Martyr. noun. 1.a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
This is what we as Christians have long understood the definition of martyr to be. If you want to read about martyrs, then this is a good book to start with.
If instead you want to read about a call to grandstanding and publicity dishonoring all those who have died for the faith, then I suggest this.
This is what we have finally come to…and it saddens me. The blatant misrepresentation of martyrdom is, in a word, sick. Martyrs don’t get to go on talk shows and be interviewed by CNN. Martyrs die, and often die in horrible and brutal ways. Martyrs, I don’t think, set out to be martyred. Most often it was the consequence of them following the call of the Holy Spirit. They did not plan it out, but rather accepted the possibility. There is something unbalanced about planning to be a martyr. If I were to call on a bunch of people to go to ISIS held territory so we could be martyrs, I would (rightly) be accused of mental illness.
That aside, let’s look at the call to action that is listed here.
“How can you be a martyr for God’s kindom* of justice and inclusion for all people?
- Officiate at a same gender wedding.
- Have someone file a complaint. This can refer to any same gender wedding you’ve officiated in the past six years. Some suggestions for people to file the complaint: Your District Superintendent, a Good News evangelical, or even an ally.
- Don’t settle for a just resolution when you meet with the Bishop.
- Let your case go to trial.
Encourage media (social and traditional and denominational) coverage of every step of your process.”
Aside from the above mentioned reality that the understanding of Christian martyrdom is that it involves death, the following problems occur. First, it is a terrible hypocrisy from a group that was calling for an end to church trials not to long ago. Now they want more. I am afraid that this, more than any other action, shows that their primary concern is the goal above all else. Methods don’t matter. Collateral damage doesn’t matter. There is no compromise, there is only the goal and nothing else. Nothing else matters. Singular devotion to anything that is not God is a dangerous dangerous thing. I think that there is a word for devotion to something above God. Have an ally file the complaint to purposely twist the system we have in place to suit your goal. No need to worry about integrity here, just do it. No need to worry about what damage may be done to the denomination by spattering internal matters over external news sources, just do it. The cause is all that matters. This is a sick and twisted distortion of the heros of the faith whose blood has grown it.
*This is the second time in as many days I have come across this “kindom” (made up) word. Really, if the best you have for a rallying cry is made up words that you ascribe to God, perhaps you need to take a breath and reevaluate your tactics.