You are on trial. You have been accused of a severe crime: being a Christian.
The Jury looks familiar. Too familiar. Is that your son? And daughter? And their friends????
How could this be?
Where is your lawyer? Do you have a lawyer?
For this imaginary scenario, your lawyer is someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Your lawyer is your conscious. And in this courtroom, your memory will serve as the Prosecution.
But before we examine the evidence, allow me to explain why you and I are on trial.
I recently came across an internet meme that I found intriguing. After rereading it a few times, I became alarmed. The meme asks a simple question: “If you were accused of being a Christian and placed in front of a jury, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
As opposed to other trials where one wants their innocence to be declared, we should all be hoping and praying that we are found guilty of this crime!
I forgot to mention the Judge; He is our Savior- but you already knew that.
The Jury is unique. Usually, a jury analyzes evidence that has been gathered by the Prosecution and interprets the evidence within the context of the crime. In this case, the Jury lives with you and analyzes every action you take, adding it to its database of proof, either for you or against you.
Every. Single. Action.
This Jury is composed of people who love you, admire you, look up to you, and depend on you, which makes the outcome of the trial that much more detrimental.
Do our words and actions prove that we are Christian or not?
What does it mean to be a Christian? A competent prosecutor might make that question part of their opening speech. Jesus provided the answer thousands of years ago.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 NKJ
The prosecutor might ask: “ Of course you think you love everyone, but when you excluded a family member, on purpose, without a valid reason, from a gathering at your house, was that very loving?”
The defence might bring up memories from the past to justify the exclusion: “he is loud, his political views are too abrasive, she is a gossip, she is frivolous…I had no choice.”
What would the Jury make of the evidence?
How about stealing? Remember the 8th commandment?
The defence might leap to answer this question: “I have never stolen anything!”
But the Prosecution has damning evidence to present: “What about that contractor that wanted to be paid in cash and was not going to charge you taxes in return? Or that movie you downloaded from a dubious website instead of purchasing/renting it from the distributor? Or that extra deduction claimed on the income tax documents that was creative, to say the least?”
What did Jesus say about such practices?
And He said to them, “Render[a] therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.” Matthew 22:20-22 NKJ
Do members of the Jury witness us reading the Bible, praying before meals, praying in the morning and at night?
Do members of the Jury hear us gossip, judge, criticize, lie?
Do members of the Jury watch as we lose our temper, snooze the alarm on Sunday morning, bicker with our siblings, parents or spouse?
Would the members of the Jury find us guilty or innocent of being a Christian, and, much more importantly, will they follow in our footsteps, whether guilty or innocent?