The Virgin Terrorist

Communism may be dying but it's not dead yet. There are still hold-outs in places like North Korea. We get a glimpse of what North Korean Communism is like in the story of Kim Hyon-hui, known throughout Asia as the Virgin Terrorist. Miss Kim was a terrorist, arrested four years ago for blowing up a South Korean airliner. In her first interview with American journalists, she told the story of her life. From early childhood, Miss Kim said, she was taught to worship North Korea's president, Kim Il-sung. "After I was born, the first phrase I learned was 'Kim Il-sung'," she said. From kindergarten to university, all subjects were related to the president. All songs, movies, plays were about him. "I came to believe that my happiness lay in my loyalty to Kim Il-sung," Miss Kim told reporters. When she was drafted into the North Korean intelligence service, she said, "I was not a daughter of my parents any longer, I was a daughter of the Party." Miss Kim was proud when she was given the mission to bomb the South Korean airliner. She and another terrorist planted two bombs, blowing up the jet and killing 115 passengers. But then things began to go wrong. The terrorists were arrested. They gulped down cyanide capsules to die with their secret intact. The other terrorist did die, but Miss Kim survived. She was tried, sentenced to death, but pardoned. Later Miss Kim learned about Jesus Christ and gave her life to Him. She discovered the true God to take the place of the false god she had worshipped before. That's what Communism is--a false god. Karl Marx was inspired by the writings of the German philosopher Hegel, who said "the State is God walking upon the earth." The North Koreans take that literally. They believe Kim Il-sung himself is "God walking upon the earth." It's nothing new for political leaders to be worshipped as divine. In ancient times--in Sumer, Babylon, Egypt--the rulers were revered as gods. The early Christians refused to bow down to Caesar for the same reason: because the Roman Senate had declared him to be divine. That's why the first doctrine that the early Church articulated was the divinity of Christ. For if Jesus was Lord, then no one else was. Certainly not the Roman emperor--even if such sentiments meant being thrown to the lions. Later, as Christianity triumphed over Rome, it became impossible for any emperor to claim divinity. The emperors were forced to give up their grandiose claims. They had to accept limitations on their powers. Political freedom blossomed. It is not too much to say that nothing has done more to check state tyranny, and foster political freedom, than that simple statement of faith "Jesus is Lord." We Westerners sometimes forget that the human heart by its nature is hungry for something to worship, and that when cut off from the true God it will worship other things. That's a sobering lesson for us today, as Western society steadily turns away from God. Oh, we may not worship our political leaders in the overt way the North Koreans do. But when we look to government to solve all our problems--to educate our children, to take care of every need from birth to the grave--then we fall into the same trap the Virgin Terrorist did. We can't be reminded too often of that early confession, Jesus is Lord.


Chuck Colson


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