How I Would Make Over The Korean American Church

next door
When this article titled “Why Korean American Churches Need A Makeover” appeared in HYPHEN, I was more than happy to raise my Internet hands and take a whack at it. Reading the article flooded back memories of chatting with my fellow Korean American Christians about the state of Korean American Churches. Truth be told, I don’t attend one anymore. There are numerous reasons why. But that’s not what this space is for.

I’m not wholeheartedly agreeing or disagreeing with the author, Tammy Kim. I think she writes very valid points of why Korean American churches need a makeover. I’m just giving MY opinions.

So here is Jee’s version of “extreme” Korean American Church Makeover:

  1. Humility: One of the most common struggles in a Korean American Church is the frequent church splits. And you know why they have them? PRIDE. Everyone thinks their way is best. I would just encourage them to try a bit (rather, a lot) of humility.
  2. Grace: The bible teaches that we are saved by Grace and we live under Grace each day. That being said, I don’t get why some Korean American Churches focus on law and the doing of those laws. I don’t get why member Joe might be judged and ostracized for his choices when a little loving rebuke (encouragement to better choices) might be what member Joe needs.
  3. Love: If you ask anyone in the (Korean American) church if they love so and so, they’ll most likely say “yes.” I mean, it’s the right thing to do right? But do they really? There are plenty of people who are genuinely loving, but there are many others who like to stay within their similar genre of people and who look down on others for stumbling in their faith (Christianity) or just ‘cause they are a little different.

Like I said before, I’m no expert. I don’t have the solution. But I’ve been around enough bad examples of how Christians are to live from folks in Korean American Churches that I’ve formed an opinion here and there. I’m tired of hearing about Korean American Church splits because some member dude didn’t like the pastor, wanted control and convinced folks to go with him. I’m tired of – oh bother, I think I’ve said enough.

[Photo courtesy of Flickr]

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About jee

[NEW: View my profile on My 8Asians!] Jee has been a happy resident of the often too sunny So Cal since her family emigrated here from S. Korea in 1986. She enjoys all things food related, especially the eating part. She is a borderline introvert who loves adventures and spontaneity.
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