Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Selfishness of the Eager Martyr

I recently had an exchange on facebook with a friend who had posted a status update rejoicing in a Congresswoman refusing to be sworn in using a Bible.  I questioned her about why she wasn't the least bit sad (in fact, she was hilariously happy!) over the loss of Christian influence in the public sphere.

Here was her answer:

I think that's another point where we diverge, because I see that historically, Christianity has done best when it's on the margins, and in general I feel like our witness will only be better and brighter if the world goes to hell around us- I think our kids will have a much stronger influence than what I was able to have."

She didn't mention how strong our witness and our kids' witness would be after we have been beheaded under sharia law.  I don't think it is loving to our kids to hand them over to a world that is ready to slaughter them.

Anyhow, let's examine her motivation:  We should want the world to go to hell so that we can do a better job of evangelizing?  I understand that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, but I don't think we are supposed to actively seek martyrdom, nor to seek a world which is so hostile to the Gospel that it makes many martyrs.  To do so is to be willing that the majority of other people live and die in disbelief, merely so that we can "shine out like stars" among the perishing.  That's selfish and perverse.