Milk & Honey Gazette
Local Persecutor Defects
by Glenn A. Hascall
Damascus - Religious leaders have faced unusually trying times in recent days.
Reports continue to circulate about the alleged resurrection of a regional carpenter turned religious zealot whose death was the result of crucifixion with two other common criminals.
If that were not enough, a local leader by the name of Saul has recently gone public with his belief that the man Jesus was indeed God's Son. What makes his pronouncement problematic for religious leaders is that Saul had been one of the strongest voices of opposition to the sect now being referred to as Christians. He had provided support for the eradication of this growing group of fanatics.
"I can't imagine what he is thinking," said Judah Ben Hassan, a local Rabbi,
"He (Saul) has always had a level head in religious matters, and now this." Saul's defection also leaves "Christians" suspicious.
"He held the cloaks of men who killed many of my family and friends," said one unidentified Christian, "if only it were true. If only we could be sure that he truly believes in the Messiah."
We caught up with Saul recently and here's what he had to say.
"All I know is that Jesus came to me as I drew near to Damascus. I was blinded and he asked me why I was persecuting him. Then he told me to go into town and ask for a certain man who would pray for me. After he prayed I was able to see again."
Saul also informed us that he has changed his name to Paul and wishes to send his apologies to the families and friends of those he hurt in his role as religious persecutor.
Both sides in this issue remain skeptical that Saul has actually had a change of heart.
"A new name does not make a new man," one Christian recently stated
"If this is a joke we wish Saul would let us in on it," Ben Hassan told the Post.
Paul indicates his plans now include spreading his belief that Jesus is the Messiah.
From this writers perspective Paul will have a difficult time convincing nervous Christians that he can be trusted enough to share his story. Paul indicated that he will be leaving Damascus soon, traveling to Gentile nations to tell his story there.
For now, both local religious leaders and many of the Christians seem to agree that they will be glad to see him go. Religious leaders have indicated that if they should happen to catch up to him he may be a victim of the same persecution he had helped to lead until this recent event.
All that is left is for us to ponder is if Paul will have any impact in the future to compare with the impact he had as a stanch supporter of local religious law. Or, is it possible that this recent change of heart spells another step in the spiral of the almost assured defeat of this newly formed sect known as Christians?
Note: This story was written to show what biblical accounts may have looked like if they were to be reported by many of today's newspapers. Please note that the preceding was written as a fictional news account regarding the story of Paul's conversion found in Acts 9 from a skeptical reporters perspective and should not be relied upon as a 100% accurate picture of what occurred. I encourage you to read Acts 9 to get the real scoop.
Copyright Glenn A. Hascall
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