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KING TUT VS. WILLIAM BORDEN


In 1922 Howard Carter discovered the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen. King Tut had died at around age 19 and his tomb had been untouched for over 3000 years. Buried with him were solid gold chariots and thousands of golden artifacts. His gold coffin was found within gold tombs within gold tombs within gold tombs. The burial site of King Tut held tons of gold. Literally. The excesses and luxury in death were indicative of the way he lived. Many theories have been suggested to explain how he died, but no explanation is needed for how lived. He enjoyed the spoils of power and wealth. He used what he had for his pleasures. He had security in his position and in his possessions. This is not remarkable. This kind of life does not need explanation. Any of us left to ourselves would live for own glory and pleasure given the opportunity.


But not far from the pyramids, in the streets of Cairo, down the back alley of a street littered with garbage on a plot of overgrown grass in a graveyard for American missionaries is a sun-scorched tombstone that reads "William Borden, 1887-1913".



Borden was a Yale graduate and an heir to great wealth. But he rejected the life of comfort and ease to bring the good news of forgiveness and life in Christ to Muslims. Borden refused even to buy himself a car and gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions. After only 4 months of zealous ministry in Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of 25.


How do you explain that kind of life? How do you explain someone turning their back on everything that seemingly everyone in the world holds dear? How do you explain anyone laying down their lives in service for people who would more typically be considered their enemies?


Randy Alcorn tells the story of visiting Borden's grave, dusting off the epitaph describing his love and sacrifices for the kingdom of God and for Muslim people and reading this inscription "Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life."

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