Skip to comments.Christian lied about faith to survive Saudi siege
Posted on 05/31/2004 9:00:49 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, May 31 (Reuters) - A Christian Arab who was held captive by al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia said on Monday he lied to them about his faith and praised their battle against the West, to save his life.
Nizar Hajazeen, a Jordanian software businessmen who was at the Tower hotel in the Oasis compound during the 25-hour drama in Khobar, said the militants lectured him about Islam and their aim to liberate Saudi Arabia from "infidels and crusaders".
The complex where the militants held about 50 foreigners -- including some Westerners -- was their last target in the violence in the eastern Saudi oil city in which they killed at least 22 people.
Hajazeen, 32, had tried to call a cab to go to work on Saturday but the phone lines were jumbled.
"I went down and the Filipino receptionist told me there were terrorists in the compound and gunshots were heard," he told Reuters.
He tried to help security guards close the hotel entrance gate but the lock did not work and a manager recommended he hide, Hajazeen said.
"I went to the room of a Jordanian colleague. Someone banged violently on the door. We opened and there were two men, one with a machinegun, another with a revolver. They were wearing black track suits," he said, adding that one had a wounded arm.
Both were in their twenties.
"They asked us if we were Arab or Westerners. We told them: 'We're Arab'.
"One then asked if I was a Christian or a Muslim. I told him we were Muslims and showed him my colleague's Koran as proof. I told him we supported them and that we were against America and Europe. I had to say that."
Residents of the compound said the attackers asked everyone they encountered if they were Muslim or Christian, before taking them hostage or killing them.
An Oasis manager said the gunmen shot and killed several Westerners as soon as they entered the complex.
The gunmen made two Indian hotel staff with master keys show them where the Westerners were, Hajazeen said.
His brother called him on his mobile phone to wish him a happy birthday -- a day late -- just as the militants were saying their motive was to drive Americans and Christians from their country.
"They asked me to turn off my mobile but did not take it away as they did with others," Hajazeen said, adding that they told him and his colleague to stay in the room and left.
"We stayed locked in our room. One of us was hiding in the shower, another one was hiding in the bathtub," Hajazeen said, adding that from time to time they sneaked back into the bedroom to watch the news on television.
He said that before commandos freed them on Sunday, compound security guards called his mobile to ask him to check if the militants had rigged his floor with explosives. He found nothing.
"Before the commandos came, there was heavy gunfire and one explosion shook the hotel. We could hear glass being smashed, screams... It sounded like someone was giving out orders."
Saudi security forces later called them out, saying: "Do not be scared."
Making his way to freedom he saw the bodies of four Indians and an Italian cook.
"They had been shot dead. Some were on the staircases."
To answer your first question, no. Your second question is nonsense.
When citing scripture it is often important ( like always okay) to also remember the context....No man has the mind of God who knows each and every heart...After all The Book also tells us that there will be those who say Lord Lord and are not worthy of heaven....Let God make the judgements we aren't qualified
What would Peter do?
I didn't quote any verses from the Bible. Who are you referencing?
Religious text? Well, it's the "text" I live my life by. It's what I choose to believe.
I bet he's on his y2k bunker too, just be sure he's really on the front lines.
That decision is way above my paygrade. And yours, I suspect. Frankly, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about who sinned so much or in such a way that God won't forgive them. I figure that is His call.
If Apostle Peter can do it...
Maybe "my" spell checker is on the fritz. Or else......fingers quicker then the mind? LOL!
We all know what Peter did: being human, his fear prompted him to lie and "deny" being a follower of Jesus. He then went and begged forgiveness (important step for a human).
Being a true believer, forgiveness was granted and today he sits at Jesus' right hand in heaven.
And wasn't he used greatly after that also, giving testimony at the temple shortly thereafter, and many were converted, like 3,000 or something? So he was not only forgiven, but greatly used? In fact, all throughout the New Testament, isn't it shown how many great men and women (and remember the prostitute in the OT who hid Israel and lied to the enemy) committed great sins and were still greatly used? I thought that was a main theme of the New Testament, Grace and Forgiveness.
It's the proper spelling.
So what's the story, really... ?
If you or I denied Christ before men, I don't think that the result of the special case you cite would apply to us.
I'm chuckling here. Funny!
The reverse is also true.
This guy has just lost his eternal life. He'd better enjoy this one.
What happened to Judge not lest ye be judged or let he who is without sin cast the first stone? I think God expects us to be human.
I thought you could deny Christ three times before the cock crows and still become a Saint! Must have misread the Bible on that one.
If you could loose eternal life, then it wouldnt be eternal would it ?
You say he is going to hell, yet ignore that Peter did the same thing.
What the Jordanian decided to do is very sad.
By golly, spell checker DOES say it's ok!!!
I agree! Thankyou!
I hope that God will give me the strength if i ever have to face that kind of a situation.
If he didn't lie and told the truth of his Christianity, he would be in heaven as a martyr.
I suppose that life on earth here was more appealing at the time. :o(
Here is the first-hand account of how Jesus deals with those who deny Him before men...
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me."
This is the love of God, that He gave Peter three chances to right that which he did wrong - three chances to do what is good and holy. The opposite of denying God is to FEED HIS SHEEP. Are we doing that?
According to this scripture, we are denying God if we do not feed his sheep. The sheep are hungry - some will falter without nourishment. Will we feed them, or will we condemn them for their hunger?
What will the Shepherd say when he returns?
Listen! All those here will be tested. Do not believe for a minute that your fate lies within you. Rather, it lies in the hands of a loving and just God - the very God who shall give us a chance to right the wrongs we ourselves have inflicted upon others and Him. We will be tested; may God have mercy on all of us...
JOHN, CHAPTER 21, NEW TESTAMENT
This isn't the first time the Church of Christ has had to deal with deniers.
A whole cult was formed in the 3rd century on the basis of saying Jesus could never forgive sincerely repentent Christians who denied their faith under threat of torture or death. These were called the Donatists--and they split the Church wide open.
The duties of the priests in sacraments were understood as very important in that day--and due to severe Roman persecution, various priests and bishops had denied Christ--but later, like Peter, repented, and were allowed to be priests and bishops again. The Donatist party however, said that they could never be forgiven, and therefore any sacrament (holy communion, baptism, etc.) they performed was invalid and ineffective.
This went on for generations....and whole regions could be traced back to repentant-denier's sacraments. (ie. Bishop RD baptized this town, along with its priest, then they baptized so many more...etc. etc....) The Donatists insisted--since the sacraments of certain regions could be traced back to ineffective sacraments of the RDs---those regions of the Church were not really valid Christians. Obviously this was a serious issue for the Church.
Finally, in the 5th Century, St. Augustine defeated the bitter Donatists with this simple logic. Grace for every Christian comes from Christ Himself--not through the good character of the priest. So while priests of course should be godly men, even if a priest was not godly, or not repentent from denying Christ, and unsaved, their sacraments are valid, since the grace they provide is Christ' not the priests.
Seeing as how Jesus forgave Peter's 3 direct denials, I for one cannot say God commands anyone who deny's Christ is forever lost. If they sincerly repent, the grace of God can even cover the sin of denial.
Telling Nazi's that htere are no Jews in my attic is very different then telling Arabs that I am not a Christian.
But then, you must not be a Christian, or else you'd understand.
She was also his half-sister, so when he told them she was his sister, he wasn't lying.
But the verses in Matthew came to my mind and others on this thread immediately after reading the headline.
I don't gather from the article that he " denied" christ. I read he said he was an Arab, and showed his friend's copy of the Koran. He did not blaspheme God or Jesus. He also LIVED to tell his tale to the world. There ain't nothing wrong with that, folks.
I am pretty sure, God will forgive him.
Given the situation, Lots of folks would have lied.
If Jesus saw fit to forgive Peter after Peter denied Him three times, who are any of us to say whether or not this man has already lost his eternal life?
Should a similar situation occur in my life, I hope that I'm armed at the time so I have the option of changing the subject.
What, then, did Jesus mean in verses 32 and 33 when He said that He would confess before the Father those who confessed Him and deny before the Father those who denied Him? He meant simply that. At the place where disciples are to be judged, the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus will praise or confess before the Father those who consistently by their words and deeds confessed Him before men. However, disciples who failed to consistently confess Him before men by their words and deeds will find that He will deny him something before the Father. What? Rewards. He will deny faithless disciples treasure in heaven and/or the privilege of ruling with Him. (Cf. Luke 19:11-26; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 9:24-27; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Jn. 2:28.)
There is a verse which is conceptually parallel to this one, 2 Timothy 2:12. The verses on either side of it strongly assert eternal security. However, verse 12 shows that ruling with Christ is not guaranteed for every believer. If we endure in confessing Christ in our words and deeds, we will reign with Him. If we deny Him by our words and deeds, He will deny us that privilege. The context of 2 Timothy 2:12 makes it clear that what Jesus will deny faithless disciples is ruling with Him, not kingdom entrance. ( Cf. 2 Tim. 2:13 "If we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.")
Here is a powerful passage. If I deny Christ by my words and deeds, He will deny me the opportunity to reign with Him. Confessing Christ may lead to persecution and loss now, but ultimately it leads to blessings and gain forever. Oh, how I long to please Him and have Him confess me before the Father! What a day of rejoicing that would be!
Really? When would He not make an exception?
It's not me who's "twisted."
He didn't deny Christ "before men". He denied Christ before one man. For all we know he professes his faith openly to the world.
That is my interpretation, others have their interpretations. The Bible is revealed Truth, but we all see it and understand it according to who we are and what we are. That is unavoidable. I don't think being quick to condemn others based on their interpretations shows greater commitment to the Truth.
Have a day.
In this case, you can lie and not sweat it. When under duress with your life at stake, lying to scum who want to kill you is good defense.
I think the presence of Christian Arabs is often overlooked by those of us in the West. Nominal or practicing, we need to remember there are Arabs who do not proclaim Islam as their religion.
The Orthodox church in the Middle East, for example, seems to be much more friendly to Arafat than they are to the Israeli government. Perhaps this is partially because of the number of Arabs in their congregations.
I do not believe, though, that the terrorists who are bombing women and children on "behalf of the Palestinian cause" are Christian...though I do think there are Christian Arabs among the Palestinian population.
What if you deny to save your life and that denial includes accepting the Mark? Or maybe the Mark is symbolic of any denial?
IOW, anyone who does not hold the EXACT same views as you isn't a Christian?
Yes, and Peter's example in this case was not presented as one for us to follow.
I don't know what I'd do in the same situation. As a Christian, I like to be aware of Jesus' teaching on the matter so that I can prepare myself if such an instance would occur in my life.
Elisabeth Elliot's husband was killed with a rain of Auca arrows. He said 'He is no fool if he should choose to give what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose'. The Aucas later repented of their action and laid down their arms and murderous ways.
It is certainly the most difficult scenario on earth to face as a Christian.
I didn't so no such thing!
You go back and find out where I did! I never condemned anyone to hell. I was agreeing with DocRock that I, too, had read that verse in the Bible. You show me where I ever said that!