Extended Writings


There are those, who out of their foolish and irrational behaviour make martyrdom out to be as if it is some type of competition. We should not be afraid to face death, however we are to take care of ourselves and not purposely come to our perceptions lest we become an accomplice to our own death.

When, again, He says, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to the other,” (Mat_10:23) He does not advise flight, as if persecution were an evil thing; nor does He enjoin them by flight to avoid death, as if in dread of it, but wishes us neither to be the authors nor abettors of any evil to anyone, either to ourselves or the persecutor and murderer. For He, in a way, bids us take care of ourselves. But he who disobeys is rash and foolhardy. If he who kills a man of God sins against God, he also who presents himself before the judgment-seat becomes guilty of his death. And such is also the case with him who does not avoid persecution, but out of daring presents himself for capture. Such a one, as far as in him lies, becomes an accomplice in the crime of the persecutor. And if he also uses provocation, he is wholly guilty, challenging the wild beast. And similarly, if he affords any cause for conflict or punishment, or retribution or enmity, he gives occasion for persecution. Wherefore, then, we are enjoined not to cling to anything that belongs to this life; but “to him that takes our cloak to give our coat,” not only that we may continue destitute of inordinate affection, but that we may not by retaliating make our persecutors savage against ourselves and stir them up to blaspheme the name.

~Clement- Stromata Book 4 Vol. 2

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