Why would someone die for their faith? As a Christian, what is the difference between a Christian martyr as opposed to a martyr of a different faith belief system such as the Muslim faith? It seems that if people are willing to die for their faith, then you and I would have to take a serious look at their belief. How would we determine which faith is more true if both are willing to die for their belief? Someone might ask, “What makes the early Christians death for Christ, more compelling than the Muslims who are willing to die for their belief about what Mohamed said?
First of all, in the case of good people who are believing in a particular religious point of view, they are believing it on faith. With regards to Muslims, they have faith that Mohammad lived and that the Quorum was given to him by the angel Gabriel. They have faith that Islam is the true religion, but, they have never met Mohammad, never handled the original Quorum or were never there to witness the angel Gabriel allegedly giving these verses to Mohammad, so they take all of it on faith alone. Now, there is nothing wrong with someone dying for what they truly believe in, but that doesn’t make a particular belief true.
The difference between early Christian martyrs and those who die for another religious faith such as Islam, is that they were there to witness for themselves who Christ was and what he did. In the book of Acts, it tells of over 500 people who Jesus Christ appeared to after his resurrection. If we look to just the Apostles themselves, all of them died a martyrs death for Christ, with the exception of St. John, even though he was tortured. Christian martyrs actually saw him. They were able to see Jesus rise from the dead. In St. Thomas’ case, he actually was able to touch his body and the wounds of Christ after He rose from the dead. They were able to walk with him, eat with him and speak with him after the resurrection. There were hundreds and hundreds of them who testified to this.
These Christian followers had something that no other faith martyrs had, and they were willing to die for it. Now if these Christian martyrs had been deceived or lied to, then you would have seen them start to walk away from their belief. But that’s not what happened. They actually were willing to die for their faith, rather than deny it.
For someone who is a Christian today who dies for their faith in Christ, they would be doing it more from faith, since they were not an eyewitness themselves. But, unlike other religious faiths, a Christian has a stronger position for that faith because of the knowledge that there were so many real eyewitnesses when Jesus was here on earth.
Until next time, God bless.