WFW: Would You Die For the Truth?

January 26, 2010


My title could also be: “What Happens When a People Forget Their History.”

In Ancient Rome, shortly after the Flavian Emperors began their dynasty (circa A.D. 80), the Roman government began to come down very hard on other peoples. Whereas the Empire had once been quite tolerant of the nations they’d conquered, they now felt it necessary to “unite” their dwindling imperial influence by striking their iron fist down on dissenters. Such were the Christians of the Empire.

The Empire didn’t seem to ask much of the Christians– Christians had to place just a simple pinch of incense into the town square censer, and say aloud that “Caesar is Lord” (i.e., “Caesar is the supreme ruler of my reality”). But the Christians wouldn’t, not even to save their lives. Doing so would not only be a reproach against their individual consciences, but would be a reproach against the truth and those publicly witnessing the profession. The Roman authorities viewed this dissent as a threat to their empirical unity and sought to squelch this “contagion of superstition.” (Ironically, it was the Empire’s extreme moral decay and lust for luxury that was bringing down their world, not Christianity).

And Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather then men.The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:29-32

“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. …Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” First letter of Peter 1:13-17

And He [Jesus] said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21

“…what is to be done when the state does that which violates its legitimate function? The early Christians died because they would not obey the state in a civil matter. People ofetn say to us that the early church did not show any civil disobedience. They do not know church history. Why were the Christians in the Roman Empire thrown to the lions? From the Christian’s viewpoint it was for a religious reason. But from the viewpoint of the Roman State they were in civil disobedience, they were civil rebels. The Roman State did not care what anybody believed religiously; you could believe anything, or you could be an atheist. But you had to worship Caesar as a sign of your loyalty to the state. The Christians said they would not worship Caesar, anybody, or anything. Thus to the Roman Empire they were rebels, and it was civil disobedience. That is why they were thrown to the lions.” Francis Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

Secular humanists and atheists don’t seem to understand the deep-seated convictions of Christians. They don’t seem to realize that Christians are convinced that there is more to life than matter and energy; there is such a thing as universal law, as truth, and as God. Some folks would just as lie and pinch the incense and get a pat on the back than seek out and stand up for truth. “Dying for a principle?! How silly!” they say. Yet Humanists can’t prove a blasted thing; but they call Christians silly!

The United States of America is a free nation because men stood on the principle that God created men free. Just because all men were not free did not negate that reality: God made men free. And these men were willing to die for that principle. They didn’t fight the War for Independence to avoid taxes. They fought it because they were FREE MEN, defending their freedom from tyranny. How those men are regaled in textbooks, but tsk tsk those silly Christians! They should have pinched the incense and preserved their miserable little lives, right?

I think we’ve been asleep for a long, long time– in this country but also in many (formerly) free countries of the West. What will become of us? All Caesar is asking for is a little pinch and a little recognition. Come on– bow down– no one’s looking. And it won’t make any difference if you fudge a little, will it? After all, the TV show is on and the “intelligent” agnostics are watching! What will we do?

Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us and not we ourselves.” Psalm 100:3

, ,

6 Responses to “WFW: Would You Die For the Truth?”

  1. clay barham Says:

    The earliest American settlers found what worked was the ability of each individual to think, imagine, create, build and change the environment with their sweat, even disturbing the established and accepted way things are done without fear of punishment. That was America, and what set her apart from all other nations, as cited in Save Pebble Droppers & Prosperity at Amazon and Individual freedom caused local government, close to the governed within a day’s horseback ride. The governed ruled, and they could change government in Town Halls, voting or by vigilante movements, much like the Tea Party movement today. It is our tradition.

  2. Jay Says:

    Oh Rebecca, that is excellent!

    To be honest, this topic is one I think of all the time… especially reading a book about it. I always think to myself, “What would I do?”

    Your post is very inspirational. Thanks Rebecca!

  3. akaGaGa Says:

    What will we do, indeed. I think that’s the question of the day, and very few American “Christians” are prepared to stand for Christ. I think we’re going to see a major separating of the wheat from the chaff in the coming days.

  4. The Other Alice Says:

    So sorry it’s taken me time to comment. Marvelous points; makes you think about what you would do for one chance, and if you were given one chance to do something, though with a risk of dying, what would you do? Also makes you think about what Jesus gave His life for, and you are left in awe. Amazing love, amazing grace. What beauty in that sacrifice. How can we then say that this is too much? Truth is, we can only say that if we do not understand why Jesus died, and that is SO missing from the mainstream, cuz, you don’t want to talk about..shhhhh… >SIN!<

  5. Jim Wetzel Says:

    “Would you die for the truth?”

    That’s a question calling for some perspective, which is difficult to maintain amidst the noise, clutter, and busy-ness of our daily lives.

    Assuming that the Lord tarries, I will assuredly die for something. Maybe I’ll die for truth. Under current conditions, I’m much more likely to die for one pork chop too many, or leaning too far atop a ladder, or driving while sleepy late some night, or getting old enough to reach the cancerous years, or … well, the whole dreary parade of possibilities; at the end of which, if I’ve avoided them all, I can eventually die while lying in a nursing-home bed, drooling and soiling myself. I’m 55 years old. Statistically, for me, the difference between dying today (for the truth, or for foolishness) is 30-ish years, give or take. That’s the blink of an eye even on historical time scales — and, of course, it’s exactly zero, against the eternal scale.

    So, what does anything about this earthly life matter? As far as I can tell, one thing. My fair Lord has me here for His purpose, and I am assured that when I understand His purpose, I will see that it, like everything else He does, is good. I fancy — I speculate — that I’m here to do His work on other people, and to have His work done on me by other people. I may be here for other reasons, too … we shall see. Meanwhile, it seems to me that my only real difficulty is one of discernment: my physical life isn’t “mine,” and I’m not at liberty either to cling to it when I’m supposed to lay it down, nor to throw it away when I’m supposed to be here for a while longer. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain:” I think that’s some of what Paul was getting at.

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

  6. Spammer Says:

    Funny part is that the Republican party was formed to FREE the slaves (which the Democrats opposed). Martin Luther King was a Republican. And now they have their own ‘Coffee Party” full of children of the rich and people (of all colors) are ready to fall at their feet. By the way, do you know the difference between the Republican and Democrat parties? Republicans are rich greedy company owners who never worked a day in their lives and Democrats are the children of the rich greedy company owners that are still rebelling against their rich greedy Republican parents. And until Mommy and Daddy stop taking care of them, they will continue to do so. The worse part about it is, the hard working Americans are the ones stuck in the middle because somebody has to work so the money can keep rolling in. Oh, that’s right, Clinton (another poor little rich boy) sent all the good jobs overseas when he signed NAFTA so all the rich, greedy, company owners could pay kids 50 cents a day in sweat shops. (It’s legal over there)