Sojourners: What U.S. Christians Miss About North — and South — Korea
Sitting on the 28th floor of the Lotte Hotel World in downtown Seoul having breakfast with a long-time ecumenical friend from Korea, I asked him what the churches in his country were thinking about the present crisis. He immediately responded, “We’re asking, ‘What are the churches in America thinking?’”
Two realities here in South Korea seem unknown or underappreciated in the U.S. First is the fact that the Korean War has not ended. There’s no treaty, and no permanently recognized peace — only an agreement 60 years ago to cease actual hostilities. Traveling through layers of security to Panmunjom, where the armistice was signed, and where North Korean and U. N. forces (mostly South Korean) still wordlessly face one another, brings home this truth. Formally, there is no peace.
Second, for some Koreans, reunification is an earnest hope. In the U.S. we simply assume there are two countries — North Korea and South Korea, end of story. But countless times here I’ve heard prayers and hopes for reunification, some time, in some way. And those prayers come from Christian communities across South Korea. It’s hard to answer how reunification would be peaceably achieved, but that doesn’t diminish hope. Being here, I’m reminded that Korea has been one culture, with one people, and one land for most of its history. The DMZ is an artificial demarcation, similar to the former divisions of Germany and of Vietnam.
We Christians should be careful about hurrying to shed blood through war. While the actions of Kim Jong-un may be unjustifiable, we should all remember the sheer number of innocent souls that will simply be counted as “collateral damage” should we allow his posturing to abandon the Prince of Peace.
Vox: Why Christian Conservatives Supported Trump — and Why They Might Regret It The questions in the interview are every bit as insightful as the answers — giving an insight about how recent events are shaping an unbeliever’s view of Christians. Moreover, it speaks to the dangers of creating cults of personality or lifting up individuals […]
Patheos: Don’t Support This Bill, Oppose This Bill The worst thing that has happened with the church since the 60s but especially since the 80s (under Reagan) has been the politicization and partisanization of the church. Church cultures now exist where in a local church if you are not a Republican or a Democrat you don’t fit. […]
America Needs to Stop the Fearmongering “Fear can be useful, important and necessary. It can carry warnings and remind us to use caution. Yet fear should never, ever be used to manipulate. If someone needs fear to sell you their ideas, if their whole message is built on making you fearful, if their only call […]
When Did Christians Become Comfortable with the Loss of Truth? A deference for human leadership has gotten in the way of the Christian commitment to God. Perhaps this is done unwittingly; modern American Christian tradition has perpetuated a particular set of stances as the crux of its ethic: abortion and LGBTQ equality. Some Christians use […]
Christians Don’t Need Rights But it seems like many of us Christians have this idea that our individual rights are the most important thing. That if these rights are trampled on or disappear, that the end is coming. That America or other Western countries are great because they’re deferential to Christians. But Christ didn’t call […]