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MARTYRS: She didn’t say no

April 20th, 2012 | Posted by Steve Sanchez in HIStory | Martyrs

At the age of 12 Rachel Scott had a life-changing spiritual encounter. This is what she wrote in her journal: “Everyone was there at the altar, and I felt so drawn to it. You have to understand that I was so young…to be drawn that way, it was nothing short of God… I was saved.”

Rachel’s commitment to Christ cost her dearly. She broke up with a boyfriend she loved because she wanted to remain pure. five of her closest rejected her because she talked openly about her faith. In her journal entry on April 20 1998, she wrote: ” I have no more personal friends at school. But you know what…it’s all worth it to me… If I have to sacrifice everything I will.”

On April 20, 1999, while she sat outside her school cafeteria, two troubled students came up the stairs at Columbine High School with guns and opened fire, hitting Rachel three times. Leaving Rachel, they continued their shooting spree, but then returned to where she was lying on the floor in pain. One of the shooters grabbed her ponytail and lifted her head. He asked, “Do you believe in God?” She answered “Yes.” He put the gun to her temple and killed her.

How easy it would have been for Rachel to deny Christ at that moment. How easy it is to stay silent on the street as wickedness and unbelief increase. But Jesus said these words: “…whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. “

Are you willing to put your faith on the line and speak boldly of our Savior?

–Abridged and adapted from the “The One Year Book of Christian History.” (Get the book to read the full account.) Meet Rachel by clicking here.

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52 Responses

  • Ryk says:

    Having lost people I know in the Thurston High shootings, I am saddened by this girls murder and my heart goes out to her family. Thurston and Columbine are both terrible tragedies and terrible crimes.

  • Ryk says:

    I do believe, and I say know this is only my opinion, that it would not have mattered how she answered the question, however I do hope that her declaration of faith comforted her in her final moments.

    • theB1ackSwan says:

      I do agree. People who are bringing guns to school have no intention of mercy at all, but this does serve as a point where religion could potentially be a good thing. I argue that it isn’t worth losing your life over – would God really reject you because you wanted to stay alive (and thus, perhaps share your faith even more?)

      In any case, I hope her family is well, and I am sorry for the tragedy.

      • theB1ackSwan says:

        I respect people who have certified arms expertise. However, high school students are typically not in the subset of those people, and especially with issues such as bullying and regular hormonal sways, a gun is not the best option to protect oneself (if that is the intention to do so).

  • Steve L. says:

    An unspeakable tragedy! I’m convinced beyond question, she knew her final destination! This is faith in action!

  • Brett D. Rice says:

    Amen.

  • Felix says:

    I do not believe these events ever happened the way people who have certain interests say they did.

  • Robert S. says:

    The “Do you believe in God” story was initially about Cassie Bernall, not Rachel Scott. However, it turns out that the account was misapplied to Bernall, as well.

    Valeen Schnurr was the student that was asked this question. She answered both “no” and “yes,” in an attempt to appease Harris.

    • Here’s a response from a commenter on Facebook that might prove helpful: As far as being insensitive, let Rachel’s family be the arbiter of that. Her father spoke before the US House of Representatives saying the same things this so-called “misleading apologetics tool” did (see http://web.archive.org/web/2000081…8043152/www.house.gov/judiciary/scot0527.pdf) and her family works together sharing the message of Rachel’s death as an apologetic tool (see http://www.columbineredemption.com/presenters.php to bless others through the tragedy of losing their loved one. I personally find her father’s talks to be quite powerful http://vimeo.com/3548248 and full of honesty, compassion and appropriate ways to express the gospel.

    • Steve L. says:

      Robert S. wrote:
      “it turns out that the account was misapplied to Bernall, as well. Valeen Schnurr was the student that was asked this question. She answered both “no” and “yes,” in an attempt to appease Harris..”

      Just out of curiosity, where did you get your information???

  • BathTub says:

    Oh Steve, are you shamelessly deleting people posting factual information that runs counter to the narrative you are trying to create?

    Again?

  • perdita says:

    I’m ambivalent about this. On one hand, I can understand parents that need to make sense of a senseless tragedy. But this does a disservice to the other kids that died. They were never asked if they believed in God – because the killings weren’t about that.

    Calling her a martyr is hyperbole – even if we assume the story about her being asked her belief is true, it doesn’t follow that she was killed for being a Christian – as (again) the killers weren’t targeting any specific group and the killers apparently were taunting her and would have killed her regardless of her answer.

    However, none of that makes this any less a tragedy for her family or for any other of the victims’ families.

  • Ryk says:

    Censorship is cowardice Steve. Especially since I said nothing that might offend what you call “sacred” Unless you consider your opinions sacred….which come to think of it you probably do.

  • When it comes to these Martyrs posts, I delete all disrespectful comments, and especially those that accuse me, or other writers of lying about those who’ve died. Write about how I am a liar at other forums, not here.

  • Thomas Moore says:

    Thank you for this post Pastor Steve! God used the tragedy of Columbine in my life when on November 6th, 2002 after just getting halfway through the book “She Said Yes” the book that gives the testimony of Cassie Bernall who was killed at Columbine, I repented and placed my trust alone in Jesus to save me (I was a junior in high school when Columbine happened)! Cassie’s struggles and battles before coming to Christ were so much like the struggles that I had been through and was going through at the time I read the book. The whole born-again experience truly is what the song “Amazing Grace” describes and that’s what took place halfway into “She Said Yes.” Every year on my second birthday I read the book again and continue everyday by the power of the Holy Spirit to say “Yes” to live for Jesus!

    • Steve L. says:

      Thanks Thomas for your God honoring reply!

    • perdita says:

      I guess this is one reason I’m not a Christian. I place a very high value on truth and ends justifying means doesn’t work for me.

      • Steve L. says:

        perdita says:
        ” I place a very high value on truth and ends justifying means doesn’t work for me.”

        Interesting! The “truth” YOU rely on is not ultimate truth! That can only be found in the Scriptures. ” Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.” (Jn. 17:17)

        This is the truth that leads to everlasting life; nothing more important!!

      • Nohm says:

        The “truth” YOU rely on is not ultimate truth! That can only be found in the Scriptures.

        Please support this claim. No, you cannot use the fact that the Scriptures baldly assert to be “truth” as support, as that would be circular.

      • Ryk says:

        Steve L
        You are mistaken, there is no ultimate truth in the Bible. The Christian God is a proven impossibility therefore any stories or legends attributed to it or fundamentally flawed and unreliable. There are of course things in the Bible that may be true, the bible mentions the existence of sheep, which we know to be true. It speaks of the city of Jerusalem which we know is a real city, there may be other true assertions in the Bible as well. However there is nothing that can reasonably be defined as ultimate truth.

      • perdita says:

        “truth” YOU rely on is not ultimate truth! That can only be found in the Scriptures. ”

        Nohm and Ryk pretty much covered this. At one time I believed Scriptures contained Ultimate Truth. But when I looked for support to back up my belief – when I fact-checked the Bible with life, the universe, and everything – I found none.

        What I found was that the Scriptures contain no more truth then any other sacred texts. If you can actually demonstrate that Scripture = Ultimate Truth, I would be interested. And to repeat, baldy asserting something is not the same as demonstrating.

        This is the truth that leads to everlasting life; nothing more important!

        I had thought, per your beliefs, that everlasting life is a given and that the only question is where you spend your everlasting life. This is wrong?

      • Steve L. says:

        Putting semantics aside, the word eternal means without beginning or end or, always existing. It is often used incorrectly to describe what a person will experience after salvation. Everlasting life would be a more accurate term in this case. (never coming to an end from a certain point in time)

        And yes, you will have everlasting life; in one place or the other!

      • perdita says:

        I’m not sure to who you’re directing your eternal v everlasting comment, but I really wished you would have answered the “support your claim” requests instead.

      • Steve L. says:

        perdita:
        Why not read the last paragraph in your earlier reply?

      • perdita says:

        I used ‘everlasting’ because you did. Why bring up eternal v everlasting? Were you making a case that we all have eternal life but only some have everlasting life? That seems really…pointless. I mean, isn’t Existence Forever With God v Existence Forever in Hell distinct enough? And if that was your point, why contradict it with, “And yes, you will have everlasting life; in one place or the other!”?

        And, while this is fun, why focus on this side issue and not the main one of demonstrating that ultimate truth can only be found in Scriptures?

      • Steve L. says:

        In the first place, “I” wanted to draw a distinction between the two as they are often miss understood. That was my choice; hope you understand.

        Second, regardless of what I write, you will find fault because I believe the ultimate expression of truth is found in the Bible.

        I spent almost thirty one years living apart from God and his word and almost thirty six years as a Christian. I’ve seen both sides and simply put it’s my desire to “walk with God!” Looking at it from a secular point of view, “time will tell!” If I’m wrong, ashes to ashes – dust to dust. But if you’re wrong, you already know your fate.

      • perdita says:

        Okay – it just kind of came out of nowhere.

        Second, regardless of what I write, you will find fault because I believe the ultimate expression of truth is found in the Bible.

        If you understand that it’s just a deeply held belief and that you have no way of demonstrating it’s truth to non-believers, then I’m alright with that.

        If you insist that non-believers make special accommodations for your beliefs, then I have a problem. For example, if you took the position that we should change how we teach biology or cosmology because they don’t mesh with Scripture, your belief wouldn’t be enough.

  • Really? says:

    Censorin’ for Jesus!

  • Why was my polite, respectful question blocked, Steve?

    • Steve, do you understand why it’s hypocritical of you to block that question?

      You have a regular segment on your blog where you use the deaths of random people to advocate your religion. And yet, when I ask a question about this person’s death in relation to your beliefs, you seem to feel I stepped over some line.

      Why? Why can you use someone’s death as a lever for your beliefs, but I’m not allowed to do the same?

      • It matters not to me that you think I’m a hypocrite… or a liar, or whatever. I refuse to allow anyone to denigrate the memory of this girl’s death. My unofficial policy is to not allow negative comments on the Martyrs posts.

        Take this issue up with these people, they are the primary sources for this post:

        Darrell Scott (Rachel’s Dad. I’m sure he’s love to hear from cynical atheists) & Beth Nimmo, authors of “Rachel’s Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott.” Nashville: Nelson, 2000

        Also: Wendy Murray Zoba. “Day of Reckoning: Columbine and the Search for America’s Soul.” Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000

      • Nohm says:

        In a nutshell: “I like to think of it as good story-telling.

      • refuse to allow anyone to denigrate the memory of this girl’s death.
        Nothing I posted denigrated her death

        My unofficial policy is to not allow negative comments on the Martyrs posts.
        I posted no negative comments. I asked you a question Steve.

      • Well, it seems clear that something about my question bothered you, Steve, though it adhered to every rule you’ve written here on this blog. If you could actually describe what this new, unmentioned rule is, perhaps it would help me from offending you again.

        Unless, of course, there was no rule…



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