I love our Wednesday night men's class at the Decatur Church of Christ. Each week, I am built up as we open up and share our lives with each other. It really causes me to look forward to "hump day" each week.
This Sunday I will be preaching from Acts 9 -- the conversion of Saul (Paul). We've heard it so many times, I fear that we don't grasp the significance of it. Two Jewish lawyers several years ago set out to discredit Christianity. They felt that the two things they must disprove (what they considered to be the two greatest "proofs" of our faith) were the resurrection of Jesus and the conversion of Saul. They examined them from every legal angle, and came away affirming the veracity of these events.
Has there ever been a conversion to rival that of Saul/Paul? He was a 1st century terrorist -- as far as Christians were concerned. What changed him? Well, obviously seeing and hearing Jesus on the road to Damascus. But I think seeing the innocence in the faces of those he arrested must have had an effect, too. Remember: He saw Stephen killed. Luke says that Stephen's face "shown like the face of an angel." Where did Luke get that information? Probably Paul.
We ask today if such a conversion could still occur. Could Osama Bin Laden become a Christian? I certainly believe that Jesus has the power to change such a heart. But I wonder how much we hurt the process? What kinds of reactions has Bin Laden seen from "Christians" today? I understand that in many ways, I am comparing apples to oranges. But it does make me wonder.