What is it like to be a Christian in North Korea where believers are persecuted for their faith? How does their experience differ from those living in prosperous South Korea? How do the cultural forces of totalitarianism on the one hand and consumerism and secularism on the other shape the way we live out our faith as Christians? On this special edition of White Horse Inn recorded in Seoul, Korea, Michael Horton discusses these issues and more with Steven Chang, Samuel Kim, and Julius Kim.
“With the commemoration of the 500th year of the Reformation, there has been a call to return to the spirit of the Reformation. A lot of people have been critical of how the Korean churches have been because consumerism and the influence of secularism has infiltrated into the church. Consumerism and developmental capitalism is kind of a subtle form of persecution. I think this really calls Christians to be faithful to the gospel. How are we as a church and as Christians?”Samuel Kim
TERM TO LEARN
“The Mission of the Church”
Like our own lives, the church is gospel-driven. Every new-covenant command is grounded in the gospel. We love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:10, 19). We choose Christ because he chose us (John 15:16; Eph. 1:4–5, 11; 2 Thess. 2:13). We are called to holiness because we are already declared to be holy in Christ, clothed in his righteousness (Col. 1:22; 3:12; 1 Cor. 1:30). Because we have been crucified, buried, and raised with Christ, we are no longer under the tyranny of sin and are therefore to offer up ourselves in body and soul to righteousness (Rom. 6:1–14). In view of “the mercies of God,” we are called to “present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1).
Similarly, in our corporate calling as the church, we are always responding to a state of affairs that God has spoken into being, rather than creating that reality ourselves. The church’s mission is grounded in God’s mission, which he fulfilled objectively in his Son and whose subjective effect he is bringing about in the world through his Spirit. Because the Father sent the Son and then the Spirit, we are sent into all the world with the gospel. So being mission-driven is really the same as being gospel-driven. As believers and as churches, we are motivated by the mission of the Triune God, as the Father, the Son, and the Spirit save us and send us with that saving message to our neighbors.
(Michael Horton, The Gospel Commission, p. 24)