“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”
~ Romans 12:2
Last week was been a week packed full of everything. Every kind of conversation you could imagine.
Last week, Ben and I attended the American Legion’s Boys State of Virginia. At the event, 700 teen leaders from high schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia assemble then establish, and run, a model government for one week. The people that come to the program come from every walk of life, background, family style, and economic level; with that in mind, the views and perspectives of every person there are different to a certain degree whether it’s on religion, politics, or whatever topic you pick.
One of the positions that is available at Boys State is the position of Chaplain; I gladly volunteered for the position. Being the chaplain for my group at the event was awesome. I got to pray everyday for the people I was grouped with, and I even got the opportunity to speak in front of all 700 guys on two different days. The week was packed full of opportunities for Ben and I to share our faith, and we gladly accepted.
I received just about every single question you can imagine about Christianity, evolution, religion, morality, and politics that you could possibly imagine. Some people just wanted a single answer but other people continually pressed you on what you believed; they were testing you to know just exactly how much you knew about your given position. I’ll be honest. Sometimes, people asked really good questions that required me to stop and think for a second.
Contrary to what one might assume, I faced more opposition to me sharing my faith from the head Chaplain (he was an adult “counselor” for the week) than the actually people attending the event. Shocker. Right?
The head chaplain was extremely “anti-Jesus”, even though he claimed to be a Christian. He told Ben and I that we were “Radical Christians”, and that people like us are what’s wrong with America. When I gave my talk about David and Goliath, he told me it sounded “far too Jesus-y”. This was just one example of something he said to us, but… Just so we’re clear… There were NUMEROUS other things that were said to us throughout the course of the week.
Despite all the different attempts that were made by the head chaplain and other boys attending the event, Ben and I never wavered in our faith, and we never allowed for our message and beliefs to be changed by our set of circumstances we found ourselves in. There were times that were honestly hard; there were times when it was extremely difficult to give answer with a reply that was filled with peace.
BUT. We did.
This is my encouragement to you. Stand firm. Don’t let those around you control your walk with Jesus; live according to the truth every single say no matter the circumstances, and remember that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (James 1).