Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Martyr Moment: Of pious blood, and prosperity Gospel

Foxe's Book of Martyrs. According to this summary from Christian Book Summaries,

Writing in the mid-1500s, John Foxe was living in the midst of intense religious persecution at the hands of the dominant Roman Catholic Church. In graphic detail, he offers accounts of Christians being martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ, describing how God gave them extraordinary courage and stamina to endure unthinkable torture.

From the same link, the book's purpose was fourfold:

  • Showcase the courage of true believers who have willingly taken a stand for Jesus Christ throughout the ages, even if it meant death,
  • Demonstrate the grace of God in the lives of those martyred for their faith,
  • Expose the ruthlessness of religious and political leaders as they sought to suppress those with differing beliefs,
  • Celebrate the courage of those who risked their lives to translate the Bible into the common language of the people.
Text from Foxe's Book of Martyrs

The Seventh Persecution, Under Decius, A.D. 249

Karitena, municipal seat of ancient Gortyna, Greece
Lucius, the governor of Crete, ordered Cyril, the 84-year-old overseer of the church at Gortyna, to be arrested for refusing to obey the edict to perform sacrifices to the idols. When Cyril appeared before him, Lucius exhorted him to perform the sacrifices and thereby save himself from a horrible death. the godly man replied that he had long taught others the way to eternal life in Christ, and now he must stand firm for the sake of his own soul. He displayed no fear when Lucius condemned him to be burned at the stake, and suffered the flames joyously and with great courage.

The persecution raged in no place more than the Island of Crete; for the governor, being exceedingly active in executing the imperial decrees, that place streamed with pious blood.

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"God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas and creativity.”
"God wants us to have healthy, positive self-images, to see ourselves as priceless treasures.  He wants us to feel good about ourselves."
"You will often receive preferential treatment simply because your Father is the King of kings, and His glory and honor spill over onto you." 
"If you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you…"
"It’s going to happen… Suddenly, your situation will change for the better…He will bring your dreams to pass."
~~Joel Osteen

 If Foxe's Book of Martyrs isn't enough of a rebuke against the Prosperity Gospel, I don't know what is.

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