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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Order of Centurions – Reclaiming Ancient Christianity

As a Christian warmonger – I was calling for the liberation of Iraq more than a year ago – I have been fascinated by a new website, Order of Centurions.

The Order has been formed

to guard the simple Apostolic Faith as had been formulated in the Early Church and was articulated in the Apostles Creed and Scripture, to encourage the practice of a simple, ancient form of worship; and encourage members to live by the plain Word of Scripture.

In particular, the Order draws inspiration from the centurions of the Bible:

Many Roman soldiers were Christians. Indeed, the Christian faith spread rapidly in the Army and the XII Legion was known to be the Christian Legion….There were centurions and their legionaries who were martyred for the faith. There was a special oath for Christians that pledged allegiance first to the Trinity.

Many in the church today talk of reclaiming an ancient, traditional faith. Yet we hear little talk of the martial traditions of the church.

For many centuries the church maintained its own military orders. These are detailed in what appears to be a fascinating book, Warriors of the Lord by Michael Walsh. According to the publisher:

The great religious orders of Christianity - the Benedictines, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Jesuits - are well known for their monasteries, their learning, and their missions around the world. But in the Middle Ages and beyond, there was another kind of religious order whose profession it was to bear arms in defence of Christendom…..From their humble beginnings in the early 12th century as caretakers of the sick and protectors of pilgrims to the Holy Land, military religious orders quickly expanded their numbers and goals.

They not only fought for the holy places but also helped turn back the advance of Muslim armies into Western Europe and aided the spread of Christianity to lands along the Baltic. The Knights of St. John, the Knights Templar, the Knights of Santiago and of Calatrava, the Teutonic Knights, and other formal military orders played a fearsome, sometimes brutal, but currently neglected role in the history of Christianity.

My Bible study group is currently studying the book of Revelation. Jesus is often portrayed there as the Lamb. But He is also the lion of the tribe of Judah and a warrior who “judges and makes war”.

Doesn’t authentic Christianity require both images?

December 4th, 2003


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