Believer or not, just about everyone is familiar with the account of Daniel’s night spent with the lions. In the well-known story, a pagan king threw one of God’s prophets into a den filled with the terrifying animals. Of course, Daniel walked out the next morning completely unscathed.
The same cannot be said about a man in Taipei who willing confronted a group of lions.
On November 3, 2004, a 46-year-old man simply known as Chen, walked into the zoo in Taiwan’s capital with a mission and a Bible. Taking visitors and zookeepers by surprise, Chen suddenly leapt over the safety wall and into a small group of lions. Witnesses saw him raise his hands toward the sky and shout “Jesus will save you” at the mighty beasts.
Umm…Chen, you’re gonna be the one who needs saving, pal.
At first, the lions were little more than curious about the man’s presence, but as the Asian preacher continued with his sermon and wild antics, the lions took offense, and lashed out at him with their powerful paws. They ripped Chen’s jacket from him and knocked him backward.
But instead of fleeing, Chen stayed put and continued to deliver his misplaced message. The lions finally had enough. One of the males bit into Chen’s arm, and seconds later, took a bit out of his leg, too. Acting swiftly, zookeepers fired water cannons at the killer cats to drive them away. They also shot the poor animals with tranquilizer darts in an attempt to save the foolish man’s life.
Somebody should have shot Chen with a tranquilizer 20 minutes earlier….
Finally, the lions were driven away and Chen scrambled up and out of the enclosure of death. He was taken to a hospital and treated for his wounds.
Why did Chen attempt something so dangerous? Was he trying to test his faith? Was he really trying to proselytize the lions? Did he lose some sort of bet??? And what will he try next? Calling down fire from Heaven? (1 Kings 18) Walking on water? (Matthew 14) Jumping into a flaming furnace? (Daniel 3)
Regardless of his reasons, Chen’s actions that day were the by-product of gross misinterpretation of Scripture. And it almost got him killed.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)