Twenty-one centuries ago, Jesus said: “Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”
Recently, a newspaper published by China’s Communist Party “declared” that Western values are a “ticket to hell”. Ironically, I found it is just the opposite. I learned American values from my American education; I found my first home church in America, and got “a ticket to Heaven”, both literally and figuratively.
In China, higher education is completely controlled by the government. If you want to enroll in a graduate program, you must pass a test called “Politics”. In China, “politics” equals “Communism, Marxism and Socialism with Chinese characteristics”. The test is used as a tool to brainwash young people. If you want to pass the test, you must memorize the propaganda that the Communist regime feeds you. It is like a pass or a ticket to further your higher education.
After I accepted Jesus as my Savior in my heart, even though my knowledge and my faith were just nascent, I refused to take this test. The consequences were no more degrees after my first one; for a “professor” holding just a bachelor degree, the future is dim, at best.
Seven years ago, I cried before the Communist Party secretary of the university where I taught in China, and pleaded, “I will come back to continue my teaching as soon as I get my master’s degree in the United States”. He stared at me and said coldly, “We won’t hire you again even if you get your American degree, because we cannot track you in the U.S.” I was fired on the spot that day. Of course, the secretary gave the public a “palatable” yet false explanation – I had resigned.
When that door closed, God opened another door for me. This door led me to the United States, a country that for decades, if not centuries, has become a sort of “promised land” for millions around the world.
With my ten years’ savings in China, I got my master’s degree in America; thanks to God’s grace and the American people’s generosity, I am working on my doctoral degree in America. “Education will help you to become free,” 19th Century Cuban patriot and poet Jose Marti once said. My American education has helped me to become free; free from the propaganda of the Communist regime, free from any evil spirit that chained and shackled me preventing me from following my Savior and pursuing my faith.
Twenty-one centuries ago, Jesus said: “Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) When 274,439 Chinese students started their American education in the 2013/14 academic year (source from Open Doors), the Communist Party leaders had a good reason to worry about more and more Chinese knowing the truth. To use higher education as a battlefield will not help the Chinese regime to beat Western values and win the next “red” generation to champion Communism.
Western values are best reflected by the words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” That’s the foundation of my American education: a ticket, not to “hell”, but to a higher calling and purpose in life.
Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice. (Job 34:12)