Who Has to Die for Your Belief?
Some 65 million died for Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward;”
At least 50 million perished in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet system;
6 million Jews died because of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution as well at least 5 million “undesirables” in the name of racial and social purity;
At least 5,500 have died because of ISIS, 7,000 by Boko Haram and unknown thousands by Islamic terrorists such as the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden in the name of Allah.
The body count could go on.
Even Dick Cheney & the CIA have their share in the name of “national security.”
Add to that the civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq & Syria and countless other casualties of war, revolutions and regimes.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the one who said he “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). I don’t have to kill or wage jihad. I don’t have to avenge the defamation of his name or life by murder or acts of terror even though he is regularly ridiculed and vilified.
Jesus calls his followers to be witnesses (based on the Greek word “martyr”) of his life, death and resurrection, to “take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Mt. 16:24-25). No one need die for my belief – except (somewhat paradoxically), as Bonhoeffer wrote (The Cost of Discipleship), “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die” – die to self, die to sin, die to destructive desires of the fallen nature, die to hatred, revenge and retaliation – die, in order to live.
How much better is a faith not worth killing for but worth living for.