I remembered reading Foxe's Book of Martyrs and it's not a pleasant book. The more I read it the more I saw that torture just doesn't work. I decided to do some basic research on science to find out on how ineffective torture can get. The Inquisition tried every bloody method they could it could scare the squeamish but it didn't work. Instead of actually suppressing Christianity it made it grow. It also painted the Vatican in such an ugly picture.
Meanwhile, compelling scientific evidence is emerging that torture and coercion are, at best, ineffective means of gathering intelligence. Worse, as Shane O’Mara, a professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin, wrote in a recent book, Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation, torture can produce false information by harming those areas of the brain associated with memory. O’Mara marshals a large amount of scientific literature to make his point. In one important experiment from 2006, psychiatrist Charles Morgan and colleagues subjected a group of special operations soldiers to prisoner-of-war conditions (including food and sleep deprivation and temperature extremes).
For the Christian to withstand torture there is more than just the scientific evidence that torture doesn't work in getting information. There may the be fear of pain and blood but it all failed for this reason:
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
In the mind of the Christian, it's an honor to partake in the sufferings of Christ. That thought makes torture against them ineffective. It's the joy of being partakers in Christ's suffering that they decided to endure all these brutal treatments that they may receive.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
2 Corinthians 1:6-8
And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
1 Peter 4:12-14
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
Christianity will never be accepted by the world. Its history with the old and sinful world will always be met with persecution. It's not just with the Roman Catholic institution. Read the history of Islamic governments, atheist states, the history of pseudo-Christian cults and you'll find out how Christianity is so well-hated. They tried every painful method of torture yet it only backfired. The greater power is that God is behind it and His grace is sufficient to let Christians endure the torture.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
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