sent in by Dan
My name is Dan, and I am a Korean-American who used to attend the South Suburban Korean Methodist church in Homewood flossmore, Il. The Reverend Park had three children, Jae, the oldest, who attended the University of Chicago, and then Harvard Divinity school, Ester Park, who attended the University of Chicago, and Mary Jaesun Park, who attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Reverend Park and other members of this church taught me the bible is the Inerrant word of god, that we should believe in Genesis rather than evolution, that Jesus is coming soon and there will be a resurrection, to pray in jesus' name and believe in miracles. My father asked Rev Park what happens to Koreans who practice Buddhism, and admitted to him he was raised Buddhist, and Rev Park told my father Jesus is the only way to salvation and baptized him. My father told me to tell his parents, my grandparents, to believe in Jesus before it's too late, and to disbelieve in Korean Buddhism.
Anyhow I met Mary JaeSun and Ester Park at the University of Illinois, and I told her to tell her father that I'm an unbeliever, to stop talking about me or using my story in his sermons. I told her I am hurt because I invested a lot of time studying Creationism, and debating Evolutionists, and proseltyzing for Jesus, euphemtisically called "witnessing". Let's just say I believed and accepted their views on a variety of topics including abortion, homosexuality, the inerrancy of scripture, etc, and it's not a happy childhood memory for me that i "debated" these things with unbelievers in junior and high school. Among Rev Park's positions is that (1) women should not be ordained clergy as it's against what the Bible teaches and (2) Roman Catholicism is a false religion. Ester denies her father is a "fundamentalist". Mary said Catholicism was a bad religion because it is "ritualistic" -- she admitted she prays in tongues.
When Ester realized i was studying evolution and was observing the bible has a lot of killings, she said to me, "are you in your questions and doubts? if you have a hard time believing something, you don't have to believe it."
gee thanks. after i make a complete ass out of myself, being anti-abortion and anti-evolution and asking my classmates to believe in jesus. you could have sort of told me that before these became major issues in mylife.
of course the reason i was so fanatical about jesus and bible study was i thought god and christ was punishing me for not taking church and bible study seriously -- something mary and ester knew full well. i was motivated by fear and guilt. i felt i was manipulated and used.
Ive long since lost touch with Mary and Ester Park.
Mary and Ester Park never told me what their father's response to this is. I've heard anecdotes their father, who has apparently moved back to Korea, still talks about what a wonderful christian I am, in his sermons -- a fact that impressed him. I want to know if this is true, as it is not respecting my wishes Mary tell her father I've abandoned xtianity and to stop preaching about me.
THere's a saying there's six degrees of seperation from one person to another so if anyone reading this knows Ester's or Mary's current contact information, I would be happy to contact them, or they can contact me.
if you know them, i'm still an unbeliever.
Joined: 12 -- 1985
Left: 17 -- 1991
Was: South Suburban Korean Methodist Church
email: gnosis92 at yahoo dot com
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)