Saturday, December 18, 2004
Another example of persecution and civil rights abuse of Christians ignored by the media: High Schooler Suspended for Passing Out Evangelical Letters Returns, Resumes Witnessing.
(AgapePress) - Three thousand students at a public high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, have learned that one of their classmates is definitely not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The 18-year old was suspended after he passed out letters containing an evangelical message to fellow students at his school.
Eric Bast recently served a five-day suspension from Oak Hills High School for passing out 3,000 personalized letters to schoolmates. The letters explained how an individual can have a personal relationship with Christ and avoid spending eternity in hell.
Obtaining a list of students for every home room in his school, Bast enlisted 30 volunteers to help him put his letters in manila envelopes, and then delivered them to each home room. "I had this idea about six months ago," he says, "to write a letter to every person at my high school, explaining who Jesus Christ is and what our sins have done to separate us from God."
The Christian student sought to help his schoolmates understand their need for redemption from their sins. Through the letters, he says he tried to explain "how Jesus can save us from those sins and forgive us, and pretty much just give everyone the opportunity to commit their lives to Christ."
According to Principal David Vannasdall, Bast was punished because he disrupted the learning environment and because he failed to get administrative approval for the letter distribution. But the 18-year-old says his "disruption" has resulted in a positive impact at his school among non-Christian students, and on fellow Christians as well.
The senior says his letter made a real impression on several of his unbelieving schoolmates, whose reaction was to realize "Man, this guy put this much time into it: it's got to be at least real to him -- really, really real. So maybe I should look into this a little more."
Since passing out the letter, Bast says several of these students, and many others who have been nominal or less than serious about their faith, have been talking to him and telling him that his words really made them consider their spiritual convictions.
"People that were going to church for a long time, but never really paid attention -- it made them think," the young campus evangelist says. At the same time, he adds, "People all over the school that are Christian said, 'Wow, I realize that I'm totally not living for God, because I don't tell any of my friends, let alone every person.'"
Now that his five-day suspension is behind him, Bast intends to follow up his evangelical letter campaign with witnessing. He says the letter distribution effort has already led to numerous opportunities to share his faith with students who are seeking to know more about Jesus.