Is Matthew 10:33 literal?

Is Matthew 10:33 legal? The subject came up between my husband and me about having a gun to your head and told to either reject Christianity or accept another religion. I said if it was me I hoped I would stand for Christ and die. But then I said that if the gun was pointed at one of my kids I was afraid I’d cave and was concerned about Matt 10:33. My husband laughed it off and said I was sounding like a protestant fundamentalist, taking things too literally. He said he’d do whatever was necessary to stay around to care for us. This conversation has bothered me ever since. Would Christ deny me before the Father in a situation like this? It’s not too far fetched. It happens all over the world.


We must keep in mind, the context in which such a circumstance would take place. If a crazed person had a gun at the head of one of your children, it is understandable that you would lie just to placate that person. But your intent would be to save the child; not to deny Christ.

If on the other hand, if Christianity were under persecution and you were asked to deny Christ, you would be obliged to remain faithful to Him to the point of giving your life.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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