What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
The Exchange – A Battle Between Justice and Evil
By Ruochen, Japan
I have watched lots of movies about trials which impress people with brilliant debates. Among them, there is a different one: Its scenes are not set in the court, but in the secret interrogation room of the Public Security Bureau; the scenarist drew the material in a special perspective from true cases of Christians being interrogated by torture by the CCP police; with a clear thread and tightknit plot, the story unfolds as the conversations between positive and negative characters proceed, provoking thought about life and belief. The movie is profound and worth for us to get down to enjoy.
The movie begins with the heroine being tracked, which suggests the dangerous situation she is in while creating the suspense: Who is the woman being tracked? Why is she tailed? What happened to her and what will happen to her? The opener successfully catches my eyes.
The heroine Jiang Xinyi, aof the Church of , gets arrested by the CCP police at a co-workers gathering after having been monitored and traced for three months. To obtain the information and money of , the CCP police not only interrogate Jiang Xinyi and her co-workers by torture but also send the headmaster of statutory education school and a religious pastor to brainwash them, forcibly indoctrinating them with atheism, materialism, the theory of evolution, and theological theory as well as other erroneous viewpoints. What’s more, they take advantage of fame, money, and family to induce Jiang Xinyi to abandon her belief and betray church members. How will Jiang Xinyi and her co-workers face these attacks? And what kind of battle will take place between them?
An Intense Battle Between Theism and Atheism
The movie has an in-depth discussion on belief: How to stand testimony for God when Christians meet with persecution and adversity? Should they keep silence and resign themselves to adversity or refute Satan’s fallacies with the truth as the weapon?
The first conflict in the movie occurs when the CCP police interrogate Jiang Xinyi for the first time. The scenarist ingeniously designs this scene, laying out the CCP’s religious policy and purpose through the police’s words—to ban all the religious beliefs, and to establish a godless realm in China. Accompanied by the hyperventilated and heavy score, the fat cop’s roaring at the heroine brings this interrogation to a climax. The scenarist and director make use of sharp conflicts to create the atmosphere of “battle,” and lead the audience to stew over the implications of the movie.
In terms of human rights, China is a country under the rule of man instead of law; people do not have the right to religious freedom; the CCP’s tyranny of “Submit to me or perish” is seriously against the accepted universal system of values. In terms of belief, this interrogation is not some ordinary inquiry, but a battle between theism and atheism, evil and righteous. Afterward, the words of dialogue Captain Lang compound the atmosphere of “battle”; it seems that Satan in the spiritual world is shouting wildly, while God is waiting for His chosen people to bear resounding testimony for Him.
The CCP’s Brainwash of Jiang Xinyi and Her Co-workers
Without any dazzling action scenes or fierce body conflicts, Headmaster Yuan, the representative of atheism, and Jiang Xinyi, the representative of theism, sit opposite to each other. In their in-depth dialogue, Jiang Xinyi reveals the preposterous and absurd substance of atheism and materialism thoroughly and deeply, which further compounds the atmosphere of “battle.” It benefits us a lot like a breath of fresh air.
In another debate where the representative of atheism fails in the end, Director Du’s words, especially her classic lines “The CCP’s mouth is bigger than yours,” are really impressive. The bald words from her heart offer a vivid portrayal of the shamelessness of the CCP. It can be seen that the CCP doesn’t persecute religious belief on a whim but has plotted it for a long time. To achieve its purpose, it makes use of the power in its hand, adopting despicable methods such as confusing right and wrong, creating rumors, and telling lies to ban religious belief; even if the CCP has received condemnation from the international community, it never stops short of the goal. From this we can see that the substance of the CCP is the devil standing in opposition to God. It is truly worthy of being called Satan’s disciple.
The appearance of Feng, a pastor of the Three-Self Church, brings this film to a new climax. The debate between Jiang Xinyi and Pastor Feng is a classic. As believers in God, some choose to enter the wide gate, while others choose to enter the narrow gate; they are all reading the same, some only pay attention to man’s words, while others are carefully attentive to . The scenarist specifically sets the two people holding opposite viewpoints in one scene to create dramatic conflict; the subsequent battle between these two raises the questions which deserves the consideration of all people believing in God: What on earth is the right path of believing in God? When facing persecution, will I submit to the atheist party, or will I follow God and persevere with the truth? Will I choose to enter the wide gate clinging to life, or will I enter the narrow gate standing firm in my testimony to God in the battles of the spiritual world? Jiang Xinyi’s excellent words, like a needle hidden in silk floss, reveal the essence of these problems.
Failing in brainwash again, Headmaster Yuan and the others admit in frustration that God truly exists regardless of whether man believes it or not. How long will mankind exist when departing from God? The movie should draw to an end when it reaches this point. However, the story is not so simple. If this film closed with such an ending, then it wouldn’t deserve recommendation.
Evil Can Never Prevail Over Good
Faced with defeats again and again, the gang of the Communists chaired by Director Luo, getting exasperated, conspires to use more cruel torture to compel Jiang Xinyi and her co-workers to submit. There is a dramatic change at this point. During the seven minutes’ interrogation part, inhumane and appalling tortures such as “flying an airplane,” “water-boarding,” and “pricking fingers with needles” escalate the battle again. The Chinese Communist Party, the ruling party of China, actually uses such inhumane torture on Christians who are completely defenseless; the savage and cruel methods it adopts are truly horrifying, which just echoes the words of the fat police at the beginning of the movie.
The story of this movie is not a fiction, nor does it take place in feudal time; it is actually a human tragedy which is happening in Mainland China right now. The true interpretation of the plot mirrors the inhumane persecutions Chinese Christians have been suffering from the atheist CCP all along, which have become ever more intense. When Jiang Xinyi’s ability to bear has reached its limit, relying on the faith and strength from God’s words, she stands firm in her testimony in cruel tortures at last. This makes me recall the prophecy in Revelation, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:11). It can be seen that God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes forever; Satan’s cruel persecutions actually perfect a group of overcomers.
At the end of the movie, the CCP swifts to being soft and begins to play the family card, attempting to use Jiang Xinyi’s daughter to overwhelm her defense. Nonetheless, Jiang Xinyi refutes Headmaster Yuan and Director Du’s fallacies forcefully again, “Who on earth causes families to break apart?” This is an important message that the scenarist wants to convey to the audience: In China, if one believes in God, his family will also suffer; Christians and their family have no fundamental human rights or freedom. Since the foundation of the state, the CCP has been persecuting and suppressing house churches all along, designating Christianity and Catholicism as evil cults, labeling the Bible as a cult book, and arresting pastors and preachers. Countless Christians have been cruelly tortured and even to disability or death, causing tens of thousands of families to be torn apart and destroyed. It is a known fact.
Outwardly, believers in God have suffered a lot in their flesh, but the Lordsaid, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). “He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). For two thousand years, many disciples, apostles, and spiritual men following the have put these sayings into practice when facing the persecution of Satan’s regime. God’s words, regardless of in what age they are spoken, are forever the truth and can be man’s life. It reminds me of the documentary film entitled Chronicles of Religious Persecution in China which I watched on YouTube some time ago. It tells the grisly tale of Chinese Christians being cruelly persecuted by the atheist CCP, which deserves watching as well.
Ultimately, Jiang Xinyi and her co-workers are sentenced to prison in the name of the law by the CCP; however, from the battles one after another we can see a fact: In the battle between justice and evil, no matter how savage evil forces are, they will be knocked down before the truth at last.
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