I Would Rather Die…

Samurai (bushi), Ancient Japan’s military elite, would
rather die in battle than get caught and bring dishonor to their master. In
some cases, this death would come by their own sword by performing seppuku, a
ritual suicide by means of cutting the abdomen not reserved for the Battlefield
but not restricted from it either. The Samurai, while following the Bushido, lead
a life of respect, honor, loyalty and ethical conduct so falling on their sword
was a sign of extreme honor. Or so they said. They were people after all and
sometimes people get funny.

I don’t know how often Samurai got together to talk things
over back then: sitting around the rock garden and sipping on saki tea. Maybe
they would talk about good fights they’ve had or what the Merchant Class is up
to or maybe, in sibilant whispers share some juicy gossip about their masters.
Inevitably, in my dream scenario, they’d look at their Master and consider why
they’d fall on their sword for him.

“Like what if some gaijin
went and talked bad about him. Would you do it then?”

“No—I’d just cut off
the guy’s tongue. No, I fall on my sword for the essentials.”

“What are the
essentials?”

Yeah Christians, what are the essentials of our Christianity?
Not the historic branch of your denomination—but what is foundational to The
Faith? What would you die for?

Now, I’m not thinking that because we’re willing to die for
something that it makes our cause right or justified. Plenty of people have
died for bad causes, false causes or no-causes; um that reads wrong. Heck, I’m
not even saying it’s wrong to be convicted of things: I’m just wanting us to
look at what is fundamental and would you die for it?

The King James Bible is the only Bible: would you die for
that? Saved by grace through faith: die worthy? Your understanding of that last
bit: die worthy? All of history is divided into dispensations: would you die
for that? There was a covenant in the garden: would you die for that? Real wine
or grape juice: die worthy? Guitar, pianos or choral: die worthy? Statues and
candles…would you die for them? Big stone buildings: Die worthy? Jesus is God
manifested in the flesh: die worthy? Your pastor or priest—would you die for
him (or her)? Rock music or classical music: die worthy?

Jeremy made a great point when I asked him this question (in
reference to the reasons he might leave a church
): “When you say serious heresy are you saying something that’s been
judged as such in councils or something that you perceive as against the very
fundamentals of our belief ie: Jesus is God; Jesus literally died and rose
again, etc.?”

He answered: “I mean
the basic fundamentals that the scriptural authors themselves showed concern
for. I don’t mean nitpicky little things that depend on which of several dozen
things you could mean by the word ‘nature’. Most of the creedal formulations
that people have debated depend on things like that, and I have no concern at
all for the fine details of philosophical positions that take so long to
formulate that it’s hard to tell what the person is even saying.”

And we do so go in circles about things. I doubt anyone
would write in—but what would you fall on your sword for? What is your sine que non? Did I even spell that
right? It seems to be begging for an accent mark…

Crossposted on my personal site.

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