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Hypothetical question about Christian persecution

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by MercyandFaith, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. MercyandFaith

    MercyandFaith Newbie

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    This is a hypothetical question. Most Christians here on Christian Forums will probably never encounter this situation in real life. But I think it's worth discussion anyway.



    I think most Christians would agree that if necessary, one should suffer and, if need be, endure martyrdom for the sake of Christ if the situation calls for it. In other words, if someone points a gun at you and says, "Renounce Christ, or die!" then most Christians would agree that it would be better to suffer martyrdom than to renounce one's faith. That's actually the straightforward situation here.


    But what if someone threatens another person instead as a way of getting you to renounce your faith in Christ? What if he points a gun at some other person and says, "If you don't renounce your faith in Christ, I will kill this person?" Then what would be the right thing to do?


    In other words, is it ever right for someone else to suffer for your faith?


    This could even be taken to an extreme. What if someone says, "If you don't renounce your faith in Christ, then I will kill 100 hostages? 500 hostages? 1,000 hostages?" Is it our duty to never renounce our faith no matter what?


    The situation gets even more complicated if the person being threatened isn't a believer. If you refuse to renounce your faith in Christ, that person might be killed and go to Hell.



    Again, this scenario seems extremely unlikely to happen to most Christians. It's for the most part a hypothetical question. But I am sure some persecuted Christians have been forced to confront a dilemma of this sort in real life. What is your view on such an issue?
     
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  2. TannarDarr

    TannarDarr Regular Member

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    I try to talk the person down. I don't consider making that decision, I'll address the individual and explain the utter stupidity of their actions.

    How's that for a non answer? :)

    I'm not evading though, literally that is how I'd address it. If it's at me, it's my only chance at survival. If it's someone else, it's their only chance of survival. Find a working synapse between their ears and feed that spark to make a fire.
     
  3. MercyandFaith

    MercyandFaith Newbie

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    If trying to talk down someone who seeks to persecute Christians were the solution, then you'd think that all of the Christians who had been martyred in history would not have been martyred.


    I'm not saying this be snarky, not in the least, but I do think that some people who are bent on bloodshed will carry out that bloodshed. I don't think that nicely asking Hitler not to carry out the Holocaust would have prevented the Holocaust, for instance.
     
  4. TannarDarr

    TannarDarr Regular Member

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    I said it's the solution for what you CAN do, not that it would save every person. :)

    What I get more worked up on this topic about, is the USAmericans acting like they are persecuted because of abortion laws, or gay marriages, or whatever else they wanna whine about. No ten commandments in the court house, blah blah blah blah blah. Folks here in the States have some odd thoughts some times on this topic.
     
  5. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    If someone is bent on doing evil, nothing I do is going to stop them. If they were to threaten to kill people unless I renounce Christ, and I were to renounce Christ, they'll either just kill them anyway or threaten the same thing with someone else. If those people were to die, it would have nothing to do with me. The guilt for a crime is always on the one committing the crime, not on his scapegoats.

    Adding evil to evil is evil. Renouncing Christ to save lives will not save anyone's life, and I may lose my own soul in the process.
     
  6. HisSparkPlug

    HisSparkPlug Offspring of a Genius

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    One would have to trust God with the lives of those being threatened.

    If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:26

    This scripture isn't to be taken literally - we are not to hate anyone, it is figment of speech in that our love for God in comparison to our love of others should be so vastly strong.
     
  7. seeingeyes

    seeingeyes Newbie

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    I think it's qualitatively better to 'claim Christ' with actions than with words. So in the scenario you mention, it would be better to give up one's life for another than to cling to 'righteous' words.

    The former is righteous, the latter is a mere shadow of righteousness.
     
  8. Lion King

    Lion King Veni, vidi, vici

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    To be honest, I would lie to save a life...always.
     
  9. football5680

    football5680 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't deny Jesus in any situation because worldly life means very little to me because in comparison to the afterlife it will be nothing. It is much harder to put other people in danger but this is something I could never do. If I put myself in the position of the victim and somebody else was being asked then I would not want them to renounce their faith even if it meant I would die.
     
  10. TannarDarr

    TannarDarr Regular Member

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    Why do you think God gave us a life to live, and commanded us to be His instruments of righteousness to the OTHER people on earth with life to lives....> IF He only wanted us to die and be resurrected?

    hmmm
     
  11. Lion King

    Lion King Veni, vidi, vici

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    Will you really lay your life for Jesus Christ?

    It's really simple to say you'll die for Christ now, but when a blood-thirsty mob comes calling, threatening to blind you and cut off your body parts bit by bit unless you say you renounce Christ, will you still sing the same tune?
     
  12. HisSparkPlug

    HisSparkPlug Offspring of a Genius

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    I think you need to read this: http://www.whitehorsemedia.com/docs/FOXS_BOOK_OF_MARTYRS.pdf
    :)
     
  13. Fireinfolding

    Fireinfolding ....

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    Mat 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

    You will only know when the time comes.

    Like Jesus speaks of those which believe for a while, then come temptation or persecution and its there they either fall away or or offend. Before that its unknown, though such confidences are expressed beforehand.



     
  14. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Some of this is similar to others who have to deal with situations around the world where they seem to be presented with the choice of sinning or letting someone suffer (i.e. a lady in Nazi Germany choosing to allow herself to be raped/slept with in order to ensure her children or others are not murdered ruthlessly). And to me, it seems to remind me of a lot of what has actually occurred when believers have not seen things as a simple matter of giving in easily to persecution in the name of Christ for the sake of their faith and yet ALLOWING others to suffer for it.

    Surely for slaves helping runaways out during the Underground Railroad rather than having all collectively suffer together under oppression.....or others in China lying directly to officials asking where other believers are to protect them....we have to wrestle with those realities. Some of this was discussed more in-depth elsewhere, if interested, as seen here:
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  15. ForChristJesus

    ForChristJesus Junior Member

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    As it is written there is no greater love than to give your life for a friend of Christ.
     
  16. Fireinfolding

    Fireinfolding ....

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    I would still follow Rahabs example since its a scriptural.
     
  17. Lion King

    Lion King Veni, vidi, vici

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    That's the reason I don't make bold declarations as these, because I dunno what I'll truly do when or if the time comes. See, it was easy for Peter to say he'll follow Christ anywhere, but when that mob came looking for Christ's disciples to kill, he was quick to distance himself from the LORD without even a moment's of hesitation. Sometimes, the fear of death makes us do things we thought we would never do...that is, if our faith is weak.
     
  18. Lion King

    Lion King Veni, vidi, vici

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    All men of great faith, but unfortunately, I do not have faith strong as them. When (or if) the time of persecution comes, will I stand and die for Christ or will I run and cower like a coward that I am?

    I truly dunno.
     
  19. Cjwinnit

    Cjwinnit Advocatus Diaboli (Retired)

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    • Anyone trying to control someone by threatening violence against an innocent third party should be stopped immediately.
    • From Wikipedia:

      "In 2004, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1566 condemned terrorist acts as:

      "criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act, which constitute offences within the scope of and as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature,"
     
  20. TannarDarr

    TannarDarr Regular Member

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