Murder and the Church

Murder for religious reasons is apparently ok among some “intellectual” and media types in Scotland. Martyr’s Monument in St Andrews has been restored and was re-inaugurated last year. There is family history in St Andrews and so I became aware of the restoration of this monument. Last year, on May 24th, the St Andrews Citizen published an article on the ceremony, under the headline, “Ceremony marks re-inauguration,” which I recently saw. The article reported that two of the martyrs, Patrick Hamilton and Henry Forrest, are annually represented in a procession and at the re-inauguration, “two students came in costume, barefoot and in sackcloth, carrying bundles of sticks, to represent the men who were burned at the stake.”

According to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, for “his publicly disapproving of pilgrimages, purgatory, prayers to saints, for the dead, etc” Hamilton was condemned and burned at the stake for heresy by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of St. Andrews. Henry Forrest was a Benedictine friar who committed the crime of defending Hamilton and who was put to death by the same Catholic power, for doing this. The Citizen did not mention these inconvenient details though and incredibly, instead stated the following: “An excellent address by Dr. Richard Holloway, broadcaster, historian and commentator, looked at the martyrdoms for a modern perspective, arguing that religious convictions were such that tremendous courage was needed as much to kill someone for their beliefs as it was to be willing to die for one’s beliefs.”
Huh? Tremendous courage? How about tremendous bigotry, tremendous intolerance, tremendous ignorance of what God teaches in his Word? Is Dr. Holloway’s view modern, as opposed to what it was at the time? I bet when these murders were committed, members of the Roman Catholic Church thought something as twisted as this. I would assert that the view that heretics should be killed remains Catholic Church law today.
Holloway argued that religious convictions were such that tremendous courage was needed as much to kill someone for their beliefs as it was to be willing to die for one’s beliefs. How is that? It is not courage but tremendous stupidity in light of what the Word of God says about killers. 1 John 3:15b states: …ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
Sentiment this bizarre must give comfort the people like jihadists followers of Islam who are murdering people in places like the middle East, Africa, and Asia.
It is interesting though to see a “newspaper” actually publish something as foolish and intolerant as this. The mainstream media has traditionally not been too eager to publish what is the Church of Rome’s real position on what should be done to “heretics”. I plan to write to this Scottish entity and ask them if they stand by this article.

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