About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
During the December 15th,
2015, Republican leadership debate U. S. Senator Lindsey Graham asserted
that "dead men don't preach".
Graham believes that the more ISIS soldiers American bombs can kill
The perceived martyrdom
of ISIS soldiers contributes to the spread of
We've seen dead men
preaching throughout Christian history.
Christianity always flourishes and spreads during times of
persecution. For every
Christian who is executed for his faith and is buried into the ground a
crop of Christians rise to take his place.
Many second century Christians testified to the fact that they came
to faith in Jesus after seeing a believer executed or after visiting his
grave. As a matter of fact,
right up to the 4th century the church set aside days to be
holy based on the death dates of martyrs. Tertullian,
a second century Christian apologist, said that the blood of the martyrs
is the seed of the church. He was right.
Martyrdom for the
Christian is his ultimate witness for Jesus.
I'm not implying we should seek martyrdom because we shouldn't.
I'm also not implying that a suicide bombing is a legitimate form
of martyrdom because it's not. I'm
convinced, however, that the Apostle Paul viewed his execution as his
final and greatest act of witnessing for Jesus.
I believe Stephen (Acts 7) believed the same.
Christians throughout the centuries have died for their faith, and
in death they have preached.
Jesus spoke to this issue
when he predicted His death in John 12:24.
"Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it
remains by itself. But if it
dies, it produces a large crop (HCSB)." Jesus
compared Himself to one grain of wheat that once it dies and is planted
into the ground produces a huge crop of wheat.
That was certainly true with Jesus' martyrdom.
Jesus' lifeless body that
hung on the cross preached volumes to those standing by.
"The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God by
saying, 'Surely this was a righteous man.'
When all of the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw
what took place, they beat their breast (Luke 23:47 - 48 NIV)."
As it was with Jesus, the
one who suffers or dies for his cause has a polarizing effect on those who
see him suffer or die. Either
he is viewed to be utterly crazy or he is viewed to be heroic and worth
following. This is seen with
Jesus' death. One criminal
executed with Jesus believed in Him while the other one didnít believe.
So, when an
The reason why Senator
Graham fails to understand these things is because our western world
culture has divorced itself from the Judeo/Christian consensus that once
influenced it. The
secularization of our culture has stripped away our capability to think
religious matters through sufficiently enough to understand the religious
nature of our fight with ISIS. Senator Graham believes dead
men don't preach. I believe
dead men do preach.