Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)
TITLE: Compromising Integrity
By Shanta Richard
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Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judah. He was the representative of the Roman Emperor. As the ruler he had spies who reported to him everything that happened in the country. He had heard all about Jesus and His teachings. He seemed to consider Jesus as a harmless religious fanatic at the most, and definitely not the violent rebel the Jewish priests insisted he was. He had the power and authority to release Jesus. (Matt.27)
But he was concerned about the unruly yelling mob outside demanding the crucifixion of Jesus. He knew that they were being instigated by the priests. He also knew that if he did not order the execution of Jesus the mob would become uncontrollable and erupt into a riot. As the Governor he had to keep peace in Judah and would be answerable to the Emperor for any political disturbance. And so he decided to please the people and thus preserve his own reputation as a competent ruler.
On the other hand the Bible mentions a prophet named Amos who stood to his principles and obeyed God against all opposition. Although he was from the Southern Kingdom God had sent him to the Northern Kingdom to preach against their wickedness and warn them of God’s wrath if they did not repent. The high places would be destroyed and their sanctuaries destroyed. The high priest of Bethel, Amaziah, threatened Amos that death would await him if he dared to convey God’s message of impending disaster to the King. But Amos was not here to win a popularity contest. He was here to warn the King of impending doom if he did not repent. He was not going to compromise God’s command to save his life. (Amos 7:8-16).
Thus there are two men faced with the same predicament – seek the vote of approval from the public at the cost personal integrity. I have been there and I know it is not a pleasant situation. I hunger for human acceptance and approval, because I am scared of being ostracized by my fellowman, of being lonely, of having to walk the narrow path of Christianity all alone. Pontius Pilate chose the broad and lively path of the world and is remembered for his cowardice.
Once I make the choice the narrow path is not lonely, because my Savior God walks with me. Walking hand in hand with Him I am not alone. And so every time I say the Creed I am asserting my faith in God and remembering Pontius Pilate and promising not to value public approval more than the approval of my precious Savior.
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