In December last year a hero died. His name was Salah Farah, and he was a school teacher, married with four children. It occurred in Kenya when a bus was stopped by al-Shabab. The terrorist told the Muslim passengers to move away so that they could shoot the Christians. They refused. Salah said “We asked them to kill all of us or leave us alone.”
Salah took a bullet but afterwards he said “people should live peacefully together. We are brothers. It’s only the religion that is the difference, so I ask my brother Muslims to take care of the Christians so that the Christians also take care of us… and let us help one another and let us live together peacefully.” he was taken to hospital to remove the bullet but he died during the operation.
Of course none of us know what happened to Salah in the afterlife. However we can speculate. Here is a man who had every opportunity to become a Christian. He was educated and certainly had the opportunity to meet Christians. But he appears to have rejected this. He was not baptised (I assume) and, had he read the Christian Scriptures, he would have known that only through Christ could he be saved. Therefore this act of heroism was not a result of grace (either sanctifying or actual) – it was therefore of no supernatural value. Consequently we know that he is now in Hell for all eternity.
That’s one argument, and it’s difficult to fault. My only problem is that I don’t believe it. Indeed I hope that in my afterlife I will find myself in the same place as Salah is now.
But there are consequences from my belief. It would seem that, having an unbaptised fallen nature, we receive an ‘eternal’ sentence when we die. Is it necessary to have been martyred in the cause of our fellow man to be saved, or, if Salah had not been on the bus – and died as a Muslim in ripe old age, would his fate be the same? And how about people of a humanist bent, who nevertheless lead decent lives – no more perfect or imperfect than are our own?
(There is a brief account of Salah’s death on http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=29286)