July 30, 2007
South Koreans in Afghanistan
South Koreans are held hostage in Afghanistan. One pastor has been shot dead. Churches all round the world are praying for their safety and lives. No doubt it is wrong for this sort of injustice to take place. No person’s life should be held at gunpoint with no fair trial, no fair judgement, and so on. It is a violation of a human right.
Edited: I acknowledge the South Koreans were there on a medical mission, to help in hospitals and not necessarily “preach the gospel” as it is conventionally known. It is my earnest desire, and that of many others as well, that the Gospel truly encapsulates exactly this – helping and giving aid where needed, showing love, care and mercy, and justice to all alike. I affirm their role as care-givers in reflecting their Creator’s concern.
However, my personal opinion is that Christians should seriously rethink their mission of “spreading the Word”. To most non-Christians this process is seen as a negative one, a proselytisation and encroachment upon others’ belief systems. I for one do not believe in shoving religion down anyone’s throats. I spoke yesterday at a church, saying that we need to desperately move beyond this whole system of 1-2-3 step salvation, passport evangelism that will get you into heaven.
Yes, I care about the South Koreans in Afghanistan and yes, my heart grieves for the 22 of them left there. I pray that the negotiation process will go well, between the two Governments. (South Korea is sending a delegation over as we speak)
But please, my heart grieves and bleeds more seriously for the misinterpretation of religion today. If we are going to change anything, it has to be the way we look at things. Paradigm shifts.
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