1999 Common Statement of the Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea

International Review of Mission, April 2000 | Go to article overview

1999 Common Statement of the Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea


PRESENTED IN COMMEMORATION OF THE KOREAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH WEEK

We are now on the threshold of a new century, a new millennium. While we have expectations and hopes for the new era, at the same time, we are faced with anxiety and confusion about the era to come. Even as we speak, the world is tom by big or small wars, such as the crisis in Kosovo.

Economic globalization, based on neo-liberalism, enlarges mammonism in our whole lives and causes distorted value systems. Poverty, famine, diseases and diasters seriously threaten the welfare of humankind. Furthermore, God's creations are suffering from the devastation to the ecosystem. As such, we are concerned for our nation's future. Our nation, throughout the 20th century, has experienced the deprivation of national identity during Japanese colonialism, the pain of a divided land, the tragedy of war which pitted brother against brother, the oppression of military dictatorship, and the joy of development as an industrialized country. As we near the end of this century, North and South Korea are commonly suffering from a serious economic crisis. Even now, as we prepare to enter the new millennium, our pride and identity as a nation is not wholly realized because of the current reality of division, North and South, of the Korean peninsula.

However, our hope lies in the providential power of God, which governs the path of history. Our Lord, the creator, so loved the world that he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to save the world from sin and suffering. He also sent us the Holy Spirit as our counsellor whom we believe is working in our practical lives throughout history. Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end (Rev. 21:6). We firmly believe that Jesus Christ who governs the past and the future (Heb. 13:3), will save us from the confusions and frustrations of today.

God gave us the mission to build churches and spread the gospel to the world. This gospel was incarnated in Korea during the troubled years of the late 19th century, and the Korean churches have experienced God's special grace and blessings. By the grace of God, the world has never witnessed such growth as that experienced by the Korean churches. They have taken part in both the pains and glories of Korean history and have preached the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of our nation. As people indebted to the gospel, we have embarked on world mission, burning with an intense passion to see the gospel proclaimed to the ends of the earth, and have attempted to achieve this task in cooperation with churches all over the world.

However the Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea (CPCK), while faithfully carrying out its commitment for world mission and the evangelization of our nation, based on a Reformed confession and theology, has also been seriously divided. Contrary to the words in I Corinthians 1:10 which states, "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought", we confess that we have not been united under one God, one Body, one Spirit, or in one Faith (Eph. 4:4-5).

We, the Korean Presbyterian Churches, acknowledge that we are one in the Body of Christ with Christ as the Head of the church, and are now struggling to become one. …

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