June 4th, 2019

How my Journey began…

My first recollections were of me as a 4-year-old, living in a small island of Korea, walking barefoot.  I see images of my older cousins looking like giants, and of a girl I thought was a princess, wearing shiny red shoes.  Of making houses with stackable books, of burning my thigh with hot soup…  and of closing my eyes at night, and seeing a multitude of stars in the sky.  And asking, “Why are we born?”  “What is the purpose of our existence?” 

I also remember seeing a statue of a crucified Christ at the Catholic Church we attended in Argentina. It was intriguing to say the least.  I was very introverted, so I filled my days reading books.  I used to fall in love with the characters, and day dream about them. 

Then one day, I happened to see a New Testament Bible.  I started reading out of curiosity, and I became like Alice in Wonderland.  Suddenly, life looked more beautiful, more meaningful.  I was only 13 years old.

However, soon after, I started questioning the entire Bible and rejected God.  I felt that God was unfair, in choosing Jacob over Essau, Judah over Joseph.  He was sexist, choosing mostly men, even flawed men like Samson!

Then in High School, my best friend told me about Jesus.  The mere mention of His Name sparked in me a longing.  I realized I missed Him and deep down, I really wanted to believe in Him.  So I went to the Library every afternoon, looking for books about Him. 

I cannot recall the exact names, but I remember reading a book written by a Roman Catholic Priest, one by an agnostic Historian, one by a Seventh Adventist (THE DESIRE OF AGES by Ellen White), one by a philosopher (BLAISE PASCAL). 

I also read a book that talked about the 5 main religions of the world (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism).  The main premise was to show that all the five religions had different rituals and traditions, but that the goals were the same.  They all taught us to live a good life.  I understood the author’s point.  I just could not agree with him because he was describing Christianity by mentioning the Sacraments and Rituals alone.  It was like describing a book by its cover.  He didn’t understand about Jesus.

It was only after I went to College, I finally learned the doctrine of Salvation by Faith and Faith Alone.  ? And I learned that God’s choices are not merit based. Still, I continued questioning God’s justice.  “How could a loving God show Himself to some People, but NOT TO Others?  What about my Korean ancestors?  Didn’t they deserve this gift of Salvation as much as the Jewish did?  So I challenged God to persuade me once for all that He was there, or else, I was going to stop praying to Him. 

Lo and behold, like a week later, Campus Crusade For Christ sent me “MORE THAN A CARPENTER” (by Josh McDowell).  Short and easy to understand, the author himself was a skeptic who turned to Jesus after doing research.  Point by point, he answered all the questions and doubts I was having.

Other books shaped and sealed my faith deeper.  C.S. Lewis “MERE Christianity.”  And later his “Perelandra.”  “The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey broke down all pre-conceived notions and showed me the Jesus for the underdogs.  The friend of ‘sinners.’     

I was also shaped by biographies from missionaries and martyrs.  Their lives are filled with the footsteps of Jesus.  Corrie Ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place” or Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life.

I know it is popular to say:  “I believe in Jesus but I don’t like religion.” It is also popular to “imagine” all religions coming together, or people coming together doing away with religion.  Like in John Lennon’s song “Imagine.”

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

But this song is romanticizing living without purpose, having no passions, no goals.  Religion, just like philosophy, was created by men, because we have an inherent desire to know God and find meaning in life.  Thus, the author who described the main 5 religions as being the same, and having same goal (living a morally good life) was right, except in one thing:  Jesus is not a religion created by men.

All religions are very similar.  It is men’s way of going up to Heaven, becoming better by doing good deeds.  But true Christianity is not about us living a morally good life.  The message of the Gospel is the Good News, that GOD HIMSELF came down from Heaven, and that He revealed Himself to us.  To Forgive us and to Save us.  This is His love letter to us.

John 3:16 NIV – For God so loved the world that he gave – Bible Gateway

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So that, when we understand and receive that message of Salvation, we may no longer be enslaved to sin, but be free.  No longer living like fugitives on the run, but like adopted children of God.  Once we understand this, our entire life will change.  And we will remember Jesus’s command (Matthew 28:19)

New International Version
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

This is the reason I share this.  The reason I opened this blog.  God bless you!

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