Hannah and Je together

Monday, 28 November 2016

Punishment and Blessing

During the seminary days, I took some classes like God, Suffering and Evil.  I wanted to take Book of Job but couldn’t.  Though, I’ve got the professor’s brief lecture.  Well, I learned that not all bad things are punishment of what you did, and not all good things are reward of what you did.  Even though I know that thing, I guess it is basic human nature to think that way.

신학교를 다닐 때, 하나님, 고통 그리고 악이라는 수업을 들었다.  욥기 수업을 듣고자 했지만 듣지 못했고, 교수님의 개요 강의만 들었다.  어째든, 모든 나쁜 일이 벌은 아니고 모든 좋은 일이 상인 것은 아니라는 것을 배웠고, 또 그렇게 생각하고 있다.  그럼에도 불구하고 상과 벌로 생각하는 것이 인간의 본성인가 보다.

I remember that one of my friends in college one day came to me that his girlfriend was pregnant.  I just hit his head once and we worried together.  He said it was his first time having sex with his girlfriend.  And now, I am married for almost five years and all attempts to have a baby were not successful so far.

예전에 대학 다닐 때 친구 한 명이 여자친구가 임신했다고 찾아왔다.  한대 치고는 같이 걱정을 했었다.  친구 말로는 여자친구랑 처음 섹스해밨다고 한다.  그리고 지금 나는, 결혼 거의 5년차 되어 가는데 임신을 하고자 했던 모든 시도가 현재까지는 실패했다.

The other day I found myself thinking of my friend, “What had he done so good that he was blessed so much, having a baby?”  And about myself, “What have I done so wrong that I am getting this punishment, not getting a baby?”

얼마전에 문득 정신을 차려보니 이렇게 생각하고 있었다:  그 친구는 뭘 얼마나 잘했길래 원샷에 애가 생기는 축복을 받았을까?  그리고 나는 뭘 그렇게 잘못했길래 이렇게 애가 안생기는 벌을 받는 것일까?

Well, I cannot tell exactly what God has in mind.  But I just wish that this is not some kind of punishment.

내가 하나님의 심중을 정확히 아는 것이 아니기 때문에 알 수가 없지만, 다만 지금 내 처지가 하나님의 벌이 아니길 바랄 뿐이다.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Complete in Hebrew

In Isaiah class, a student said that there is no Hebrew or Arabic word for “complete” or “perfect.”  So I opened the BDB (Biblical Hebrew Dictionary) page 1022, and showed him after class the famous word Shalom (שָׁלוׂם) whose very first meaning is “completeness.”  And he made a very unpleasant face.

I have no idea from where he heard that but his information was completely incorrect.  And though I did not intend anything malicious, he was very much offended just because I corrected him privily (not in front of other students).  I’d better not to correct him any further.

My concern is that, he will have seminary master degree which means he will have influence to other people.  When he says something, people will believe because he has a master’s degree from a good seminary.  They will not know that he did not learn Hebrew.  When I talked to him, he has so much incorrect knowledge.  And people will know and believe those incorrect knowledge because those are from the certified person.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Israel Trip Fifteenth Day: Megiddo, Anunciation Church, NETS

Today we kind of loose day. We went to Megiddo. Megiddo’s archaeological excavation was done by Oriental Institute of Chicago University, and their job and results are displayed at Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago.

Mountain near Nazareth

Mountain near Nazareth

On the way to Megiddo, we went through a tunnel under the mountain which the ancient Nazarenes tried to push Jesus down off the cliff. According to our George, traditional Jewish execution is: to bind the hands in the back, throw him/her from the cliff head down, and pile the stone over the body.

Outer Solomon City Gate

Outer Solomon City Gate

This is the outer gate constructed by Solomon. There is another inner gate by Solomon. Two major builder of this city is Solomon and Ahab.

Canaanite Gate

Canaanite Gate

This is the older gate made by Canaanites.

Sacred Area

Sacred Area

This is the ancient sacred place, and the round platform is at least thousand years older than Solomon.

Grain Storage

Grain Storage

This is the grain storage with two stairs; one for going down, the other for coming up. It used to be covered to protect the grains from rain, dust and so on.

Water System

Water System

Then we went down to the water system tunnel. The city of Megiddo had same problem as Jerusalem – the water source is out of the city wall. So they dug the underground passage to the water source.

Megiddo has been the key point since the human history, because it is the bridge between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Without crossing here, they cannot go to the other side. Megiddo comes out a lot in the Bible, and Armageddon in the Revelation is Greek transliteration of Hebrew word Har-Megiddo which means the mountain of Megiddo.

Basilica Annunciation Upper Level

Basilica Annunciation Upper Level

Our next destination was Basilica of Annunciation. There are so many churches of Annunciation, but this is the biggest one built over the crusader church which was built over the Byzantine church. The church is all about A and M shape which is the initial of “Ave Maria.”

Art from Japan

Art from Japan

The church has two level, and there are lots of arts from all over the world are on display on the upper level. This one is from Japan and the writing at the bottom says Flower / Of / Holy / Mother / Son, and we can say Beautiful Holy Mother and the Son.

Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary

Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary

Then some of the McCormick group went to Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, and others enjoyed the first and last free time. The president of NETS is Arab Israeli Christian. We heard many things, but I am glad that there is Christian seminary in Nazareth. As Arab/Palestinian Christian seminary, they have so many things to do. I hope we can build good relationship between NETS and McCormick.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Missionary, Servant of God?

Some days you just want to cry. Today is one of those days to me.

Last year I met a couple from Korea. They are very nice people, both are ministers’ kids. They looked like having very strong faith, telling me that their calling (and wish) is to be missionary to Tibet. The guy had a degree in theology from South Korea. I was very impressed about their vision and calling, but I asked them why they came to America not going to Tibet.

He said that he wanted to study more in America. So I gave him some information about seminary because I was also looking for a good seminary. Even we went to TEDS open house together.

The couple has been married for several years but they told me they avoided the pregnancy. After a while, the couple asked me to pray for them to have a baby because they had been trying to have one since they arrived to America but was not successful. I said yes, and asked why.

They said that they had problems in admission, and there is no way for them to get the green card. I don’t know it is true or not but they believe that if they have a baby, then they will automatically get green cards. This is their theory – Their baby will be born in America having US citizenship. The government has no other option but to allow the couple to stay in America by giving them green cards because the little US citizen must be raised by parents. I am not an immigration expert, so I don’t know if it is true or not. But this made me so disappointed.

I haven’t met them for several months, but recently I heard about them. The guy is not seeking seminary any more because he has a problem with his English score, but he is seeking any kind of school including ESL. They just want to stay in America. They want it desperately.

I am just confused and disappointed. Where is their calling from God? Was it just a lie? Did they ever actually wanted to be missionaries to Tibet or they always just wanted to stay in America from the first place? Is America that good, better than God’s calling or heaven? I just don’t know what they have deep inside their hearts.

I just want to cry today.

My other postings related:

True Missionary

Anyone is missionary

가끔은 그냥 울고 싶을 때가 있다. 오늘이 내게는 그런 날이다.

작년에 한국에서 온 한 부부를 만났다. 참 좋은 사람들이고 둘 다 목사님 자녀로 강한  믿음을 갖고 있는 듯 보였고 티벳에 선교하러 가는 부르심을 받았고 그러길 원한다고 했다. 남자는 한국에서 이미 신학 학위를 받았다. 그들의 비전과 부르심에 깊은 감명을 받았고 티벳에 안가고 왜 미국에 왔냐고 물었다.

미국에서 공부하기 원해서라고 대답을 들었다. 나도 신학교를 찾고 있었기 때문에 정보를 좀 줬고, 심지어 TEDS 학교 입학설명회도 같이 갔다.

그 부부는 결혼한지 여러해 됐지만 피임을 하고 있었다고 했다. 한참 후에, 그 부부가 아기 생기게 기도해 달라고 부탁을 했다. 미국에 오고나서 아이를 가지려 하는데 잘 안된다면서. 기도 하겠다고 하면서 왜냐고 물었다.

그들의 말은, 입학에 문제가 있고, 영주권을 받을 길이 없다는 것이다. 이게 사실인지는 모르겠지만 그들이 믿기로는 아이가 생기면 자동으로 영주권을 받는단다. 그들의 말로는, 아기는 미국에서 태어나 시민이 될 것이고, 정부는 부모에게 영주권을 줘서 미국에 머물 수 있도록 할 수 밖에 없다는 것이다. 왜냐면 그 미국 시민이 부모에 의해 길러져야 하기 때문에. 난 이민 전문가가 아니라서 진짜인지 아닌지 모른다. 하지만 너무 실망을 했다.

반년 이상 그들을 만나지 않았다가 최근에 그들에 대해 들었다. 남자는 영어 점수에 문제가 있어서 신학교를 알아보기 보다는 ESL을 비롯해서 아무 학교나 알아보고 있다고 한다. 그들은 미국에 체류하기를 원할 뿐이다. 그것도 아주 간절하게 원하고 있다.

난 그냥 혼란스럽고 실망스럽다. 하나님에게서 받은 그 부르심은 어디로 갔나? 그게 전부 거짓말이었나? 그들이 정말 티벳에 선교하러 가길 원한 적이 있긴 했을까 아니면 그냥 미국에 체류하길 처음부터 원했을까? 미국이 그렇게 좋은가? 하나님의 부르심이나 천국보다도 더? 그들 마음 깊은 곳에 뭐가 있는지 정말 모르겠다.

오늘은 그냥 울고 싶다.


True Missionary

한국에서 파송하는 선교사가 많은 이유

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Apostle’s Creed in Korean language

There are two things which everyone learns once they become a Christian no matter what denomination they are in – the Lord’s Prayer and Apostle’s Creed.

Since I became a Christian in Korea, I learned those two prayers in Korean language. They are such great prayers in our faith and in our daily lives. When I came to North America (precisely Canada), I attended Canadian Presbyterian Church and of course they do those prayers too, even in English. So I came to learn those two prayers in both languages – Korean first and English later.

But it put me in confusion when I found the versions of Apostle’s Creed are not the same in two languages while the Lord’s Prayer has identical wordings in both languages. So I asked a Korean pastor serving in Korean-American Church in Chicago Suburb who studied and earned two masters degrees – one from best seminary in Korea and the other from TEDS. So many Korean people praise him mostly because of his beautiful education backgrounds, and because he studied both in Korea and America, I thought he would be the best pastor to answer my question.

But to my disappointment, his answer was “WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE THEY DIFFERENT??????” So I asked many other pastors the same question, Korean pastors in Canada, Canadian pastors, American pastors. There was no answer but one from a Korean pastor in Canada, saying that the different part is not important so not to worry about.

I cannot agree to him. The Apostle’s Creed has almost same authority as Bible in Christian faith across the world and denomination, consequently it is not possible and/or should not happen to clip and drop some of it just because they think it is not important.

The different part is this: Korean version does not have “He descended into hell.”  I do not know how important or not important this part is in theological view because I am going to study.

Not having any good answer, I googled it by myself and found some history of Korean version of the Apostle’s Creed. Presbyterian and Methodist (and probably some other denominations from Reformed Church) translated the prayer together to make the common version across the denominations in Korea. And the Methodists did not like that part and they suggested to clip it out and Presbyterians agreed.

Koreans Methodists (pastors and scholars) said it is wrong. But I think what they did could not be right for both Korean Methodists and Presbyterians.

For Korean Methodists, if they thought it was really wrong, they should have raised their voice to the whole world so that they also correct their wrong prayer, not just clipping Korean version of it. Or they could have left it as is and explained what is not right to their congregations. For Korean Presbyterians, they should not have stepped back just not to argue especially when they did not agree theologically.

All Korean Christians confess  the Apostle’s Creed and they also confess that it has (almost) same authority as the Bible. If they truly confess and believe so, they should not have clipped and dropped any part of it even a dot. If they take the Bible seriously, then they dare cannot touch this prayer having almost same authority as Bible because they all know what the Bible says at Revelation 22:19 – “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (KJV)

Just for your information, the Catholic Church in Korea who does not share the common translation of the Apostle’s Creed translated by themselves and their version has the part which saying “He descended into hell.”

Now I wish Korean pastors and scholars to translate the Apostle’s Creed again preserving it wholly. I long for the day that the all Christians confess the faith all the same and all together including our brothers and sisters speaking Korean language.

교단이나 교파에 상관없이 기독교인이 되면 누구나 배우는 것이 두 가지 있다. 바로 주기도문과 사도신경이다.

나는 한국에서 기독교인이 되었기 때문에 두 가지 기도문을 한국어로 배웠다. 정말 우리의 삶과 신앙에 주옥과 같은 기도문이 아닐 수 없다. 캐나다에 가서는 캐나다인 장로교회를 다녔기 때문에 당연히 두 가지 기도문을 영어로 했고, 그래서 두 가지 기도문을 한국어와 영어 두 가지 언어로 배우고 외우게 되었다.

주기도문은 두 언어에서 동일한데 비해 사도신경은 다르다는 것을 알게 되었을 때에 혼란스러웠다. 그래서 미국의 한국인 교회에서 시무하시는 한국인 목사님에게 여쭈어 봤다. 그 분은 한국 최고의 신학교라 일컬어지는 사당동 총신대를 졸업하고 미국에서도 아주 뛰어난 트리니티 신학교를 졸업했기 때문에, 한미 양국에서 두 가지 언어로 신학을 공부하셨기 때문에 이런 문제에 대해 여쭙기에는 최고의 목사님이셨다.

하지만 실망스럽게도 내 질문에 대한 구분의 대답은 “뭐!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 달라????????????????”였다. 그래서 다른 여러 목사님들께 여쭈어 보았다. 한국인 목사님, 캐나다 목사님, 미국 목사님 등. 단 한 분 빼고는 묵묵부답이었는데, 그 단 한분도 “다른 부분은 별로 중요한 거 아니니까 상관없어” 였다.

사실 그 대답은 수긍할 수가 없다. 사도신경은 교단을 불문하고 전세계의 모든 기독교인과 그 신앙에 있어서 거의 성경과 동급의 권위를 갖는 것이므로 중요한 것 같지 않다는 이유만으로 일부분을 빼는 행위는 있을 수도 없고 있어서도 안된다.

다른 부분은 바로, 한국어에는 “음부에 내려가시고” 부분이 없다. 아직 신학을 공부하지 않았기 때문에 그 부분이 신학적으로 얼마나 중요한지 또는 하찮은지 모르겠다.

답변을 얻지 못했기 때문에 구글에서 검색을 좀 해서 한국어 사도신경 번역사를 좀 찾았다. 장로교와 감리교가 (그리고 다른 개신교 교단도) 함께 모여서 사도신경을 초교파적으로 함께 사용하기 위해 번역했다고 한다. 그런데 감리교쪽에서 해당 부분을 마음에 들어하지 않아서 잘라내 버리자고 제안을 하고 장로교에서 받아들였다고 한다.

한국의 감리교 목사님들과 신학자들은 이 부분이 잘못되었다고 했다. 하지만 내 생각엔 한국 감리교와 장로교 모두 잘못했다.

한국  감리교는 정말 사도신경이 잘못되었다고 생각하면 한국어 기도문에서만 잘라낼 게 아니라 전세계에 목소리를 높여서  다른 언어권도 기도문을 고칠 수 있도록 했어야 했다. 아니면 기도문 자체는  그대로 남겨두고 교인들에게 무엇이 어떻게 잘못되었는지 설명했어야 했다. 한국 장로교는 특히 자신들이 신학적으로 동의할 수 없는 문제를 단지 논쟁을 피하기 위해 물러서면 안되었다.

모든 한국 기독교인들은 사도신경을 고백하며 또한 사도신경에 성경과 거의 동급의 권위를 갖는다고 고백을 한다. 만일 그들이 진실로 그렇게 고백하고 믿는다면 점 하나라도 잘라내 버리면 안되는 것이다. 만일 그들이 성경을 정말 진지하게 받아들인다면, 성경과 거의 동급의 권위를 갖는 기도문을 감히 건드려서는 안된다. 왜냐면 요한계시록 22:19에서 성경이 어떻게 말하는지 다들 알고 있기 때문이다 – 만일 누구든지 이 책의 예언의 말씀에서 제하여 버리면 하나님이 이 책에 기록된 생명 나무와 및 거룩한 성에 참예함을 제하여 버리시리라.

참고로 한국 천주교에서는 개신교의 사도신경을 사용하지 않고 독자적으로 번역해서 사용하는데, “음부에 내려가시고”라는 부분이 있다.

한국 목사님들과 신학자들이 사도신경을 다시 번역하길 소망한다. 사도신경을 온전히 보존하길 소망한다. 한국어를 사용하는 형제 자매를 포함해서 전세계의 모든 기독교인들이 함께 한 목소리로 한 신앙을 고백하는 날이 오길 고대한다.

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