I have been following a discussion about whether a Christian should ever sacrifice his life for Christ/his convictions and teach his children to do the same. Apparently, a lot of modern people, including believers can't even fathom the idea of dying for something as abstract as their faith. They also sincerely can't comprehend why God even would allow a situation to happen where you have to choose between your life and standing for something you sincerely believe in (not necessarily in the religious sense).
The concept of betrayal is foreign to some, either. To behave in a way men like Martin Luther did is insanity and dangerous fanaticism. Why not recant when you life and liberty is at stake, those are mere words and you still can believe the way you like in your heart. If you are forced to deny your parents, just do it already, your old folks will forgive you, after all, they would desire you to be happy.
I think "happiness" is a key word here. Life used to be about honour and duty, now it's all about feeling happy and material stuff. I've heard people say things like: "God arranged it all so that I could lead a comfy life free of worries." In other words, God is somewhat akin to a fairy Godmother who exists to make your life one big fairy tale. There is a lot of entitlement in this attitude, don't you agree?
It has been a custom in all Christian countries to give a convicted criminal awaiting his execution a possibility to repent of his crime and make things good with God before he dies. Some people confessed of crimes they had committed which nobody knew about on their deathbed. The reason for this was that they dreaded to appear before the Heavenly judge should they die in their sins. Again, this has become something of a foreign concept. God is love, we are told and that's all there is to it. Forget about judgement, it would be unloving!
In a relatively short time, we went from a society which taught its citizens that it was noble to sacrifice for the common good to the one which promotes egoism (and hedonism) as the highest virtue. Is it really any wonder that it's falling apart in front of our very eyes?
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!