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Cassie Bernall: A young Christian who stood firm

When Cassie Bernall so boldly proclaimed her faith in Jesus Christ, her God didn't save her. The words that came out of her mouth cost her life, and people are asking why a young girl would put herself in harm's way for a religious belief? Even if she did believe in Jesus, why didn't she lie about it? All she had to do was shut her mouth and she could have walked away still breathing. Didn't she think of her family, of her friends, of herself?

So many of us walk away from this tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, with many unanswered questions. However, one thing is clear: The two young killers had a bone to pick with some of their classmates, namely, athletes, minorities and Christians. Yes, Christians. Authorities in Colorado have clearly established that the two alleged killers were anti-jock and anti-minority, but only in the last few days has the nation really considered that they were anti-Christian, even anti-faith.

Undoubtedly, many have died because of their profession of faith, but rarely is martyrdom displayed so clearly as it was at Columbine High School. Pressed with the questions, many Christians would say that they would die for their faith, but few are taken to task on this issue. On April 20, Cassie Bernall was taken to task. When the gunman asked her if she believed in Jesus, she without hesitation replied that she did. The gunman did not like her response, so he shot and killed her.

We cringe because we do not understand this predicament. Shouldn't God protect those who have placed their faith in Him? If God really does exist, why would He allow His child to suffer like this? This is a legitimate question.

To find an answer, we would have to ask Cassie's grieving family and friends. They would tell you that Cassie is now in the arms of her heavenly Father because He wants her there. The task that He had placed her on Earth to accomplish was complete even though from our perspective we think it was cut short.

If Cassie were given another opportunity to reply to the gunman she would not change her response because she now understands that God is holding her more closely in heaven because she held so closely to Him on Earth. Her act of courage was not in vain because the world saw the beauty of her faith and the glory of her God.

Kent DelHousaye
Director of Public Relations
Phoenix Seminary www.phoenixseminary.edu
Scottsdale, AZ


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