Easter in Korea?

As I may have put in my previous post, I’m going to a church every Saturday and Sunday morning with my friend since he needs he support. (I’m still trying to figure out why I even go). I must be clear, I really don’t believe in this stuff much. It just seems so strange. And it’s doubly awkward since it’s all in Korean, so I don’t understand a single word they say. It feels like they’re speaking Chinese or something due to how the language is used. Just like our versions of the Bible are sometimes written in very old English, they do it here as well. Or the translation feels slightly off when I read the translated versions. 

Anyway, so I go Saturday to church and it’s more like a Bible study rather than a service. The pastor is my friend’s friend and is very nice, very passionate, and very sincere. I like him a lot. But I noticed that his speech was on nothing about Easter, even though Easter was the next day. I found this slightly odd as Easter is a pretty big holiday in Christianity. No Stations of the Cross talk, no talk about Pontius Pilate or anything. No Last Supper, nothing. I know it’s Saturday but since some people didn’t attend, I expected SOMETHING about Easter. Nothing. I shrugged it off since maybe it was a bit different in style than regular service. At tomorrow’s service, there will definitely be something about Easter. 

So, Easter sunday happens and my friend and I are late. Rushing to service. We get there and they’ve started singing already, though forcing envelopes for our donations upon us as soon as we enter. So we have three envelopes now that we should be filling with 10% of our salary (oh, hell no.) And so every week we have to put in $10 and call it a day, though last week was $20. I was outraged. I don’t even like church but I have to pay to go. I should at least pay for something entertaining. 

Anyway! Back at church, they go over one or two verses from the Bible. So I expected something about Jesus’ crucifixion or the nonsense but it was a bit different. I’ll give you the quote in case you aren’t schooled in the Bible (It’s okay, you don’t have to be.) 

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

                            Corinthians 18-26

Now, I’m not a religious scholar or anything similar. But I had to reread that passage to figure out what they meant.  And then I was kind of sad. I felt that this wasn’t what Easter was about. The spirit of Easter. Growing up in Catholic church, Easter is a story of rebirth, personal and spiritual, and to come back stronger and more ready to take on the world. It was to be more confident in the faith and such. But to my eyes, the interpretation is one of cutting you down to size and making one realize how much they know nothing of. It’s such a depressing feeling reading this. I mean later, they read the part from the book of Matthew about Mary and Mary Magdeline going to the tomb and stuff, but it just wasn’t the same. You know what bothered me most? The pastor didn’t even wear purple, the color of Easter, of Jesus. No one did but my friend and I (I schooled him). But I was just highly disappointed. They gave eggs and 떡 but that was it. 

There was also the giving of the sacraments (the blood and body of Christ, AKA Bread and Wine time). I couldn’t participate because I’m baptized Catholic and it was a Protestant church. I’m not baptized into that religion so I can’t receive it (I looked it up just in case and it’s true. Vatican says not to do it). So some of the leaders and my friend were very curious and making comments about it. They told me how I should be able to by Christmas but I don’t see how since I’m not going to get baptized into their church. One day they will learn. 

So all in all, I’m very disappointed with this church. It feels like a business rather than a church. This is not even including this old woman at my church who keeps trying to sell me $500 in vitamins so I can look as young and be as healthy as her. She keeps attacking me while I’m alone, it’s very annoying. I really feel like this church is slightly disorganized or money-hungry, just like most churches. There is also a verse in the Bible that says people should pray in private, which I believe whole heartedly. Here, for you fine peeps, I will quote you just in case you doubters doubted. And I will put it in the King James Version because the old school is always best. 

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 

       Matthew 6:6

Fanciful, right? Anyway, it’s true. This is what church looks like to me. I only wish people stopped picking and choosing things from the Bible and followed it if that’s what they believe. This goes for all religions. 

Perhaps I’m a bit old-fashioned but this kind of church is just not my cup of tea. Regardless of how nice they are. I just hope for the best of the people who attend and believe sincerely. They deserve it. I’m content with just being me, though.

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