A story out of the UK details how Australia is struggling to deal with their refugee crisis. Like America, Australia has become home to asylum seekers. Among those are Christians from China who are eager to escape persecution.
One such believer recently found herself the object of intense scrutiny when an Australian tribunal tested her knowledge of the Bible.
According to court records,
The Tribunal member began by asking questions about the applicant’s baptism, the significance of baptism for Christians and in particular Catholics, and what was the significance of the water and pouring of the water. After asking further questions in relation to the applicant’s baptism, the Tribunal asked whether the applicant read the Bible, whether she had her own Bible, when the applicant first started to read the Bible, whether the applicant knew the Old and New Testaments . . .A lawsuit on her behalf also details some of the questions she was asked to further authenticate her faith. In truth, most of these have the feel of trivia. Check these out and ask yourself how would you do if your life depended on answering correctly.
- What is the first book of the Old Testament?
- Who was Abraham?
- Who was Moses?
- Who was the longest living person in the Bible?
- According to Genesis, who was the first murder victim in history?
- What did the dove carry in its beak when it returned to the ark?
- What did God convey as a signal or message of his covenant with Noah and all living creatures?
- Which plague fell upon Egypt from the sky?
- What was Moses’ sister’s name?
- Who went with Moses to confront Pharaoh?
- Why was Jesus condemned to death?
- Did the crowd have anything to do with Jesus being sentenced to death?
- Where was the actual place of Jesus crucifixion?
- When Jesus rose from the dead where did her first appear to two of his disciples?
- How long after his resurrection did Jesus remain on earth before he was taken up to heaven?
- What were Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples before he was taken up to Heaven?
- What visible sign of the Holy Spirit did the disciples see on the day of Pentecost?
- What was the name of the garden in which Jesus was arrested?
- What is the second book of the Old Testament?
- What were the Israelis supposed to put on the doors of their houses to save themselves from the last plague in Egypt?
- How was Aaron related to Moses and what book is that in?
- How often does Jesus say we are to forgive someone?
The tribunal, which took place in two separate sessions, determined,
. . . the applicant “provided considerably greater knowledge of Christianity at her hearing than she did at the time of her departmental interview.” Second, the Tribunal rejected the explanation the applicant gave for the improvement in her knowledge and instead found “the applicant’s testimony was rehearsed and memorised [sic] in order to achieve a migration outcome”. Third, the Tribunal found that “even after having ample opportunity to study up on Christianity, . . . the applicant’s answers contained numerous errors” and “her lack of knowledge of Christianity is demonstrative of the fact that she is not a genuine practicing [sic] Christian.” Finally, the Tribunal found that, overall, “the applicant’s testimony in relation to her knowledge of Christianity was at best superficial, and lacked spontaneity, particularly at her first hearing.”Not a genuine practicing Christian?! You have to wonder. . . If you were required to answer the same questions in order to gain asylum as a Christian, would you succeed? Knowing God's word is important. But - and let's be honest here - knowing answers in the book isn’t the same things as knowing the author.
Still, I am forced to wonder how American Christians would do if forced to prove their faith through a similar quiz.