The international community is stirred up every day with North Korea’s continuing provocations. US President Donald Trump gave a grave warning that the US would not tolerate the provocation of North Korea. On the other hand, the President of South Korea, Moon Jae In, insists on establishing a peace treaty with North Korea. Relatively, the people of South Korea are insensitive to the risk of war, but the rest of the world is seriously concerned about the situation of the Korean Peninsula. As a Korean-American minister living in the United States, I find that this situation on the Korean Peninsula is reflected in my ministry.
- Two systems that cannot be combined with compromise
North Korea is a communist country, and South Korea is a constitutional republic. Communism suppresses freedom and faith of men. Communism and its materialistic philosophy does not acknowledge the dignity of man who is created in the image of God. People who do not believe in Jesus Christ do not know why mankind has dignity, even though most non-believers do not deny the dignity of mankind. However, communism, which considers people as material, does not feel guilty for murdering people to maintain their system because they consider people’s lives to be no more valuable than a fly’s.
A constitutional republic, like South Korea, is a concept opposite to communism. It seeks the rights and freedoms of men including human life and property. So, there is no compromise between communism and the republic. They are systems that cannot be united with each other. Therefore, North and South Korea are brothers who sadly cannot be unified.
The Bible emphasizes the unity of Christians, of course, as long as it does not deviate from the truth of the Bible. The laborers of God who sow seeds of the gospel are diverse, but the One who produces the spiritual fruit is the one true God. However, God forbids believers to join with non-believers. It is because they are two different beings, so that they cannot be united. Entering a forbidden unity violates the spiritual freedom and rights of believers. It does not glorify God.
There are many obstacles for Korean-American families living in the United States. Obstacles of generation, language, and culture interfere with the unity of the families. In addition, one spouse may gain faith first while living the wilderness-like immigrant life. Or, the couple may have been ignorant or disobedient to the Bible which forbids the marriage bond between a believer and a non-believer.
In any case, there are many Korean-American families with one believing spouse. And, now I am ministering to some of these families. A husband and wife, who can be more intimate than any relationship in the world, cannot be unified. It is a sad situation.
- An unfinished war and the answer of the gospel
If North and South Korea cannot compromise and unite, is war the answer? War is in the hands of God, so we cannot immediately say that “war is not the answer.” In fact, the two countries are only in an armistice. War can happen at any time. War might be an answer if the Korean Peninsula becomes united under a free republic as a result, though there will be casualties. If it is united under communism, millions or tens of millions of people in South Korea, as in many past examples, are likely to be purged by the Communist Party.
However, I believe that the real solution is that North Koreans should hear the gospel. This is the way that the regime, in which the Kim Il Sung family of North Korea is sacred, will fundamentally collapse. It must be preached that God is the One who provides everything necessary to men. It should be preached that God is the only object to which praise and thanks are to be returned. It must be preached that the happiness of man cannot be gained by equally distributing materials but by repentance of sin and obedience to the Word of Christ.
Although it is not perfectly comparable to the relationship between South and North Korea, the situation is similar for couples with only one believing spouse. Ultimately, the fundamental solution is a perfect union when a couple serves one God through Jesus Christ. When they serve the same God, possess the same Spirit of God, and follow the same Word of Christ, there will be true unity in the couple. At that time, obstacles to the generation, language, and culture of the Korean-American families will be solved by faith in Christ. As the Bible proclaims, wars of the world will continue to exist until Christ comes at the end of this age. At the same time, the battle of believers is not in flesh and blood but in spiritual things.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Therefore, first and foremost, it is necessary to preach the gospel to an unbelieving spouse as much as opportunities are given. At the same time, the thing that must not be forgotten is that God will work when there is sacrifice by believers based on love for God and one’s spouse. (I Peter 3:1-7) That is how Jesus Christ solved the sin of the world. The God of holiness and justice cannot compromise for sin. For this reason, He solved sin by His sacrifice and death. The reason that God solved sin is because He so loved the world. Union in Christ is possible through truth and grace. Please pray with me for God’s love and mercy to be upon the Korean Peninsula and Korean-American families.
Rev. Myungjoong (Andy) Yong