“When Terrorist forced him to reject Jesus Christ as God, looking at his Christian friends he replied, ‘their God is my God’ so the terrorist beheaded him also.” This is a quote from an obscure and mostly unnoticed story about the beach be-headings of Coptic Christians by ISIS in 2015. The story came to my attention from my regular visit to the Stream.org. It seemed like perfect timing that more than two years later, in the middle of studying and writing the “Is” series, this story should cross my path.
“Just A Thought” We are at a point where hopefully we understand what “Truth Is” and what “Faith Is.” What better time to have a real world example? Pursuit of Character (P.O.C.) has referenced the incident previously in “Suffering & Resolve…” pointing to it as an example of what the real binary choice for Christians is. In that post we contrast the price of a pointing finger or dirty look for standing in Truth with the ultimate cost of life the Coptics faced for stating their “utmost certainty” in that Truth. At the time I wrote Suffering & Resolve, I thought the Coptics were the most extreme example of “confident” Faith that I could point to, and they are still a vital lesson in this story. But it turns out the most extreme example was A Man From Chad. A man who apparently was not a Christian, but found himself scooped up by ISIS with twenty Coptic coworkers. A man who simply went out to earn a living found himself in the hands of one of man’s greatest evils, an evil without mercy. But what had his coworkers done that got them and him in this terrible situation? Whatever it was, who wouldn’t have been angry at them for it?
What had they done? Simple really, and very hard; they “openly proclaimed the reality of the divine truth revealed to man.” They knew that ISIS did not define Truth. They knew “Truth is… Truth Is!” and “To stand anywhere else would be to deny God Himself.” They had a “firm belief in the integrity, stability or veracity” of that Truth. They had Faith. They knew that physical life was temporary and “meaningless” and that God’s promise of “life everlasting,” His Truth, was all that mattered. These Coptic Christians took a stand that the rest of us like to talk about from the pulpit and at Bible studies in our living rooms. We talk about the days of Revelations when we will have to deny God or perish. With our chins held high we proclaim our certain resolve for Christ and our willingness to pay the price. But if taken to a beach today and forced to kneel at the edge of a long blade, how many of us when asked would say “Christ is my God?”
We knew with their last breath these Coptics gave Glory to God and were an example to us all. What we did not know was that in this last act they showed one Man From Chad the Truth. We can look at the Coptics, who had believed in Christ and lived a life of “maturing” Faith, and see where they found the strength to stand with God. But what about this Man From Chad? This man who was not a follower of Christ, who should have resented those Christians for getting him in that mess, and who only needed to say that popular line, “I’m Not With Them” to walk away. Talk about the power of God, the instant bond “sealed by the Holy Spirit.” The Man From Chad looked on as his friends are each told to “deny Christ or die” and one by one they choose Christ and are killed in front of him. When the man with the blade got to him, The Man From Chad saw the strength of his friends’ Faith in the Truth and the “action” they took to stand with Christ, and in that moment this non-Christian said: “Their God is My God!” In that moment The Man From Chad showed more Faith than most of us ever will. In that moment The Man From Chad received salvation. And in that moment The Man From Chad saw his Faith rewarded, the Truth revealed. The Man From Chad was executed and saw the face of God.
© Scott A Caughel 6/05/2017