21 Martyrs

We have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood (Hebrews 12:4), but some have.

Source: 21Martyrs.com

10 Responses to 21 Martyrs

  1. Christiane Smith February 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Their final words were “Jesus, help me “.
    It is said in my Church that ‘their blood confesses Christ’. As martyrs for Christ, they belong to the whole Church . . . to the whole Body of Christ, to all Christian people.

    Thanks for remembering them on this post, DENNY.

  2. Joseph Randall February 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    Dr. Burk,

    Thanks for this. I’m curious – what is your take on those who argue Coptic Christians aren’t really Christians because they deny the dual nature of Christ and justification by faith alone, etc? . . . concerns voiced in articles like this:


    Thanks for any response you have time to offer.

    Joseph Randall

    • Denny Burk February 21, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      I think those are valid concerns, and I share them. The Coptic Church is connected to an ancient Christological heresy, and their beliefs do mirror a lot of what we find in Roman Catholicism. Also, the vast majority of those in the Coptic Church are nominal at best in their religious commitment. Our missionaries regard them largely as targets for evangelism. For those reasons, I would be reluctant to pronounce them within the fold, as it were. And that is why I have not done that here. And I do not mean to suggest such certainty by posting this video. I cannot make pronouncements about things that I am not in a position to judge.

      Having said that, there may be some reasons to be hopeful. Some leaders within the Coptic Church have attempted to leave behind the monophysite error. They no longer wish to own the heresy that they were accused of at the Council of Chalcedon (at least in their own understanding). Also, the book “Operation World” says that there is a biblical renewal movement within the Coptic Church. Finally, these men were captured on video crying out to Jesus in their final moments. The Bible says that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:21). Even if they were only nominally Christian before their murders, could it be that some of them came to Christ right there on that beach as they called out to him? The grace and mercy of God give us more than enough reason to be hopeful about that, even as we admit that we have no certainty about such things.

      The main reason that I posted this video is not to render a judgment about these men. I posted it because it widens the lens to highlight what is going on around the world in terms of Christian persecution.

      • Joseph Randall February 21, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

        Thanks, very helpful response – you should write a post on it 🙂

        I found this: “The Coptic Church has never believed in monophysitism the way it was portrayed in the Council of Chalcedon! In that Council, monophysitism meant believing in one nature. Copts believe that the Lord is perfect in His divinity, and He is perfect in His humanity, but His divinity and His humanity were united in one nature called “the nature of the incarnate word”, which was reiterated by Saint Cyril of Alexandria. Copts, thus, believe in two natures “human” and “divine” that are united in one “without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration” (from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy). These two natures “did not separate for a moment or the twinkling of an eye” (also from the declaration of faith at the end of the Coptic divine liturgy).”

        From: http://www.coptic.net/EncyclopediaCoptica/

  3. Richard Klaus February 21, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

    I found this video moving as well. Thanks, Denny for your comments on the Coptic church. http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2015/2/17/we-will-not-be-lost

  4. Christiane Smith February 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm #

    The Coptic martyrs come from a faith that professes Christ with these words prior to the reading of the Holy Gospel in their liturgical worship in community:

    “. . . You are the life of us all, the salvation of us all, the hope of us all, the healing of us all, and the resurrection of us all.”

    At the moment of their death when they called on Jesus for help, it was not their first acknowledgement of Christ as Lord.


  1. The Saturday Post(s) | A Pilgrim's Friend - February 28, 2015

    […] is Coptic Christianity? With the recent tragedy of the 21 Martyrs, many have asked what Coptic Christianity is. This is a helpful historical and doctrinal analysis […]

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