I wonder if suffering and/or dying for our faith has the same impact on non believers as it used to. With the rise of radical Islam and people willing to "martyr" themselves to murder innocent people do people see believers in Christ willing to suffer and die for our faith as just another segment of the "crazy religious folks"? With the rise of Christian preachers who teach that we are rewarded if we are "good" and suffer if we are "bad" is the beauty and value in sacrifice, suffering, and dying for our faith distorted in the minds of believers as well as nonbelievers?
Muslims seeking out death is not true martyrdom It is pride and vanity. Jesus and His disciples avoided it when they could. When people were plotting to imprison or kill them they fled in many instances. They only suffered torture and death when there was no other option. They embraced the idea that martyrdom may be necessary but they didn't seek it out as many do today.They didn't try to take others with them into their martyrdom and they certainly didn't do it to earn a reward. They didn't run around seeking the cross.
I pray that the beauty and value of true martyrdom will not be further distorted by the perverse version many other faiths participate in today.