They were singing choruses when the two soldiers entered with rifles. The service came to a halt as the Russian soldiers stared at the believers with wild eyes.
"What are you doing here?" they shouted. "Worshipping your imaginary God?" The church members cowered in the pews, wondering if there were more soldiers and more guns outside.
"All those who are faithful to God, move to the right side of the church," said one of the soldiers, his face a mask of hatred. "You will be shot for your faith. You who wish to go home and keep your life, stand on the left side. You must decide to live or die. Those who are faithful to this 'God' will die. Those who deny him can live freely."
Ten minutes earlier, everyone had sung praises equally. Now it was question of life or death. Some stood to the left, looking sadly or waving apologetically to those on the right. Some stood on the right, their eyes closed in last-minute prayers.
"You on the left are free to go," one of the soldiers said moments later. Those people filed out, taking one last look at those who would soon be dead.
When only those on the right remained, the soldiers put down their weapons. "We, too, are Christians," they said, "but we wish to worship without hypocrites."
(from Extreme devotion)
"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'" - Matthew 23:5-7
It's always good to remind ourselves that it's not the outside that matters, but the inside. Surely we can all be worshipping.. but when the question of life or death comes in, can we truly stand firm with our faith?
I don't want to be a hypocrite.
I want want to face Jesus one day and have Him say "You Hypocrite!"
- Current Mood: curious