Remembering Our Martyrs

This morning I read these insightful words from Michael J. Gorman's Reading Revelation Responsibly...

“The current dearth of martyrs in the Western church may be welcome, but its accompanying amnesia of past martyrs and our ignorance of contemporary martyrs elsewhere in the world are tragic. In addition to failing at practicing the communion of the saints, this lack also feeds the desire for national heroes and martyrs. In church history, there has often been a strong correspondence between the absence of truly Christian heroes and martyrs and the presence of religious-like commitment to the nation state and its heroes and martyrs—i.e., civil religion. This is not only because the absence of martyrdom means that the state is not persecuting the church (and may even seem to protect it), but also because Christians know instinctively that they collectively need to have something ultimate for which to live and die. Without a close connection to the church’s saints and martyrs, Christians will often follow the cultural norm and make their nation state (or tribe or race), rather that the Gospel, that ultimate.” — Michael J. Gorman

It brought to mind the Heroes blog I wrote a year and a half ago.