How would you like to be a martyr?
I don’t mean some minor suffering like not having cream for your coffee or having your cable go out during a big football game.
I’m talking about agony and death and suffering in pain that you fear you could never tolerate. Interested? Me neither.
What always has amazed me is that that are thousands of people throughout history who have been willing to die because they believed in the one true God.
In the 7th chapter of Second Maccabees, you can read about seven brothers who could have spared themselves a horrible death by simply eating a little pork (forbidden by their religion).
St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He refused to deny Christ before the Rabbinic court in Jerusalem and was stoned to death.
Thomas More sided with the Church rather than the state and lost his head as a result.
You may be thinking that these events happened long, long ago and we live in modern times. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where people must be willing to die for the faith. There are numerous cases of Christians being killed for refusing to convert to Islam
I got to thinking about this a few days ago when I was watching an old movie about the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire just before the time of Constantine. In the movie, suspected Christians would be dragged before a Roman official and asked to pledge their loyalty to the Roman gods rather than the one true God. If they made a tip of the hat to Apollo, Jupiter, and Mars, they could go free. If they refused, they got a date in the coliseum with the lions, tigers, and bears.
Talk about a moment of truth. And as we know, many chose to die in the arena, firm in the belief that God would give them strength and they would be rewarded in Heaven.
I don’t know anyone personally who has ever faced such a choice. I certainly have not.
However, I have known people who made extreme career sacrifices because they refused to go along with something they didn’t think was moral or ethical. And I see the government of the United States – and its collaborators in social media and news media – becoming more like Roman magistrates all the time. We’re just more subtle about how we create martyrs.
Let’s suppose you are going for a job interview that would advance your career and give your family financial security. You are a nice Christian person and have all the qualifications. You are having a great interview and it seems like the job is a sure thing. Then you are asked if you support abortion – the company it turns out is a big supporter of Planned Parenthood. How you answer will certainly determine whether you get the job. Do you stand up for the truth or finesse your way through – or simply lie.
Let’s suppose you live a couple thousand miles from your grandchildren and have not seen them for more than a year. You try to make an airline reservation but are asked to show proof of vaccination, which you don’t have because you have moral objections to the vaccine. Do you run out and get vaccinated? Do you find someone to make you a counterfeit vaccine card? Do you accept not seeing your grandkids?
If you are a doctor and advocate for the use of Wuhan virus treatments other than what the government recommends, you won’t be dragged into Yankee Stadium and fed to snarling dogs. But you will be fired from your hospital job, have your liability insurance canceled, and lose your medical license.
A 20-year Navy chaplain recent asked for a religious exception to getting the
Wuhan vaccine and was told he will be discharged from the service and have his pension denied.
In other words, people are having their lives destroyed because they didn’t give some bureaucrat the approved answer to a question that probably should not be asked in the first place.
We now face a virus worse than Wuhan, a virus of condemnation for what you think or believe. Maybe you have yet to be put to the test but I guarantee your time will come. This appears to be a universal virus.