Skip to comments.Prayer and Martyrdom are Mightier than the Sword
Posted on 09/23/2013 2:54:44 PM PDT by NYer
I recently asked an anonymous, young, Syrian Christian studying in America what he thought the best solution for Syria was.
“The foreign fighters are bad, but so is Assad,” he said, “Nevertheless, there is hope among the youth that somehow political change will be better than what we have had in the past.” Yet he could not articulate what that change would look like. He put no hope in Putin or Obama and thought that American foreign policy in the Middle East has been detrimental for over a decade.
Many Syrian Christians think the devil they know is better than the devil they don’t. Despite his checkered history, Assad, an Alawite minority, has a reputation for protecting religious minorities in Syria, including Christians.
The young Syrian also noted that the present turmoil is exacerbated by the presence of foreign fighters roaming the Middle East Muslim mercenaries who have no day to day connection with the people they are fighting.
It does seem our Israel-American foreign policy in the Middle East has proved disadvantageous to native Christians who are wedged between a rock and a hard place. The magnitude of recent Christian persecutions in the Middle East has been staggering and it appears that, for all intents and purposes, our politician’s solutions for peace and stability in the Middle East have no hope of success. UN governments are trying to pick sides in Syria, for example, but the end goals are conflicting and often absurd because these goals are rooted in ideologies which are foreign to Islam.
Pope Francis has put a heavy emphasis on spiritual as well as diplomatic solutions to chaos in the Middle East. Christians are constantly tempted to exhaust their energies in political protest instead of prayer and Christian witness. Pope Francis reminded Christians over the weekend that following Jesus means “sharing His merciful love with others.”
This past week Christians in Maaloula were murdered for refusing to convert to Islam. I have no doubt these courageous believers were supported by the prayers offered for Syria on September 7th. Their martyrdoms will be remembered and will bear fruit in Syria in the coming years. They are not alone. 273 Christians die for their faith every day around the world. This is a sign of the Church’s fidelity, not its decay.
In the 2nd century, Tertullian claimed the blood of the martyrs would be the seed of Christians. His words have been reechoed by the Church for centuries because we know them to be true. Who would have thought, during the empire wide persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian in A.D. 303-304, that a decade later Christianity would become a legal religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine and the predominant religion of the empire by the close of that century?
Christians in the Middle East need our prayers for courage in the face of martyrdom. Non-Christians of the Middle East need our prayers to recognize the human dignity and fullness of life that comes with Christianity. As Pope Francis said in his September 8th post-Angelus remarks, “we move forward with prayer…”
Apparently the popes think that it is someone else's martyrdom that is so valuable...
It does seem our Israel-American foreign policy in the Middle East has proved disadvantageous to native Christians who are wedged between a rock and a hard place. The magnitude of recent Christian persecutions in the Middle East has been staggering and it appears that, for all intents and purposes, our politicians solutions for peace and stability in the Middle East have no hope of success. UN governments are trying to pick sides in Syria, for example, but the end goals are conflicting and often absurd because these goals are rooted in ideologies which are foreign to Islam.
You know what? I’m sorry but THIS is a total and complete insult to Israel and it is ridiculous to cite Israel as if it was to blame for what is happening to Christians in muslim countries. Antisemitism on the half shell while the church plays kissy face with demons and murderers of their own and the defilers of the churches.
Now that you mention it, sounds kinda like the Muzis in that regard . . .
Like this one ... as invisible as the Emperor's clothes? Perhaps this is the image you are looking for.
Why does your president ride around in this bullet proof car?
tHis is bS
Gimme a break.
Peter and other Apostles/disciples carried swords for 3 years to protect Jesus.
Arm the bishops and all the priests and parishoners with pistolas/machineguns like they did in Mexico during the persecution of the Church there 80 years ago.
Do we want a second holocaust only this time a Christian one?
Self-defense is a God-given right.
Do as Jesus did- He might say one thing but look at his actions out in His A.D 30-33 dangerous world. He protected Himself with sword -bearing Big Fishermen bodyguards in the NT.
Even the Pope Francis is surrounded with Israeli-trained Uzi-bearing bodyguards.
Gimme a break.
What`s good for the Pope is good for the sheep too, who are being killed by the wolves.
The Imitation of the Action Christ calls for bearing of arms by his followers for self-defense.
Or do those 3 years mean nothing?
In the Middle Ages, Bishops and even the Pope had armies.
Cardinal Richelieu commanded French armies in France and in America in the 17th Century.
Gimme a break.
During the first 3 centuries of the Christian Church, Christians did not carry arms, they died martyrs. Even Jesus told Peter to put his sword down.
So in turn, give me a break.
You cannot prove a negative. There is no proof that Christians did not carry arms or did carry arms for the first 300 years.
But we do know that some of the Emperors` guards and bodyguards were secret Christians and they WERE ARMED.
But we do have the account of what happened from history as thusly:
Jesus was ARRESTED in the garden by FORCE OF ARMS
Keep that in mind.
viz: Thus, from the year 112, the date of this document, perhaps even from the reign of Nero, a Christian was ipso facto an outlaw. Their only crime was that they were Christians, adherents of an illegal religion. Under this regime of proscription the Church existed from the year 112 to the reign of Septimius Severus (193-211). The position of the faithful was always one of grave danger, being as they were at the mercy of every malicious person who might, without a moment's warning, cite them before the nearest tribunal who would send troops to ARREST them.
However Jesus did not stand around for 3 years waiting to be ARRESTED.
Jesus never said fior us to stand around like idiots and be arrested and slaughtered.
When the townspeople tried to grab Jesus and throw him over the cliff, he escaped- he didn`t stand there like an idiot.
Luke 4 28-29
" All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.``
GIMME A BREAK: Jesus ran away from his enemies 3 TIMES:
1. Nazareth when the townspeople wanted to kill him by throwing him off a cliff.
[he didn`t kiss and hug them]
2. He Went to Galilee to get away from Jerusalem and the Pharisees, his ENEMIES, so he wouldn`t be ARRESTED.. [he didn`t kiss and hug them]
3. Went to the coast of Tyre and Sidon to get away from his ENEMIES so he wouldn`t be ARRESTED.. [he didn`t kiss and hug them]
4. Fled to Egypt via his parents to escape his enemy Herod- Mary and Joseph [they didn't want to be ARRESTED and killed], they didn`t hug n kiss Herod neither, did not return til he was cold n dead rotting in the ground..
5. He didn`t hug n kiss the Pharisees and their thugs on the Mount of Olives [but He was surrounded and ARRESTED by FORCE OF ARMS.
Gimme a break.
Actions are stronger than words. I`ll try to escape 3-4 times as Jesus did before I will let anyone kill me. Then if my back is against the wall I will defend myself to the death.
That is why there are refugees who flee from RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION. They just do not stand there and be ARRESTED.
They flee as Jesus did and as in the case of Indonesia villages who are attacked by moslems, they actually arm themselves with ak-47`s and fight back and destroy the moslem viiilages and mosques there in SELF_DEFENSE-
cf the Cristeros of Mexico who fought back under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe-
St. Michael the archangel defend us in the day of battle!
Gimme a break-
You actually want another Christian Halocaust? -
Self-Defense - The right of a private person to employ force against any one who unjustly attacks his life or person, his property or good name-
Everyone has the right to defend his life against the attacks of an unjust aggressor. For this end he may employ whatever force is necessary and even take the life of an unjust assailant. As bodily integrity is included in the good of life, it may be defended in the same way as life itself.=
At the Last Supper Jesus says:
He said to them, But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you dont have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
Luke 22:36, NIV
I`ll take Jesus` advice about buying a sword any day of the week.
NO, what I am trying to say is that HISTORY does not LIE.
Got to remember that those who served as guards or Roman army service persons who were Christian had to keep their faith a SECRET.
But remember also Jesus did say: “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword”. Also Jesus told Peter to put the “sword down”.
Thank-you for the excellent article.
Regular soldiers do not live by the sword- cf the centurions and what St. John the Baptist said to the soldier..
"put the sword down" meant that they were outnumbered.
"Only let it go this far."-said Jesus
Their enemy, the Pharisees armed guards, had the element of surprise because Peter and the apostles were sleeping and resistance would be futile.
Jesus never said "put the sword down" anywhere else for three years while the apostles had swords.
You have to examine the situation in which the words of Jesus were said and what would cause Jesus to say those words there and not in other circumstances when the word "sword" is mentioned by Jesus..
gimme a break
Gimme a break
BTW he did not say "put down your sword- he said:
"Return your sword to its place."
in NT greek verbatim=
"Apostrephon tan maxairon tou eis ton topon autas."
Return the sword of you into the place of it. Mt 26:52
place of it= sword scabbard.
He did not tell Peter to disarm
but merely to put his sword back in his scabbard.