Is This Good News?

The Muslims who have been holding 19 Christian volunteers as hostages have agreed to release them after coming to an agreement with the government of South Korea.  That, in a sense, is good news.  Of course, we are all elated that the Christians may be free to return to their families.  But something about these terms of agreement strikes me as disturbing.  While it is true that the captors did release two women who were not in the best of health, it is also true that they murdered two of the men; so, we aren’t dealing with decent people here.  Yet, their obscene indecency will be rewarded with two amazing gifts offered them by the South Korean government: (1) 200 South Korean military troops will be removed from Afghanistan by the end of the year; (2) South Korea will refuse to allow any of her Christians to enter Afghanistan.  This is disturbing to me for four reasons:

1.  South Korea has bartered away military rights and the freedom of religion to murdering thugs.

2.  These murdering thugs—though they apparently will not win the release of their prisoners—still get a great reward for their crimes. 

3.  These violent, terrorizing tyrants have successfully [in their eyes] targeted Christians in a grossly discriminatory manner (aren’t we all supposed to be able to circle the globe and sing Kumbaya?).

4.  The short-sighted, murdering opportunists would sell out their own people to win a “victory” for their jihadist cause.  In this case, the Christians and the 200 South Korean troops were there to provide humanitarian aid (free medicine and food).

Somehow, I am not feeling like the good guys won a victory here.

One thought on “Is This Good News?

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  1. First, I would not consider that a victory in in sense of the term. As ambigous as the term, the “war on terror” is, this is not a step in the right direction globally. I would also not consider the absence of Christians in that context a success.

    Secondly (on a somewhat different subject), while I don’t want to equate the South Korean government with the South Korean Christians, is this saying something about a floundering South Korean Church, or is it just showing the dominance of the government over the Church? In a recent conversation (I can not remember if all the facts can be verified, but still disturbing nonetheless), there was some concern over the lack of “theology” in the Korean church. Over the past century or so, the Korean church has shown rapidly, immense growth. Becasue of this quick expansion the core essentials of the church seem to have been over looked. I pray to God that they learn from the mistakes of the Western church over the last two centuries. I have also heard of a church that consisted of over 200,000 people. While I have to admit that there are some good things that can come out of mega-churches, how does this work? How does pastoral leadership work in this context? Discipleship?

    How is what the government doing helping the church? Or is it hindering them? Or does this make sense at all?

    We must pray for our brothers and sisters in South Korea.


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