Theology Issues Links
"We have met the enemy; and he is us!" - Pogo
A man who is not willing to die for the values and/or beeliefs that he has chosen−this does not mean the values and beliefs with which he was programmed−is already as good as dead. He then becomes a pawn, materially subject to whatever force is the greatest or whatever external influence might threaten his life or wellbeing. But dying because of what you have truly chosen is not martyrdom because such a man can truly say that he is dying for himself.
This is quite different from dying for some other person's agenda, plan, will or other external value or factor, and it is different from dying for that which you have been programmed. Dying for these is martyrdom. A man should only be willing to die when HE just would not want to live with the alternative. Any other person or agency asking him to die, for their sake or their cause or because of what they foster to be or happen, becomes an unreasonable oppressor, self-centered and tyrannical.
In psychology, it is widely recognized that the martyr complex is a destructive sickness. The blood drops of the martyr may be the seeds of new believers, but these are always the seeds of false religion.
The idea that the God of service, humility, the great affirmer of life, would require or desire us to become martyrs is outrageous. This is another one of the incredible pernicious doctrines fostered by Christendom, and it should be soundly rejected and repudiated.
The thinking that Jesus taught or fostered martyrdom is ludicrous. There is nothing wrong with self defense, but if you are under the protection of the unfallen there is no need. While he was alive, he was careful to ask the "Father" to protect his friends and followers, and while praying and thanking the Father he exclaimed that he had not lost a single one. The problem is that the message of Jesus was ultimately not received, nor understood and embraced, and after his death and resurrection only a small number retained this protection and their lives. The rest universally did NOT stay under this protection, and were all destined to die one way or another.
Jesus advises carrying a weapon for self-protection
Jesus could not change this fate of the people unilaterally, but he and the Father have no desire to see the better people oppressed or slaughtered by the worse. It is seldom admitted, mentioned nor seldom even understood that just before the end playing out he said to his followers in Luke 22:35,36
"When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one."
Being a willing or even an unwitting victim or martyr NEVER glorifies God.