On the bizarre Holy Landing of Jesus Christ on the Korean Peninsular.
“Life is full of accidents.” Avram Noam Chomsky
When, Chomsky, the great literati and distinguished linguistic Professor of MIT, was asked by the Radio Host, Amy Goodman, in her “Democracy Now” program (WBAI NY 99.5 FM 9 to 10 am Mon. to Fri.) that how a Jew like him in an orthodox community ended up an anarcho-syndicalist who defends the rights of the Palestinian Arabs, he answered with a chuckle: “Life is full of accidents. I even went to Kibbutz Farm in my early boyhood, wishing to be a vanguard for the defense of the state of Israel.”
You generally assume that you never know what’s ahead in your life unless you, like John Darby and Cyrus Scofield, hold a devout faith in dispensationalism.
Personally, I have never intended to depart my native country cheerfully and willingly, until I was forced to fly by night hastened with the unbearable pressure from the military dictatorship, in which later I fully appreciated the involuntary departure a chance to be fully becoming a human being of a different kind.
On the premise that life transforms itself by chance without any precondition or presupposition, it could be assumed that Jesus Christ, by chance, had manifested incognito in Korea as far back in 1592, while the locals, bereft of knowing his arrival and his salvation, were unfortunately busy in a pagan rite of serving various Gods in the form of rocks, trees, waterfalls, or mountains anything goes around them as far as it has, they believed, a potency.
Confused? Or Baffled?
You may cry out “What the hell are you talking about?” And I would not blame you, ‘ cause you probably never heard about the hidden and bizarre story of the Jesus’ Landing on the Korean peninsular during the “Im-Jin-Wae-Ran”, Japanese invasion of Im-Jin Lunar Year in 1592.
And you, as a Christian, may understand NOW why our ancestors had lost the war; Jesus Christ blessed Japanese Army!
And your ancestors were damned by Jesus Christ at that time!
The popular history taught us, Korean hoi polloi and Christians, as follows: Christianity was first introduced in the late 18th Century by the group of court scholars who came back from their diplomatic posts in China, laying the original foundation of Catholic Church in Korea.
And later in 19th Century, through many persecutions up until the demise of Lee Dynasty and during Japanese occupation, the Christianity in Korea has ebbed and flowed leaving many martyrs across the country.
Now Koreans boast the full strength of 14 million believers, 35,000 churches, and 50,000 ministers.
According to the Jesuit Society in the Vatican, a Jesuit priest accompanied the invading Japanese Army during their sortie in 1592 to the war front in Korean peninsular as an army chaplain, performing a rite, mass, baptism, and praying for the Japanese soldiers of Christian converts including General Konishi Yukinaga, one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s commanding officers.
Of course, the Jesuit priest did not land in the peninsular to send the message from Jesus’ Gospel to the locals, but to bless the invading Japanese soldiers for their wanton business to kill and defeat our ancestors in the name of Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us put ourselves for a moment in the shoes of our ancestors in 1592 who were massacred by the Japanese invading forces blessed by Christian God…as if in the Iraqis positions in 2004 encountering the massive onslaught of the US Marines protected by the very same God’s grace. (Please read my previous article, Jesus Christ with a thousand faces.)
Were our ancestors by chance less fortuitous and salvageable than Japanese converts, because Koreans were a bunch of barbarians who are heathens and Japanese were civilized converts genuflecting under the altar of the Pope?
Were the Japanese forces more successful and combative than the Korean army was, because the former were blessed and protected by Jesus Christ?
Were our deceased fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters themselves responsible for not knowing the Holy God of Jesus Christ who walked, preached, and died on the Gethsemane garden thousands miles away thousands years ago?
What were their sins to be suffered, persecuted, and killed by the ‘God-blessed’ Japanese invading forces?
One asked a baffling inquiry toward a minister.“Where are our deceased ancestors in the Kingdom of God right now, heaven or hell?”
The minister replied with a sigh, “ they, I guess, are in the middle between heaven and hell, hanging precariously on not to fall from the God’s grace, since they were not the believers but the heathens..”
One quizzed again with a puzzled face, “but, my dear minister, how did they know Jesus existed thousands years ago far away from their land?
How in the hell were they able to know a chap in the Galilee was a messiah? Were they to blame for that sin?
How long do they have to suffer again in a vacuous afterlife?”
The minister was almost in tears, “Son, I am sorry but I guess they have to hang on tight until Jesus Christ manifests in the Second Coming, and no-one knows but Himself when it will happen as the Bible said so.”
For a majority of our ancestors, the world was full of gods who could stay around the corner of house, street, or living quarters where they strongly believed that they were safe and happy in the execution of their daily life.
They adopted a particular concept of the divine because it worked for them, not because it was scientifically or philosophically acceptable…their gods were simply an embodiment of their needs and wishes.
If a god does not work for them, they simply replace it with another more potent and benevolent one without hesitation.
So the story goes that we Korean Christians now are one out of every three Koreans who adopted the Christian god, Jesus Christ a god of our life while our non-believing ancestors have been hanging on limbo for thousands years in the middle space of heaven and hell.
Was it not an unusual and cruel punishment for our deceased ancestors, even if life is full of accidents?
Someone in Church should address the issue on the fate of our deceased ancestors and let them RIP (Rest In Peace) in the netherworld.
Let us pray for them, for they are, I believe, still crying a jeremiad loud enough to reach our contemporary descendants who only care themselves of the salvation in the name of a triune God.