|Logo from Gene E. Veith's blog.|
It is also the seal of Lucas Cranach,
resident and mayor of Wittenberg,
German artist (1472 - 1553).
Dr. Veith links to a work of apologetics from an early Christian who explains who these Christians are and why they live and act the way they do. 21st century Americans cannot help but read this without a degree of guilt and shame. The early Christians suffered for their faith, and yet they continued to love each other and their enemies. They demonstrated the love of Jesus in very trying circumstances, and they did not let those circumstances alter how they put their faith into action.
While we might see ourselves in the words of the ancient apologist, we will not see ourselves in other parts. My own personal concern and fear is that we have adopted too much of our American culture to put up with persecution. We seem to want to be good Americans (not that this is entirely bad) than good Christians. We are trained to demand our rights, but I wonder if we are as willing to bear our cross.
Of course, that is a question each must consider for himself. I can't believe and live for you any more than you can believe and live for me. And I also believe that there were less-than-stellar Christians in the days of the early Church too, who found it more advantageous to be a good Roman than a good Christian. There is nothing new under the sun.
May God grant us all the courage and commitment to take God's word to heart--first for the comfort and confidence in the salvation our Lord Jesus Christ bestows upon us, and then for the commitment to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him, even it that comes at a great cost.