Academic journal article International Review of Mission

God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace: Reflection from an Asian and Korean Church Perspective

Academic journal article International Review of Mission

God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace: Reflection from an Asian and Korean Church Perspective

Article excerpt

Abstract

The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) will be held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 30 October to 8 November 2013, on the theme "God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace." Having recognized the importance and urgency of the WCC theme, I would like to reflect on, and review it especially from the perspective of the Asian and Korean church. I suggest that we rethink the questions of: 1. Hunger, Poverty, and Illness: Justice and Shalom. There is an urgent need for an ecumenical programme in Asia, and it ought lo be focused on justice and shalom. 2. Cultures and Religions: The challenge for Asian Christianity is to find an authentic Asian identity for the sake of the gospel. 3. Ecological Destruction.

What do we expect from the 10th WCC Assembly? (1) A deepening of the topic justice: Discussing life and peace through the lens of justice; (2) A deepening of the economic-political perspective: Critical analysis of the neo-liberal economic system through theology and Christian faith in order to warn of it's the satanic character; (3) Recognition of the new Pentecostal and charismatic force in Christiania: Deepening its study and reflecting on potential theological reductionism; (4) Discussion of an inclusive rather than exclusive ecumenical mission: From monologue to dialogue.

We continue our call, our action, and our reflection in order to participate in God's mission that people may have justice, life, and peace. This is God's shalom, so that we can fully enjoy the feast of the church worldwide, celebrating the 10th meeting of the WCC in the Korean city of Busan. As the church in Korea and Asia, we hope that the festival will be an opportunity to reaffirm that another world is possible.

**********

The 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) will be held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from October 30 to November 8, 2013, on the theme "God of Life, Lead Us to Justice and Peace," a message that corresponds exactly to the concerns of the Christian churches in the changing context of our lives today. We are now facing the abrupt changes that have occurred over the last 30 years. The New WCC Affirmation on Mission and Evangelism, approved by the Central Committee in September 2012, was motivated by this challenge in our current context. Through the term "changing landscape," the affirmation urges Christians to respond effectively to the world. (1)

So how can I summarize the changes experienced recently?

First, I want to stress the restructuring of the global economic system, a system that has been dominated by neo-liberalism during the past 30 years. The globalization of this neo-liberal economic system--which is based on unlimited desire and competition--has completely transformed the way of life of human beings. Mammon and materialism have transformed our society into one based on the motto "the-winner-takes-it-all." Competition is seen as the only option for survival. (2) This system also has led to the current ecological crisis, which we may refer to as "total destruction." To this we add the birth of a new nomadic age caused by the flow of immigrants in search of work and food for survival, which results in cultural conflict and religious dashes.

Second, I point to the paradigmatic shift of modern culture towards the postmodern. Postmodern culture, with its deconstructive character, has transformed every dimension of our lives. It denies the cultural uniformity that modernity has advocated, emphasizes the value of difference, and, consequently, and perhaps unintentionally, rejects the value of community, tradition, and institution. Religion, or faith, is no longer a question for community, family, and tradition, but is seen as a matter of personal and individual choice. Religion is now viewed as an instrument or a means of attaining personal and individual happiness or welfare. Faith no longer belongs in the public sphere, but the private. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.