Tempered Steel and Christian Faith
Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.
By: Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.
Fort Fairfield Journal, Jan. 28, 2009
When you hang out at the Harvard level, with State and national lawmakers and all of those types of folks I’ve rubbed elbows with when doing my advocacy work, Bible believers are very hard to find.
It was around 2005 to 2006 when the Christian version of our book Spychips came out, that I actually came forward and began professing my Christian beliefs in a public and notorious way. Not that I’d ever hidden them, I’ve certainly never denied Christ, I just never felt any real reason to rub my religion in anybody’s face. But when my critics - who could find no other way to attack me - said, “Oh look, she’s a Christian,” it was a really bizarre experience.
I would go to conferences and approach a group of colleagues - people I’d worked with before, that I’d sat on panels with, been involved in studies with - and I will never forget on one occasion in Washington, D.C., I approached a group of these professional colleagues and they literally turned their backs on me and made a disparaging remark about the Mark of the Beast and about my religion. I just stood there in disbelief; I felt like I was back in the fourth grade with the clique of popular kids as you sit down at the lunch table and they all get up and walk away with their cafeteria trays. It was a very bizarre feeling as an adult to go from all of my academic achievements and all of my professional accomplishments and all of the things I had done and now, because of the name of Christ, because of my professing Him as Lord, I was being shunned.
It wasn’t like I was going to their cocktail party and butting into their conversations and saying, “Hey I want to talk to you about Jesus.” It’s just the fact that I had acknowledged Him as Lord in the first place that caused these people to turn their backs on me.
That year and a half was probably one of the darkest periods in my life as I watched my friends sort of separate themselves from me. So many people fell away, made a decision to no longer talk to me, or befriend me, or have any respect for me in a professional context and that was just crazy to me. Had I come out as a Hindu, or a Muslim, or a Wiccan, I wouldn’t have had the negative response they gave me. But, when I came out as a Christian, they pulled away.
I know there are some people that have had the same experience and I tell this story to give some encouragement.
On my wall, where I sit and do my radio show, I have collected some of my favorite verses from the Bible to help me through times like that. They’re printed on 8½ x 11 scrolls and I use them to kind of encourage myself.
Here’s one: John 15: 18-19; “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you are of the world, the world would love its own. Yet, because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” That helps me a lot. I also have Mark 13:13 upon my wall. It says; “You will be hated by all for my namesake but he who perseveres to the end will be saved.”
Those really helped me a lot as I was going through that difficult time. In Matthew 5 we are told blessed are you when men persecute you and say all manner of false things against you for my namesake. I hold on to all of that very tightly and I cannot tell you how many times it has gotten me through.
Coming out as a Christian and really openly proclaiming the truth of the Bible and the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ in this society is almost as if I just said a four-letter-word.
That year and a half was one of the most difficult times of my life. When you temper steel with the stress of high heat, you harden it so it is no longer bendable, or malleable. You put it through the fire and heat so it becomes not just an iron bar but hardened, tempered steel. I think so many times that the Lord will allow us to go through hardships in order to strengthen our Faith. At times, when we think He’s forsaking us we want to get on our knees and say, “God, why are you doing this, don’t you love me? I’m trying to do your will, don’t you care?” And then you finally come out of that situation on the other side and realize that your Faith was strengthened beyond anything you could have done on your own without the trial and hardship.
What it has done for me has really helped me separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of my friends, my colleagues, and my associates. I now have a much better sense of who I can trust and who I can’t trust. It also made me much more confident to be able to stand up and tell the truth and be able to handle the backlash when it comes.
This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission. Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at www.gcnlive.com Katherine’s website is: www.katherinealbrecht.com