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"Who Are These Christians Anyway?"

When it come to secular and even many church stereotypes of Christians and Christ few come close. So just who are these people who we call ”Christians? He’s the forgotten hero who was mauled by lions in the great coliseum of Rome. He’s the defender of the faith who defied the tyranny of cardinals and kings and was burned at the stake or tortured to death in the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition rather than renounce their faith. He’s the lowly believer who got up everyday and went to work, raised a family, paid the bills and quietly kept the faith and carried on. She’s the anonymous housewife, shopkeeper and professional who stood upon the promises of God in an age of compromise and seduction. He’s the humble peasant in feudal Europe who held to his simple faith and a few scraps of scriptural truth even when the Pope had banned the Bible and demanded absolute subservience to his decrees. They’re the family of pilgrims who rejected the state religion and made the hazardous journey across the Atlantic to the new world. He’s the quiet prayer warrior kneeling in his closet in the darkest night. He’s the missionary in China who struggled for years in obscurity only to see a meager handful of believers come to Christ. He’s the chief cook and bottle washer at a skid‑row mission serving meals to winos and homeless people after ministering a short sermon for their souls. He’s the Bible translator who was burned at the stake for printing the Bible for the common man. She’s the mother who taught her children about Jesus in a society who ridiculed her for being ignorant and backwards. He’s the high school sophomore who dared to believe when all of his classmates worshiped their teenage idols. He’s the inmate doing a 30 year stretch in San Quentin who surrendered his life to Christ in a concrete cell. They were those who continued to confess; “the cross before me, the world behind me” when others had turned back. She’s the young Cambodian Christian who refused to spit on the Bible and deny her faith even though the Khmer Rouge would put a bullet in her head. He’s the circuit riding preacher who carried the gospel to rough and tumble mining towns. He’s the long‑haired Jesus Freak preaching the gospel on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. He’s the humble pastor shepherding his flock without regards for fame and fortune. They’re the outlawed gathering of persecuted believers in a humble house church in Vietnam. He’s the huddled group of believers murdered by suicide bombers in a Muslim country. He’s the contemporary Christian who stands for the simplicity of the gospel in the face of multitudes with “itching ears” who have turned away from the truth. He’s the watchman on the wall in his lonely vigil who gives warning in the darkest hour to God’s people. She’s the stranger on the bus with the knowing look in her eyes just trying to make her way back home. She’s the anonymous Sunday school teacher who led me to Christ when I was nine years old and she’s the ex hippie chick who lead me back to Him during the “Jesus Movement”.

‑ And they are the countless millions of unsung heroes in the army of the Lord who have “fought the good fight” in their private fields of battle, who finished the race set before them and kept the faith” down through the ages. They are the courageous roll call of faithful brothers & sisters who will one day stand before Him and receive the ultimate accolade; “Well done thou good and faithful servant!”

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