Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Review of Tortured for Christ: A summary and a reflection

I'm going to do something very different here. I'm going to give a personal insider's look in the life of a persecuted Christian. I'm going to summarize a book known  as Tortured for Christ, which was written by a man named Richard Wurmbrand. Richard is the founder of Voice of the Martyrs, an organization which is dedicated to helping our persecuted brethren in Christ Jesus all over the world.

Note: This summary/reflection is a report that I'm writing for my College class, Christianity and Critical Thinking at Grace College. This will explain the way in which I may write at times.

The book Tortured for Christ, recaps the adventures of a Romanian Christian named Richard Wurmbrand. It includes the giving of his life to the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the persecution he faced in the Communist country that he lived in at the time. This story also includes his ministry of converting the atheists and other people to the Christian religion and many other miracles that accompany it. It also shows how he began the famous ministry known as Voice of the Martyrs, which is focused on serving persecuted Christians even to this day.
            The first chapter of the book, “The Russians Avid thirst for Christ”, shows us how Richard was converted. Richard was a staunch atheist up till the age of 28 years of age when he was lead to Christ Jesus by a carpenter. A little bit later his wife, Sabina, gave her life to Christ Jesus. After that conversion experience, he and his wife begin to start evangelizing civilians all over Romania. However it wasn’t easy. The Soviet Union (modern day Russia) started to occupy Romania. The Soviet Union was a Communist country. For those who don’t know, communism is a philosophy invented by Karl Marx and his sidekick Vladimir Lenin. It was a philosophy designed to overthrow the bourgeoisie (rich people, ruling people) and create a classless society where everyone shared property. Here was Marx’s view of religion and God; he thought that God was an idea made up by the bourgeoisie to oppress the proletariat as seen here:
            Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.[1]
Because this was Marx’s view on God and religion, Wurmbrand and his fellow brethren in Christ faced heavy persecution from the Communists. Chapter two which is named “Greater Love Hath No Man” recaps basically all the persecution which Richard and his brethren in Christ faced, particularly within prison. It was especially horrendous. The Communists used red-hot pokers, knives, put them in freezing chambers, had them beaten and tortured all for the sake of Christ and to force confessions out of them. Richard Wurmbrand writes saying, that the torturers got rapturous joy from torturing them. Their communist philosophy caused them to believe that humans were just material beings. Yet most, if not all, of them endured it for Christ and they became examples of boldness to the other members of the Underground church. Finally in 1956, after being in prison for 8 and half years of being beaten, tortured and interrogated, Wurmbrand was released. He resumed his previous position for about a week and at that week he preached two sermons. After that the authorities asked him to stop. Then he witnessed to the brethren in Christ which he met about the pain he endured while in prison. He also directed a secret network of evangelists who spread the gospel to non-Christians. Finally the Secret police caught him and Wurmbrand went through another five and half years of prison, torture and many other horrendous things. However, just like his 8 and half years prison he saw his fellow Christian inmates loving their persecutors, responding to their persecution with bravery, and so on and so forth.     
This review of Tortured for Christ is taking a while. I'll have to finish it tomorrow.

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