Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Heavenly Man

I was leant The Heavenly Man by a fellow Mosaic member. This was ages ago and I hadn't got round to reading it but while I had a few hours free I decided that I would. It tells the story of Brother Yun who faced persecution from the Chinese authorities.

I liked it, although it wasn't the most well written piece of literature. It sometimes seemed too focused on the minutiae of what happened and lacked emotional colour. However, the horrific nature of the Yun's torture at the hands of prison guards and the police was harrowing. I cannot believe that I would be as faithful to God's will in the face of torture as these men were. Despite the threats of arrest and possible execution Yun continued to proclaim God's word.

The miracles that they witnessed were also amazing. The book really shows what amazing things God can do. God enabled healing, unbelievable escapes from prison, gave people gifts of knowledge that saved them from arrest, and protected them from the authorities. Their faith was inspiring, relying on God to provide for everything.

I loved Yun's passion for the word of God. He prayed and fasted relentlessly until he was given a Bible. He memorised whole chapters and books and was able to pull out verses to give him strength in any situation. I would love to begin learning verses for different occasions and store them in my heart as he did. It showed how life-giving the word of God actually is.

The thing, perhaps, that impacted me the most was Yun's criticisms of the Western church.
"In the West many Christians have an abundance of material possessions, yet they live in a backslidden state. They have silver and gold, but they don't rise up  and walk in Jesus' name. In China we have no possessions to hold us down, so there's nothing preventing us from moving out for the Lord."
He also notes that the Western Church's worst enemy is itself. He notes how "in China, Christians are persecuted with beatings and imprisonment. In the West, Christians are persecuted by the words of other Christians." It's scary, but sadly true.

It's worth reading but quite long and can be pretty repetitive. There are many moments that will inspire you and strengthen your faith.

Quick Questions
  1. Have you memorised and Bible passages or verses off by heart? Which ones?
  2. What books do you recommend?

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