In my formative years in Taiwan, I considered myself a typical Chinese intellect who ascribed to Confucius’ teachings such as “Refrain from speaking about supernatural powers and gods” and “Life is unknown and death is unsearchable.” As a result, I was not interested in any religion at all.
Coming to the United States in 1971 and seeing how some people here sent their parents to nursing homes, I jumped to the conclusion, without investigating the underlining socioeconomic reasons, that Chinese culture was superior to Western culture as far as honoring parents was concerned. Because I associated Christianity with Western culture, I questioned the value of Christian faith in general.
I met my wife in the United States and got married a year later. She had been a Christian since she was young in Taiwan. Upon marrying her, I made it clear that I would not interfere with her belief and expected her to treat me likewise. Inevitably, I came to know my wife’s Christian friends. Due to self-righteousness and pride, I considered myself better than most of them in terms of behavior and discipline. I read leisurely portions of the Bible and some of my wife’s spiritual books and publications. I argued or questioned the statements that I thought were illogical from these readings. Thinking that I had won the arguments, for a long time I did not see the need to become a Christian.
Gradually over a period of six years, I was confronted with some of the verses in the Bible. The best teachings I learned from youth were ” Do not do unto others what you would not desire to be done unto you” and ” Repay good for good deeds but exercise just for wrong doings.” In contrast, Jesus’ words were “All that you wish men would do to you , so also do to them” and “Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.” I had to admit that these words were not uttered by man but by God, and only Jesus could fulfill these words when He was on the earth. His love and mercy toward us were exemplified by His word on the cross “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior in 1978 because I was convicted concerning sin, righteousness and judgment. After these many years, I am even more conscious about my sinful nature and more appreciative of the great salvation that I have received through Jesus Christ. The words of God recorded in the Bible are becoming more real to me day by day. Indeed, these words are spirit and are life. They transcend any well-intentioned, man-made ethical and religious teachings. I am still being freed and encouraged by the words that “It is no longer I that live but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) and “…Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27b).