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A Genuine Christian Story for CED

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  • Paul
    Paul: Here is a real story of a falsely maligned Christian who was able to withstand years of torture and imprisonment through her unshakable belief in a just
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 20, 2005
      Paul: Here is a real story of a falsely maligned
      Christian who was able to withstand years of torture
      and imprisonment through her unshakable belief in a
      just and merciful God. As Chuck Colson accurately
      notes: "Alone among the world's great religions,
      Christianity gives value and meaning to evil and
      suffering." Nien Cheng lived out the evidence of this
      and showed the power of Christ in doing so. From
      Colson's essay:

      --- BreakPoint with Charles Colson
      Prison_fellowship@...> wrote:

      BREAKPOINT with Charles Colson
      ------------------------------

      Wrenching Good Out of Evil
      The Story of Nien Cheng

      July 20, 2005

      On the evening of August 30, 1966, Nien Cheng sat
      alone in her Shanghai home, reading. Toward midnight,
      she heard a truck stop in front of her house. Moments
      later a gang of Red Guards burst through her
      frontdoor. The leader stepped up. "We are the Red
      Guards. We have come to take revolutionary action
      against you!" he said.

      The gang proceeded to ransack Cheng's home. Cheng --
      a wealthy woman with ties to England -- was thrown in
      prison; her daughter was also taken from her. She
      was accused by the Communist government of spying
      for the British. The charge was false -- but powerful
      people were about to make her a sacrificial lamb,
      somebody who would discredit Chairman Mao's
      opponents.

      At a kangaroo court, the prosecutor demanded that
      Cheng confess. She was outraged. "I have never done
      anything against the Chinese people and governments,"
      she declared.

      Cheng was taken back to prison. It was the beginning
      of seven years of torture, illness, and endless
      efforts to make her confess. But Cheng resolved never
      to make a false confession. Although raised Buddhist,
      she had become a Christian as a teenager. During her
      years behind bars, she later wrote, "I was not afraid.
      I believed in a just and merciful God, and I thought
      he would lead me out of the abyss."

      As I note in my new book, THE GOOD LIFE, Cheng's
      captors were astounded at her ability to resist. Here
      she was, the poster child of the decadent capitalists;
      they were certain that someone who enjoyed her
      privileges would crumble once the material props of
      her old life were removed.

      But the measure of Cheng's life was not found in
      what she owned. During her suffering, one thing kept
      her sane: her belief in the truth. Through committing
      herself to the truth, she never lost her humanity --
      and she remained unaffected by the appalling changes
      in her circumstances.

      Cheng's embrace of the truth also allowed her to
      envision that justice would eventually prevail, and
      that good could come out of this evil. In this, Cheng
      was fortified, of course, by her Christian faith.
      Alone among the world's great religions, Christianity
      gives value and meaning to evil and suffering. British
      novelist Dorothy Sayers captured the essence of
      this. Christianity, she wrote "affirms . . . that
      perfection is attained through the active and positive
      effort to wrench a real good out of a real evil."
      This is the essence of what Christians call
      redemption, and it underscores another truth: We have
      to understand the evil in ourselves before we can
      truly embrace the good in life.

      In 1973, Cheng was finally released and later
      immigrated to America. I had the privilege of hosting
      a dinner that Prison Fellowship gave in her honor in
      1987.

      Cheng's life perfectly illustrates the fact that the
      good life is not conferred by wealth or possessions.
      Just as important, it cannot be denied even in the
      midst of horrific adversity. In fact, as I discovered
      in my life, we often find true meaning and purpose in
      deprivation, when all the distractions of modern
      life are stripped away.

      The good life, you see, is realized in our ability
      to hold fast to the truth -- and the human dignity
      that rests upon it.

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