I am re-visiting Bram Stoker's inspiration for his world-renowned vampire, Dracula - Vlad Tepes [pron. tse-pesh], the Wallachian Prince who protected Europe from invasion by the Ottoman Turks. Infamous for his brutality, his delight in impaling his foes by the THOUSANDS, and for having a nice meal where he dipped bread in the blood of his victims, one cannot imagine a greater villain in the late Middle Ages.
One of the things I could not help but notice was that he was raised by the Turks, being sent off as a young boy by his father as ransom, an assurance of peace, along with his other brother, Radu.
It was there he saw public executions, learned warfare and got a taste for human brutality. Once he came back, he wanted nothing to do with Islam, and kept his faith [so to speak] in Roman Catholic Christianity, but with a sadistic twist that was utterly un-Christian. His father had been part of the "Order of the Dragon" - an order of knights dedicated to stopping the spread of Islam. His dad was a "Dracul" or "dragon" and so he was, as his son, "Dracula" - Son of the Dragon.
He certainly was. We Christians know that another name for Satan is "the great dragon". In Romanian, the word for dragon and devil are the same by some accounts I have read. So, truthfully, Vlad was a "Son of the Devil" - and proved it by using devilish cruelty to halt the spread of Islam into Europe.
It did, in fact, work. The Ottoman general who marched in with three times the men to crush Vlad, was greeted with a horrific sight: Vlad had impaled every dead, every wounded soldier of his last battle on pikes. Some 23,000 corpses, making a FOREST of human desecration.
The Turkish general was awed by this horror and its magnitude. "What can you do against such men?" He turned and left, leaving Radu [who'd converted to Islam] to pursue his vicious brother.
Vlad escaped him, but was soon captured by a neighboring ally, imprisoned for 12 years, got out briefly and was so feared by his own people, he got no aid to fight the Turks later. He fell in battle and his head was IMPALED and sent to the Sultan himself!
A very unhappy ending.
The lesson I want to leave you with is this:
NEVER, EVER, NO MATTER HOW TEMPTED, USE THE WEAPONS OR TACTICS OF YOUR ENEMIES.
Jesus rebukes Peter for pulling out his sword. "All who live by the sword will DIE by the sword!"
Right now, Christians are under attack by gay rights activists for standing for the traditional, Biblical definition of marriage. We are not talking about love or sex, but what constitutes a marriage and by extension a family.
I am watching many Christians get overworked about this issue. I am listening to hateful words being spewed on them for this. "Bigot" is the mild one.
It goes downhill from there.
If we want to disobey God, to deny Jesus Christ's commands, we can. We can strike back -hard.
Or we can simply love our enemies, pray for them and show compassion in all the OTHER areas we can agree with. Miss California who appears to have lost her chance at the crown by standing with her faith in God's Word (she is a Christian), shows how it is done in this interview:
I have an opponent who is GBLT Activist, and I have an old friend who is gay, and we just re-connected.
What am I going to do?
Well, I am not going to pick up Satan's weapons. I'm going to point out that EVERY TIME I disobeyed God, I got hurt - badly. I will show the truth from God's Word, but I expect anger and ridicule for that. It's an occupational hazard.
"God came to save sinners, of whom I am chief!" wrote Paul.
I did not obey God until I knew the love of Christ. I think showing that has got to be the hardest mission of all. [If it makes anyone feel better, keep in mind God is so serious about sin He killed His Son to pay for it, to enable us to be free from it. No one is going to "get away" with defying God, I assure you.]
We, who call ourselves followers of Christ, must also obey His commands.
We must never use our enemies' tactics. We do so at the peril of their souls -and ours.