Friday, June 5, 2009

Martyrdom




As a consequence of professing their faith, early Christians were persecuted mostly during the Roman Empire and were often tortured to death for maintaining his or her religious belief. Many deaths were inspirational for other people and increased the fame of the Catholic religion, although several of these stories are unhistorical and are purely legendary. Meet ten of the most excruciating martyrdoms of early christianity...

1. Saint Hippolytus: torn apart by horses

2. Saint Ignatius Of Antioch: sentenced to be eaten by lions at the Coliseum

3. Saint Lawrence: grilled and toasted alive

4. Saint Agatha of Sicily: had her breasts cut off

You can read the stories and the rest here.

Some questions:
-Would you really, I mean really die for what you say you believe as it relates to your world view?
-If you are not a Christian, how do historical Christian martyrs effect your understanding on Christianity?
-If you are a Christian, how do things such as this effect your faith? Does it strengthen it or cause you to shrink back?
-Why do you think suffering plays an integral part in the Christian faith?
-Is persecution still alive and well today?

3 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

Hey J Razz,

I'll just stick to your posted questions to start with...

-Would you really, I mean really die for what you say you believe as it relates to your world view?

I would like to think that I would die for my kids (if I had any) and my partner; but I've never been in that position so I could potentially be a coward - I don't think you ever really know until you're there. I would not die for my atheism; that would be silly.

-If you are not a Christian, how do historical Christian martyrs effect your understanding on Christianity?

There are contemporary Christian martyrs too. There are also many martyrs to other religions, so I guess it emphasizes how deeply people hold to religious beliefs, although it adds no weight to their truth value

-If you are a Christian, how do things such as this effect your faith? Does it strengthen it or cause you to shrink back?

N/A

-Why do you think suffering plays an integral part in the Christian faith?

Because it says in the Bible that you should relish being persecuted because it means you're on the right track. Christians, I guess, would also like to fee closer to Jesus and so feeling a tiny fraction of that sacrificial suffering is seen as a blessing.

Also, lots of people hate Christians, so you don't really have much of a choice when the Chinese government busts into your church and starts crucifying people.

-Is persecution still alive and well today?

See above.
Persecution takes many forms and will be applied to anyone who is 'different' from the group. I know you weren't implying that only Christians faced persecution, but I'd just add that every demographic group has faced persecution at some point.

Good questions.


Cheers,

MikeT said...

I honestly don't know what I'd do until I was there. I know what I'd like to think that I would do. However, I think I'd be more afraid of the possibility of the persecutors looking at me and passing me over than not taking my life. If they didn't feel the need to kill me, it's probably because I'm like them and they realize it.

Craig said...

1) Not only die but a torturous death. It makes us realize how much religious freedom we do have.

2)Hopefully people would realize how much faith these people did have and would die for it. However, I am saddened that other religions have skewed the image of being a martyr by killing themselves.

3) Because Christ suffered.

4) More so in other parts of the world.