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The final (published) version of the Acts of Synod 2006 is available as a single PDF file here.
The Acts available in HTML format are an "Approved Draft", and contain spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and typos.
These draft acts are being retained online for convenience and ease of access. Quotes should not be taken from these draft acts.
 
Address by Reverend Rev Jun, Tae
on behalf of the Fraternal Relations Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Korea
Wednesday 12th July 2006, Synod West Kelmscott, Western Australia, 2006 (Acts Article 39)

Esteemed members of the Synod, and all delegates from the sister churches!

I greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am glad to be in your midst and to get acquainted with you and your churches.

Let me first introduce our churches in Korea. The Presbyterian Church in Korea ("Kosin") is the true church of Jesus Christ, founded on God's Holy Word, and holds to the Reformed Faith as summarized in the Westminster Confession and its Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

Since the coming of Protestant missionaries to Korea in 1884, the Korean church has had an astonishing development unparalleled in mission annals. The Presbyterian Theological Seminary was founded in 1901 in Pyong-yang, and by 1912, a General Assembly was organized.

For about half a century from the first entry of the Gospel, the Korean church grew steadily. But under Japan's imperialistic domination from 1905 on, the church underwent many difficulties. In this period two kinds of problems afflicted the Korean church: first, the infiltration of theological liberalism, and second, the Japanese Shinto shrine issue.

Finally, on September 10, 1938, the yet undivided Korean Presbyterian Church, at its 27th General Assembly meeting at the Pyongyang Westgate Church, broke down under this repression and approved the shrine observance. Both before and after this tragic decision, ministers, elders, deacons, and ordinary believers, who merely wished to live according to the Bible and so refused shrine worship, were arrested in large numbers. Eventually some fifty became martyrs of their faith under this terrible persecution.

On August 15, 1945, Japan was defeated and Korea was liberated. On August 17th, those who had been imprisoned for their opposition to Shinto shrine observance were released. Two among them, Rev. Nam-sun Joo and Rev. Sang-dong Han, founded the Korea Theological Seminary (KTS) a year later in Pusan, to train church leaders in order to reform the erring Korean church.

However, the still undivided church's General Assembly refused to acknowledge the newly founded KTS. The delegates from the Kyung-nam Presbytery which acknowledged and supported the KTS spent three more years in vain to normalize their relationship with the General Assembly. Accordingly, organizing its own General Assembly in 1952, the "Ko-ryo-pa (group)" or "Ko-sin" church was instituted. It is true that in December 1960, the church united with one of the mainline Presbyterian churches, the "Seung-dong" group (later called "Hap-dong") which is an anti-ecumenical group. But unfortunately this union did not last for very long and in September 1963, the church returned to its original form and continues until this day as the Presbyterian Church in Korea ("Kosin").

Currently, the PCK continues the ongoing fight against the worship of idols and other 'gods' in Korean society. Especially the nationalistic indigenous religion, which worships Tan-gun (the ancient bear-man believed to be the founder of Korea) as a national god, has become a great challenge to the Korean churches. The worshipers of it have erected statues of Tan-gun at many public parks and schools in order to get people pay homage and worship it. Our churches play a central role in the Korean churches to fight against it and appeal to the Korean government not to allow the placement of 'idols' in public places.

We learn and discipline to practice the Reformed theology and faith in every sphere of our life, decisively opposing the liberalism, the secularism, and heterodoxies. We are assured of the fact that local churches are the communities of the blessed saints and are the implements of God to change the world. The KTS as our denominational institute is the centre where this Reformed heritage is studied to be transmitted to the next generations. It embraces some 400 students and 14 professors. The Missionary Training Institute (MTI) trains the prospective missionaries who are going to plant Reformed churches all over the world. We send about 230 missionaries to 40 countries. We dedicate to this mission, assuring that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can save the fallen mankind and change the depraved culture. Believing that Jesus Christ is the Lord of everything, we also dedicate our lives to make every domain of this earth confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord.

Dear brothers!

It is a great privilege for us to meet each other in this somewhat isolated country. We are thankful that our heavenly Father has blessed the Free Reformed Churches very much. I am convinced of the fact that your churches are sincerely faithful to the Word of God and to the Three Forms of Unity. Even though you are living in a secularized environment, you are steady to hold on to the rich tradition of our common Reformed heritage. May God help and lead you!

We feel sorry that the sister church relationship in times past was not actively exercised by us. First of all, the language barrier formed a great obstacle. Forgive us for this neglect! But we are determined to strengthen our relationship and fellowship in the future.

On this occasion we would like to thank the congregations of Armadale and Albany for their thirty year long financial support for the needy students of us. Many students in Korea were sponsored by it and they serve their own congregations sincerely.

Dear delegates to the Synod.

We become acquainted with the fact that there are many subjects on your agenda. Some of them are regular and seem to be handled easily. But some others are more sensitive and expected to be discussed intensively. We wish you the blessing of our God. May God grant His wisdom and endurance to all of you, so that you may understand each other carefully and consult together brotherly and in the end reach a spiritually mature unity. We know surely, dear brothers, that our enemy Satan can be more actively working when the people of God come together to achieve the spiritual unity visibly. All of us must be alert, lest Satan should take advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices. Paul admonishes us: Let nothing be done through selfish ambition, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Brothers, be full of the wisdom, faith, knowledge and discernment, which the Holy Spirit promises us to equip with.

Dear delegates from other sister churches! It is also delightful to meet you. We'll taste the unity which is originally in the Triune God and is given us to enjoy in coming days. Let us enjoy it and hope to the fulfilled unity in the Kingdom of God.

Dear brothers of the Free Reformed Churches. Let me mention one thing in this context. We miss our Australian sister churches on the ICRC and the mission conferences organize by the ICRC. It makes us more curious, because your churches are actually one of the initiators.

We have been honored in 2004 to welcome br. A.M.C. Bruning who was delegated to our General Assembly by your churches. His visit and the informal visit of br. A.C. Breen saved our relationship with you from breaking off our relationship. We are very glad with that and want to request you to send your delegate to our coming General Assembly in October.

We pray for you and for this Synod. May God be with you and bless you!

I thank you.



Jun, Tae, minister.

Chairman of the Fraternal Relations Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Korea



last updated 21 Jul 2006
 
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