There are somethings that I hear about the churches in Korea that make my stomach turn. You’ll have to realize that this is not all the churches in Korea, but like they say, one rotten apple ruins the whole bushel. (is that what they really say? I feel like I just made that up…)
I recently saw a pastor, who is highly regarded in Korea, speaking at a church here in California.
He was immaculately dressed. I saw a picture of him on his website and he wears all white on Sundays.
He had really nifty ties. I mean, they were nice and shiny and reflected the lights beautifully. He shared that he spends about $1000 dollars on those ties. Are you kidding me??? What’s worse is that people that were hearing this was wondering why their senior pastor doesn’t have fancy clothes. I mean, c’mon! Isn’t that really missing the point? 1000 dollars on ties?
My father took this pastor out to lunch and my dad invited his associate to come down and eat with them. The pastor was displeased with this and advised my father minimize associations and interactions with the associate pastor. When the associate pastor arrived, the pastor had the gall to scold my dad’s associate for coming to lunch with senior pastors.
I asked my dad why the pastor was so adamant about not eating lunch with the associate. And he told me that it’s common in Korea. The senior pastors treat the associates as servants and there’s hardly and relationship there.
And one last thing.
Years ago, my dad had an opportunity to go back to Korea and pastor a church. The pastor of that church was wanting to leave and that pastor knew my uncle (dad’s oldest brother) and he sent the message to my dad.
The thing is, (I hear this is very common in Korea), in order for my dad to go to that church, he would have to pay the pastor a large sum of money. This pastor’s price was $100,000. Dad would have to pay the pastor, not the church, 100,000 dollars to replace him. In turn, that pastor would take that money as a payment to the pastor he was going to replace. The bigger the church, the higher the number. And ultimately, when dad retired or was going to leave the church, his replacement would have to pay that money to him.
That’s nearly the craziest things I’ve heard.
Korean churches are flourishing in Korea. I think they have one of the biggest churches in the world.
And I bet a lot of them are just missing the point.
Christianity is at its best when it’s small and peculiar. – Shane Claiborne.