Would You Die for Your Faith? ‘Martyr’s Oath’ Author Talks Tough Questions

Around the world, Christians are being persecuted and murdered in record numbers.

Author Johnnie Moore didn’t realize how dangerous it could be to profess faith until he witnessed the oath that is part of a graduation ceremony for theology students in India. Graduates vow to be willing to die for their faith if needed.

For his new book, “The Martyr’s Oath: Living for the Jesus They’re Willing to Die For,” Moore traveled the world to collect eyewitness accounts from people who had been persecuted for their Christian faith as well as stories about people who sacrificed their lives as martyrs.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Johnnie Moore, good friend of the program, and the author of the book The Martyr's Oath, joins us now.

He is -- he is the guy who provided the inspiration to start the Nazarene Fund, and we welcome him to the program. Hi, Johnnie, how are you?

JOHNNIE: Hey, Glenn, I'm good. Good to hear your voice.

GLENN: So I don't know if you saw this on CNN yesterday, but CNN is starting a series now. They've been doing an investigation for a year, and they found out that slaves are still being sold in the Middle East. They didn't -- they didn't touch on the Christian slaves. They just touched on the -- the slaves in Libya. But I'm hoping that they will find the -- the -- the enormity of the problem soon, that it's not just happening in Libya.

JOHNNIE: Yeah. No. The situation has changed. But it hasn't improved. You know, ISIS taught these terrorists all around the world, in different places, new brutality. New techniques. And it persists. It's not what we were seeing. You know, the beheading of Christians on live television. Now it's back in the shadows.

But in Nigeria alone, Boko Haram, which pledges its allegiance to ISIS -- I mean, they killed more Christians last year than ISIS did in Syria. I mean, this is still a very, very intense, intense situation. Not to mention, you know, these communities still need to be rebuilt.

And, Glenn, I got to tell you, I was thinking really, really small, until I got on your radio program, and, you know, because of the Nazarene fund and your vision and your voice, I mean, a lot of people were helped. But we can't let up now. There's a lot of work that needs to be done.

GLENN: So Johnnie, you went over -- and this is kind of what your book is about, you went over with kind of a comfortable, Christian attitude -- an American, Christian attitude. And you met these people who are living -- we are seeing first century kind of persecution of Christians. They are now the most persecuted people on earth. And nobody is -- nobody is even talking about it.

And you saw it firsthand. And it kind of shook you to your core. Did it not?

JOHNNIE: No, it changed me. I totally changed my lifestyle. I changed my job. I changed how I was investing my time. I could not not have a good answer to this question, you know, what was I doing when this was happening in history?

And, you know, with this latest book, The Martyr's Oath, you know, we went around to 30 different countries, sent research teams everywhere to document the firsthand accounts of persecution. And I was even surprised at what was happening in countries I barely even knew anything about.

And, you know, then, Glenn, we have allies like Turkey. You know, Turkey is a country where last year the director of religious affairs, appointed an imam to the Hagia Sophia.

The Hagia Sophia was for a thousand years, the most important church in Christianity. And it has been a museum since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. But last year, Turkey, you know, under the nose of the whole world, appointed an imam to supervise one of history's most famous Christian churches.

They also confiscated 50 Christian holy sites. And so it's not just the imprisonment and beheading and the torture and all these things, you know, the thousands of people that are affected by that -- countries like North Korea where 70,000 Christians are imprisoned. But it's also this subtle discrimination and prioritization and supremacy of Islam that's erupting, you know, all around the world. And we have to keep pressure on people. And we have to keep telling these stories. And we got to help them too.

GLENN: Tell me these stories that you found in your research.

JOHNNIE: Well, one that I can't get out of my head, I met a family that had fled Syria. You know, I was in a neighboring country. You know, they were sitting across the table from me. They had converted to Christianity. And because of it, their jihadist relatives in Syria were threatening their lives. They sent them a letter. And the letter literally said, we know where you are. We're going to come find you, and we're going to crucify you, like your Jesus.

And, you know, my saw was on the floor already. But then they told me what they did. They said, we wrote him back. They wrote the jihadist relative back.

And the letter said, please, please, come find us. You know, we're ready to die for -- for our Jesus. But please don't crucify us. We're not worthy to die the same death.

And I just couldn't -- I just didn't know a faith like that. I mean, I see in it in the Bible, right? But I don't see it in our real world. And, you know, I found that as much as we've helped these people. And you know this more than anyone, Glenn. This audience saved the lives of thousands of thousands of Christians. But as much as we try to help these people, I find that they help us. They show us what's really important.

GLENN: All the time.

JOHNNIE: You know, they show us how to live because of their willingness to die.

GLENN: So what causes that? What have we lost, Johnnie, to where -- because I can't imagine -- I don't know a single Christian that I think would sit down with the family and say, let's write them back and say, please, just don't crucify us like our Lord. You can crucify us upside down. But we're willing to do that.

But just don't -- don't put us in his category. I don't know a single person here in the United States that could sit down with the family and really say that.

What happened -- what happened to us? Where is the disconnect?

JOHNNIE: You know, and I don't know that I could say it. And it causes me to look inside of my own heart. You know, in my -- in my reading of the Bible. You see a lot of this, right? The New Testament is all about persecuted people. They're either being persecuted. Or they're helping people who are being persecuted. And I'm just convinced that we cannot have a real faith life, unless we're close to people whose faith costs them something. And this is the most subtle thing, because it gets at our character. And we don't even know it's getting at us. You know, but it changes us. And it changes us in profound ways.

We don't care about truth anymore because truth doesn't cost us anything. We don't forgive our enemies. We don't forgive our political opponents, much less our enemies, because we don't have to.

And yet the Coptic church, you know, which has endured terrible persecution in the last six months, multiple suicide bombings, a bus of children massacred, and yet the Coptic pastors all across Egypt publicly said that they forgive the terrorists that killed them. It's like, crazy. Until you read the Bible, and then it's like ever present. You know, there's a role of government. You know, it's to keep nations secure. And there's a role for the church and for people of faith. And that is, by our compassion, by our service, by our testimony. We -- we cause less problems in the world for governments to solve. You know, we work on hearts. They work on security. And our persecuted brothers and sisters, they have a faith we need to learn from.

You know, Boko Haram went after this mom that we interviewed, and they were trying to behead her after they beheaded her husband and her children. And they were demanding that she say Allahu Akbar. They were trying to convert her on the spot, probably to make her one of their wives. And you know what she did, Glenn, she said to us, with a raspy voice, because she nearly died -- she said, every time they demanded that I say, Allahu Akbar, I looked back over my shoulder at them, and I screamed Jesus. She was fearless. You know, she has a real faith. And I think a lot of us sort of -- you know, we have -- we have a fake faith sometimes.

STU: Wow. I will say though, my i Phone 10 has not been delivered yet. It's been delayed. I'm very upset about it.

GLENN: He's been talking about it all day.

So, Johnnie, you know, I can't even get to the beheading part and see that kind of faith.

I am -- I'm struggling now with -- with faith. Not my faith. But with -- with religion and religionists, that we don't believe in Jesus enough to turn the other cheek. We don't believe in the message of the gospel, which is -- which is what Gandhi and Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King lived.

We are escalating the -- the trouble by not being messengers of peace. And it strikes me that we don't really believe it. We don't really believe that it works. When push comes to shove, no, it's the sword. It's not the knee.

JOHNNIE: Yeah. And it says something about us in a deep and profound place. And the only way I know how to change is to meet those people who don't have what we have, they don't have our religious freedom. They don't have our wealth and our prosperity. They don't have our security. They don't have any of these other things. But what they do have is their faith. And their faith is all that they need. And, you know, this is why for 2,000 years, we've told these stories. You know, in early America, every American home had a Bible, a copy of Pilgrim's Progress, and they had Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

GLENN: Of martyrs.

JOHNNIE: You know, it's no surprise, that there was something unique about the Judeo-Christian foundation of this country, because it was -- you know, we were close to people whose faith meant something to them.

They expected they would have to sacrifice their lives, their money, their reputation. Something. They would lose something if they were faithful.

GLENN: And that is what this book is, The Martyr's Oath. It is a new version of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. And Johnnie Moore is its author.

Thank you, Johnnie, God bless you.

JOHNNIE: Thank you, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet.

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


www.youtube.com


Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

youtu.be


BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.