Spiritual Warfare: Two Months Spent “Imprisoned” by My Husband
By Baituo, South Korea
“My wife, you’d better keep the bank cards. It’s my fault for having blindly believed the CCP’s rumors and for trying to obstruct your belief in God, and even taking the bank cards away from you. Oh, let’s not talk about it anymore. Belief in God is a good thing. You keep on believing in God, and I won’t bother you anymore.” Hearing my husband say this, I kept offering up my thanks and praise to God in my heart. Thinking back over these past two months, if it hadn’t been for God’s guidance, I’d still be living “imprisoned” by my husband …
My Family Believe the Rumors and Try to Stop Me From Attending Meetings
In May 2017, I accepted’s work of the last days. After I joined the church life, I saw that my brothers and sisters took God’s words as their principles for action, and that they sought to be honest people. Whenever they had a difficulty or problem or corruption, they would open their hearts to each other, seek and fellowship about it, and they would help and support one another. When I was with my brothers and sisters, I felt very relaxed and free. As I was being watered by God’s words, I came to understand more and more truths, and I really wanted to play my part in the spreading of the kingdom so as to repay God’s love. And so, I began to expend myself enthusiastically for God. But just at that time, my family read the Chinese government’s rumors online which condemned and discredited , and they began to oppose my belief in God.
One day, my son said to me: “Mom, it says online that The Church of Almighty God ropes people into the church and takes their money. You must never go to one of their meetings again!” My husband, who was also there, chimed in and advised me not to go to church anymore. When I heard them say this, I became furious, and I thought to myself: “The church has never appealed to people to make donations. The books of God’s words that they give out are all free, and the brothers and sisters are principled in their preaching of the gospel. What it says online is just not how it really is.” And so, I said to my husband and my son, “All those things you’ve read online are rumors fabricated by the CCP and are simply at odds with the facts! You haven’t investigated Almighty God’s work of the last days and you don’t understand The Church of Almighty God. How can you listen only to the CCP’s side? It states clearly in ‘The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom’ as expressed by Almighty God: ‘Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church’ (). Our church only preaches the gospel to those with good humanity, and who sincerely believe that there is a God. The church makes anyone who wants to join pass a rigorous examination, and they have to write a letter of application about why they want to join the church. This is the only way someone can be admitted into the church. We simply don’t preach the gospel to people who do not sincerely and who have bad humanity. Though they may want to join the church, the church will not admit them, even if they are relatives of a member. And yet the CCP makes the false charge that we rope people into the church—this is a barefaced lie and a deception! And saying that the church appeals to people to make offerings is even less true. In the church’s Work Arrangements, it expressly stipulates: ‘The church does not allow anyone to ask others to make offerings through preaching or any other reason. All those who are keen to talk about making offerings have ulterior motives. The matter of making offerings depends on each individual’s conscience and reason, as well as their understanding of truths’ (‘The Principles for Establishing a Church and the Management of Church Life’ in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God’). The church has never once asked us to make offerings and, what’s more, the books of God’s words that are read by those investigating the true way and by brothers and sisters are free. And yet the CCP says the church takes people’s money! This is all groundless fabrication, rumor-mongering and slander, making up false charges against the church and blaspheming against God! All those rumors online are totally deceiving, and you mustn’t believe those outright lies!”
After I’d spoken, they were silent for a moment, and my son then said, “Dad and I still worry about you. Please don’t go to the church anymore! I’ll get you a fitness card. If you go to the gym to work out, you’ll not only make friends, but you can exercise too. What do you think?” When he’d finished speaking, I said to him, “I’ve lived this long, and I can tell the difference between good and bad. Since I started believing in God, I’ve felt so relaxed and liberated, and when I meet with the brothers and sisters and we fellowship about God’s words together, I feel happy. I can say whatever I want, and I feel incredibly at ease, and I enjoy it. It’s not like when worldly people make acquaintances, with their guard up against each other or else trying to outdo each other and cheat each other, living such wearisome lives and in such pain! You want me to go to the gym to work out and make friends, but will that bring freedom to my spirit? I know in my heart that believing in God is the right path, and I want to follow God in earnest. Why won’t you let me have this?”
Hearing me speak, my husband said with a sullen face, “If you absolutely have to believe in Almighty God, then we won’t try to stop you. But you’re not to keep the family’s bank cards any longer, so give them all to me!” When my husband said this, I felt an inexpressible emotion well up in my heart, and I thought: “We’ve been married for over 30 years, and I’ve always kept the family’s bank cards. I never imagined that my husband would stop trusting me because he’s believed the CCP’s rumors. I feel so hurt! Oh, the Chinese government is so evil. My family used to be very supportive of my belief, but because the CCP fabricates rumors and slanders the church, my family has been thrown into such chaos!” Afterward, so as to dispel my husband’s worries and stop him from trying to obstruct my belief in God anymore, I gave him all our bank cards.
The Oppression Increases: I Am “Imprisoned” and Threatened With Divorce
After some time had gone by, my husband saw that I was still persisting with going to meetings, and so he came up with a new trick to stop me—he started to follow me wherever I went. Because my husband was following me around all day, I couldn’t go to meetings and I couldn’t answer telephone calls from my brothers and sisters. All I could do was read God’s words by myself at home. But it was impossible for me to read them when my husband was at home, and so I felt like I was under house arrest, without any personal freedom whatsoever. One day, I couldn’t bear it any longer and I argued with my husband. Unexpectedly, he said to me angrily, “If you keep going to this church, then we’ll get a divorce! It’s your choice!” Hearing my husband say he wanted a divorce, I felt incredibly hurt. We’d been married for over 30 years and he’d never once mentioned divorce before, and yet now he was using divorce to strongarm me into giving up my belief in God. I felt so upset. But I knew that believing in God and worshiping God was heaven’s law, and I couldn’t leave God no matter what happened. And yet I didn’t want to give up my family either. If we really did get divorced, how would I live? Thinking this, I felt all conflicted, and I didn’t know what to say to him. Just then, my son and his wife also advised me not to go to meetings anymore. Seeing my whole family opposed to my belief in God, my heart weakened a little and I wondered why it was so hard to believe in God, and whether my life thereafter would always be that way. But no matter what, I had to believe in God. So I thought about it and decided to just keep reading God’s words at home, and not to go to meetings for a while.
After that, although I was no longer attending meetings, my husband still didn’t relax his vigilance. Whenever he found me reading God’s words, he would give me a look, and the words “if you believe in God then we’ll have to divorce” were never far from his lips. I felt my life had become so oppressive and unbearable. When I thought of how my brothers and sisters were expending themselves to spread God’s kingdom gospel, whereas I was like a bird in a cage not able to do anything, being constrained even when I just read God’s words, I felt indebted to God, and my heart was in a lot of pain. Crying, I constantly prayed to God: “O God! I don’t know how to get through such a situation as this, and I ask You to enlighten me and guide me …” After I’d prayed, these words of God came to my mind: “Only the word of God can supply the life of man, and only the word of God can give man light and a path for practice, particularly in the Age of Kingdom” (“The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words brought light to my heart, and I thought, “Yes! In the Age of Kingdom, God performs the work of guiding and supplying man’s life with his word. Only God’s word is the truth, and only by reading His word and seeking the truth within His word will I find strength and have a path to follow. During that time, because of my husband’s attempts to obstruct me, I wasn’t able to quieten my heart and read God’s words in earnest. If I lost the guidance of God’s words, how would I be able to get strong and take a stand? From now on, I must rely on God and pull myself together, and must do everything I can to read God’s words.”
Disturbances From the “May 28” Rumor (Part 1)
I felt confirmation in my heart for the way that the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God lived, the way they lived was not fake, it was an expression of their life after practicing God’s words. Because they followed the footsteps of the Lamb, had the work of the Holy Spirit, and had God’s word as their life, they were able to live out the likeness of a true Christian who brings glory to God and bears witness to God. At this time, under the leadership of the word of God and the powerful counterattack of these facts, these rumors about Eastern Lightning slowly collapsed within my heart.
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We’ve always thought of pastors as our spiritual parents, as did Li Xianghe. But when she starts looking into the true way, will her pastor be a help or a hindrance?
A Small Blade of Grass That Grew Among the Brambles
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