â€œThe Chinese people had learned by experience that the Party trusted them more and liked them better if they didnâ€™t think for themselves but just repeated what the Party told themâ€ (Nien Chang, Life and Death In Shanghai, p. 18).
I read this book years ago, but its impact never leaves me. It is a powerful autobiographical account of a womanâ€™s imprisonment, deprivation, suffering and torture she endured at the hands of her own countrymen under Mao Tse-Tungâ€™s reign, and her heroic and faith-filled fight to survive and see justice prevail.
It is a vivid lesson on how power can certainly corrupt and turn leaders into cruel, inhumane abusers of other people. Itâ€™s very subtle at first: dissent is frowned upon. Differing opinions are discouraged. Finally, it becomes suicidal to disagree or even question. To placidly agree is rewarded with trust, friendship and promotion. Disagreement is met with suspicion, rejection and exclusion.
I just listened to a Philip Yancey lecture, â€œRumors of Another Worldâ€ that my friend sent to me. Thanks Nato! Yancey talks about different agnostics and atheists, such as Voltaire, Hume, and Russell, and states that you can find the seeds of their thoughts in scripture, such as the Psalms, Habakkuk, Lamentations. He said that God never twists our arms or coerces us into what he wants. We are completely free to reject him and even not believe in him. In fact, God is so liberating to the human being, that he gives us some words we can use to articulate our rejection and disbelief of him!
Are we liberators or imprisoners?