Each one of us has taken on the role of judge and jury at times. We may feel totally justified in thinking that the person did something terrible so we in turn are justified in meeting out a comparable punishment. I remember watching the news after a domestic terrorist incident and felt a little sick when people were cheering over the shooting of one of the perpetrators. I did not like what was done in the name of terror. But neither did I feel the cheering spoke well of the mentality being displayed by the crowd. It sort of made me think of the images of cheering crowds in the Roman Colosseum watching the Christians being slaughtered. Those cheers came from people who thought they were justified putting them to death. And we all know about the crowd calling for the death of Jesus.
Yes there is a difference between the acts of terror and the early Christian martyrs. The bigger question for me: are the crowds’ attitudes any different?