Richard Wurmbrand spent fourteen years in communist prisons, enduring the most inhumane tortures imaginable. The tortures inflicted on him caused him to contract tuberculosis and he was moved to “the death room” to await the inevitable. Remarkably, while on death’s doorstep, Richard began to recover and spent a total of thirty months inside “the death room” before the communists concluded that he was not in fact going to die. When Richard was eventually and surprisingly released due to a ransom paid by Western Christians through the Swiss government, Richard shared this testimony about his time in the death room:
“Scores of men died, and their places were taken by others in the thirty months I lay in this room. But here is a remarkable fact. Not one died an atheist. Fascists, Communists, saints, murderers, thieves, priests, rich landowners, and the poorest peasants were shut together in one small cell. Yet none of them died without making his peace with God and man. Many entered Room Four as firmly convinced unbelievers. I saw their unbelief collapse, always, in the face of death. I have heard it said: ‘If a cat crosses a bridge, it doesn’t mean that bridge is sound; but if a train crosses, then it surely is.’ So if a man calls himself an atheist as he sits with his wife over tea and cakes; that is no proof of atheism. A true conviction must survive enormous pressure, and atheism does not.” ---Richard Wurmbrand (Page 80 from “In God’s Underground”). I remember hearing a debate on Justin Breierly’s ”Unbelievable” Podcast and radio show between someone who claimed to be a Christian and someone who was a practicing Satanist. The Satanist argued that Satanists do not worship Satan. He argued that Satanists were simply atheists who desired to give Satan “equal time with God”. This is of course nonsense. If God is worthy of our worship, equal time for Satan would mean equal worship. And if God (that is, the Christian God) is the Father of Light and Satan is the prince of darkness,(how else would you define Satan?), then equal time means celebrating darkness. But it is not at all surprising that a Satanist should worship Satan. What I think is more surprising and revealing is the unwitting confession that atheism is nothing more than thinly veiled Satanism. The definition of sin given by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:25 is simply the worship of that which is not God: “They swapped God’s truth for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever, amen.” The atheist may feel as though he or she is very non-religious, but worship is of course not simply a matter of formal religion but of our life’s orientation. We make value judgments based upon our ultimate view of reality. For most atheists, it appears to me as though they simply choose to adhere to their own biased view of morality. Everyone is biased, Christians included. But the atheists pretends that he or she is simply honest and rational without bias. Thus, in the end, I believe that the creature that atheists worship, as opposed to the Creator, is themselves.
Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Jew who gave his heart to Jesus in the prime of his life, after living a very licentious life up to that point. Richard and his wife Sabina saw most of Sabina’s wife murdered by the Nazis and they saw their country, Romanian, taken over and destroyed by the Communists. Nevertheless, Richard and Sabina spent much of their time sharing the gospel of Jesus with both Nazis and Communists. Richard often would say, “I hate communism, but I love the communists!” Richard did not waste words and was an extremely gracious man. That is why I take another book of his called “Marx and Satan” very seriously. Richard believed that Satanism is what inspired the atheistically based Communism that destroyed his country as well as many other countries and very nearly destroyed him and his family. Could it be that Atheism is simply a nice sounding title for a usurper of God’s throne? Richard testified that during one of his many tortures, he saw the faces of Communists guards lit up with rapturous joy as they tortured and screamed “We are the devil!” Maybe they were right. The truth is, there is more than a little atheist in all of us. The Christian is simply someone who has acknowledged that fact and repented of it. If we are honest with ourselves, it is a confession that needs to be made day by day. Maybe this is why Christians have traditionally spoken about the need to repent of sin; we simply don’t want to be the devil. Richard Wurmbrand said that these communists made no room for God in their hearts, so they tortured with joy. Therefore, Richard resolved that he would make no room for evil in his heart, and he suffered for Christ with joy. Which kind of person will make a better citizen? It is my prayer and plea that America would renounce its’ satanic and atheistic ties and dedicate itself once again to being “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”