"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How could any sane human watch a death match and enjoy it as sport?

I am a true information age addict... I guess. I have always loved to read and learn about anything. I am currently reading a book by Francine Rivers called, "A Voice in the Wind". It is set in the years following Christ's resurrection and the insurgence and domination of the Roman Empire and the persecution of Christians. This book is fictional; however, it is historically accurate. Tonight, I was still a little overly awake from my homemade latte (with too many shots of espresso) and so I came into the living room to read.

I decided to do a little research online to find out what I could about this time period, the ludus, the arena and the persecution of the saints. I'm telling you what... my eyes sting man. I have never been more aware of how we are so blessed to live in the time and place we live. I can't fathom how these people took such pleasure in torturing other people or watching the "games" as if life was no more important than who looks the best in the armor. Rivers describes the action in the arena as if it were an Olympic event full of excitement and cheers all to see people slaughtered.

I always fantasized about visiting Rome and experiencing the ancient colosseum and the other historical places, but now I would have an entirely different sense of awe upon visiting this place. My thoughts would not be toward the ancient wonders or the people of Rome, but the lives martyred for the sake of Christ and salvation. People were tortured for their faith and refused to renounce it even knowing they risked certain torture and death. I think there is a reason for Gods placement of me in such a free place and time. He knows what I can bear and He knows how weak I am.

I am not naive, or unaware. I did study this stuff in school, but for some reason it never really came to life as real events. I never really chose to think about it. Maybe too it was such a gruesome topic, it was breezed over in public school and then in college the Western Civ classes had so much information to cover in such a brief time it was just skimmed over too. (Of course I am a crammer which means most of my retention was only as long as it was absolutely necessary for the test.)

This is the second time I can actually understand how my merciful God could become so disgusted with His fallen creation to destroy everyone and everything. The first time I really understood this was after watching the movie, (I think directed by Mel Gibson??? could be WAY wrong on that) called, "Apocalypto". I couldn't even finish this movie. It was quite disturbing. At both of these historical times where the nastiest of human evilness (I don't think it is a real word-- but it is almost 1 am) were so prevalent, Jesus had already given His life in atonement for such as these people.

Anyway, if you are experiencing a little of the apathy or maybe really more of a taking our freedom for granted, then I suggest you Google the ludus and gladiators and Christian persecution. The saddest and most real and horrifying thing about this is that it not only was, but still is happening today. Check out the Voice of the Martyrs web site. Have you ever read any of their newsletters? Pray vigorously for these people being tortured now for their unwavering faith in Christ. We have it easy. We may be told we can't pray out loud at school or we might risk... I don't know what is the real risk? Suspension? We may be told we can't pray in Jesus' name at an event where prayer is acceptable, but what might we risk? A job?

Just last week the girls and I participated in the National Day of Prayer on the steps of the courthouse in Jonesborough. We gathered with other Christians to pray corporately out in the open for our country, our families, our schools... I am so thankful that I am free to do this without the fear of losing my life or the lives of loved ones.

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