The purpose of this study is to investigate the crisis of publicness of the Korean Church, to suggest social mission as an alternative for recovering publicness of christianity and to suggest life mission, justice mission and peace mission as christian social mission.
All statistics show that the Korean Church is the most distrusted religion among representative religions in Korea. This crisis of public confidence of the Korean Church results from the loss of publicness of christianity. But originally christianity is not a private religion but a public religion. The reason is as follows: ① God of christianity is not a lonely being but public being in community. God is a social, participatory being. ② The world created by God is not a private domain for a certain group or nation but a symbiotic domain for all creatures. ③ All humans were created not as lonely beings but as beings in relationship with God and other creatures. ④ Kingdom of God is not a private character of kingdom which a certain group or nation can monopolize but public character of kingdom which all humans enjoy justice, peace and joy in Holy Spirit. ⑤ Church is not a private being for itself but a public being for common good of society and the world. On the ground of the above statements, christianity is a public religion in which publicness is a key element.
The Korean Church lost publicness. What are the reasons of it? The reasons are as follows: ① Individualistic understanding of salvation ② Dualistic thought which separate soul and body, individual and society, the world beyond and this world and think body, society and this world less importantly than soul, individual and this world ③ fundamentalism ④ collision with shamanism ⑤ collision with confucianism ⑥ collision with economism ⑦ collision with a nation What is an alternative for recovering of publicness of the Korean Church? First, it is to recover the identity of christianity as a public religion Second, it is to perform the task of social mission. Here social mission means all activities which churches and christians perform in relation to social responsibility. What are the contents of social mission? Those are life mission, justice mission and peace mission. First, the task of life mission is to build culture of life and ecological community which affirm and respect life, and to resist powers which drive the socially weak and ecosystem to death. Second, the task of justice mission is to criticize all forms of concentration of power by minority, to resist unilateral dominion of a few vested interests and to change unjust political, economical social system into just political, economical social system. Third, the task of peace mission is to oppose violence, war, war weapons and nuclear weapons, to try to solve conflict relations and hostile relations, to curtail aggressive elements which become the cause of war, to get rid of structural violence such as poverty, oppression, discrimination and alienation. and to build culture of peace in which every people and every nations respect each other.
As Moltmann said, the Korean Church today face double crises. One is the crisis of identity, the other the crisis of relevance. The former is the crisis of recognition, the latter is the crisis of praxis. In terms of these double dimensions, the Korean Church face the loss of publicness. If it is the cause of loss of public confidence of the Korean Church, recovering publicness of the Korean Church is a urgent task in order to recover credibility of the Korean Church. In conclusion, the Korean Church has to perform life mission, justice mission and peace mission as social mission in order to recover publicness of christianity. Because a public character of christianity is most clearly revealed through social mission as a christian response of contemporary political, economical, social problems.