By Theodore Shoebat
Muslims in Nigeria — all members of Boko Haram — kidnapped a young Christian girl and demanded that she deny Christ. She refused. They buried her up to her neck and crushed her to death with rocks. Her father, a local pastor named Nkeki Mutah, took pride in his daughter’s resilience, and said:
I was told that my daughter refused to change her religion. I was told that they dug a hole and buried her from the neck and stoned her to death… To die for the sake of Christ, that’s the happiest thing for me. I’m grateful that she didn’t change her religion. She trust[ed] in God.
Her mother, Marta, said:
I believe she died with dignity. Monica is now in heaven because she refused to convert.
The perspective of these Christians, which is filled with spiritual fortitude, is actually the correct mindset to have. To see death as not the ceasing of life, but as a mere transition from the transient to the eternal, from the bondage of sin to the absolute bliss of the Beatific Vision and the absolute union with the Divine Trinity, is the correct view. Even God finds happiness when His children are martyred, for in the words of David: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (Psalm 116:15)
The purpose of life, is not to live. Whoever says that the purpose of life is to live is preaching the devil’s lie, that we should “live for the moment.” The purpose of life is to die unto the self, and to liberate the self from the cares of this earth, to prepare the self for the Beatific Vision. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
Life is not an end unto itself, it is a means to an end, and that end is eternity. The farmer sows the seeds, but the beauties of their fruit do not appear until the seeds themselves die. And so it is with us: the glory of eternity is not experienced until the self is denied, the cross is carried, the Master is followed, and the fruits of holy labor grow from the vines in the spring of repentance, and a worthy martyrdom brings us to Paradise. As the Apostle tells us, “what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.” (1 Corinthians 15:31) Martyrdom is the most sublime form of worship; it is a declaration of gratefulness to the sacrifice of Christ. As St. Paulinus said: “the death of holy men can rightly be called their praise; for it is a precious repayment to the Lord God.” (Paulinus of Nola, Poem 21)