the voice of one crying - Mark 1:3 Vol.1
The Gospel Letter
The Posture of Missions, Life-Staking Devotion A mission is a crucial commission that saves the age. To accomplish this commission, a devotional attitude is needed. If the world is seen with the spiritual eyes; darkness and idol filled culture can be seen. Furthermore, lives, forgotten about true happiness, are wandering within emptiness due to slavery by the worldly culture and Satan. Not knowing the reason to live, losing their dreams, those who end their own lives. It is the age where happiness is nowhere to be found within families. There are ones that have lost the future and result in not just personal collapse, but family and society due to drugs, sex, gambling, alcohol, and games that are permeating within by the form of culture. The bible clearly states in Genesis chapter 3 that the start of all these problems is only the result of spiritual problem, in which we have been deceived by Satan to be separated from God. Also, through the witnesses, the fact that only ‘Jesus Christ’ is the way, truth, and life has been proven by God’s word (John 14:6) and history. Therefore, we must respond with ‘amen’ and witness. Thus, the substance of missions must only be ‘Jesus Christ’ not otherwise because ‘Jesus Christ’ is a unique name. However, there is one aspect we must pinpoint at before proceeding, and that is the attitude in which we must be clear about. It is the ‘devotion’. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). About 100 years ago, many missionaries sailed to Korea for life - staking devotion. In result, we became blessed people with true happiness by the gospel that we have received through the grace of God. Furthermore, Korea was placed 2nd in sending out the most missionaries. ‘The Voice of Mission’, Through restoration of worship, evangelism, missions, culture and education we want to share how God's Word is fulfilled in restoring the family, church and the future(next generation). Lastly, I want you to remember that you are a missionary within your personal field of life. True mission field is our very individual lives.
The Gospel Letter Part 1: Sin By Sophia Lee
Recently I went on a 13-hour binge on season 2 of House of Cards , the Netflix original political drama. In my defense, I had to review it for a magazine. But I won’t lie; it was a pretty great excuse to veg out in front of a highly entertaining show (and be paid for it). No doubt the weekend debut of the show left many other viewers with the same mind-bruising and butt-numbing experience I went through. Quick House of Cards synopsis: the main character, Frank Underwood, was a House majority whip who got passed over for Secretary of State, despite a promise from the candidate he helped elect into presidency. He gets mad, and decides to set his goal higher up the White House totem pole. On his vicious, vindictive charge towards his goal, Frank cheats, manipulates, deceives, backstabs and even kills anybody who dares obstruct his path-you know, the usual political stuff. I don’t recommend the TV-gorging I did, for health and psychological reasons. But if there’s one benefit from watching episode after episode of that show, it’s the dense consciousness of human sin that only weighs heavier and heavier with every
passing hour. I watched Frank cheat on his wife Claire, watched Claire cheat on him, watched them actually acknowledge and condone each other’s extramarital activities, then watched them scheme together to grasp what they see as the only thing of value in life: power. And to get there, Frank grandly tells us, one needs “ruthless pragmatism.” Pragmatism… or total self-servitude? The Underwoods aren’t the only ones playing the game of ruthless pragmatism. Pretty much every individual in Washington is chasing some sort of selfish pleasure: money, fame, drugs, alcohol, appreciation, companionship, sex, you name it. If you’ve ever sat through a TV series marathon, you know exactly how the aftermath feels- like your soul has been ripped away from a lurid, techno-color world and shoved back into a drab, repetitious world of teeth-brushing and groceries. In truth, there is no such thing as a truly “satisfying” TV show or movie. Whether a romantic chick flick, a gun-blazing action film, or a soul-stirring drama, we always feel somewhat dissatisfied with our own lives once the end credits start rolling. Even after immersing myself in House of Card’s dystopian world of fear and obsession, I sensed in my own life the loss of that rambunctious freedom and perverse thrill Frank’s world offered. That realization is scary. As repulsive as the depravity in House of Cards was, I was attracted to it. Its darkness seemed colorful, even relatable, the way most antiheros are more interesting and relatable than goody-two-shoes protagonists. (Think Walter White from Breaking Bad and Dexter Morgan from Dexter .) But at the same time, House of Cards feels suffocating and boring in its monotone darkness. After all, there is just one shade of black. I started craving for some kind of redemption, some sort of grace. Sure, you can say House of Cards is an exaggerated version of real life, dramatized for TV...but the truth is, it is real
life that is the sanitized, perfumed version of TV. If we were to expose every hidden behavior and action within each household, uncover all the thoughts and motives of a human being, and observe it under microscopic lens (which is, in all honesty, the definition of TV) then all you see is darkness- inky, greasy, bloody pools of dark and darker sin. And to some extent, all of us acknowledge it. We just don’t reflect on the consequences and effects of sin. After all, so long as we don’t actually hurt people...what’s a little tiny private sin, right? But we don’t just commit that one little sin. We are always sinning, sometimes unwillingly, sometimes willingly, but always somehow enslaved to it. Even when we think we’re in control of our behaviors, we are not. It’s like Thanksgiving, when we’ ve stuffed ourselves silly with turkey and stuffing and tamales, yet we can’t resist that caramelized, buttery aroma of pecan pie. And even if all our sins can be buried with the Titanic and nobody knows about it, someone is being hurt. That person is not just us. It’s God. Most of us don’t lie, hate, envy and say hurtful things without suffering a pang of guilt. Even Frank, as diabolical as he seems, feels pricks of conscience at times. That’s because God our Maker created us in His image. We were meant to be good, righteous, loving, patient, merciful and kind, just like our God is. We naturally admire and exalt those qualities not because they’re commanded by society or law, but because we innately recognize and desire them. God’s goodness is coded into our DNA; we cannot escape or deny it. But most importantly, we were made to be in loving relationship with God. But because our first father and mother (you know the Adam and Eve story) sinned, we are all born with the first and worst sin of all: a broken relationship
with God. A sinner cannot have a friendship with God, because He is the opposite of sin. Good news: There is a way to repair that relationship and be absolved of our sins once and for all, and that’s through the gospel (literally, “good news”) of Jesus Christ. Why is Jesus Christ so crucial and fundamental to Christianity? It’s because without Christ- God who came down to our world, in our human form, who died completely for our sins on the cross and then resurrected fully into life- we would be forever sinking into darkness, marred indelibly by our piling sins. Even in death, we’ll have to face God’s judgment, for God is a righteous and just being. So how absolutely astounding and amazing and awesome it is, that God would be so merciful and loving and tender as to bestow us the grace of Christ? I use the word “bestow” and “grace” because it’s an absolute gift of no merit of our own. In our attempt to be good, we fail and sin. Even at times of good deeds, we fall into pride and self-satisfaction. No matter how “holy” and “good” we live, there is still no escaping the inherent sin that all human beings bear from birth: utter, devastating separation from God. No, the gospel of Christ is a gift. And when we understand, accept and believe in this gospel, that gift becomes ours. We are set free from sin, death in judgment, and the Satan who first deceived humankind. Now you may ask: So if God resolved all our sins through Christ, His supposed demonstration of ultimate love, why is it that the Christians I see are so flawed? Why do I see lying, cheating, hypocritical, unforgiving Christians in churches? That’s a fair question- and a question I’ve asked myself too, as a Christian who still sins daily, sometimes every minute of the day, it seems. That question will be explored in part two.
Vol.1 April 15. 2014 / The Voice of Mission
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