January 16, 2018

What Can Bible Christianity Do that Eastern Religions Cannot?

David Potter

A man to whom I have been witnessing told me that he prefers Eastern religions because he does not want a religion that is guilt-based. Christianity is not guilt-based, it is forgiveness-based. In response, I told the following story.

George Mensik started shoplifting as boy, later becoming a member of the notorious Al Capone gang as an adult. He had been a bouncer at a bar, and he looked the part. His prison experience helped to harden and refine his skills as a criminal.

At the crisis of our story he was enslaved to heroin. In a drug-crazed state of mind he decided that he would murder his daughter. When his estranged wife opened the door at his knock, she could see in his eyes that he meant to do great harm, so she tried to block his way into the house. With a single blow he knocked her unconscious and entered his daughter’s bedroom, gun at the ready.

What, I asked, can an Eastern religion do for this man?

My hearer suggested that Eastern religion could encourage him to have fortitude to face what was to come.

I replied that what was needed was not fortitude. It was something to stop him in his tracks, transform his behavior and offer forgiveness for his sins–which is just what happened.

George Mensik found his daughter on her knees praying for his salvation. God broke his heart and instead of killing her, he embraced her and encouraged her to keep on praying for him. The following Sunday found him at the Marquette Manor Baptist Church at 66th and California in Chicago, where he surrendered to Christ after the morning service, with a gun inside his coat on his left and a large package of heroin in the inside pocket on his right.

God changed his life. No longer a criminal, he gained such a reputation for doing good that the governors of four states signed letters allowing him to visit any prisoner in any state facility any time of the day or night. He was the first missionary appointed by Baptist World Mission. One doesn’t just leave a criminal gang. How Mensik was able simply to survive after his salvation is another miracle.

I had the privilege of meeting George Mensik and hearing him speak. It was an experience I will never forget. Even now, years after his death, his testimony continues to point people to Jesus Christ.

David Potter serves as a missionary in Hungary with Baptist World Mission. This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.

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