September 2, 2008

French Revolution Martyrs vs the 'Lapsi'

September 2 is a day set aside to remember all the massacred religious people during the French Revolution. They stand together in the church's memory because they all gave their lives for Christ. The French Revolution wasn't just against aristocracy, but also against the church. Over 185 persons who refused to deny their faith were killed. "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was the motto of the Revolution, but apparently only if you followed the fashionable national establishment.

This reminds me of another era. During the Decian Persecutions in the Roman Empire, many Christians didn't want to suffer torture and die for their faith. They were called 'lapsi', and later some of these felt remorse for their betrayal of Christ, who had suffered and died for them. They asked to be readmitted to the church. A schism developed over this issue with some saying that no lapsed person should be readmitted. This controversy lasted for awhile and brought about deaths too. September 1, 252, the North African synod voted with Cyprian to give grace to these people. Cyprian was martyred two years later.

Some commitments demand our whole selves.

Jesus is my example. Jesus willingly went to the cross for me, for all. And He too forgave Peter for denying Him before others. I wonder at times ... what would I do under such duress?!
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