God’s Double Agent is inspiring and convicting, especially for those of us who view religious liberty and freedom of speech as rights instead of privileges. In the United States, we have grown up with the freedom to attend church, talk about Jesus, and even proselytize (and possibly offend) our neighbor. To us, persecution is choosing to miss our child’s soccer tournament to attend worship on a Sunday morning. It hurts to see little Aidan’s disappointment when he has to forgo yet another trophy to place on his shelf. If we choose to have large families, we may get a reality TV show, not multiple forced abortions.
We forget that around the world, other Christians are suffering for their beliefs. Bob Fu and his wife Heidi risked their lives to attend church and to spread the Gospel and equip Christians. Since there are no seminaries in China, they ran a training facility for church leaders. When the government discovered them, they were both sent to prison. After their release, they made a dramatic escape and eventually found asylum in the United States. Instead of embracing their safety, they continue to risk their lives by helping suffering Christians in China through their ministry, ChinaAid. Bob Fu says, “Jesus once asked, ‘What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?’ During this experience I learned the opposite is also true: if you’ve rescued one soul, it means more than the whole world.”
This idea begs two questions: what are we willing to do help those who are suffering, especially those in China? And what are we willing to lose to follow Jesus?While no one in America expects to have an encounter with an electric baton for being a Christian, recent legislation restricts our freedom to follow our beliefs in the market place. Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius challenges the government mandate that employers pay for their employees’ contraception, regardless of the employer’s religious views. Will the government tell Hobby Lobby, which is notoriously closed on Sundays, that they must open on Sundays next? The government argues that the company is not a person and cannot hold a view on the Sabbath, although the owner of the company, Mr. Green, does. If our religious liberties are restricted, if our beliefs inhibit our ability to work, will we take a stand?
Bob Fu’s story sobers me. I find it hard to believe that an entire society will work together maliciously to keep others from worshiping, be they Christian or Fulan Gong. But just this week I’ve seen low-level government employees block WWII veterans from their own memorial because the government commanded it. I do not think for a moment that they would hesitate to block me from going to church if they were told they should. If that were to happen, where would I stand? I hope I would have the courage to stand like Bob and Heidi, to stand with Jesus. Read their amazing story, and be inspired.
To read an excerpt from God’s Double Agent, visit the Patheos Book Club here.