Monday, June 5, 2017

The Age of Martyrs is Now

We have it so easy in America. From Matt Walsh:
Just think of what these martyrs were doing in the first place when they were killed. They were traveling out into the desert on a pilgrimage to pray at a monastery, despite the enormous risk that such a journey entails. What about us? We can’t even be bothered to get up on Sunday morning and drive 12 minutes to church. Our churches aren’t in the desert. There aren’t any Islamic militants patrolling the area, looking to put a bullet in our skulls and turn our children into slaves. So what’s our excuse? We don’t want to get up. It’s a hassle, you see. It’s boring. The air conditioner doesn’t work very well and we might get a little sweaty. We had an argument with someone at church and it might be awkward to see them. We don’t like the sermons. The pastor was rude to us once. Why should we go? We don’t want to. You can’t make us. Our tummies hurt. Waaaaah!

Oh, sure we’ve come up with our theological excuses for not going to church, not changing our lifestyles, not really doing anything at all. We found a verse or two that justifies our laziness, in our minds. Or we came up with a verse that we’ve decided should be in the Bible if we were really supposed to do such and such or not do such and such, and because this verse isn’t in there, it means we’re good to go. This is the one area of religion where we exert some effort: in finding excuses to not be religious. I recently had an argument with a Christian who provided the most impassioned Biblical defense of mini-skirts that I’ve ever heard. I’m sure it was the most energy they’ve invested in a religious discussion in their lives.

But our brothers and sisters to the east know nothing of these excuses. They can’t conceive of why you’d even want to find them. They look at us and ask: “You can be as Christian as you want and nobody will hurt you. Nobody will kill you. Why wouldn’t you proclaim Christ from the rooftops, then? What’s stopping you?”

Well, because we might lose Facebook friends. Someone might accuse us of being weird. And, besides, if we start being really Christian then we might feel guilty about all of the gossiping we do at work, and all the porn we watch on our computers, and the fact that we drink too much, and spend too much of our money on frivolous things, and that we make no sacrifices at all, ever. That’s what’s stopping us. We have it too easy, in other words. We’re fat and lazy and soft and selfish. What’s stopping us is that nothing is stopping us, you might say.

Perhaps, in all of this, I’ve stumbled upon the answer to my first question. Our media pays little attention to the martyrdom of Christians because the martyrs make such a compelling case for Christianity. They’d rather focus on Christians in this country as we complain about not hearing “merry Christmas” from the cashier at JC Penny, and then get back to our divorces and our Netflix addiction.

We are ridiculous and it is, therefore, quite easy to not take us seriously. After all, why should they take our faith seriously if we do not take it seriously? But the Christians in the Middle East do take their beliefs seriously — very seriously — and that makes them extremely convincing advocates for those beliefs, and that makes them dangerous. That’s why the media is afraid to pay attention to them. That’s why even we, as Christians, are afraid to pay attention to them. They show us something about ourselves, and we don’t like what we see. So we look away and find something else to care about. (Read more.)

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