CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

A Tale of Two Men – and Two Faiths

Apr 1, 2018

Today is Easter Sunday. Christians the world over celebrate the most important event in human history: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the heart of this event is one person giving his life for others, so that they might live. This is self-sacrificing love at its greatest.

As we read in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That is why Easter is so very special. Christians worship a God who was born to die. That was his mission: to suffer a cruel death so that the enemies of God might be made the friends of God.

Another religious leader is also still recognised and celebrated centuries later. He did not lay down his life for others, but instead killed others, and ordered his followers to kill for him. The contrast could not be greater. Muhammad said kill your enemies while Jesus said love your enemies.

The founder of a religion will of course greatly impact how their followers behave. Christians will seek to emulate Jesus, while Muslims will seek to emulate Muhammad. And we have seen this played out countless times over the centuries, with Christians giving their lives for others, and Muslims taking the lives of others.

A perfect illustration of this took place in France just recently. In yet another Islamic terror attack, people were taken hostage by a terrorist, but a Christian offered to take the place of a female hostage. In doing so he paid for this with his life. More sacrificial love, because of what Jesus Christ did 2000 years ago.

There was not all that much mainstream media coverage of this tragic event, and what was covered was often conspicuous by what it omitted: the faith of the two individuals involved. Here is one sanitised version of the aftermath of the killing:

The police officer killed in last week’s supermarket attack in southern France has been honoured in a day long ceremony led by President Emmanuel Macron. Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who was killed after swapping himself with a hostage in the attack, is being posthumously awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award. In a show of unity, former French presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d’Estaing also attended the event, where Mr Beltrame’s coffin was carried from the Pantheon across Paris to the Hotel des Invalides, the final resting place of Napoleon.

Notice how the “C” word is conveniently left out concerning Beltrame. And of course the “I” word and the “M” word are deliberately omitted concerning the attacker:

Lakdim, who also killed three other people before he was shot dead by police, was a Moroccan-born French resident with dual nationality. The chief of a counter-terrorism agency, known as Morocco’s FBI, said that France never alerted his country about Lakdim’s radical behaviour – calling the absence of contact “a misunderstanding”.

It took a Christian media outlet to inform us of the faith element of Beltrame. The headline makes it clear: “France Mourns as Christian Police Officer ‘Hero’ Honored with State Funeral”. So does the article:

French Police Officer and hero Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame receives a state funeral. He died in a hostage stand-off with an Islamic extremist on March 24 after he volunteered to trade places with a female hostage.
According to reports, the suspect shot and stabbed the 44-year-old Beltrame, after the exchange at the local supermarket in Trebes, in southern France where the terrorist attacked. Beltrame has become a hero throughout France, known for his self-sacrifice, patriotism and Christian faith. He was awarded the Legion of Honor, the nation’s highest honor, at his funeral.

A Catholic news outlet said this about the hero:

The police officer who died after taking the place of a hostage in France was a practising Catholic who had “experienced a genuine conversion” around 2008. Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame died on Saturday after volunteering to replace a female hostage during a terrorist attack on the Super U supermarket in Trèbes, southern France, on Friday. Beltrame left his phone on so that police could hear his conversations with the gunman.

He was shot in the neck by jihadist Radouane Lakdim before police entered the supermarket and killed the Moroccan-born French national. Beltrame served in Iraq in 2005 and received the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award, in 2012. Last year he was named deputy commander of anti-terror police in the Aude region.

Fr Dominique Arz, national chaplain of the gendarmerie, told the French Catholic magazine Famille Chrétienne: “It turns out that the lieutenant-colonel was a practising Catholic. The fact is that he did not hide his faith, and that he radiated it, he bore witness to it. We can say that his act of self-offering is consistent with what he believed. He served his country to the very end, and bore witness to his faith to the very end.”

Franklin Graham also offered words of praise for this champion:

Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame sacrificed his own life to save someone else. The French policeman volunteered to be a substitute, to trade places with a woman being held hostage by the Islamic terrorist. This policeman was an extraordinary hero. Pray for his family and friends—and the others who lost loved ones in this attack on Friday—in their great loss. I pray that they would be comforted by the One who also gave His life in our place, the One who was willing to die in our place for our sins because of His great love for us, Jesus Christ.

And even agnostic columnist Andrew Bolt was clearly moved by Beltrame, as he too offered us the clear differences between Christianity and Islam. See his five minute video here: www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/on-two-men-two-faiths-one-hero/news-story/01bd6c4ed4dbbd0d93488c0a9a9ab5d4?nk=4eb9eec5ef94761caf7b0f3843fb713f-1522386587

Anyone without ideological blinders on can see that Christianity and Islam are as different as day and night. And anyone carefully reading the four gospels and the rest of the New Testament, and the Koran and the sira, can see that there is no comparison between Jesus Christ and Muhammad.

Some 1400 years after the latter lived, his followers are still massacring infidels in the name of Allah. And 2000 years after Jesus died and rose again, his followers are still giving up their lives for others. The true and living God loves us so much that he sent his only son to die for us.

That is why we celebrate Easter. And two millennia later true Christians share the love of God with others as well, often sacrificing their very lives for the good of others. This is what real Christianity is all about. Even unbelievers like Bolt can see this clearly.

This is why Easter is so very important. We serve a risen saviour. Hallelujah!

www.itv.com/news/2018-03-28/france-honours-hostage-swap-police-officer-arnaud-beltrame-killed-in-supermarket-attack/
www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2018/march/france-mourns-as-christian-police-officer-hero-honored-with-state-funeral
www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/03/25/police-officer-who-swapped-places-with-hostage-was-a-practising-catholic/
www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2018/march/an-extraordinary-hero-franklin-graham-honors-french-police-officer-who-gave-his-life-for-a-hostage

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18 Responses to A Tale of Two Men – and Two Faiths

  • Thanks for the additional info on Beltrane. Interesting how Macron was not there yet the other presidents were! It’s sad how little the MSM is writing about this story. If a Muslim does one tiny good deed it seems to be covered in every medium ad nauseum.
    The contrast and struggle between Islam and Christianity is that between satan and God.

  • It’s repugnant that the selfless act of this man, inspired by his Christian faith, be instead attributed to the “soldier’s creed”. Gutless, witless and dishonest of this politician. I guess the contrast it would reveal between the religious ideals would trouble the elites.

  • Great article Bill. What a contrast! Manny blessings to you and your family for Easter.

  • But Bill, If I may say you are being unfair. Don’t you realise that Mohammedans have been persecuted for the last 1400 years? [1]
    Don’t you realise that the medieval kingdom of Cordoba, in Spain, where Mohammedans, Christians and Jews all lived together in perfect harmony and tolerance gave us the first glimmerings of what society might be if we could only sink our differences and live in a truly global society fit for the 21st century? [2].
    Don’t you realise, as Prince Charles has explained in his Easter message, that, yes, Christians are persecuted; but so are Mohammedans being enslaved, imprisoned and slaughtered presumably by their by their older, Abrahamic brothers, the Christians and the Jews? Don’t you realise that what we experience is merely a quarrel between family members who share the same mother, Mary, and that not only should we appeal to her, as standing in the gap between us and God [3] but that we should listen to our youngest, kid brother, Mohammed, since he being the youngest is more enlightened than all of us? [4] Finally. allow Prince Charles to demonstrate how the instruments of transmitting this Easter message of peace and harmony, might be used in the future [5].

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wugWj42pLI
    [2] http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfz95n (slide to 7 minutes)
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttrtkcrz0FA
    [4]
    i)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBoG7QUfq9s
    ii) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfXFYD6kJgk
    [5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYndJV6iepQ

    David Skinner UK

  • Thanks David. Since not everyone here knows you of course, let me allay any fears of some folks and mention that you are speaking tongue in cheek.

  • Although I suspected the police officer might be a Christian my suspicion was not confirmed until I read this blog. My disgust at the craven attitudes expressed by politicians and others with the responsibility for maintaining our safety deepens by the day. Mohammed had every intention of wiping out Judaism and Christianity while he was alive and made his followers promise to carry out his policy once he was dead. They honoured that promise in the 7th century in Arabia and continue to do so today in the rest of the world. Today’s Muslims must leave Islam if the world is to be at peace from the demands of Mohammed.

  • David, I sincerely hope that Charles will never become King if that is his belief. He’s no Defender of the Faith….

  • Now, now Jo. What are you talking about? His views are backed up by other good Christians like the homosexual Simon Hughes [1], former Prime Minister David Cameron[2], the present Prime Minister Teresa May [3] and of course the Queen herself [4]

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1ugsVMarRA
    [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJO4CsT77os
    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyaKZC6Pc4I&feature=youtu.be
    [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3obqqbBhy7s

    David Skinner uk

  • And of course the institutional church of all denominations is involved in the creation of this diverse world of peace and harmony [1]
    Mohammedans from abroad are incentivised to conquer Britain since they see it as the very heart of LGBT power which threatens Mohammedan countries, especially in Africa, such as the Sudan.

    Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Sudan said at the Lambeth Conference in 2008, regarding the Anglican Church going queer:
    “Because of the actions of the American church, “we are called infidels in the Islamic world when they hear of the same-sex blessings,” he said. “It will give [Islamist militants] reason to kill” Sudanese Christians”….
    “This issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has a very serious effect in my country. We are called ‘infidels’ by the Moslems. That means that they will do whatever they can against us to keep us from damaging the people of our country. They challenge our people to convert to Islam and leave the infidel Anglican Church. When our people refuse, sometimes they are killed. These people are very evil and mutilate and harm our people. I am begging the Communion on this issue so no more of my people will be killed.” [2]

    The really disgusting thing highlighted by this article was that the comments above about Sudanese Christians paying with their lives just so that so called gay priests can sodomise one another, was edited by Ruth Gledhill out of her youtube [3]

    So not only is the Anglican Church promoting perversion, it is also silences the voices of anyone, like Archbishop Daniel Bul who cries out for help for his people. May God treat these quislings ever so severely.

    [1] Please take note of the rainbow that figures in this youtube, the same symbol used by the gays.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niDpQx43K3w

    [2] https://descant.wordpress.com/2008/07/23/im-proud-to-be-an-episcopalian/

    [3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lPnu8zVJ2k

    David Skinner UK

  • @David, Speaking of the U.K, it is now reported that London’s murder rates have overtaken new york’s for the first time ever after spate of fatal stabbings and shootings. I’m sure the London police will arrest people who dare point out the group of people that do the majority of these stabbings. I’m not gonna lie, i do pray every night to Jesus and God that Europe wakes up from all of this, even when it seems like nothing is changing. I’ve herd and kept a close eye on Italy’s election and how they seem to have voted right wing this election.Problem is that they haven’t formed a government yet. If they do then i hope Italy is the start of a hope for europe, so i shall pray that they will form a government.

  • There is something very rotten in the state Britain.
    A highly-respected Christian volunteer Chaplain at HMP Brixton has been removed from chaplaincy work, and an internationally-respected Christian course banned by a Muslim Senior Chaplain, in an attempt to wipe out “Christian domination” at Brixton prison.[1]

    Two years ago a Christian street preacher, was ordered by a Muslim Shariah court judge to cease using the Bible and fined for offending a homosexual [2]

    Meanwhile Muslims are free to convert British prisoners into Islam – no problem [3]

    But there is something even more rotten in the state of Australia. So- called experts are saying the conversion of Aussie prisons to become followers of the psychopath Mohammed is actually a force for good. I sense Australia is going to overtake Britain in becoming the World’s basket case of political correctness. Watch this space.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/06/theres-a-lot-of-repenting-why-australian-prisoners-are-converting-to-islam

    David Skinner UK

    [1]

    i) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QNRjGeDt8c

    ii) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5377709/Ex-prison-chaplain-says-inmates-forced-convert-Islam.html

    iii) http://www.christianconcern.com/our-issues/freedom/volunteer-chaplain%C2%A0excluded-from-prison-in-move-to-wipe-out-christian-domination

    [2]
    i) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12090591/Judge-allowed-to-sit-on-sharia-court-set-up-by-Hebdo-protest-cleric.html

    ii) http://www.christianconcern.com/our-concerns/freedom-of-speech/muslim-judge-in-street-preacher-mike-overds-case-to-serve-on-sharia-c

    [3]
    i) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3447159/The-Muslim-extremists-taking-British-jails.html
    ii) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32194671

  • It is further indicative of the radical difference between Biblical Christianity and Qur’anic Islam that Qur’an explicitly denies that Jesus Christ really died on the cross for sinners.

    By way of contrast, St Paul delights to call the Crucifixion of Christ the foolishness and the weakness of God – a foolishness wiser than human wisdom and a weakness which is the power for God for the salvation of everyone who trusts in the Crucified Christ.

  • Dear Bill

    Thank you for providing this info. The MSM were very careful not to mention it. As usual it is not what they tell you but what they don’t tell you. They are a disgrace to a so-called free country.

  • Yes John, we have the great debate between Josh Mcdowell and Ahmed Deedat which occurred in 1981, 37 years ago, in Durban South Africa. Not only does it show the ignorance of Deedat, his darkened mind, his overweening confidence and arrogance, but it contrasts sharply with Josh’s clarity and grace. I am sure you have heard this before, but for those who have not, they can hear and read the debate here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IbT9g39FRo
    http://www.answering-islam.org/Debates/Deedat_McDowell.html

    David Skinner UK

  • Bill,
    It is a heroic thing for a Christian to give his or her life in this manner, to save others, BUT it should never have come to that. Why should the people of the host country have die to accommodate a foreign and destructive ideology, forcefully promoted by the Government? This fills me with anger, because the host people are the persecuted ones, the ones who have been declared to have no right to freedom of speech, to have no right to freedom of association and dis-association, to have no right to maintain their own culture or religion, to have to suffer bombings, throat cuttings, being run down and crushed by trucks and cars, being murdered in the street, in buses, shopping malls, being raped in the crowds, being sexually attacked in swimming pool areas, having our countries being overrun with invaders euphemistically called “migrants”, and so on. Why does anyone or country have to suffer these things for the sake of an allegedly morally superior multi-cultural global citizen type society? If globalism, the new world order, inclusiveness, multiculturalism and tolerance are so good, why is it accompanied by such repressive legislation, death, rapine and destruction?

    But when stepping back from anger and reflecting upon Scripture, the only answer I can come up with and find satisfying is John 10:10, i.e., “The thief does not come, except to kill and to steal, and to destroy”. One can also add 1 Pet. 5:8, ” Be sober, be vigilant; for your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. In short, everything that God has created or instituted, is up for grabs, for destruction.

    But the injustice of it all rankles much and will probably always do so, particularly when a man should have to die to save another in this way, because of the wilful blindness and arrogance of the “I have a dream” and “we can do it” type of dictator/s in government.

    Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I don’t know what to say, except that great fortitude is necessary, and will be necessary for the foreseeable future, and that our personal survival depends on us casting our every care upon Him who cares for us (1 Pet. 7:7).

  • Yes i hear you Robert.

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