Did you ever have questions about God when you were young?
Well, I’ve been a Christian all my life. But for me, there have always been problems. Especially if you look at the Old Testament, there’s all these stories and amazing miracles. Even Jesus performed some miracles in the New Testament. But none of these things happen today. Today’s world is a rational one. It’s very skeptical. We need scientific proof. If you look, none of those miracles found in the Bible happen today.
So for me, I grew up in this kind of environment in New York. I thought that whatever the Bible was talking about was a separate history. Because today, God doesn’t do those things. He doesn’t communicate with people directly. So I thought it was just a separate history.
When I entered this university, I began to realize problems about the Christian perspective. I came here and studied Latin and Ancient Greek. An important part of that study is philosophy. We learned about the major philosophers like Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates. If you look at these people, they’re all remembered in history. They are famous because they questioned people’s basic assumptions about life.
Socrates asks a person to define the meaning of justice
There’s a story where someone invited Socrates to dinner. He asks the guy who invited him about justice. He said, “You believe in justice, right? What is justice? Can you define justice for me?” And 400 pages later, there wasn’t an answer. We still don’t know. That was deep and profound for me. That means people live their lives believing in things they don’t even understand. We believe in things we can’t even define. If we look at other fields like medicine, science, and technology, these fields are always advancing. Why? It’s because people are always asking question about things. “How can we make this better? Is this the best way we should be doing things?” It’s always advancing.
For the most part, the Christians here don’t ask questions. They simply believe. They never ask if it’s possible if the entire world can flood. Or, they don’t ask how exactly did Jesus resurrect? They never ask if the world will really be destroyed again when Jesus returns. These are question that are just never really asked. So for me, it bothered me when people would attack God and Christianity with their own ignorance. But more than that, it bothered me that I could not defend it. I believed in Jesus and believed in love. I believed Jesus was saying something important about the ideal world. He told us that we could achieve it if we did not judge each other and turn the other cheek.
I understood this. But I couldn’t defend the Bible. It was hard to defend the religion because it seemed like God worked differently now than before.
What was it about Providence that helped you understand God better?
After I met this church Providence, my mentor and pastor at the time explained a lot of the Bible to me. He said he learned from his teacher who people referred to as the Teacher (Pastor Jung Myung Seok). But these lessons I learned were amazing.
Each lesson sought to bridge our understanding of God and the Bible with a modern perspective of the world. It really changed my perspective because I realized that after the last page of revelation, after you turn that last age, God doesn’t just disappear. He doesn’t just vanish. Through Pastor Jung Myung Seok, I learned how God has been working in all history. Since I learned, I’ve come to understand how God is still working even today. It’s all because Pastor Jung Myung Seok was somebody who asked questions.
Growing up in poverty, he didn’t have resources or materials. All he had was the Bible and his hope in Jesus and the ideal world. And with that, he asked questions while praying and trying to study the Bible. Eventually, what he arrived at was a truth with the power to change the world. It is a truth that can change Christianity, about our understanding of God, and how He works.
Society silences those who speak against the status quo
Then I heard from my mentor that people had put Pastor Jung Myung Seok in jail. About this, you can read up on it for yourself and look at the facts. But when I heard this, I realize that it was following the same pattern history has always gone in. Consider the people who had something important to say, something worthwhile to say, or something revolutionary to say. John Wycliffe pioneered the first translation of the English Bible. Galileo asserted against the church that the earth was not at the center of the solar system. Martin Luther King advocated for civil rights. Every one of these people had something to say. But society tried to silence them all. So they were either imprisoned or killed.
I realized that Providence and Pastor Jung Myung Seok had something to say about the state of Christianity. They have some to say about achieving the ideal world. But because of that, society has been trying to silence them. So I realized through looking at these situations that people ultimately cannot accept the truth. They don’t like to hear it. It’s shocking to think about. If you look at the history books whether from the Western or Eastern hemisphere, people don’t like the truth. They like to be comfortable, and they like to believe in the status quo. They don’t like to ask questions.
Do you have any last words you want to say?
So for me, at the end of the day, more than from a Christian perspective, it’s more like all human beings, we all share the same reality. We all live in the same world. It’s not really a matter of the Christian perspective. It’s a matter of “are you somebody who wants to raise their level above the level of skepticism? Do you want to raise your level above the level of just blindly believing?” The way Pastor Jung Myung Seok lives his life doesn’t change no matter where he is. That is a testimony that God is real. God exists. He is real, and He is reaching out to you. He’s reaching out to you through nature and people, and especially through the Bible.
If you want to understand more about how God is reaching out, and if you’re somebody who wants to raise your level of life and understanding and learn more about amazing people like Pastor Jung Myung Seok, then you have come in fact to the right place.