Religious HarassmentQUESTION: Consider this first-hand story of religious harassment, as told by a teenager:ANSWER:
It was a warm November morning in Southern California. Just two months earlier, my family had moved to the area so my parents could begin serving as pastor of a church. Up to now, school was going ok, but on this particular morning, I was being threatened intensely. I had never experienced it this way before.
Everyone knew I was a Christian and that I was a "pastor's kid" so they teased me about it. Sometimes I would get hit from behind, knocked in the head, or tripped in the hallway, but on this day, people were getting in my face.
Our P.E. class was waiting to get in the gym and there were no monitors or teachers to be seen. There were about five boys trying out different moves with knives (real knives), when one of them came up to me and asked me to fight. I turned him down and he called me a wuss and returned to his group.
Then he came at me again and hit me and said, "Come on you pansy." And again, I turned him down. He started back to his group, but turned back around. The next thing I remember was being picked up in a wheel chair by my P.E. teacher. I was covered in blood. Later, I learned from my classmates that I got knocked out and two of the boys went crazy and kept beating me! They kicked me so hard that it lifted my body off the ground. They took my head and lifted it off the ground and kicked it into the pavement. It was only by the grace of God that I even survived.
After the attack, I was very angry. I wanted revenge, but I hid it all inside. By the time I returned to school a week later, I was swamped with cards, phone calls, and e-mails from people I didn't even know. They praised me for being a great Christian example and succeeding in fending off Satan's attack. They said they were praying for me. How was I supposed to take revenge after that?
When I went to school, I was showered with friendship. Teachers cried as they told me how proud they were of me and how "such a good kid like me" didn't deserve what I received. I followed their cue and became the "good kid" at school. I joined the tennis team and received all-league player for my talent and my attitude. I had a great year. God was good!
A year later, I was a senior and my little brother was a freshman. School was going good for both of us. In November, as we were walking to our car, a huge kid knocked me in my jaw and said, "remember me?" With my younger brother watching, I calmly back up and headed for the school office. He turned around and slashed my car's tires.
Six days later, I was walking to our church around 7:00 and two gang members initiated me into their gang at knifepoint. After these incidences, our family prayed together and decided the Lord wanted us to leave the area.
It is now a year later and God has totally blessed our family. I am now attending Bible college. My dad is pastoring a small church in a different community and my younger brother is doing great in his small school. Prayer works!
I don't think these guys really even knew why they persecuted me. They just wanted me dead. What these guys and whatever evil spirits that were involved meant for evil, God used for good. My testimony for Jesus multiplied over and over again after the attack.
For the record: All the attacks were unrelated. The two boys in the initial attack were sentenced to two months in the Juvenile Hall. Following their release, they went back in for other violations. Their freedom lasted less than a month.
The guy in the parking lot was mad at me for beeping my horn at him when I thought he was someone else. I never got paid for the tires.
The two gang members two blocks from my house played it pretty cool and didn't harm me physically in any way. I just came up a few bucks less. God is good all the time!