Monday, October 1, 2007

A sad story from China

A couple days ago a Chinese friend sent me an interesting item about a 90 year old American woman born in China to missionary parents, who returned to China 8 years ago after her husband died. Eunice Moe Brock has dedicated her remaining years to helping the poor in her section of China, and she shows no signs of dying soon.

You can read about her here:

I was about to proclaim her a modern day Caleb (see Joshua 14:6-14) when I made a terribly sad discovery.

On, several of Mrs. Brock’s recent emails are posted. The following is extracted from one addressed at Chinese people. Note first of all how articulate she is. How many 90 year olds do you know who can write this coherently? Second, notice how wrong she is. (Oh, how sad!)

Growing up among devoutly Christian missionaries I also accepted the Christian faith but even as a child I could not bring myself to believe that God would burn anyone eternally in hell. Since I was taught that doubting the church doctrines was a sin I was troubled by my doubts. The year of my fourteenth birthday my parents were in America attending many religious services to raise money for their missionary work in China. I was with them and heard many sermons about the sins God would punish and many dramatic descriptions of the bliss of heaven and even more dramatic descriptions of the fires and torments of hell. As I didn't agree with these preachers about a number of things, especially the doctrine of hell, my doubts became an unbearable weight on my spirit. The church was in a wooded area with a stream flowing by.

On my fourteenth birthday I hiked along the stream until I came to a spot secluded by trees and prayed to God. I expressed how burdened I was by doubt not knowing what to believe or where to seek for satisfactory answers. The only thing I could think to do was to seek for truth. I promised God that I would seek for truth and would live by the truth I found. The distressing burden of doubt vanished and I felt an exhilarating sense of freedom which I continue to enjoy… It took a number of decades to shed enough dogmas to join the Unitarian Universalist (U.U.) church…

Because we have within the membership of the church Jews, Buddhists, Christians, atheists and many who haven't decided what to believe, many programs and events are planned to encourage us to learn about and appreciate each other. The church provides not only programs to stimulate personal spiritual growth but also programs to deal with social problems within the community and world at large. Children and youth are active in church programs. One that I consider very significant is conducted for ninth graders. Several U.U. churches cooperate. Youth in the ninth grade who choose to take part in the program are taught through fall and winter in church school classes about the culture and religion of two very different native American tribes, the Navaho and the Hopi. In the spring they go by bus with their counselors to visit these tribes where they are welcomed and included in the tribes ceremonies. The youth develop an inside-their-heart understanding and appreciation of religions different from their own. The tribes' leaders understand and value what the church is teaching its young people. I believe in God whom I call Cosmic Consciousness (C.C.)... I believe every person to be a chip off Cosmic Consciousness. Therefore I respect not only your worth and dignity but also your divinity…

If you have trouble discerning what’s wrong with Unitarian Universalism, you can read this helpful link: Essentially, it contains a lot of “postmodern” ideas – you can believe anything you want as long as you don’t say that other beliefs are wrong… which means that truth is relative. It is certainly an appealing religion, but not one that can save anyone from sin.

I hope that Christians will take a lesson from Mrs. Brock’s passion and courage in getting out of her comfort zone at an age when most are thinking about TV, nursing homes, and Social Security benefits. If she can take such risks to promote her false ideals, can’t we take them to promote the truth? She believes error more committedly than we believe the truth.

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