I came across the following stark commentary on Daniel 1 which formed part of my Bible reading this week: “We are either potential martyrs or potential suicides; I see no middle ground between these two. And the Bible insists that every believer in the true God has to be a potential martyr”.
You may remember that Daniel 1 describes the deportation of Daniel and his 3 friends to Babylon and Daniel’s resolve “not to defile himself with the royal food and wine”. This could have cost him his life but he was prepared to die to please God and obey His commands.
We have often referred to Jesus’ command: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9v23). Jesus is effectively prescribing daily martyrdom!
The great tragedy is that the commentary above was penned by Dr Roy Clements, the former pastor of a large evangelical church in Cambridge who resigned after confessing that he had begun a relationship with another man and separated from his wife. How sad that he became a potential suicide instead of the potential martyr he’d aimed to be.
The puritan John Owen said “Be killing sin or it will be killing you”. And as the children’s song goes: “Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone! Dare to have a purpose firm! Dare to make it known.”
Peace and Grace