Facing New Lions

Over on his indispensable Substack, Touchstone contributing editor Rod Dreher posed a question about the willingness of us weak-kneed Western Christians to face martyrdom:

How many Christians today say that they are eager or even willing to be martyrs? I would bet that most of us wouldn’t even be willing to lose our jobs or the privileges that come with our social standing, much less our lives.

I would much rather die the death of a Christian martyr than be thrown to the tech or academic or corporate lions, where you aren’t killed but erased and forgotten by nearly everyone. They won’t put a bullet in your head, but you will be portrayed as some kind of nut—or worse, as a Jim Crowstyle -racist. You will lose your job and your social standing and many of your friends, and you’ll get to spend the rest of your life trying and failing to convince anyone who will listen (not many) that you lost everything because of your commitment to Christ. Even your fellow Christians will think you’re just using your faith as an excuse for your deeper personal problems.

I would say it is all very Soviet—except in those days there was a real dignity for those Christians thrown into the gulag. Actually, it’s very Chinese Communist Party. It’s very academic. It’s very Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Honestly, I’d rather they bring back the colosseum.

J. Douglas Johnson is Executive Editor of Touchstone.

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