immoral choice with us for want of ‘peace.’ We deny Him when we go to support and see a movie or performance promoting immorality. We deny Him when we support political action opposed to the spirit of Christianity. We deny Him when we keep objective Truth to ourselves saying, “This is just my Truth meant only for me.’ (Faith is deeply personal, but it is not private.) We deny Him when we do not live out our vocations of marriage or holy orders faithfully and joyfully. Gritting your teeth and loving your spouse through hardship may be an equal confession of Christ, and, further, it may be the way He is inviting you to recognize Him.
            If I am not denying Christ, then it follows that it should be plain to whom my allegiance is in life, without my express confirmation. Ask yourself: Is my identity as a Christian obvious to all? Do I acknowledge Christ in my life, in all of my actions? Family planning? Spending? Choice of media? Clothing? Further, can we confess Christ without knowing who HE is? No. Seek to know Him! He revealed all we need know about Him, in order to acknowledge Him, in life, yet this gift often sits overlaid with dust and cob webs on a bookshelf. How tragic this is in the truest sense of tragedy, like a man starving to death with a plate of food right before him.
           A few in this life will be asked to confess Christ in such a black and white, dramatic fashion. God rest the souls of those who have; however, more likely, we will be in the large chunk of persons who are asked to confess Christ in smaller ways, frequently. Let us pray for the strength to not deny Him and to know Him, in these times, for He has been clear about the consequences.
In Christ,
Rosalie Contrite
 Related Passages:

Luke 12:8
“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.

Luke 15:10
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Romans 10:9
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Revelation 3:5
The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

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