Thursday, May 25, 2017

Saying no to Superstition and the Prosperity Gospel

No Korean is unfamiliar with the shaman and shamanism. However, the rector of a seminary writing in the Catholic Times wonders if they really know the shamanistic world. There are those that think they know but really don't, according to our writer.

Ordinarily, we think that those with no religion look to the heavens for blessings and that many other religious people are superstitious. In Korea, we have had no serious study of the non-believers (religious 'nones'). They have their own 'gods' and followers and in their own way, many have found liberation and a zest for life. Before we criticize them we have to ask ourselves have we found happiness in our religious life?

In all religions, we find superstitious elements, when we don't live according to of our beliefs. We have those Christians who go to fortune tellers and believe in the four pillars (year, month, day and hour of birth) as a reason for their destiny. He blames himself for not being kinder to those who have been influenced by these superstitions.

A life of faith is not like playing the National Lottery. There is a place for looking for blessings but it is not the essence of our faith life. Passion, purity of intention, and wisdom are needed. Without passion, spineless, without purity of intention, vacillation, and a calculating faith will not last long. We saw this in the recent scandals in government, looking for blessings and superstition.

We see this with some religious people, their religious articles are no more than charms and amulets to ward off evil. The Bible is in the bookcase as an ornament. Prayer is often the rattling of words when it should be the movement of our hearts to God.

We are living in a pluralistic world. With all kinds of religions, ideologies, and theories. Each with their own dreams and visions, and he introduces us to the Chinese classic: The Art of War (孫子兵法) an ancient Chinese military treatise.

Using the words from the treatise: In this pluralistic world in which we live we need to know ourselves and others if we are to live wisely. If we don't know ourselves and others it may be comfortable but it is a life of ignorance. If we know only ourselves it is a life of egoism. However, if I know only the other and don't know myself what kind of life will that be?

We have to be slow in criticizing another's vision of life and make sure to avoid parasitical superstitions and the gospel of success, wealth, and health. We don't want to be an ornamental Christian.

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