Fellowship and Answers of the Above About the Questions of the Korean Church
If we were to go along according to people’s conceptions and illusions when selecting leaders and workers in the church, we would naturally select parents and elders—would this be the right thing to do? Because we know that it is Korean custom to respect the old and cherish the young; to respect the older generation. So, when selecting leaders, we select elders—whoever is the oldest or has the most white hair or who already has grandchildren, that’s who we pick—is this in keeping with God’s will? The standard by which God’s family selects leaders is to choose those who pursue the truth, have experience and knowledge of God’s work, regardless of age. This is in keeping with God’s will. Now does God decide a man’s fate based upon his age? He does not. If the leaders we selected were all young, and yet they were always being held up by their parents and elders, always hesitant and afraid to speak up because one should be polite in front of the elders and hold to the rule that if the elders haven’t spoken then the children shouldn’t speak—if they were to follow by these rules, would they still be able to carry out their work as leaders? Would they still be able to fulfill their duties? They certainly would not be able to fulfill their duties. Regardless of whether the customs and traditions of every nation are right or wrong, good or bad, they are not the truth. What’s more, these are the product of people’s conceptions and illusions, knowledge and reasoning—they should all be abandoned, right or wrong, good or bad. They should all be suppressed and relinquished. Now what is God’s will? Some question: “Even the good things should be done away with?” That’s right, the good things too. These “good” or “right” things, are they the truth? No matter how right or good they are, they are not the truth. Only God’s word is the truth. Just focus on living by God’s word—however God’s word tells you to live, that is how you ought to live. Whatever God’s word says, that is what you should do. Whatever God asks of you, make good on His request, see things through as such. That’s right! Some people ask, “It is right to be filial to one’s parents and respect one’s elders, so how does God’s word dictate that we should practice?” God’s word tells you to follow the truth, and to obey God is the most important. Live according to God’s word—those who do not live according to God’s word are not commended by God. Before God, all men are equal: He does not discriminate based upon age, or who is junior and who is senior—we are all brothers and sisters. Is there any mention of distinguishing between elders and the younger generation within God’s word? No, there is not. Some people say, “This is plain fact, there are the elders and then there is the younger generation.” Even if it is fact, it’s not acceptable. It’s a mere matter of being born earlier or later. The flesh distinguishes based upon position in family hierarchy, but the soul does not. So we should see through this issue and live according to God’s word. The traditional cultures of every nation, no matter whether people say they are good or bad, are not truth. Don’t follow these traditions, there is no point and no meaning in doing so. Is there anything to back up what I’m saying? I’m speaking on the basis of God’s word, on the basis of what God actually did in the two instances in which He became flesh. When God became flesh, He abandoned everything to obey God, even abandoning His parents. Peter was perfected by the Lord Jesus—he was a lover of God and received God’s commendation—and yet he too rebelled against his parents. His parents suppressed him and did not allow him to follow Jesus. They wanted him to make it big, to get a position in government and strike it rich to win honor for his ancestral family. Peter, however, refused to do so and insisted upon following Jesus. After graduating from high school he didn’t go on to college but began following Jesus. In the end, Peter was perfected, while his parents were cast down into hell. Now, if Peter had been filial to his parents and honored his parents, would he have been able to follow Jesus? He certainly wouldn’t have been able to. So, before God, one must first obey God. There is no truth in obedience to or respect for one’s elders—so don’t practice or keep to this. Keeping to this tradition is useless, if you keep to it you’ll end up in hell. Anyone who keeps to these cultural traditions will go to hell. So, the person who raised this question, he said, “We Koreans place high importance on etiquette, the younger generation must respect the elders.” He respects elders and wants his brothers and sisters to follow his example in respecting elders. In so guiding others, is he going against God’s word? Is he resisting God? One aspect of God’s judgment and chastisement of people, is exposing each country’s cultural background and exposing people’s conceptions. Satan uses human culture and all kinds of fallacies to corrupt mankind. Korean culture is no exception: Just like Chinese culture, Korean culture is a tool which Satan uses to corrupt mankind. It uses those cultures which most conform to people’s conceptions and illusions to bind and fetter men, to prevent them from seeking God and the truth, thereby attaining its evil purpose. In the end, these people receive God’s judgment and chastisement and are destroyed. Is this not Satan’s evil plot? The person who raised this question still respects and follows Korean culture. He didn’t mention a single word about how God’s chosen should rebel against culture, receive God’s judgment and chastisement, and accept all of truths from God. Why didn’t he mention any of this? On the surface, everything he said is right and in keeping with people’s notions. But isn’t the substance of what he was saying misleading to people? Is it not counterproductive? Is it not a step backward? As for me, I might be a little too direct—I say what I want to say—I speak too candidly. Some people like it, some people don’t. But does God like people to speak candidly? Peter spoke very candidly, he was very forthright. So, if some of the things I say don’t seem suitable, I ask that you excuse me. We’re communicating the truth here: As long as you can realize the truth then that’s just fine. If some of the things I say seem too candid and make you feel uncomfortable, then I ask that you excuse me. I can get a little anxious! I hope that my brothers and sisters can have a clear understanding right away, and that everyone may be capable of making distinctions. Whatever you do, don’t be misled, this is my desire.