Sometimes our faith can be attacked when we least expect it. Things can be completely normal and then, out of nowhere, you are put in a situation where you must make a decision: will you make a stand for Jesus?
This recently happened to Jake Naman, an 18 year old senior from Arrowhead Christian Academy who has grown up in our church. Jake attended a nation journalism conference for high school students in Seattle, where he listened to keynote speaker Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” project,” an anti-bullying campaign that has reached more than 40 million viewers with contributors ranging from President Obama to Hollywood stars. But, while listening to this supposed message on anti-bullying, Jake felt, well, bullied—bullied for his faith.
In his address, the anti-bullying spokesman became the bully when he started to bash the Bible. As a strong gay activist, Savage spoke out against the Bible and Christians, using profanity and vulgar language to degrade the Christian faith. The comments he made were very specific and explicit, directly attacking the Christian students who were in the room. The attack was rapid and unexpected, but Jake reacted quickly.
In a room filled with thousands of students, Jake made a stand. He rose to his feet and walked out of the building, passing by his peers who were cheering in response to Savage’s slander. His sister, along with his school’s entire yearbook staff, followed his lead. Along with many other students in the crowd, these young people made a stand for Christ in a hostile environment. Jake said, “I felt like in my heart I couldn’t just stay there at all. It was a really weird feeling I just had to get out. I didn’t want to cause a scene but I really could not stand to be in that room anymore.”
At the end of his rant, Savage directly addressed those students who walked out, saying, “You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible.” Then he personally insulted “the Bible guys” by calling them a degrading curse term. In an interview, Jake responded, “If Dan Savage had gotten up there and said ‘God hates homosexuals and they’re all going to hell,’ there would have been huge outrage from that crowd. As Christians we get the other side of that. When our faith is attacked like that – we are ridiculed for taking a stand against it.”
Jake’s stand against Dan Savage’s attack on the Bible and Christianity has not gone unnoticed. Several articles have been written to a national audience, including two from Fox News, titled “Christian Teens Say Gay Activity Made Girls Cry” and “Anti-Bullying Speaker Curses Christian Teens,” which have become “top stories” containing thousands of comments. Fox News also named Jake the “Patriot of the Week” for standing up for his faith, saying “You stood up, you spoke out — and you made a difference!”
We are very proud of Jake for the stand that he made, and for the example that he is to the thousands of young Christians who are persecuted and ridiculed for their faith in a secular society. May God continue to raise up the young people of God to make a stand for the Kingdom of God!
“But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord has holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:14-17).
Christian, always be ready to make a stand—even during an “anti-bullying” speech.