Monday, December 31, 2007

The Apocryptic Christianity in South Korea

Recently, a mob of hundred congregants from the fundamental Christian Church have invaded the studio of the television station in Seoul in order to block the airing of the documentary story about their preacher who claims he is a Jesus Christ.

However, I assume that no Koreans would be surprised with this act of irreligious thuggery, since they have witnessed countless occasions of religious ruckus in every denomination of every religion in the region.

Neither Korean churches in North America are immune to the violence and the litigation in the hegemonic infighting among factions.
Calling the police during the sermon is not uncommon for peacekeeping mission.

It is a wondrous phenomenon in Korea to have the epiphany of Jesus Christ in every few years and thousands of Korean Christians flock to worship Hims (plural), and Koreans would never cease to produce another Jesus Christ again when He goes to jail or sinks in oblivion.

Historically, Koreans have not had any systematic theology that promises the pie in the sky, that is, the life after death.
Buddhism offers the condolence in sorrows and Confucians teach the perpetual remembrance of the deceased.
Even shamans were helpless and in disarray when the wave of Christian tsunami swarmed over the land piggybacked in GI's duffelbags in 1945.

Christianity promises the continuity of human life even after death…. No matter who you are sinner, cat burglar, murderer, panhandler, affluent, powerful…. very much universal.
The rub here is few Korean Christians recognize that Yeshu was born, lived, taught and die a Jew and He has never meant to create new religion (Mat. 5:17) or His belief was solely based on Judaism whose god was tribal and extremely prejudiced.

The story of Christian god, a sort of decaffeinated god from Yahweh, was told by writers 2000 years ago who believed that the sky was like a dish…you could fly through it and enter paradise. For average Koreans, of whatever religious believers, it is impossible not to know that a man ascending vertically from the Mount of Olives, by whatever means of miraculous propulsion, would pass into orbit.

It also would make no sense if His teachings that were meant for the Jews in the first century were applied to Korean Christians, a type of people whom Jesus never of course envisaged as existing beyond over the horizon of Galilee.

He inhabited a world that was utterly different from our own.
No matter how absurd the Christianity might be, Koreans historically have suffered enough during the Korean War and searched for the most powerful deity to salvage their souls.

The result is our worldly renowned Rev. Sun Myung Moon who is now hiding in the Latin American rain forest.
Therefore, the more a preacher claims is potent, miraculous, imminent, and most importantly alive than dead, the more fanatic congregants rush to an audience with him offering their treasures.

Korean congregants want their preacher a shepherd of sheep, whose ultimate purpose is to shear the sheep for their wool and eventually to sell them for mutton.
The herd is destined for the meat market, and the sheep are not consulted by shepherd when he decides their time has come.

It may not be sinful to become a rich and greedy preacher as popularly believed, granting that Jesus was a rather early version of capitalist (Matt. 6:21).

It is axiomatic that the Korean church prospers when it becomes apocalyptic and eschatological as the flock of simpletons and dittoheads put on blinkers and follow in droves.

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