Sunday, December 24, 2006

I choose not to be a martyr…

I remember that I used to be very fond of martyrdom. I never forgot what my parents and teachers taught me about martyrdom—they told me, that’s what Mohammed always wished for. Since I wanted to be like him in all respects, death was constantly on my mind. I wasn’t scared of it, rather, I wanted to embrace it.

Today, when I look back, I see that wish in a distant corner locked up in a box, because Christianity taught me how to ‘live’, not die. Through Christianity, I learned how to make the world around me better, and I forgot all about devising heroic plans to die. The difference between Christianity and Islam, to me, is the same as that between life and death and as clear as the difference between light and darkness. Islam always seemed to be a quick one-way trip to death—the answer to all the world’s problems was death in the name of Allah—but Christianity is a whole new hope for life.

But many around me here in Dubai, and on the internet, seem to be advocating death over life being the right way for me. From many others, even Christians, I seem to be getting the message that, until you’re persecuted and officially dead, you’re not a real Christian. Many around me would prefer to see me die in the name of Christ, than get freedom and live a life that I want to live.

This sounds all too familiar to me. When I decided to convert to Christianity, honestly, it wasn’t the persecution that I was so fond of, but the hope of life both here and the world hereafter. Death for religion and god is offered as the right path on every single page of Islamic literature. If that’s what I really wanted, I’d either be fighting somewhere in Kashmir or Afghanistan or Iraq right now, or long since dead. But instead I choose life—if that’s sinful of me, so be it. I’m not one of those people who believe that one cannot be a Christian without being physically persecuted.

Many have told me that I should speak up here—I should talk to my family and other people around me about Christianity in general and my conversion in particular and if I face persecution and, eventually, death, the good news is that I will be with Christ in heaven. Some have even told me that they dreamed that that was my destiny. I think no one has a right to make decisions about my life but myself—even God let me have that right and didn’t give it to anyone else. No one and I mean NO ONE is in the position to tell me to die or give up my life because it’s not something they own.

I realize that I won’t live forever, and I don’t want to either. But I also realize that I will never again come to this world—that I won’t ever be able to long for going to church like I do today and if/when I am able to do that, never will I feel that joy after I am dead.

I can die of some disease tomorrow, who knows—but I won’t regret that. What I will regret, though, is throwing my life away knowing that I could’ve lived for another day and given this life a chance—a chance to LIVE for Christ.

7 comments:

Nilk said...

AA, a very wise man once told me that: Your religion is your relationship with your God.

God is the only one who knows your path; not me, not those who wish you harm, nor those who wish you well in persecution.

Personally, I see no sense in dying for your faith. That is not what the gift of life is about.

God is guiding you, and I have no doubt you are in the very best hands.

Bless you and my prayers are with you this Christmas.

Nilk.

The Anti-Jihadist said...

Have a Merry and Safe Christmas, AA

Pastorius said...

The God of the Bible believes in human free will, so much that he'd rather die for us as an answer to sin, rather than take our free will away from us.

God Bless you for choosing life.

Here's something I wrote today on the difference between Muslims and Christians:

http://cuanas.blogspot.com/2006/12/iraqi-general-who-testifies-to-saddams.html

dag said...

Hi all. Merry Christmas to you. Happy to have had this past year together, and I look forward to the coming year, the one where I think we'll at least start winning a bit. Yeah, I'm feeling very optimistic. I'm feeling very pleased these days. Hope all is well with you.

Always On Watch Two said...

From many others, even Christians, I seem to be getting the message that, until you’re persecuted and officially dead, you’re not a real Christian. Many around me would prefer to see me die in the name of Christ, than get freedom and live a life that I want to live.

Those who wish that you suffer persecution aren't reading their Bibles carefully enough. Christians do not seek persecution!

The Merry Widow said...

AA- My church is still praying for you! And we are praying for your protection and for your safety. G*D calls us to life. If we are to be martyred, it will be for life, not to cause death!
I don't believe you are called to be a martyr, but a witness to G*D's saving power.
Stand back and see theSalvation of the Lord!

tmw

Anonymous said...

AA, a very wise man once told me that: Your religion is your relationship with your God.

Had to copy that again, t'is what I've always thought and practiced.

Choose LIFE! It's god-given.

I'm not of any religion but I will think of you in my private thoughts with god.

Blessed be.

t.