TRANSFORMATION. Fall 2017/Spring 2018 - Page 15

there were numerous other administrative coups, including one in which a senior pastor left due to an embezzlement scandal. There is a commitment to honorable public appearance, the surreptitious hiding of internal fracture. Furthermore, there is an imposition of rigid hierarchies that divided the body of Christ between men and women, parents and children, elders and laypeople, pastors and administrative staff. There is devo- tion to works-based righteousness, and a veering away from the gospel and grace. The Church, capital C, is the bride of Christ, joined together in a perfect union. The church, lowercase c, is the human endeavor at that capital C Church. But how could I understand and feel intimacy with Christ in a church that had splintered into three pieces? The Korean-American church also suffers a tough balancing act between serving as a fellowship of Christ and a gathering of immigrant peoples. New Korean immigrants need a way to plug themselves into community, and church often acts as the sole place for that. Inherent social desires brought, on one hand, a horde of new Korean-American believers. On the other hand, the Korean American church risks unintentionally transform- ing a place of worship to a welcoming, but nonetheless secular place of community. The Church, capital C, is the bride of Christ, joined together in a perfect union. The church, lowercase c, is the human endeav- or at that capital C Church. But how could I understand and feel that intimacy with Christ in a church that had splintered into three pieces? How could I know what Church truly was when both my church and family lives were all emotionally frac- tured? At many points in my life, because I could not trust either church or family, I found myself desperately alone. Paul speaks over and over of the Church not only as the bride of Christ, but as Christ’s actual body. For example, 1 Corinthians 2:27 gives the command that “now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” As Christ’s body, he says we are his walking and breathing manifestation here on Earth, the sole manifestation of a supernatural and uncompromising love found nowhere else. Our mission is to induce social change, fight inequity, love the least among us, provide a healthy moral framework, and most importantly, love God and each other. As it stands, my church, as well as countless others, is internally bleeding and ripping itself apart from the inside out. Thank- fully, God’s transformation of the church also begins from the inside out, and his unending flow of love for my church will never cease. We are “God’s household” (Ephesians 2:19), and He won’t let us slip away without a fight. James 1:27 adds to this definition, stating: “Religion that is pure and undefiled be- fore God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” I be- lieve James’s two pronged church calling poignantly addresses the Korean American situation