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Timothy Isaiah Cho @tisaiahcho
, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Immigrant Korean churches similar to the one I grew up in as a kid couldn't afford to make sharp distinctions between "spiritual" issues and "material/social" issues. When a Korean immigrant - both Christian and non-Christian - came to my hometown, they reached out to my church..
as a place to find connections for housing, school for their children, various social services, ESL courses, work or continuing education, and community integration contextualized for them as Korean immigrants. Pastors, elders, deacons, & church members were all "case managers."
Undocumented Koreans (a forgotten demographic in our country that is actually rather large) were cared for, integrated into church life and society, and ministered to holistically. "Love your neighbor" was in no way diminished by their immigration status, nor were their titles...
of brother and sister in Christ for those who followed Jesus.

They didn't believe in potlucks where two people bring the main and 74 people bring chips and coke (or La Croix now?). We had a family meal every Sunday, and everyone brought something to the table. It was...
like a miniature Thanksgiving every Sunday. Everyone's needs were met as people shared and ate together and brought home lots of leftovers as memorable tokens of this family banquet.

The members of the church weren't afraid to be called "pietistic" or "legalistic," and they...
woke up at the crack of dawn to give thanks to their Father in heaven, and got down on their knees and face to the ground before they got in bed to petition in Jesus' name for their family, friends, church, community, and the world. Bible reading, memory verses, and singing...
were just what Christians did. I knew of Korean missionaries who served in some of the most dangerous places in the world and they saw much fruit as their mission work was not tainted with the stain of colonization. Koreans had been an oppressed people too, and that was powerful.
Many of these churches didn't buy into "multigenerational, multicultural, multiethnic" ministry because it was a fad. They dealt with multigenerational and multicultural growing pains as an everyday church reality, and as their children and grandchildren married non-Koreans...
and invited non-Koreans to church, they naturally had to wrestle with multiple demographic needs of language and culture with often a small budget that comes from a foundation of immigrant families.

Several Korean Christians come from a line of faithful Christian discipleship..
that has roots back to the historic Pyongyang revivals in the early 20th century in Korea. My grandmother remembers that she and the other women and girls in her family all received education for the first time because the Korean churches believed that everyone deserves to...
read the Bible and live faithfully and fully in their vocation. My grandfather remembers early on that many churches celebrated the Lord's Supper with traditional Korean rice cakes and wine - an interesting contextualization of the sacrament that shows that the early Korean...
churches were doing their best to show that Christianity was for Koreans. These older generations that immigrated to the U.S. have a special understanding of God's providence through Japanese occupation, social and political turmoil in the Korean War, and racism in the U.S.
I say these things not to present the immigrant Korean church as a perfect church. There are many, many problems that can be named. But what is clear is that the predominantly White church in America can and should learn so much from immigrant churches. So many of the in-house..
debates of White Evangelicalism are made irrelevant when you see how these churches both confessed and lived out their theology in both seamless ways and with tension.

Sadly, the immigrant churches were omitted almost entirely from my seminary education, and most likely have...
no mention in other seminary curricula as well. The future pastors and leaders of churches in America and missionaries abroad are deprived of the wealth of knowledge that they can get from these immigrant churches about the Christian life, ministry, and faithfulness in the world.
The New Year is just around the corner, and many of us will have resolutions for 2019. Might I suggest that individually and institutionally that we would be resolved to dedicate time and effort to both teach and learn extensively about the immigrant church?
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