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Orthodox Talks # 4: Is the Desire for Martyrdom a Sign of Madness, Evil, or Love?


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Talk 04: Is the Desire for Martyrdom a Sign of Madness, Evil, or Love?

Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas

(Duration: 1hr 37min) 

Since the events of September 11, 2001, there has been much in the media regarding martyrs, martyrdom, sacrifice, jihad, etc. Because of this, many Orthodox Christians are confused about what true martyrdom is. Furthermore, the very mention of martyrdom causes many to have a negative reaction.

In this talk, Father Kosmas outlines what an Orthodox martyr is and the attitude that Orthodox Christians should have towards those of different faiths. He answers a very important question: is every desire for martyrdom spiritually healthy? Furthermore, using the life of the New-Martyr Constantine (June 2), he examines whether such a desire can in fact come from pride.

The following questions are also discussed: it is easy to hate those who wish us harm, but is this allowed for an Orthodox Christian? Should Orthodox Christians be proud that they have the True Faith and, because of this, disdain those of other faiths? Why do the demons afflict those who produce Orthodox materials and services in English? Can zeal for the truth stem from pride? Why has it been said that “only idiots believe in dreams”? Were the martyrs scared of denying Christ during their sufferings? What are the dangers when making promises to God?

Other topics covered in this talk include: true and false conversions to Orthodoxy; counterfeit spirituality; tricks of the demons; whether there are good ghosts and bad ghosts; spiritual ignorance; the difference between spiritual fathers and confessors; the many temptations to deny Christ today; how lack of discernment can lead to spiritual disaster; obedience and humility; the dangers of fantasy; true and false inner peace; the bedsores of lounge chair confessors; “holy” liars; and the blessedness of seeking God’s will.

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