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Review of What a Beautiful Voice – Seeking Is The Most Precious Thing
By Muhan, United States
The film What a Beautiful Voice arouses my interest when I only see its title. At the beginning of the movie, the prison gates slide open and the heroine Dong Jingxin walks out of the jail. Simple as the scene is, it conveys lots of information. The heroine is a person of experience. So what happened to her? Why was she put in prison? The directors tell us the reason in explicit dialogues instead of introducing suspense. Dong Jingxin, a preacher of a house church, was arrested by the Chinese Communist Party’s police seven years ago because she preached the gospel. Though the directors don’t narrate too much about her seven years’ affliction in prison, we can imagine the situation from her sigh she lets out when she steps out of the prison and stares up at the sky. The prison of the CCP is the hell on earth. This makes us think Dong Jingxin suffered a lot, and was tortured so much during the seven years, and God’s words must have led her a lot.
Outside the prison, Liu Qiguang says simply to her, “You’ve finally made it through the tough times in prison. Let’s go home.” These words attract my attention. They seem to tell us the thing about going home, but in fact there is another layer of meaning behind them. Subtle audience can surely find a line in the later plot, which is from the co-worker Chenguang. She says, “Well, I’m so moved that you’ve come back, so this book is my gift to you. I want you to be able to read the words of Almighty God and hear the voice of God.” She can preach the gospel to Dong Jingxin on the second day of her returning, which is moved by the Holy Spirit. It can be said that God leads Chenguang to preach the gospel to Dong Jingxin. Seeing from the outside, we know that her daughter and mom are expecting Dong Jingxin to come back home. Actually, God is also waiting for her to return to God’s family. Such a miserable life in the prison has finally ended, as well as the days that her spirit was in drought. In the later plot, we can clearly see that: Since Dong Jingxin and Liu Qiguang started to read the book of God’s word which was given by Chenguang, the thirsty and hungry condition in their spirit has gradually changed, and they have enjoyed the Holy Spirit’s working again, as well as the warmth of God’s love.
The precious point of this movie is: Its theme points out a clear path of practice to solve the desolation of the church and believers’ spiritual darkness and dryness, that is, to seek and investigate the true way, and to heed God’s voice. In fact, all religious circles are empty and desolate, which last not one or two days. Many religious people, it can be said, from pastors and elders to ordinary believers, have tried every means, yet still can’t change the situation of the religious world of being increasingly desolate. Once I heard a pastor in mainland China said that the religious world has been desolate to the uttermost. Despite many Christians acknowledge this fact, few of them actively seek the church with the work of the Holy Spirit. I remember that God said, “And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered” (Amos 4:7). Don’t these words refer to the present situation of the religious world? However, this involves God’s good will and His wisdom: One city doesn’t rain while another city rains. Facing the desolation of the church, people who truly believe in God and thirst for the truth will try to seek out the work of the Holy Spirit and the footsteps of God’s work. In this way, they can surely find the city with rain and welcome the appearance of God. However, this has been neglected by most of the Christians today. Thus, they still sit and passively await destruction, mindlessly and obsessively waiting for the Lord to bring them into the kingdom of heaven, though the religious world has been desolate for many years.
In order to pass on the above message, the writer-director, without beating about the bush, makes the theme clear in the second scene directly. Both Dong Jingxin and Chenguang are the ones who seek and observe the true way actively. Facing the desolation of the church, they don’t sit still and await destruction; instead, they advocate going out to seek, which fulfills God’s words, “And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). It is just because Chenguang seeks initiatively that she finds the Church of Almighty God which has the work of the Holy Spirit, and gets the book The Word Appears in the Flesh. Through reading, she reaps great benefits from this book, and her situation of darkness and dryness in spirit has improved. Also, Dong Jingxin can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit from the words Chenguang reads just because she has a desire to seek the truth. Through seeking and investigating actively, she has recognized that Almighty God’s words and the Lord Jesus’ are the same source, and Almighty God’s word is just the voice of God.
In the course of looking into the true way, Dong Jingxin bears the pressure of various aspects. The plot with tense atmosphere and twists is very absorbing.
The Pressure From the Chinese Communist Party Government
The words of the chief of the police station reveal the fact that the CCP government persecutes religious belief, and especially its persecution of the Church of Almighty God is even severer. The chief threatens Dong Jingxin, “I’m warning you, if you attend another gathering or preach the gospel again, we will get you, and if that happens, it won’t be a matter of a few years of punishment. If you don’t handle this well we’ll have to put you away for life.” Undoubtedly, these words force her to a blind alley. After she experienced seven years of affliction in prison, her hard times are over finally. After she just walks out of the demonic prison, she is imprisoned by the Chinese government within a designated area. She bows her head and keeps silent, and her horror within has been exposed by her hands movement. She thinks: If the CCP government knows that I am investigating Eastern Lightning, it will surely arrest me and throw me into prison, and what awaits me is life imprisonment. The pressure is indeed too great.
The Pressure from Her Mom
Dong’s mother has only one child—Dong Jingxin. During the seven years that her daughter was in prison, she has been expecting her daughter day and night, hoping that Jingxin can come out of prison and be back home safely someday. It’s been difficult for her to see her daughter’s coming back, but Jingxin believes in the Eastern Lightning. She worries about: If my daughter is arrested again, who will take care of me in my old age? Jingxin may fail to see me when I pass away. Dong Jingxin knows clearly: During my seven years’ imprisonment, my mother suffered a lot. She has not only borne the pain of missing me and worrying about me, but also been mocked and slandered by others, and lived under the surveillance of the Chinese government. My mother has suffered torture physically and mentally. Based on these facts, she can understand her mother’s feelings. However, She has believed in the Lord for years, and has been expecting the Lord’s coming. Now she has welcomed the Lord. How can she reject the Lord for fear of the death and drag out an ignoble existence?
The Pressure from Pastors and Elders
The pastor says: “Dong Jingxin just got out of prison, but she’s looking into Eastern Lightning! … Eastern Lightning is always stealing sheep, and they haven’t stopped. With Dong Jingxin accepting it as well, there are only a few good sheep left in the church.” In order to hinder Dong Jingxin from accepting the true way, the pastor and the elder, soon after they got the news, arrived at Dong Jingxin’s home. On the one hand, they use religious conceptions to deceive and bind her; on the other hand, they threaten and tempt her: “If you dare to preach the gospel in the church, you should take responsibility for the consequences in the end.” The naked threat exposes the real purpose of the pastor and the elder who hind believers from seeking the true way. The contents also reveal that we should guard against the deception of the antichrists in the religious world. The specious fallacies of the pastors and elders are really deceitful. If we don’t discern them, we are easily duped. Then it will be too late to regret.
Faced with the pressure time after time, Dong Jingxin has once been weak, passive, and even puzzled and hesitant. However, she has finally overcome it by relying on God’s words. At the end of the movie, she says, “Almighty God’s words are so precious! Not only can they purify and change our satanic dispositions, but they can also give us a genuine understanding of God. We can see that the words expressed by Almighty God are all an expression of God’s righteous disposition. Every bit of it contains authority and power. Our eyes really have been opened! Every sentence in Almighty God’s words can open up our heart’s eyes, and they can all provide sustenance for our heart and meet our heart’s needs. What a pleasant voice!” It is the words expressed by Almighty God that lead Dong Jingxin to succeed in experiencing the persecution and tribulation one after another, allowing us to see that His words do have authority and ability, and they are the truth and life. No matter what kind of conceptions or questions we have, all of the answers can be found in Almighty God’s words, and all these problems can be solved.
After seeing this movie, do we pay attention to listening to that beautiful voice?
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