Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Not afraid to die

The Daily Telegraph's website this morning has published a report on the story of Mike Campbell, a Zimbabwean farmer of South African and before that Dutch descent, who has fought bravely in the courts to have Robert Mugabe's land reform program (in which your land gets seized from you depending on the colour of your skin) declared illegal.

When Mugabe was re-elected in the recent sham election, thugs came to viciously attack Mr. Campbell and his son-in-law, Ben Freeth. Quote:

Mr Campbell has no memory of the assault, but Mr Freeth, 38, described how when the three were dumped tied up on the ground at a militia camp, there were "probably 50 or 60 people all singing Chimurenga songs and kicking us", referring to the war against Ian Smith's regime.

Over and over again, they were told they would be killed. "They seemed to be pretty serious about it," he said. "I was thinking, 'well if they are going to kill me then we all have to die at some stage. I know where I'm going, I'm a child of God and Jesus by His blood has saved me, so I will be with Him today'. So I wasn't actually fearful, the fear was taken out of me, amazingly.

"We just carried on praying though this whole thing. When they didn't kill me in some ways it was quite a relief, I have got three young children and a wife to look after."

The abysmal parody of Christian faith that is purveyed by atheist campaigners is that faith swaps earthly usefulness for fictitious "pie in the sky when you die". The reality is that authentic faith means maximum earthly usefulness, because life can then be lived looking to please our righteous and faithful God, not scrapping and scraping for every temporary and selfish advantage whilst our short lives last, anxious that unless we "look after number one" we'll lose out.

John Piper says something to the effect of, because our eternal risk is gone, we can now take every temporal risk we need to. When ultimate risk is reduced to zero, temporal risks effectively take that value too.

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