Bost Road Inquisition--a game

On 31 October 1517, in Saxony (in what is now Germany), Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses On the Power of Indulgences to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, which served as a pin board for university-related announcements. 

   This is a game made up by Mike Thompson (and others) to help us understand a little about what it might have been like to be persecuted for our faith. 

Reformation Party Activity: Inquisition 

 Background Information:

         -Many areas throughout Europe were under Catholic dominance.  In many of these areas, it was illegal to hold    Protestant views.  Protestant Reformers and Evangelical believers often had to express their faith under the real        possibility of imprisonment.  Some left their homes and went to Protestant controlled countries or regions.  Others remained where they were and continued to worship and share their faith at great risk.

        -This Activity is designed to help us better understand what it would be like to live out your faith in a hostile environment.  

        -This is not simply so that we can learn about ancient history.  There continues to be many places of great persecution throughout the world today.  And, although we have experienced great freedom of worship in our own country, there is no guarantee that this will continue indefinitely.  Two threats to this freedom are the increasing fear of extremism of any religion by the secular community and the growing threat of Islam.

        -We ought to prepare our hearts for a day of persecution.

        -This activity is meant to instruct us.  It may be fun as well.  I just ask that you take whatever role that you are given seriously so that we might actually learn from the experience.



       -Catholic Authorities:  These people are sometimes very cruel.  Their cruelty often arises from their true belief that Catholicism is the Truth and all other false faiths should be crushed.

        -Protestant Christians:  Not every Protestant was Protestant because he truly believed in Christ alone, but we will assume for purposes of this activity that if you are a Protestant, you are a true believer.

        -Pastors:  These are the Protestant Christians who actually possess a Bible and who are qualified to lead times of worship.

        -Unbelievers:  These represent those who are either Catholic or Protestant, but really don’t have much conviction either way.  These people are the ones who are able to be converted by a clear gospel message.

        -Snitches:  These are those among the common people (unbelievers) who when confronted with the gospel, instead of converting, will actually turn the believer into the authorities.

        -Guards:  These are those who are called upon to guard those imprisoned.  These men may be witnessed to by the prisoners, but often this will result in greater suffering.  Although, there is some possibility of some being converted.


Objects of the Activity:


Catholic Authorities:  

   *Confiscate all Bibles

There will be specific Bibles that the Pastors will possess at the start.  These Bibles are necessary for worship services.  Although the Pastor does not have to have the Bible in his possession at all times.

   *Imprison all Pastors

They can only be taken to prison if they are caught conducting a worship service or are found to be in possession of a Bible.

   *Imprison as many believers as possible:  ½ to ¾ of believers imprisoned

A believer can only be imprisoned if

-he is caught in Protestant Worship

-he is snitched upon for witnessing

-he is the family member of one of the above

-if you are a family member of someone in prison, you may be imprisoned at any time.



   *Organize and hold worship services with believers

Must include yourself and at least 2 believers (although it is desirable to have more if possible, understanding that the risk of being caught is greater with greater numbers)

   *Must last long enough to:

-read one chapter of Scripture

-quietly sing Amazing Grace (four verses)

-pray the Lord’s Prayer

  *When a Pastor has completed a worship service, he will be allowed to pass out tokens to his parishioners.  They will need these at the end of the game to prove that they have indeed worshipped God.



   *They must participate in 2 times of worship.  If they have not done this by the end of the game, they will be among those who “Fall Away”.

   *They seek to witness to unbelievers and guards as to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


     Witnessing to Unbelievers:

-Casual conversation which may lead to spiritual discussion

-Request for the unbeliever to meet you at a secret place to discuss these things more fully.  (must be a five minute time interval:  this allows time for the unbeliever, if he is a snitch to go find the authorities)

-Rendezvous at the appointed place.  

     *Quote a gospel Scripture to the unbeliever. 

     *Pray a prayer of Repentance and Faith with the unbeliever.

     *Converted unbelievers are required to have one token of Worship instead of two.  That means that the convert must be directed to a scheduled place of worship.  It is the token received through worship that counts, not simply praying a prayer.


     Witnessing to Guards:

-There is allowed all sorts of winsome talk.

-We will not have any physical persecution in this activity.  But the guards will have slips to give which will symbolize persecution.  They will have a limited number of these slips.  They will be allowed to give them out as desired.  The person given the slip will have to spend 10 minutes in quietness and prayer to gain strength to withstand the persecution.  At the end of the persecution, he will be able to resume witnessing if he desires.

-One or two guards will be allowed to convert.  The other guards cannot interrupt during the time of prayer to receive Christ.  When they convert, they will be able to leave the prison along with the person who witnessed to them.  They are not to be followed.  The guard is like any other convert, he must find a place of worship and receive a token.

When a guard is converted, Mike will replace him from the population of unbelievers.  Mike also continually adjust whether or not a guard can be converted so the prisoners will not know who can or cannot be converted.



   *The goal of the snitch is to be as believable as possible.  You do not want the believers to know that you are snitching.  You may snitch at any time, but the two most convenient times would be:

1. after being witnessed to the first time during the second meeting.

2. fake a conversion and snitch at the actual time of worship

    This is the way in which to capture many of the believers rather than just one, but you must be a bit more deceptive.



*There will be a time limit to the game.  (say 45 minutes)

*You will be assigned your role.  If you play the game, you are required to play by the rules and to do as best as you can.


Families:  Believers and unbelievers will be organized into families.

*Parents with Young children can participate with their child with them.  Any limitations that you might have (eg. needing to nurse or change diapers, etc.) will just be a part of the game.

*We will mark families with tape rather than simply using the natural families.

*Not every believer will be a part of a family.  Some will be individuals.



*Some will have natural physical limitations that prevent them from running.  This is OK.  It makes the game more real.

*Pastors are not allowed to run when in possession of a Bible or when caught leading worship.  They may attempt to escape, but they are not allowed to run.  Only if they do not have a Bible on their person (eg. they may discard/hide it) are they allowed to run

*In general, believers are allowed to run, but just like capture the flag, if they are tagged, they must willingly go with the Catholic authority.


Capturing Believers:

*An authority may find out who believers are by:

     -a snitch telling of a witnessing opportunity

     -being led by a snitch to a place of worship

     -seeing the tape signifying being a family member of an already imprisoned believer.

     -searching a person and finding them in possession of a Bible:  although only pastors should have the Bibles.

*A caught believer must be walked to the prison.


Prison breaks:  There are no prison breaks!

*Your whole task is to witness, and to pray.  I encourage you to actually pray for the persecuted Church.

*A believer may be released from prison by the following two ways:

     1. convert a guard

     2. a believer may, at the half-way point of the activity, be released from prison if he or she is willing to give up one token.  If they do not have a token, the guard can write down that they owe a token and can collect at the end of the game.



*You may not leave the grounds of the Church Property.

*You may go in the woods although pastors will have to make allowances to provide worship for those who have limitations and cannot go outside.  The whole Church is available, except the Sanctuary.



*the prison will be in the nursery and changing room, unless otherwise notified.


Set up:  

*I will take time to go over rules and answer questions.

*Catholic Authorities and guards will be given their badges and told to go into the Pastor’s office.  They must wait until I give them the OK to come out.

*Believers, unbelievers, pastors and snitches will be given their assignments.

     -believers will be told who their pastors are

     -pastors will be told who their parishioners are

     -pastors will be told who the other pastors are.

     -pastors will be told where to pick up their Bible

     -unbelievers will be given a type of unbelief with which to personify.

*All will be allowed to disperse.  Some may stay right in the public, others may feel best to immediately hide.  

*Pastors will immediately begin to fix times and places for worship and communicate it to their parishioners.

*The Catholic Authorities will be set loose!!!