Many years ago I read a story from the 1200’s during the time of the Inquisition. Misguided religious people joined with other Crusaders believing they were to eliminated all “heretics” not by converting them to Christ, but by putting them to death. If an Inquisitor came to your place of business or home, you had to provide evidence that you were a Christian or face death.
In Toulouse, France, the Inquisitors met a man named Jean Tisseyre. Tisseyre was a laborer who went through town accosting the crowds with these words,
“Listen to me, citizens! I am no heretic: I have a wife . . . and she has borne me sons. I eat meat, I tell lies and swear, and I am a good Christian. So don’t believe it when you hear I am and atheist, not a word of it! They’ll very likely accuse you too, as they have me: these accursed villains want to put down honest folks and take the town from its lawful master.”
These words caught the attention of the Inquisitors. They arrested Tisseyre and condemned him to the stake. All the while he persisted in declaring himself a good Christian.
I am not convince Tisseyre took the right approach to proving his Christianity. Yet, I wonder, How would you or I prove that we are a Christian? Could you prove it, if asked too? Would I show a baptism certificate? would I show I can quote certain scriptures?
How do we prove our faith?
James says, “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (Jam 2:18b). Faith works, specifically in compassionate care for the suffering and those in need of God’s Grace.
Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Joh 13:34-35).
Can people tell you are a follower of the Christ? Is your light shining as you reflect God’s light?