An Evolving Train Wreck and Debacle, Pt. 4, or: Just What the @#$%&! Is This All About?!

I realize that some may be surprised if not offended by my use of a expletive, even a censored one, in my blog post. It’s not my intention to offend, I assure you.

Yet, this whole ‘investigation’ has been a rather offensive enterprise. As you will read in my rough English translation of this article, there did not seem to be unanimity among leaders of the eight denominations involved in this investigation as to what it was all about.

In the days ahead, I intend to continue publishing these rough translations a little more frequently, because things have picked up apace surrounding this issue, and the original investigating body, the GAPCK (or as I affectionately call them, ‘the JESUS Presbyterians!’), have taken even more extreme stands, and are seeking to bring in bigger groups.

So, without further ado, here you go:

‘We have not come to the conclusion of the heresy “investigation” concerning the Rev Lim Bora’

What is the idea of these 8 denominations?

Reporter Lee Yong-pil (posted 2017.06.30 16:34)

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A major denomination decided to investigate the Rev. Lim Bora (left) for heresy. Although it was reported that Lim’s homosexual advocacy was a problem, the results of the interviews were different. (Choi Seung-hyun, NewsnJoy)

‘It does not matter if you are homosexual or not. However, this person is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PROK). God has said that not only is homosexuality a sin, but also to defend homosexuals and to take actions like translating the Queer Bible Commentary (QBC). This is serious. It must be clearly identified whether the Rev Lim Bora is a heretic or not.’ – The Rev Kim Jeong-nam, Moderator, General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in Korea (GPACK)

If a pastor works for minority rights, they may well be branded a heretic. Eight Christian denominations (the HapDong, DongHap, Kosin, Hapsin, and Daesin Presbyterian churches, the Methodist Church of Korea, the Evangelical Holiness Church of Korea, and the Korean Baptist Church of Korea), have jointly gathered information. It is not yet a full-fledged investigation, but if you listen to the Rev Kim Jeong-nam, moderator of the GAPCK, Rev. Im Bora is already a ‘heretic’.

The investigation of the Rev Lim’s purported heresy has been conducted by the Rev Kim Seong-kyu, chair of Korea’s largest denomination. The Rev Jin Yong-sik, chair of the joint Tribunal, has said, ‘”It is a doctrinal and biblical problem that the pastor is carries out a support movement for homosexuals and is translating the Queer Bible Commentary.’ The leaders of the other denominations also imply that Minister Lee’s homosexual advocacy is to be taken seriously.

How accurate are the Rev Jin’s claims? Newsnjoy contacted the leaders of each denomination on June 30th. The opinions of all denominational leaders except of the Methodist Council were heard. Aside from the opinion the it is necessary to investigate the Rev Lim, there was no unanimity among these leaders.

‘If she were not a pastor she would not have been investigated; if only one denomination had investigated, it would have been attacked’

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‘The main leader of the denomination has entered the heresy investigation of the Rev Lim Bora. This is because the Rev Lim has participated in homosexual advocacy and translated the Queer Bible Commentary’ (pictures are not related to article contents) (Choi Yu-ri, Newsnjoy)

The Rev Kim Jeong-man, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (Daesin) strongly condemned the Rev Lim Bora. He said, ‘A pastor who advocates homosexuality does not believe in God. (The leaders of the eight denominations involved) decided to deal with it.’ He also explained the reason for co-ordinating the heresy investigation. He added, ‘Although she belongs to another denomination, we take the matter of protecting members of the Korean church seriously. If only one denomination investigates, it can be attacked. If the eight denominations stand side by side, they will also accept the decision.’

If the Rev Kim had been an ordinary citizen, he added, there would have been no need for investigation. However, he said ‘A pastor, as servant of God and preacher, should speak God’s word correctly. Defending homosexuality is problematic. A conclusion has not yet been reached, but it can be seen through here words and actions that she is a heretic.’

The opinion was also expressed that it is impossible to compromise on the issue of homosexuality without creating other problems.  Yoo Young-kwon, moderator of the Hap-sin Presbyterian Church, said, ‘Homosexuality is not a matter of personal taste. To God it is the most terrible crime. In this matter, the Korean church should never relent.’

On the issue of why the eight denominations are working together, the Rev Yoo said, ‘If only one denomination investigates, it can be pushed to one side. When several denominations investigate together, it is possible to reduce bias and to make an objective evaluation.’ Unlike the Rev Kim Jeong-man, however, he said, ‘I do not know what the results will be.’

The Rev Yoo added, ‘I personally think that Christianity can be more compassionate and loving toward homosexuals than any other group. We need to find ways to help with homosexuality, not through agreement and consensus, but through human dignity.’

Not all the leaders’ ideas were the same. There were leaders who had not been able to sort out their positions yet. The Rev Seo Seong-gyu, leader of the Presbyterian Church (TongHap) briefly commented, ‘I have not considered this specific matter yet. It remains to be seen.’ The Rev Yoon Hyung-joon, leader of the Presbyterian Church (Kosin) responded, ‘I did not attend the meeting on the 27th. I will answer after I have thought and studied the matter, but I have no comment now.’ The leader of the Baptist church, the Rev Han Myung-kook, also said, ‘I do not know because I did not attend the meeting on that day.’

There are also some voices concerned about these eight denominations. ‘Homosexuality is a different issue from heresy’, said the Rev Kim Cheol-won, past leader of the Evangelical Holiness church, who finished his term in May of this year.

Opinions vary, but the eight denominations will continue in their investigation of the Rev Lim Bora. The Rev Kim Jeong-man said he will proceed with the hearing in July.

Although the Joint Committee of the GAPCK instigated the controversy of the investigation concerning the Rev Lim Bora, the general secretary of the denomination did not seem to be aware of this. Kim Sung-kyu, chairperson of the Joint Committee, who attended the meeting on June 29th, said, ‘I do not know about this issue because I have not received reports from the Ethics Committee.’

In answer to the criticism that the chair of the Ethics Committee is in charge of judging this case, he briefly said, ‘Individual ethics investigations and investigations of heresy over homosexuality are different matters.’ When asked whether there was a conflict with the denominations over the investigation of heresy, he replied, ‘Homosexuality should not be a source of friction between denominations.’

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The Rev Kim Jae-kyu, General Secretary of the GAPCK, was not aware of the investigation. (Lee Yong-pil, Newsnjoy)

Translated from the original at: http://www.newsnjoy.or.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=211873

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