|Photo courtesy of amenic181, Free Digital Photos|
I’ll Cross the River by C. Hope Flinchbaugh was probably one of the most disappointing books I’ve read this year. I’d seen all the five-star reviews and thought it was a true story set in North Korea and China. I still don’t understand from the many glowing reviews if this is supposed to be true or not. I realize part of it is based on research and actual experiences, and I believe that some of the conditions mentioned in the book are true-to-life. It does not ring true, however.
I’ll Cross the River tells parallel stories. One is about a young wife and mother in North Korea, and the other’s about two young women who are missionaries in China. I was drawn in from the beginning. But later . . . there were so many things that bothered me that I could hardly believe what I was reading. One was a mysterious red cord that binds the generations together. It’s supposed to represent hope. Another problem is that the two missionaries are young women. At first, that didn’t bother me, because anyone can share Christ and be a missionary. But, then they were having village meetings and “preaching.” It still didn’t bother me, because they weren’t a church.
But, within a day or two, the village meetings became healing meetings. Whichever girl “felt” the Spirit would speak, and when the girls “felt” the healing power, which they call “the flutter of the Spirit,” they healed people in the crowd. It’s described that her hand felt warm. “She knew that the heat had to be the healing power of God. This time she could feel it transfer from her hands and into Sun.” The healed people feel heat and afterwards they’re healed—even of wrinkles! Really!
So, the girls plan a baptismal service, where they are going to baptize all the “new believers,” meaning those who had been physically healed. That’s where I quit reading.
This book is all about feelings, vibrations, hokey symbolism, and unbiblical proceedings. The gospel is presented, but I found all the distractions so disturbing that I couldn’t finish the book. I cannot recommend I’ll Cross the River, as it’s unscriptural.