Irenaeus seems to have a similar view to Ignatius. Just as Ignatius is convinced that the experience of martyrdom proves one’s Christianity, Irenaeus thinks that the church associated with the most martyrdoms is the true church and all other branches are heresies. He seems to see martyrs as privileged and graced by God. He also thinks that the amount of martyrs a church has had corresponds with the love that its followers have towards God. The view of Eusebius is completely opposite of this. He talks about how many Christian groups take pride in their martyrdoms and see their multitude of martyrs as “sure evidence of the power of the so-called prophetic spirit that is within them” (Eusebius). He states that this assumption is false because “some of the heresies have a great many martyrs”, but they most definitely do not know the truth (Eusebius). Eusebius thinks that it doesn’t make sense for martyrdom to prove Christianity because then any group could claim that they knew the right way and truth, as long as some of their followers claimed to die in the name of God.
For Clement of Alexandria, martyrdom is “the perfect work of love” of God and an ultimate act of faith in what is to come after death (Clement). Clement thinks that those who become martyrs in the name of God are guaranteed a place in heaven “because he who ends his life in” this cosmic war between heaven and hell “is released without dread of dying” (Clement). The Testimony of Truth, however, seems to say that the death of a martyr is in vain. It says that martyrs are ignorant to think that they will gain life through dying in God’s name. God does not wish for humans to sacrifice themselves to him. “If the [Father were to] desire a [human] sacrifice, he would become [vainglorious]” (Testimony of Truth). The Testimony of Truth seems to say that the experience of martyrdom has nothing to do with one’s salvation.