50 Lashes Could Not Stop Her Love for Christ

“One [Creek] woman who received fifty lashes for affirming her faith in Christ went down to a spring, near Old North Fork Town, washed her wounds, and walked ten miles to hear Joseph Islands [a Creek Baptist preacher] preach that night.”2
Figure 1. Perseverance Through Persecution.

Figure 1. Perseverance Through Persecution.

It was 1845 in the Creek (Muscogee) Nation, Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). The Creek Council had labeled the gospel as “the white man’s religion” and banned it within the Creek Nation. The tribal council passed a law that any Creek Indian or Creek slave caught attending church or preaching the gospel would receive 30 to 50 lashes with a whip. But persecution could not stop the faith of these Creek Christians.

“Many [Creek] Christians had been whipped to the point of death, but there was no case on record of anyone denying the faith.”1

These Creek Christians did not see the gospel as “the white man’s religion.” They saw the gospel as God’s eternal message of salvation that had changed their lives and given them a new heart.

“One [Creek] woman who received fifty lashes for affirming her faith in Christ went down to a spring, near Old North Fork Town, washed her wounds, and walked ten miles to hear Joseph Islands [a Creek Baptist preacher] preach that night.”2

Creek Chief Roley McIntosh

Roley McIntosh was the Creek Chief and a fierce persecutor of Creek Christians during this time period. Later, he himself was saved and baptized.

We know very little about this Creek lady, yet her actions tell us much about her faith. From that day forward, 50 scars in her back testified of her love for the Lord Jesus Christ. She was not ashamed to suffer for His name. Her actions prove at least three things about her love for Christ…

1. She loved the Lord Jesus Christ and was not ashamed of Him

The Bible says, “…whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 9:33) If you truly know and love Christ, you will be willing to suffer persecution for His name. Even if people mock you or persecute you, you will not stop loving and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. She loved her brothers and sisters in Christ

When you’re truly saved and begin to love Christ, you will love His people.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren…” (1 John 3:14)

This Creek lady loved the church so much she would rather be whipped than to forsake the assembly. If you are truly saved, you will have a strong love and commitment to pray, worship, and fellowship with the true people of God.

3. She loved the preaching of God’s Word

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words…” (John 14:23)

“I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one…” (1 John 2:14)

When you’re saved, you will love God’s Word and the preaching of His Word. This Creek lady was so hungry to hear the preached Word of God, she walked ten miles to hear preaching that night.

Dear reader, these three marks will be seen in the life of every true believer. If you’re truly saved, you will have a strong love for Christ, His people, and His Word.

If you’re ashamed of Christ, lack a strong love for His people, and have no desire for His Word, the evidence shows that you have never truly been born again. Dear friend, turn from your sins and look to Christ by faith today! Dear believer, continue standing strong for the name of Christ!

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” – John 3:36 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” – Romans 5:1

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Timothy 3:12

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38 – J.D.B.

Footnotes

  1. Routh, E.C. The Story of Oklahoma Baptists. Oklahoma City: Baptist General Convention, 1932. p. 35.
  2. Ibid.

ILLUSTRATION

Figure 1. McGee, Kelly. Perseverance Through Persecution. 2014. Pencil drawing. Used by permission.