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Religious Harmony and Appreciation of Korean Cultural Heritage – Don’t Piss on Your Culture

Temple Stay participantsAccording to a recent AFP article “Cheap rates and Zen seating: spiritual tourism has taken off in South Korea, offering foreigner and tourists alike a taste of temple life”. The program has become a successful proponent of traditional Korean culture.  The Templestay program in South Korea is familiar to many who have lived in South Korea since the 2002 World Cup, when the program grew out of the need to house foreign visitors to South Korea soccer venus. Basically, templestay allows people to experience what it is like to live and work in a temple while offering insight to an older part of Korean culture and lifestyle. The promotion of Korean culture is a very worthwhile endeavor, however there are problems with some natives who have their own religious agenda:

In 2011, the number of Templestay guests was 212,437, of which around 12% were foreigners. Since 2004 the government has provided subsidies totaling around $100 million to the program which it sees as a force for promoting traditional Korean culture, but not everybody is happy.
Last year, the Korean Association of Church Communication issued a statement arguing that there was “room for conflict” in the government subsidizing a program associated with one particular religion. “There clearly is a problem with financially supporting missionary events by a specific religion,” it said.

which is not a factual or valid concern since templestay is not created to promote Buddhism or win converts.  It is clearly an effort to promote traditional Korean culture, its history and tourism.  This association is the same “Korean Association of Church Communication” that attempted to prevent the Lady Gaga concert in 2012, claiming that Our Christian community needs concerted action to stop young people from being infected with homosexuality and pornography (cite). The Korean Association of Church Communication has also been active in thwarting the plan to encourage Islamic bond sales, claiming that bond sales could cause more money to be channeled to terrorist activities – a contention that is completely unsubstantiated, as well as being a result of their bias against any organization or effort that they perceive as being a part of a non-Christian religion or society, thus evil.

The real, underlying story is the ongoing conflict of interest that divides modern evangelical Christianity in South Korea from any other organization or activity that is perceived to be in conflict with Evangelical thought and goals. Though Korea was originally mostly Buddhist since the unification of the three kingdoms period, Catholicism and American Protestantism found converts here during the 19th Century, and especially since the 60s and the economic development of the 70s, a newer evangelical-style Christianity has flourished throughout Korea. During this period, many of the churches that became successful were not directly affiliated with mainstream Christian religions (United Methodist Church for example) but are home-grown versions, often with their own ideology and goals, which are many times centered upon a pastor or leader within the church who may or may not assume a divine status within his church. The Unification Church, founded in 1954 by “Lord of the Second Advent” Sun Myung Moon or the Soonbokeum and Somang Church are well known examples of such.

cultural_pisseur

An Evangelical Pastor sharing the gospel in Donghwa Temple.

These type of evangelical churches tend to be extreme in their intolerance towards other religions or groups that are considered to be in violation of their evangelical doctrine. These same churches are often ignorant of and biased against their own cultural heritage and history. For some time now, this intolerance has taken the form of vandalism against property, for example, in August of 2012 a protestant minister that belongs to a prominent Church in Daegu (and Korea) defaced (wrote the word “좆” with a magic marker on artwork) and urinated on the altar and wall paintings at Donghwa Temple.
The temple made a complaint to the police on the following day. Ten days after the complaint, the police arrested Seong . . . A spokesperson for the temple commented, “this blasphemy insults and gives psychological harm to Buddhists…While such incidents happen every year, they have grown especially severe under the current government administration (LMB).” In 2010, Donghwa Temple was subject to another religious insult when a local Protestant organization took pictures of themselves stepping on the floor of the temple in street shoes and uploaded it to their homepage. The incident drew criticism from all corners that Protestants were undermining religious harmony. (cite)

Other recent events include:

  • October 4th, 2012, an arsonist tried to burn down Gakhwangjeon Hall of Hwaomsa Temple in Gurye County, Korea
  • On November 2011, the stele that accompanied the stupa at Beopcheonsa temple (Korean National Treasure No. 59) was vandalized by a Christian man that drew a giant cross across the five meter stone statue. He later posted a photo of his work on Facebook and twitter
  • Even earlier, in 2006, during the “Again 1907 in Busan” festival that was Christian-sponsored featured an event where Christians prayed earnestly for all the Buddhist temples and monasteries of the Busan area to be destroyed. Out-going President Lee MyungBak was also the congratulatory commentator of this event. (cite)

The outgoing president has caused much consternation since he has set a bad example during his own tenure. As pointed out by many, as of 2008, 13 of 16 ministers in President Lee Myung Bak’s government were Christians, with only one being Buddhist and this is not counting the various important appointments below that of the minister-level that have been strident in their pro-Christian bias.

Another troubling aspect of Korean Evangelism is its propensity to focus on out-reach efforts at the expense of providing social services to the community at large. Usually most mainstream churches divide their efforts between reaching potential members and providing service to the existing membership. Korean Evangelism, as demonstrated by many churches here, is different in that many churches place a greater emphasis upon missionary-style outreach that is focused upon increasing church membership.  This outreach/missionary effort is so extensive that it has raised the concerns of several nations, such as Turkey, whose intelligence agencies have concluded that Christian missionary activities inside the country have a second motive, parallel to their spread of Christian propaganda. One recent report states that “. . . missionaries ‘cover Turkey like a spider’s web,‘ the report accuses them of focusing on sensitive regions of the country and using the cover of “faith tourism” to target lower-income citizens, youth, children and women. According to the report, the majority of foreign missionaries come from South Korea (number one), the United States, England, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Romania. (cite)

As reported in a June 11th article in the Cumhuriyet newspaper, Turkish authorities believe that foreign missionaries are also promoting ethnic divisions, particularly among the Kurds.

Obviously, the incoming South Korean president will need to cultivate respectful and intelligent relations between all religions in Korea, especially when some want to force ideological issues upon governance and cultural policy.  The government should be above factionalism of any sort and seeing how this is also a concern of the president-elect, she may be able to set a better example in these issues.  Putting a curb on “faith tourism” efforts might be a good idea too since the Republic of Korea does wish to maintain good relations with all governments and does not need to their policies sabotaged by malefic ignorance.  Perhaps the government badly needs to perform their own outreach efforts towards the evangelical community so as to educate them to understand the value in knowing their culture and history.

Note: Some further background reading material regarding the history of Protestant evangelism in Korea: The Origin and Characteristics of Evangelical Protestantism in Korea at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,
Dae Young Ryu, and the wiki article for Christianity in Korea, though it is short.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • dlbarch

    Truly excellent post, RE. I’d watch your back from now on, though.

    One interesting addition, though. In the U.S., evangelicals constitute one of the poorest — and most poorly educated — demographics. In Korea, these groups are largely economically, professionally, and socially quite successful.

    DLB

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    DLB: “In the U.S., evangelicals constitute one of the poorest — and most poorly educated — demographics.”

    Do you have statistics on that? Your statement would probably have been true when I was a kid, but I’ve read that today’s evangelicals are middle class and educated.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Elgin, I agree with you about the intolerance of many South Korean Protestants — they are hierarchical and demand obedience to the pastor and teachers (an unfortunate influence from Korean culture).

    But I’d view with skepticism any statement by Islamic governments about Christian missionaries, especially since Islamic missionaries are active in non-Muslim countries, often with the active support of Islamic states. Turkey, for example, presses Germany to build more mosques even while blocking the construction of churches in Turkey for its small number of Christians (most of whom were wiped out in the genocide against Armenians).

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • dlbarch

    BTW, if one is ever faced with one of those Korean “experts” who try to explain the country’s economic success not as a result of specific policies but as a result of “Korean culture” — as if Koreans have some unique DNA that lends itself to successful economic development — the quickest way to really piss him off is to suggest that Korea didn’t begin to really develop until it embraced western christianity. The sparks will really begin to fly then!

    JH,

    You may be right. The figures I’m referenced are from the 2000 election, where the evangelical vote — both white and black — was overwhelming rural, poor, under-educated, and, frankly, from the South. If you have anything newer than that, I am more than willing to concede that the evangelical demographic in the U.S. is changing. I really don’t have a dog in this fight.

    Cheers,
    DLB

  • dlbarch

    JH,

    It’s a lazy Sunday morning here, so I did take a moment to find this:

    http://religions.pewforum.org/portraits

    I think the data’s from this year. Income distribution for evangelicals came in at 58% at $50,000 or less. Educational distribution came in at 56% at high school or less. Fully half of all evangelicals are from the South.

    Go Bears,
    DLB

  • Jenk

    “..as if Koreans have some unique DNA that lends itself to successful economic development..”

    Unique DNA or not, Koreans economical growth didn’t come from nothing. They have a hard working spirit and tend to do their best at whatever they do.

  • John

    ‘I agree with you about the intolerance of many South Korean Protestants –
    they are hierarchical and demand obedience to the pastor and teachers
    (an unfortunate influence from Korean culture).’

    Much of Christianity is fairly autocratic. The Catholic Church seems to be the worst at this with their ‘infallible’ pope and magisterium.  Their veneration of Mary and the saints is disturbing, as well.  I’m, also, not sure how a piece of cracker turns into the body of Jesus Christ. 

    A lot of these disturbing practices are from the West.  And shame on us for exporting such foolishness. 

  • madar

    I used to do teaching and editing work for two different Churches here.  They seemed like money factories more than anything else.  They thoroughly depressed me.  They did their best to create a cultish, isolated community with all goods and services being provided by the church and all profits going to the church.  They would then have the truly committed work at a discount providing these services.  They would also preach that if God loved you he would make you rich.  The more successful of the two, (huge building with a full floor committed to pimped out offices for the pastors, several satellite churches in Korea and abroad, multiple cars and apartments in Seoul for the head pastor,)  would offer free lunches for people over 80 with property in Seoul and try to sell them a free pass into heaven if they changed their will in favor of the Church.  They also had donation envelopes for tithes, charity, overseas mission, and buy a miracle and one or two I’m forgetting.  It would have been 30% of everyone’s income if they filled all the envelopes.  And after using all the services provided by the church it would approach 50%.

    As for the special DNA makes Koreans successful statement, it always makes me cringe.  I will always congratulate the nation on its hard work leading to its development, but claiming you are genetically, ie racially, superior to everyone else is a road to nastiness.  It surprises me how many really educated Koreans repeat this comment.  I have also read that this idea was introduced by the Japanese to support their superiority when they ruled Korea, and was picked up and rolled into a Korean idea after they left.  One would think that if Koreans realized this they would drop it like a bad habit.

  • ChuckRamone

    shamanism, ancestor worship, and Buddhism are way cooler. why, South Korea, why? 

  • RElgin

    Empirically speaking, this is true.

  • RElgin

    Yet, here in Korea, Catholics are generally better educated than their evangelical cousins and more tolerant of other faiths and people (based upon my observations).

  • RElgin

    I would not lump Buddhism into the same category as Shamanism.  It is not the same thing.
    “Ancestor worship” as you put it is also from this western idea that when Koreans hold a remembrance ceremony for their ancestors, it is actually a form of worship.  This is not the case, rather it is a remembrance of those who came before that does not normally have religious significance.  Even the Catholic Church understands this (now) but not evangelicals.

  • RElgin

    This is a great part of the problem with so many Korean evangelical sects.  They are focused upon growth and upon becoming a large and powerful organization – not on the teachings of Jesus or service to the community at large.  I refer to most of these churches as sects because the teachings of Christ are merely secondary enablers or an excuse for them to engage in a kind of spiritual mercantilism that has remained tax-exempt as well.

    Money is the real magic for them.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Back to the Templestay program for a minute. You’re right, Elgin, about it not being a missionary program. In fact, the reason for its founding is even more banal than the one you cited—it was started as an auxiliary accommodation program for the 2002 World Cup.

    I think the resentment coming from some quarters of Christian community might be alleviation somewhat if they simply came up with their own “experience program.” Why they haven’t done this yet is beyond me. I know for a fact the Catholics could do it quite easily—there are plenty of beautiful old churches, monasteries and historic pilgrimage sites around the country that could host weekend retreats. Ditto the Anglicans. The Protestants have less in terms of architecturally significant cultural heritage, but it’s there if they look for it—maybe start by restoring the old missionary hill station in Jirisan.

    If there’s something the Christians could—and should—argue, it’s that Christianity is just as important a piece of Korean culture as Buddhism, and that heritage is equally worthy of promotion to foreign visitors.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    A lot of these disturbing practices are from the West.  And shame on us for exporting such foolishness.

    In the case of Korea, we didn’t actually “export” it. At least not in the case of Catholicism, which came to Korea virtually by accident through the regular Korean tribute missions to Beijing. The “exporting” didn’t really begin until the end of the 19th century.And in Korea, the “foolishness” included leading roles in the Korean modernization, independence and democracy struggles. Perhaps I’m being a bit generous, but I think if we look at the contributions Christianity has made to Korean society, they more than balance out the behavior of the nutjobs.

  • RElgin

    Who would want to travel all the way to South Korea for the experience of acting like 개독? That is not an “experience program” but a formula for delusion.
    Korean Evangelism is a dubious transplant from America that has mutated into something malignant and I would be embarrassed to discuss it if I were Korean.  IMHO, modern evangelism it has no cultural value whatsoever.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Jesus is the only true God and Savior! There is none other.  Europeans and even Americans thought that Christians are no more.  Jesus moved to Korea.  Holy Spirits are pouring down on Koreans’ head and they see the true God as many of European ancestors have seen.  Holy and True God has come to Korea.  Hallelujah!

  • John

    ‘This is a great part of the problem with so many Korean evangelical
    sects.  They are focused upon growth and upon becoming a large and
    powerful organization – not on the teachings of Jesus or service to the
    community at large.’

    This is a problem for Christianity in general.  Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Baker, Ted Haggard were all about growth and influence for themselves.  Folks like Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and Oral Roberts have polluted America and the rest of the world with their prosperity-gospel.

    The Roman Catholic Church isn’t much better.  They believe somehow that some dude from Germany, a former Hitler Youth member no less, is ‘infallible’.  The magesterium is somehow ‘infallible’, also.  Shit, I’d love to be infallible, as well.  How many Hail Marys do I have to say to get there?  When you give God-like power to human beings and human institutions it’s no wonder you have the moral bankruptcy that we saw in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere.  Give to the pope what is the pope’s and give to God what is God’s. 

  • Koreandumbdumb

    If you like Buddhism and temples, go to Thailand.  There are plenty of them.  Koreans are fastly becoming Jesus people.  No more shitty monks begging on the street.  No more “nothing goes to nothing” so tune out and be the zombies.  Korea had enough of that s***.  We have decided to serve the true God and Jesus.   People are becoming honest and be aware of “God creates all men equal”.  And, golden rule.  Less drinking and less womanizing.  Hard working and loving other Koreans.   Just good Christian nation, it is becoming.   When western countries gone drug crazy and anti-God, Koreans will show how to live Christian life.   May God be the glory.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Christian message is “Jesus dying on the cross to pay for and get pardon for His disciples and Jesus resurrecting to show that eternal life will be given to those who believe”.   Churches exist to spread this good news to the peoples on earth.   Korean churches are doing excellent job, starting from Korea.   And, funny thing is when this messages are accepted by men and women, they automatically start helping other human beings.   Jesus comes and lives inside these disciples and they cannot refuse what Jesus tells them.   Very strange, and wonderful this phenomenon is.   Just like what happened to English men and Americans.   Exactly the same way, Koreans are changing.   Very, very wonderful and amazing thing is happening in Korea.    Jesus Saves! 

  • Gyejorie

    So who are the people who don’t have a “hard working spirit” and don’t try to “do their best”?

  • RElgin

    If you were a thoughtful Christian, you would be aware, as “John” is of the shortcomings of most organized religions.  Instead, you indulge us with your emotive 개독-flavoured bon-mots and they are hard to swallow, no matter how much Jesus sauce you put on them.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    DLB, thanks for the stats. You appear to be right. I’ll have to look into this further sometime.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Maximus2008

    Robert, first of all, I don’t believe people come to Korea exclusively for the temple stay program. They do it while they are here for other reasons, so doing temple stay is a “cool thing to do” (even if it includes eating everything in your bowl otherwise will be in trouble). 
    Second, for Christian retreats and experiences, why one would come to Korea? Well, Catholics would choose any other pilgrimage traditional place, full of tradition and history, in a heartbeat (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Latin America, etc.). Protestants (the historical ones, i.e., Luterans, Anglicans, etc.) would probably do similar (but I’m not into their “tastes”). Evangelicans (the neo-Pentecostal ones) may do crazier stuff but, again, unless you’re Korean, why would you come for this to Korea?!?

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Robert, first of all, I don’t believe people come to Korea exclusively for the temple stay program. They do it while they are here for other reasons, so doing temple stay is a “cool thing to do” (even if it includes eating everything in your bowl otherwise will be in trouble).

    No argument from me.

    Second, for Christian retreats and experiences, why one would come to Korea? Well, Catholics would choose any other pilgrimage traditional place, full of tradition and history, in a heartbeat (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Latin America, etc.). Protestants (the historical ones, i.e., Luterans, Anglicans, etc.) would probably do similar (but I’m not into their “tastes”). Evangelicans (the neo-Pentecostal ones) may do crazier stuff but, again, unless you’re Korean, why would you come for this to Korea?!?

    Probably true, but then again, the same could be said for Buddhism. Why go to Korea—where, at most, only a quarter of the population is Buddhist—when you could go to Thailand, Japan, Burma, Mongolia, or the Buddhist holy sites in India? This logic can be extended to pretty much any aspect of tourism—our mountains aren’t as big as Nepal’s, our temples aren’t as ornate as Thailand’s, our palaces aren’t as big as China’s, etc, etc. But that’s besides the point really, isn’t? You want to promote what you have, and what Korea has is a very vibrant Christian culture backed up by a unique history and heritage. Would that attract as many inbound tourists as the Way of St. James? Probably not, but you could draw people in, especially religious types and/or tourists already in Korea or the Asia/Pacific region.

  • Wedge1

    You people are seriously missing the point. The point is: 212,437 people and subsidies totaling around $100 million. So, that’s almost $500 per person in subsidies.Your taxpayer won at work. End the program now!

  • http://www.seoulmetro.co.kr/station/eng/linemap.action Craash

     One interesting addition, though. In the U.S., evangelicals constitute one of the poorest — and most poorly educated — demographics. In Korea, these groups are largely economically, professionally, and socially quite successful.  

    Because Koreans don’t join a church just to “praise the Lord”…. it’s more like a Freemason type group – where once you join and have been accepted and continue to give money to them every week – each member of the Church helps the other members to become more successful.

    I was once told by a 10 year old boy, who was hurrying to the church to give 20,000won (in 2002) that his mother had sent him on the errand, because she didn’t want the Church minister telling other members not to go to her business, because she had forgotten to pay her weekly money to the church.

    Want a successful business in your neighborhood, then join the neighborhood church and make a nice donation every week – you will be very successful.

    Don’t join the church and don’t give them money and your business will close down pretty quickly.

  • http://www.seoulmetro.co.kr/station/eng/linemap.action Craash

     Probably true, but then again, the same could be said for Buddhism. Why go to Korea—where, at most, only a quarter of the population is Buddhist—when you could go to Thailand, Japan, Burma, Mongolia, or the Buddhist holy sites in India?   

    because in those countries, the Muslims are killing them all.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Yes, but… The visitor count is a one-year count, and the subsidies are accrued spending since 2004 — eight years’ worth. It’s probably only US$75 a head. Still too much, given what templestays cost, but not as crazy as you would first think.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I’m in principle against any and all subsidies. Hence I find myself in the unfortunate situation of being in the same boat as Korean protestants. If this is so damn popular why does it need subsidies? One would imagine that these subsidies could be ended right now and the program could be self-funding if over 200,000 people are joining it every year. One would also imagine that the really expensive things, such as the facilities, have already been paid for with tax payer money so what is the need for more?

  • Keith

    Subsidising religion with taxpayers cash is just wrong, and allowing churches to avoid paying tax is not on either. UFO alien believer types don’t get government handouts so why do people who believe in something less probable get free money? It makes no sense.

    I’m no fan of religion, but at least the catholic lot in Korea seem to behave with a bit more dignity and cause less trouble. They, at least, seem to not be in the habit of pissing in buddhist temples, raping children or followers and harassing people in the street. OK the Catholic church has got up to some very unpleasant behavior in the past, but in Korea they almost look like the good guys.

  • CalendarCalligraphy

    Never understood Koreans who were Christians. The only reason you’re Christian is because a bunch of white missionaries have come over in the past couple centuries and converted your grandparents, who passed it onto your parents and now you. Your religious identity is entirely a product of historical forces, not some spiritual revelation from God…

  • Sonagi

    I’m not sure how a supernatural being would have a divine son who had to die a gruesome death and then rise again so we could have eternal life. Just about any religious belief can appear strange to those who don’t believe. While teaching at an international school in China, I did a unit on comparative religions and invited the children to bring in any family religious objects to share, or if they did not follow a particular religion, they could bring in any special object. As one child held up a small crucifix, a Chinese girl leaned in closely and then grimaced in disgust.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    There are four main Protestant denominations in Korea – Presbyterian(60%),,Weslyan(20%), Baptist(10%), AG(10%).  Among Presbyterians, which follow 20th century American tradition, typical churches are YoungLak,Somang, ChoongHyun, churches.   All are pastored by American seminary graduates.  They teach Bible and Christian living.  Very sound and traditional.  The church members voluntarily pray, witness and help church operation.   Men and women are convinced that Jesus should be the King in Korea and all over the world.   True God and true passage to only God who created you and me. All pastors in Korea have close relationship with the pastors in the US.  Korean churches are very similar to the American churches circa 1950s.  Very devoted (almost 80% members tithes religiously).  and very active in witnessing.    All newspapers, run by Buddhists, Commies and nationalists, want to knock Christians in Korea.  But, through God’s help, Christians are growing in Korea both in number and in maturity.  Korea is becoming the center for Protestant Christianity since America has abandoned the true God.   Hallelujah!

  • que337

     It seems LMB’s thought on his “government
    of flawless morality
    ” could be explained by the perspectives you presented.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Korea is sending out many Protestant missionaries to the world, second only to the US.  However, if you count KoreanAmericans in American missionaries, you may find that the half of all Protestant missionaries are Koreans!!!!!  Not British, not American but Korean descents!!!!  God is using Koreans in mighty way at this time of His story.   May God be praised by Koreans.  No wonder that Hyundai and Samsung are selling so well.   God brings spiritual wellness but he also supplies material wealth as well.  The true and mighty God, the creator of the Universe.   While western losers look for other Gods, Koreans have found the Answer!!!!

  • TheDrew

    I have no idea if you are leveling or not?   It’s scary that some people actually believe as you write,  I hope you aren’t one of those unfortunate souls. 

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Just visit any nearby big Korean church and you will be welcomed as a Christian brother, even if you are not a Christian.  They will show you the traditional Christianity that has existed in Britain and in the US.   Worship services and Bible studies.   Just like in America.   Yes, we are fervent Christians and yes we do have prayer meetings every day.  Yes we do fast often.  Yes, we go out witness almost every week.  Just what a Christian has done for last two thousand years.   The true Christianity, not wishywashy and hypocritical religious bs.   Just true service to Jesus.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    The Roman Catholic Church isn’t much better.  They believe somehow that some dude from Germany, a former Hitler Youth member no less, is ‘infallible’.

    In fairness to the Catholic Church, you should note that papal infallibility, or speaking ex cathedra, applies to a small number and narrow set of papal proclamations.  (I remember as a five year old boy questioning my mother, “you mean to tell me the pope can’t spill a glass of milk?”)

    As an adult, of course, I reject the whole premise of God, and as I age, I get out of the milquetoast safety of “agnosticism” and get my full Bertrand Russell on.  Still, I have been interested in the intellectual integrity of the different Christian sects and have found the Anglicans first and Catholics second to be the most intellectually consistent**.  The others make me just say “wow”.
    ======================================
    **I don’t think Deists count as a sect.  They make a whole lot of sense if you accept their one premise, which is not disprovable.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Koreans are not doing anything different from your parents or your great-parents have done.   It is just that you have decided to follow other gods – science, drugs, sex or what have you – and Jesus is no longer your God.   Instead, Jesus has taken hold of Koreans’ hearts and souls,  Praise His name!!!   He will make Koreans to be like the British and Americans in 19th and 20th century.   Go Korea with Jesus!  Success in family life, national prestige while sharing Good news of Jesus to the world.   The true Christian nation in 21st century!

  • dogbertt

     You must have been so sad when your True Father died and was revealed to be mortal.

  • dogbertt

     How is that different from how Christianity, or Islam for that matter, has spread anywhere else in the world?

  • John

    ‘In fairness to the Catholic Church, you should note that papal
    infallibility, or speaking ex cathedra, applies to a small number and
    narrow set of papal proclamations.’

    Well, it’s not as narrow as they would have people believe.  The point is when you give somebody or an institution ‘infallibility’ in any matter, you’re giving God-like qualities to human beings.  Not surprisingly corruption and abuses follow in giving divine abilities to such individuals and institutions. 

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Contrary to some Protestants brothers, I think Catholics have their place in Heaven.   Their teaching is Biblical and if they think the Pope is the leader that is fine with me.   I believe true disciples of Jesus exist in both protestants and the Catholic church.  Wouldn’t it be great that both parties come together in Korea?    Jesus is alive and real.   I  pray as St.Paul prayed that you come to know this true God.   Throughout two thousand year history, many have professed this faith.  Now Koreans will carry Christian flag and glorify Jesus.  May Jesus’ name be praised over other gods’ name.  The King of kings and the Lord of lords.   The one and only true God who created the Universe and all living things.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    As opposed to whom, the Buddhists? The only reason they’re Buddhist is because a bunch of Asian missionaries came over from China and coverted their kings, who converted their ancestors.

  • ig5959292ee

     i’m with you 100% on that

  • Koreandumbdumb

    The Britain had its own “organic” religions before Christianity came and true God’s message took over.  Now they are going back to their old garbages and abandoning the true God.   Korea, on the other hand, is moving toward the true and the only Creator.   It is like discovering atomic energy all over again while other countries going back to wood burning infidels; it is about infinite energy coming from the very foundation of world. God controls the world and Koreans are serving this All-powerful God.   Korea will be the most blessed country in 21st century!  Hallelujah!

  • TheDrew

    You are very correct.  As the rest of the world moves past religion, Korea (being 60 years behind) is moving towards religion.  Please continue to waste your time on your Peter Pan, Cinderella or whatever fairy tale you believe in.  Sometime before you are 80 years old you will feel embarrassed that you wasted your life on this, as religion will be completely disproved as it already is discredited.  Religion focuses on the weak, those who are searching for something deeper.  Korea is full of stress and meaninglessness in life, people now waste the rest of their free time on it.  It is astonishing and sad that you guys got so brainwashed as you literally post like 20 posts on this thread about religion with your nonsense.  What you wrote would have like 80% of people laughing at you in every well developed country (minus USA), all of those countries are happier than Korea.  Kristians in Korea (kr Christians as they are not normal) need to be stopped of their corruption and manipulation of the weak.  You sir, are case and point,  a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the religious in this country.  Every thing you have posted is utter nonsense and your delusions are comical.  I beg that you don’t have children. 

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Just say “I don’t believe what you believe”.  What is all these verbose phases that wasted my time reading it.   So, basically you are saying that you belong to the correct 80%.  Are you a Korean by birth?  Asians are so eager to belong to majority.  Instead of giving logical answer, most Asians, including Koreans, rely on number.    God choose His people and it is an exclusive club.  Not anyone can belong,  Jesus reveals Himself to his own.   It happened to two thousand years and smart people like George Washington, Lincoln, Livingstone, Newton, etc, etc have professed this faith.   Are they all dumb?  And, do not read the book of Revelation in the Bible.  It tells all about the birth of  Israel two thousand years before it happened   Coinkidink?  You decide.  

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Minus USA?  I am proud of USA and I want Korea to be like USA.  Advanced in science and technology.  Most educated and most technological.   Smart people with much resources (natural, financial, legal, academical, military- in every area of human endeavor).  The country built on “all men are created equal”.  I love America.  Still God-fearing and Godly people.   I want Korea to emulate the US.  And, excel beyond America as it abandons the true God.  Korea should learn about true God from the US and then serve Jesus better than Americans.

  • Thedrew

    With the name Koreandumbdumb you are leveling. Well played.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Thank you for this excellent post.  I’ve brought up the intolerance (and sometimes criminal activity) of Evangelical Christians here in Korea, only to be attacked for doing so.

  • JG29A

    Dude, the fact that my country has a lot of intelligence, culture and technologically innovation, and also has a lot of delusional fairy-tale belief, does not suggest that the two are positively correlated, any more than the fact that Hitler and Mozart were both Austrians means that killing a lot of people helps you compose great music.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Are you always this slow?  Are you an old man?  Marmotites are usually smarter than you.  More witty and intelligent.

  • Koreandumbdumb

    It is a package.  If you do not like Christians in the US, just leave.  The US constitution says “All men are CREATED equal”.implying Christian God, namely Jesus.   

  • Thedrew

    I was thinking penis and vagina (created)…

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Oh man, I was wasting my time on proud Elementary school graduate.  Or a homo?  Very unAmerican.  If you do not believe in the founding principle of a nation, why do you live in it?  Are you a parasite?

  • ig5959292ee

     yawn..

  • Koreandumbdumb

    My father was not a Christian, neither my mother.  Did I break your premise on Christians?

  • Koreandumbdumb

    Hey, sleep somewhere else.  People are engaged in serious discussion.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

     It implies nothing of the kind. Men could have very well been created by a process such as evolution. No God, and especially no CHRISTIAN God is implied.

  • CalendarCalligraphy

    Just makes you even more uninformed and naive. A convert to Christianity? Please.

  • Donata

    Part of the “business-like structures” and of the pressure and need to recruit new members are probably be due to the disturbing fact that income created by church activities is tax-free, i.e. none of those church founders have to pay taxes in SK. You can only imagine how much tax payments Sun Myung Moon could have contributed to the Korean fiscal household.
    Thanks for the excellent post.

  • babotaengi

    Newton believed that the worship of Jesus as a god is idolatry and that idolatry is the greatest sin. So, according to Newton, you, sir, are going to hell.

  • RElgin

    If our dear “Koreandumbdumb” ended up in hell, his stream of irrational arguments would give Satan such a headache that he would undoubtedly be kicked out and promoted to heaven. This is proof that God has a sense of humour.

  • RElgin

    This is exactly why that the incoming president should go after these true parasites and tax the hell out of them, figuratively speaking.  They are a detriment to any society since the only gospel they want to spread helps themselves first.

  • Wedge1

    Ah, what did Emily Litella used to say? “Nevermind.” Still, I would think you could drop the subsidies now and see if the program survives on its own. No need to provide additional welfare to the montks, methinks.

  • RElgin

    Priests, Monks and Evangelical leaders will need to pay out taxes in the near future according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance:
    Clergy, monks may soon face taxes
    Jan 09,2013
    Priests, monks and other religious leaders may have to pay taxes soon as the government is considering revising the tax law, sources said yesterday.
    “We plan to make an announcement about the plan to revise the income tax law this month and this could see the income generated by the clergy being put on the same level as regular labor,” a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on condition of anonymity.

    Changes usually go into effect immediately after the government announces such changes.

    The government is apparently now mulling whether to include a grace period before enforcing the changes in light of expected resistance from the religious community, sources say.
    Imposing taxes on the clergy has been a hot issue since Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan said last August that all members of the public should have to pay taxes without any exceptions.

    Religious leaders are customarily exempted from taxes here. Some claim that their work is regarded not as labor but as a spiritual service so they should be exempt. Publicly talking about the issue has also become something of a taboo.

    However, Catholic priests and some Protestant church leaders are already voluntarily paying income taxes. But many religious figures and monks have not followed suit, leading to claims of inequality.

    Last year, the government sought to tax the clergy in the interest of equality but it did not include required changes in its annual tax code revision as it wanted more time to consult with the religious community.

    The Finance Ministry said the government has not decided how to resolve the matter.

    “How to tax the religious groups has not yet been determined,” said Baek Un-chan, deputy minister for tax and customs. “We don’t even know whether it will be included in the ordinance or not .?.?. But the ministry maintains the same stance as before in that all income should be taxed.”

  • Cloudfive

     I wish you had posted this on the open thread because I’d be interested in others opinions on this. The tax exempt status of religious organizations has long stuck in my craw. Charity organizations in the U.S. and South Korea should also be audited prior to and after receiving tax exempt status.