All four synoptic Gospels include the Apostle Peter's denial of Christ three times: "before the cock crow twice, thou
shalt deny Me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in any wise.
Likewise also said they all."(3) When reading this account we wonder in amazement how anyone could disallow their
knowledge about (much less personal relationship with) the Son of the Living God, in order to avoid being associated
with Him for fear of personal harm or reprisal. There is continuing speculation within the Christian community that if
Jesus tarries beyond five plus years, professing to be a Christian may not be the revered and 'popular' assertion it is
today. We have seen, in the not too distant past, where making a public declaration of one's particular religious
affiliation resulted in political censure, curtailment of freedoms and even loss of life.(4) Even if Christ does not tarry,
professing Christians during the second half of the tribulation period, will pay for their witness with their lives.(5)
Since the first century, boldness in Christianity has been a 'pricey' virtue and standing for Christ has never been
conflict free, prejudice free or risk free. If the world is not coming against your proclamation of Christ, the forces of
darkness(6) are surely hatching diabolical plans in an 'attempt' to defeat your 'testimony'.(7) If neither are challenging
your witness, you might want to check your testimony! If Christ does tarry, a Christian's testimony will be tested in
such a manner not seen since the 'Dark Ages' ... the Anti-christ will be (and is) about the work of increased
persecution of Christian's. There are subtle signs and indications that persecution is already beginning to occur in the
Western World, in Eastern countries, and especially in Islamic venues - be they Arab, Malaysian or European.
Yesterday, a Christian church was bombed in Afghanistan killing many in attendance ... the price to be a openly
believing Christian in the days to come will require a price --- and one to be paid by those standing for His Kingdom ---
and not a price already paid by First Century Church fathers!
Jon D. Hannum, Ph.D.
Amen Ministries of Austin
Peter said to Christ, "I will not deny Thee" and he was one of the strongest witnesses of Christ's Sonship to the Living
God.(1) Before we say, "Never Ever Me!" will I in anyway disallow or deny my Savior, reflect on how quickly Peter
took the 'protect-the-flesh' way out of being directly challenged. The boldness of our witness of and for Christ is
often much more subtle than a public annunciation of His name might imply. Our daily life will boldly witness Him
through not only our actions but by every word that proceeds out of our mouth. The boldness of our witness can
easily be compromised unless we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as He guides us away from the snares of subtle
deception. The mere act of checking a box on an application form, questionnaire or data collection survey which says
"no religious affiliation or preference", in order to avoid being placed on a 'marketing mailing list,' is a subtle act of
denying His rule over our life. To deny Christ does not mean we have to be frontally challenged as Peter was; careless
expressions and euphemisms (using His name inappropriately, e.g., "Jeez"!) can reveal our less than total reverence and
veneration for His Lordship.
Christian boldness has at times been labeled 'pushiness', bent on foisting beliefs onto someone who has no intrinsic
interest to know or believe. Earth-based religious belief systems are gaining not only in popularity and prominence, but
also in political venues. Public educational systems readily accommodate 'mother earth' rituals, 'GAIA' day, 'Wiccan
rites 'and other alternative religious practices; at the same time the religious right is being accused of contriving various
plots, designs, and strategies to advance their own political agenda at the expense of status quo political policies and
programs. The bane to religious activism has come from a rise in secular 'political correctness', namely 'don't offer
the gospel unless you are asked'; if that was the modus operandi of Christian evangelism we would still be in the 'dark
ages'. We need to be bold in our testimony of Christ, who He is, and what He is bringing about in our life, wherever
we are. Or are we bold only in the confines and safety of (behind) 'religious walls' and in the presence of other
believers? 'What a man greatly believes and he boldly dares'(2) can be taken as a byword for the experience of
unabashedly bold witnessing for Christ.
(1) [Matt. 16:16] (2) [Homer-Odyssey] (3) [Mk. 14:30-31] (4) [[holocaus.com] (5) [Rev. 20:4] (6) [Eph. 6:12] (7) [Rev. 12:11]