World Scripture, A Comparative Anthology Of Sacred Texts
Editor, Andrew Wilson
Chapter 17: Offering And Sacrifice
4. Persecution and Martyrdom
The practice of religion may be characterized as the way of offering and sacrifice. There are offerings out of one's wealth and possessions, but those are only an outward manifestation of offering. For the essence of the offering is to give the self--with its desires, loves, talents, vocation, possessions, relations, and its very identity--to God and to the service of His will. Whatever is held most dear makes the best offering; in an affluent society those occasional tax-deductible donations to a church or charity may be paltry offerings indeed. The true seeker for God makes his whole life an offering in the sense that he lives for God, works for God, and continually directs all his thoughts and deeds to God. The requirements of the sacrifice may include enduring persecution, even to the point of martyrdom. The sections in this chapter explore these various kinds of sacrifice.
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