It’s game day. There’s and air of expectation as the crowd files in. It will be another a full house. The weather is spring-like, a perfect day to enjoy the days festivities. But this is not a modern soccer stadium, it’s a stadium of a different nature, in a different place, and at a different time. It’s March 3, 203 ad and it’s Carthage, North Africa.
As the crowds filed into the amphitheater, eager to get a good seat, they passed a statue of the god Molech, Pagan deity of child sacrifice, at the entrance. It was a common sight, therefore of little concern- today’s entertainment was more important.
The entertainment in this arena wasn’t so much about Gladiatorial contests, the entertainment here was watching the killing of criminals of the state of Rome. Death sentences used as entertainment. Humane executions were not on the agenda.
Since it was for entertainment purposes, the prisoners were executed slowly and gruesomely. Those sentenced to death in the amphitheater at Carthage were to die by Damnatio ad bestias (Latin for “condemnation to beasts”). Death by wild animals, intentionally mistreated by starvation, beatings, and the like, made them extremely vicious once released.
Their prey, the humans in the arena stood little chance of survival. Leopards, wild boar, or wild bulls, were used more often than lions to kill the prisoners. Death by leopards was the most merciful of the three, for death could come quickly. Whereas to be killed by wild boar was to be eaten alive, and death by wild bulls, most commonly used on women, lasted the longest. The victims were placed in nets and tied to the bulls underside. The bulls, in their attempts to rid themselves of the nets, would drag their victims around the arena stomping them to death.
And the crowds cheered
It was an accepted practice, and because it was punishment inflicted on those who deserved it, the enjoyment of watching this spectacle made to crowds calloused to the reality of death they were cheering for.
Only a few prisoners were marched into the arena at a time, ensuring the entertainment lasted as long as possible, while the other prisoners were forced to watch the deaths of those preceding them, witnesses to what was to be their own end.
The condemned were not guilty of any heinous crime, they were simply guilty of being Christian. Christians were routinely persecuted and put to death in this manor, because they violated the unforgivable Roman law of refusal to offer sacrifice to the Empire of Rome.
The Emperor of Rome was Rome. He was their god, and their high-priest. A Roman citizen was allowed you to worship whatever god they chose, as long as worship of the Emperor was included on equal footing. Allegiance to the Empire, and allegiance to the emperor was one in the same.
This worship was not complicated. You could show your allegiance to Rome simply by offering incense in a prayer of well-being for the emperor. By showing this allegiance you were granted a number of government benefits. Which brings us to the cheering crowds. The crowds cheering while others died. They were normal roman citizens, but their allegiance to the Empire, blinded them to the savagery they were entertained by. If the Emperor deemed them worthy of death then so be it, it was their duty to accept this, nay even cheer for it, showing their support for the empire.
It’s not likely today, this being the 21st century, that kind of blindness to savagery would exist, or would it. It does exist. We still see public execution of Christians at the hands of Islamic barbarians.
The roman mass media of the day constantly spread lies about the Christians, but believed by the populace. Whatever the leaders accused the Christians of, the people believed, because the state said it was so. The effort to convince the people that Christians were vile people, and worthy to be turned over to the authorities was encouraged by the empire.
And the Christians were easy targets.
To avoid public persecution Christians were forced to meet and worship in homes, catacombs, or any small place that had some measure of privacy. And when people keep to themselves, no matter how honest, they become easy targets of the media and rumor mill of the day. They were guilty, because the state said they were,
and the crowds cheered.
Christians were accused of all sorts of acts of perversion: sacrificing and eating infants in worship of God. The taking of the sacrament of the bread and wine (representing Christ’s body and blood), was quickly turned it into cannibalism by the media of the day. Christians were even accused of sexual perversion, yet oddly enough, was openly practiced by their accusers.
Such practices by non-Christians were acceptable because they obeyed the golden rule- obedience to the state. The state was their lawgiver, their law enforcer, their source of handouts needed for survival, so they obeyed without question. Without remorse. Christians became the scapegoats for all of Rome’s ills and misfortunes.
Can you not see the parallels today?
If you show loyalty to the state you are able to get away with many things, even the burning down of cities, without serious repercussion. If a Christian conservative is attacked and beaten in public by a criminal, it barely makes the news.
And the crowds cheered
Those who honor the state say we don’t have child sacrifice, nor do we have Statues of Molech standing anywhere. Oh, but we do. We have just changed from statues of Molech to abortion clinics. Millions of lives sacrificed to the god of convenience, paid for by the state.
Even Abortion clinic was considered too harsh a description, so let’s call them ‘Family Planning Centers.’ Government sponsored child sacrifice redefined as Family Planning.
And the crowds cheered – “My body, my choice.”
If you are a Christian conservative today, you are not too many steps from being put to death in the arena. The crowds cheering for your demise, is the crowd of public opinion. Think not? Speak out against abortion, homosexuality, welfare, or government corruption, and see how fast you are labeled as undesirable and worthy of banishment to the arena of silence.
Those in the arena Have no voice. The crowds are not interested in what the victims have to say, they only want to see their destruction. Social media sites are taking away your voice by censoring what you say online. Using fact-checking as judge and jury of the truth, by unknown, unnamed, independent, fact-checkers.
Have you not noticed, fact checking is one sided? If you speak against the state, you are subject to fact-checking. If you speak in support of the state, there is no fact checking.
Quoting scripture online is now subject to community standards. God’s word subject to community standards! What standards? Government standards! You can worship God as long as you respect the governments right to legalize abortion. You can worship God as long as you respect the governments definition of morality.
Social acceptability is shaped by 2 things: one, the gradual acceptance of immorality as normal, and government sponsored media. And entertainment is made by eviscerating anyone that doesn’t agree with public opinion. The morality of the day. The government is warning Christians, it has the final say, not God!
And if you don’t agree, this is what you can expect:
Christian conservative businesses are being blacklisted by banks, credit companies, travel agencies, and hotels. Either you burn incense to the state or be banished. All the while, the government controlled minions are cheering “they deserve what they get. They are supremacists, they are racist, they are bigots, and they hate the truth, because they choose God over the state.”
Who’s truth? The truth contrived by the state. The arena is filling up, the crowds of liberal, God hating, government loving, minions are taking their seats and enjoying the entertainment of the destruction of the only people who can save this country. The moral degenerates are filling the stands while the defenders of morality are about to be killed for entertainment.
And the crowds cheered!