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It Takes Guts to Say 'Jesus'

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It Takes Guts to Say Jesus

For some time now a story has been circulating the Internet. It has found a home on numerous sites, especially Christian operated sites, as one of many ’Faith Building Stories’ , ’Inspirational Stories’ , ’Stories from the Inbox’ etc.

The story is just that! It is a story. A ’nice’ story. A challenging story for Christians. A good sermon illustration story. A modern parable - a story with a message. As such it is acceptable and worth sharing.

But it is presented as fact - as reality - as more than moral story of teaching value to challenge Christians. The fact that it states that it is a true story does NOT necessarily make it so.

It is told anonymously. The fact that it mentions USC have led some Americans to assume that it stands for ’University of Southern California’ but this may not be the case. Even if it did it may simply be a device to give the story greater authenticity. No one is actually named (perhaps for good reason) and no supportive evidence is provided to back up the claim that it is a true story. No specific date is given for the incident recorded. ’A few years ago’ seems more to fit the context of a modern parable or sermon illustration story than a factual, historical account.

(CCG Ministries would be quite happy to accept it is a true story if adequate supportive evidence was provided - e.g. full name of university or college; name of student(s) involved; name of professor involved; specific date(s); which actual class/course at which the professor attempted to prove God did not exist etc.)

While there is no supportive evidence that the story actually IS true, it does not mean that it could not have been true. It may have been. And we believe it still has significant merit as a story even if it was not factually true, but only a modern parable. However, we should realise that just because a thing COULD be true, that therefore, ipso facto, it IS true. We should reserve judgement on the factuality of something until there is supportive evidence to fully back it up.

Christians have always believed that their faith is not mere blind acceptance of what someone else has claimed, but that there is historical and supportiveevidence to back up the major beliefs of Christianity. In this age of instant communication, knowledge explosion, and Internet searching we should not succumb to naïve gullibility and blind acceptance, but be even more ready to check things out carefully.

Here is the story in question.

’It Takes Guts to Say "Jesus" By: Unknown


This is a true story of something that happened just a few years ago at USC. There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn’t exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic.

For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever ’really gone against him’ (you’ll see what I mean later). Nobody would go against him because he had a reputation. At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!"

In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "because anyone who does believe in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that he is God, and yet he can’t do it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students could do nothing but stop and stare.

Most of the students were convinced that God couldn’t exist.

Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about this professor. He had to take the class because it was one of the required classes for his major, and he was afraid.

But for 3 months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said or what the class thought. Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith, he hoped.

Finally the day came. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, "You FOOL!! If God existed, he could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!"

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken. The professor’s jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man and then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood up proceeded to walk to the front of the room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God’s love for them and of his power through Jesus.

"Yet to all who received HIM, to those who believed in HIS name, HE gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of GOD."

"But HE knows the way that I take. When HE has tested me, I will come forth as gold."

Job 23:10’

As a parable this story is fine. There are minor variations circulating - especially with the Bible verses quoted at the end.

Some have taken the story further and have advised that people should email all their friends - or at least all those people in their email address book - and tell them (like the student in the story) of their faith in Jesus. They have promoted it as a test from God.

Subject: Fwd: Fw: Jesus...

>Subject: Jesus...>

Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father."

If you’re not ashamed, pass this on . . . only if you mean it.

Yes, I do love God. He is my source of existence and my Savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I will be nothing. Without Him, I am nothing. But with Him, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

This is the simplest test . . . if you Love God, and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done for you, send this to ten people and the person who sent it to you!

Why does it have to be sent to ten people? And why send it back to the person who sent it to you? What does God think of all this? Will this make God love you more? Will he give you extra ’brownie’ points for pressing a couple of computer keys to send it impersonally to other people - regardless of whether or not they are already Believers?

We think Christians SHOULD stand up for Jesus, and share their faith - when it is appropriate to do so, and to do it personally with consideration for the individual(s) with whom faith is being shared. Christians should take their direction from Scripture (e.g. 1 Peter 3:15-16), rather than from email chain letters (even supposedly ’Christian’ ones).

A further twist has been given to the ’It Takes Guts To Say "Jesus"’ story. It now supposedly spreads a destructive computer virus!!



If you receive an email titled "It Takes Guts to Say ’Jesus’" DO NOT OPEN IT. It will erase everything on your hard drive. This information was announced yesterday morning from IBM; AOL states that this is a very dangerous virus, much worse than "Melissa", and that there is NO remedy for it at this time.

Some very sick individual has succeeded in using the re-format function from Norton Utilities causing it to completely erase all documents on the hard drive. It has been designed to work with Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It destroys Macintosh and IBM compatible computers.

This is a new, very malicious virus and not many people know about it. Pass this warning along to EVERYONE in your address book and share it with all your online friends ASAP so that this threat may be stopped. Please practice cautionary measures and tell anyone that may have access to your computer. Forward this warning to everyone that might access the internet.

Joyce L. Bober
IBM Information Systems
Pittsburgh Mailing Systems
412/937-1730 Fax

A variation of this message warns:


If you receive an email titled "It Takes Guts to Say ’Jesus’" DO NOT open it. It will erase everything on your hard drive. Forward this letter out to as many people as you can. This is a new, very malicious virus and not many people know about it. This information was announced yesterday morning from IBM; please share it with everyone that might access the internet.

Once again, pass this along to EVERYONE in your address book so that this may be stopped. Also, do not open or even look at any mail that says "RETURNED OR UNABLE TO DELIVER." This virus will attach itself to your computer components and render them useless. Immediately delete any mail items that say this. AOL has said that this is a very dangerous virus and that there is NO remedy for it at this time. Please practice cautionary measures and forward this to all your online friends ASAP.

Both these message are UNTRUE! They are another common Internet email hoax!

1. Note that both declare that IBM made an announcement about this virus ’yesterday morning’ but no actual date is mentioned. This email chain letter hoax has been circulating for months so words like ’yesterday’ are meaningless. Nor has this been backed up with public announcements given through radio, television or the newspapers - as IS generally the case with major new computer viruses.

2. It is stated (in both variations) that AOL has declared this to be a ’very dangerous virus and that there is NO remedy for it at this time’. AOL has, in fact, made no such announcement, even though it (as also IBM) does provide information on viruses AND Internet hoaxes (and both list this as another hoax!).

3. The biggest part of this email chain letter hoax is that it plays on people’s computer and Internet ignorance and fears. Emails, regardless of actual content, cannot in themselves introduce a virus into your computer. However, attachments to emails CAN and sometimes do spread and introduce computer viruses (we KNOW! We ended up with a ’worm’ in our system because of an email attachment being opened). Please take extra care - not so much with actual emails - but when opening email attachments. Be especially cautious if you do not know the sender of emails with attachments.

4. Whenever you receive emails with messages that ask you to ’pass this on’ - ’urgently’ - ’to all those in your address book’ or ’to x number of people’ - think twice. More than likely it will be another email chain letter hoax. The best place for such emails is not widening circulation with the help of the ’Forward’ button - but the ’Trash Bin’.

Further confirmation about the It Takes Guts to Say ’Jesus’ email chain letter virus hoax check the following websites: - specifically check it on:

(From TACL Vol 21 #6 2000)