“Be it so” Versus Being Liked
Throw off everything that hinders us from standing for Christ. (Hebrews 12:1)
The statement that peels off and thunders strongly down the centuries is “Be it so.” This was the constitution of Ignatius. The prospect of visual torture? Be it so. The invisible mental and emotional torture? Be it so. Death by fire? Be it so. Death by crucifixion? Be it so. Lion’s jaws? Same. Broken and torn limbs? Yep. The worst the devil can dish out? Bring it on.
“Be it so” are the words of a man who has stopped caring about what men think — especially powerful men like the emperor Trajan. If Ignatius were living among us in the digital age, he would never, like many men today, tremble at the thought of disappointing people, bosses, friends, peers, neighbors, or the guy in seat 22A next to him. Instead of being incapable of direct and strong speech about his Savior, he would tell his story and leave the results in God’s hands.
He would not hedge, waffle, or procrastinate in declaring his faith in order to play to people. He would not be scared silent by the simple threat of rejection. He wouldn’t fear being abandoned, losing support, or not being able to cope with disapproval of his faith. “Be it so” are the words of a God’s man whose personal commitments, actions, and words have zilch to do with living up to the expectations or standards of other people. Being faithful to Christ replaces being liked by people.
During the fourth great persecution (AD 162-180), cruelties against Christians were so horrific that onlookers were astonished that followers would not turn from Christ. One man on the wanted list was a friend and disciple of the apostle John named Polycarp. His death and capture were recorded in history and are relayed in The New Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
Father, thank you that you have promised to provide what I need.