I've been knocking around a draft version of this post for several days. I was inspired to write something about the forced conversion of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig to Islam by their recent captors, as a condition of their release. I was (and still am) upset by the fact that Muslims and others who feel compelled to continually remind Christians about events like The Spanish Inquisition seem oblivious to the fact that these "forced conversions" by Islamofascists are, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same thing. I even made a neat little graphic, with apologies to Monty Python:
But rather than finish it, I am humbly directing you to read "Faith And Reason And Forced Conversions" by The Anchoress. Samples:
The demand to “convert or die” is not a thinking demand, it is not born of reason. It is culled forth from a dark heart given over to something larger than a human sense or sensibility. It is an unnatural requirement; it is Supernatural. As such, it can only be properly answered through Supernatural means, through a heart that is not dark but which is equally given over to something larger than our rational and reductive imaginings. Can you reduce the response to a forced conversion into whether one “meant it” or not? Yes, you can, but in doing so you have taken your eyes off of something hugely in play but easy to miss - that the greatest feats of heroism written in the annals of human history have come about through a combination of faith and reason, but with reason bringing up the rear.
... [W]hether Centanni and Wiig were men of faith, or not, their “conversions” were a sort of victory for our enemies. They displayed to the world what the West “holds dear.” I am not saying the newsmen were cowards, not at all. I’m only saying that in a clash of civilizations, their pronouncements about Allah and Mohammed, and their confession of new, Islamic names, was a real-time demonstration to the Islamofascists in our midst that “staying alive,” means the world to us. It can be translated as “look at these callow Western dogs, so in love with life, so beholden to nothing that they will say anything, do anything, even allow us to rename them, to cling to life…while we will give up everything…”
Others like Michelle Malkin have been sounding the alarm bell about the very real possibility of Islamofascists making forced conversions a new requirement for anyone they capture, or for any group of people who are now harboring Islamofascists in their midst -- hello Lebanon, are you listening?
One can't imagine the terror of such a moment unless they experience it. For me, the pain of such an event would be the realization that saying "no" would mean that my wife would have to raise our three children without a husband, and that my precious children would grow up without a father.
Yet I couldn't imagine becoming a witness to such an outrageous lie, forced by the barrel of a gun.
Revelation 13:10 states,
If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
John also writes in Revelation 12:10-11,
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
In The Politics of Jesus, John Howard Yoder writes, "The key to the obedience of God's people is not their effectiveness but their patience ... The relationship between the obedience of God's people and the triumph of God's cause is not a relationship of cause and effect but one of cross and resurrection."
As much as it troubles my pragmatic, logical mind, I am forced to agree with Yoder and with The Anchoress, who concludes her piece thusly:
Am I urging the West toward martyrdom, here? No, I am not urging it. But I am suggesting throughout history, martyrs have spilled blood and it has made a difference. I am suggesting that down the line some may well be called to martyrdom, and we might be wise to anticipate it and understand its use. I am suggesting that when one is caught in a fight between darkness and light - a fight that is more super than natural - such blood might well be required. It always has been, before.