Martyrs Or Cowards

Are there only martyrs or cowards, or is there something in-between? Would you be prepared to die for your faith, no matter what price you may have to pay? 

Credit Google Images

Can Forced Recanting Change Your Private Convictions?  

This question needs to be examined. One’s fundamental beliefs form part of the foundational building blocks that determine your paradigms.

If your religious allegiance is more than just a superficial cultural appendage, then this is so fundamental that it cannot easily be mentally discarded. No matter what you are forced to do publicly.

The result is internal conflict, anguish and guilt because you fear what the consequences will be in the afterlife. Are these poor souls to be regarded either as martyrs or cowards?

Martyrs Or Cowards? Living With Guilt:


Credit: Google Images

How does one who has publicly recanted their faith, for what ever reason, manage to live with the burden of guilt they will have to carry?

I have Googled many articles on the subject of “living with guilt”. They all approach the subject on an intellectual level. Also from either a psychological, philosophical, or pastoral angle.

One comment even goes so far as to advocate switching to Buddhism. They do not have a concept of sin and guilt, only transcendence.

This is all fine from the perspective of people living in a society where tolerance is practiced regarding religious freedom.

The point that is missed, and which is the subject of this article, is that they all treat the subject from the luxury level of an intellectual debate.

This advice is of no help what so ever to those poor souls who are forced to live under extreme intolerance, where any vestige of adherence to another faith will mean certain torture and death. Are they then to be judged as either martyrs or cowards?

Ethnic Cleansing Of Christians

Credit: Google Images

Could you honestly, with genuine, deep conviction and commitment, reply “Yes” to the introductory question? Would you really be prepared to die for your faith, no matter what price you may have to pay? 

If so then we, with the deepest respect, laud and salute you!

Especially if you would honestly be prepared to consciously choose to be killed – no matter how brutally – rather than renounce your faith.

I pray, however, that God will save you from ever having to be tested in this regard. But, if it should transpire, that He will then grant you the necessary strength to persevere and help that the suffering you may have to endure will mercifully be short-lived

Never the less, my heart goes out to the many among us who may prove not  to be so strong. Martyrs or Cowards? Those who, through fear, may choose the easier option of rather publicly recanting their faith in exchange for survival.

Credit: Google Images

How Must We Define martyrs or cowards?

How do we assess whether people are either martyrs or cowards? Isn't it possible that those who are forced to live with their guilt are in fact also real martyrs?

If we consider the mental and spiritual anguish, as well as the terrible self-recrimination that these poor souls will be forced to live with for the rest of their lives, then we cannot help but feel empathy and sympathy for them!

We must remember that they are in good company. Every one of the apostles was just as guilty, fleeing into the night to avoid arrest and deserting Jesus in His most dire time of need.

Even Peter, who had sworn that he would give his life for Jesus (though he did in fact attempt to physically defend him with the use of a sword) also ended up running away.

Granted, Peter then did attempt to mingle with the crowd, hoping by following at a distance, to secretly be able to observe the unfolding tragedy of Jesus’ trial.

The Gospels relate, however, how on three separate occasions, he vehemently denied having any relationship with Jesus. He even swore an oath to this effect. Then a rooster crowed! 

The Gospel of Luke relates it most poignantly:

Luke 22:61-62 NLT.   

“At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly , the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly.”    

That look.......! What did it convey?

Coming from the Jesus we know, we can be certain that it would not have held any recrimination - only love, empathy, compassion and possibly even trust!

  This same Jesus would before long pray for those who were nailing Him to a cross: “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”   Luke 23:34 NLT. 

No wonder Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly!  We can only guess at the self-recrimination, regret, and hopelessness he must have been experiencing.

He must have felt a complete failure, beyond redemption! But, when he looked into the eyes of Jesus, he saw and experienced only Grace!

Can it not be accepted that this will be the same look with which Jesus looks upon those of his children, who through fear, are forced to hide their faith and pay the price of having to live with the same guilty consequences?   

Surely we should also find the empathy to accept them as martyrs and leave the judgment to Jesus?

The ISIS Onslaught In Iraq And Syria

Credit: Google Images

 Witness what is happening at this very moment in Iraq and Syria.

This radical Islamic movement has spread with lightning efficiency across Syria, Iraq and into Lebanon. And hell has been in its wake!

Pockets of Islamic State sympathizers have emerged with black flags flying in Germany, Great Britain and Australia. Their aim? Nothing less than to establish an Islamic Caliphate, operate society by draconian Sharia law and eradicate pesky infidels.

They've blown up shrines (most notably, the tomb of the Biblical Jonah), defaced churches and ransacked monasteries.

Shiites, “apostate” Sunnis have been targeted. Iraqi Christians, Kurds and other religious minorities (e.g., Yezidi) have been labeled, robbed, raped and/or executed.

The Scourge That Must Be Stopped!

Credit: Google Images


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