Published June 24, 2014

Paul's Epistle...
"Unashamed" - Responses

Last week in this space I shared some comments from Brian Free about his new CD called "Unashamed" — and the significance of that title as we strive to live daily for Christ. I also reported the exemplary story of Brooks Hamby, a student who, despite instructions not to do so, told of his faith boldly during his high school commencement address as salutatorian. (If you missed it, you can read it here.)

Because the issue is so important, I wanted to share with you three responses to that column – two from pastors and one from a school teacher. Here they are:

"I enjoyed your article; it is so true. We need more who call themselves Christians to stand up for that which they claim to believe. I have mentioned to our fellowship that if we stand up for Christ we can change the world. Some responded, ‘it is going to happen anyway.' This attitude is a defeatist attitude. In past years I have had pastors say when anyone of another religion comes to their door they go to the basement and pretend there is no one home. I asked them what they were ashamed of, and they had no reply. I look at this as a time to share Christ with these who come to my door, and pray others will do the same. It is an honour to share Christ with others." – Pastor Jim Link (Canada)

"My prayer is that I will never be ashamed of Christ. Truthfully, I know there have been times in the past where instances came up with I was afraid to share my faith, and I didn't. I often wonder if God interprets that as ‘being ashamed' of Him. I hope not. I truly want to say to anyone at an appropriate time, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ...' Thanks for the reminder/encouragement to be bold for our loving Lord who was SO bold for us that He took the abuse we heaped on Him on the cross." – Pastor Dave Weaver (Pennsylvania)

Here's a response that specifically refers to the Brooks Hamby story, from someone who "lived it" as well:

"The story about the young man, Brooks, took me back to my graduation in 1991. I was an honor graduate and I asked to do the prayer. I was shocked when my counselor said that we don't call it the ‘prayer' anymore, but a word of inspiration. I, like Brooks, sought advice. I was most excited when many of my family and classmates said, ‘Lorie, you have always shared the glory of God — don't let them stop you now!'

"I wanted to follow the rules and I wanted to honor my Lord who helped us all reach that milestone in our lives. I did not ‘pray,' but, like the young man, Brooks, I did creatively thank God throughout my speech and I was not reprimanded, as I was warned I may be.

"Twenty-three years later, my family and friends still tell me how proud they are that I stood up for what I believe in.

"I am now a teacher and, due to budget cuts, I lost my position at the school I have been at for six years. I taught the gifted students, so there are a group of kids I have taught all six years. When they learned that I lost my job, they were very upset and they began to write letters to the administration and letters of support to me. I was so touched. Almost every child talked about how thankful they are that I always ‘creatively' taught them about God and living a Christian life, even in a public school. If I never accomplish more in life, I am so blessed to know that by not being ashamed I impacted their lives for Christ.

"We all must not be ashamed because we never know who and how we are inspiring others." – Lorie Grimes

That says it very well. These three stories are reminders of just how important it is to let our lights shine as Christians in this increasingly "dark" world. Let's all renew our resolve not to be ashamed of the Gospel.

- Paul

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