The Martyr's Song: What are You
Willing to Die For?
Assist News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS) -- Do you sometimes worry about
the shallow state of Christianity today? Described by some as
being a mile wide and a foot deep, the Christian faith leaves
much to be desired. However, best-selling author Ted Dekker gives
In his new novel The Martyr's Song, Dekker, in the powerful
style which accompanies his writing, forces readers to confront
issues of life and death. More specifically, the book is replete
with statements about one of life's most important issues, the
question being not what would we be willing to live for, but rather;
what would we be willing to die for?
The Martyr's Song has the potential to change your perspective
on life - and death - and give you a profound appreciation for
what really matters while you are still alive and breathing.
Describing the book, the publisher writes on the back cover,
"What would you die for? That's the question suddenly thrust
upon a small band of women and children in Bosnia at the close
of World War II. When a group of bitter soldiers stumble upon
their peaceful village, they suddenly face an insidious evil ...
and the ultimate test. It is then, in the midst of chaos and pain,
that the Martyr's song is first heard. It is then that the window
into heaven first opens. It is then that love and beauty are shown
in breathtaking reality. You have in your hands the story and
the song that changed ... everything."
Here's a sample from the story. Talking about the book's hero,
a priest, being violently persecuted for his faith, Dekker writes
that "the priest wanted to die now. He'd found something
of greater value than life. He had found this love for Christ."
Here's another statement. The priest is speaking to a soldier
who has threatened his life and the lives of some of his parishioners.
He says, "‘Your threat of death doesn't frighten us,
soldier.' He spoke gently, without anger, through tears that still
ran down his face. ‘We've been purchased by blood; we live
by the power of that blood; we will die for that blood. And we
would never, never renounce our beloved Christ.' His voice croaked.
‘He is our Creator, sir.'"
I found that reading The Martyr's Song prompted me to
engage in some deep introspection, and forced me to evaluate whether
I really believe the Bible's words; that as a believer my ultimate
destiny is an unimaginably glorious eternity in heaven.
I've been thinking that if I really believe heaven lies ahead
of me, shouldn't the way I live my life be dramatically different
from someone who doesn't have that hope?
If the Bible means as much to me as I've claimed for the last
29 years, I shouldn't have any fear of death, right? But how come
I (along with millions of other Christians) worry about what comes
after I die?
Is it because of our fondness for the things of this very short-lived
world that we really don't give ourselves much of an opportunity
to think about eternity, so as a result this transitory existence
consumes us to a much greater extent than our eternal destiny?
Maybe we need some lessons on how we can experience more of the
reality of our eternal destiny. Dekker is a master teacher in
this regard. As readers make their way through the pages of The
Martyr's Song, they will experience lessons and questions
like this, delivered in the way that only Ted Dekker can.
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.
"‘Participate in the sufferings of Christ,' Paul had
said. And yet so many Americans had turned forgetting into a kind
of spiritual badge, refusing to memorialize suffering for fear
they might catch it like a disease. Indeed, they stripped Christ
of His dignity by ignoring the brutality of His death. The choice
was no different than turning away from a puffy-faced leper in
horror. The epitome of rejection."
After reading that, I thought this passage to be so contrary
to much of the prosperity-laden theology of today's American church,
but words so essential for us to grasp and propel us to an understanding
of what's really important.
But to understand that statement about suffering we have to understand
this one. "In every truly life-changing story is a mountain
that rises to the heavens. But before the mountain is a valley
that descends into the depths. In all honesty, (she) didn't know
whether (her) death was a mountain or a valley. It really depended
on perspective. And truly, the perspective was about to change."
While Dekker's position on suffering is in absolute conformity
with the historic beliefs of the Christian church, sadly, it is
a philosophy that is missing from most of today's Christian experience.
Fortunately for us, Dekker is using his writing pulpit to draw
us as American believers back to our Biblical roots. It's a lesson
we need to pay attention to and learn from.
With that in mind, you will want to own this book. Be prepared
to weep, though, as you begin to realize how far short we've fallen
from what wonders the Lord has for us. But rejoice, and thank
God and Ted Dekker, as you begin to glimpse a taste of the glorious
treasures that the Lord has stored up for you.
For more information about Ted Dekker visit his Web
Jeremy Reynalds is a freelance writer and the founder and
director of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless
shelter. He is married with five children and lives in Albuquerque,
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