Tuesday, March 27, 2007

death=devotion, not truth

11:19 AM Posted by: M., 5 comments

I used to think that it was pretty amazing that some of the Disciples allowed themselves to be killed in such torturous ways for their faith and that that proved that Jesus was real--because why would these disciples keep trying to spread the message and then be willing to die horribly for it if it wasn't true?

But I just started to realize that that is what people did with the Heaven's Gate cult, the David Koresh cult, suicide bombings, grotesque killings for Joseph Kony in Uganda, etc.--just because his disciples believed Jesus and were willing to die for his message, does not mean that his message was true. It just means that they believed it was true.

Is our faith really faith in believing that God is real? Or is it just faith in the fact that the disciples believed it was real?

Also--is it that brave that someone who believes in eternal life after death would allow themselves to be killed? I dont think so. What would really be convincing is if someone believed in no afterlife and still sacrificed themselves.


JumpingFromConclusions said...

This is a very interesting post, Marie. I too have thought about how many people today die for causes that aren't necessarily the Truth. The apostles had faith, and they died defending it.

Also, where are all these martyrdoms recorded? Some are in the Bible, I think, but not that many.

JumpingFromConclusions said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Hi, Marie.

I came here from Heissailing's blog, and I think you make an excellent point in this post. And a chilling point. Death doesn't equal truth.

I do think that life equals truth, though. This isn't meant to sound flippant, but in some ways, it's a lot harder to live for God then it is to die for God.

Ed Lynam said...

One of the interesting points about early Christian martyrs, as well as many in later days, is how loving they behaved toward their tormentors. There was something very compelling about not the fact of death, but the manner of it. And not in the same courageous way of the Spartans at Thermophylae, but in the way that Gandhi and MLK sought to imitate in their followers, very much in a pacifist mode.

marie said...

Thanks Ed! that is cool to think about. I think it is meaningful how the message of Jesus transformed people so that they could withstand those sorts of deaths. I think that has almost completely disappeared--that willingness to sacrifice--I mean, look at the War on Terror: "we need to kill the muslims before they can kill us" seems opposite to what Jesus did and preached, but I digress...

I also like your point about life, Heather. I still think that life proves only that that person believes in what they think is "truth" but I definitely see your point. Thanks for that.

Hi JfC! I need to do more looking around for the accounts of the deaths--yeah, did the apostles die because of their faith or the truth? I am really jazzed that we can discuss these issues