Monday, January 16, 2012 • 12:01 am
Martin Luther King Jr. was an extraordinary person. Not perfect but nevertheless, extraordinary. While we remember his legacy again on this day…let’s not make the mistake of forgetting the God behind this extraordinary man.
It’s way too easy to talk about MLK because so many people and groups of people want to own him as their own. But they often don’t want to take or acknowledge all of him. At the core of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. was a follower of Jesus Christ. His faith in Christ informed all that he sought to do as a civil rights leader.
And that is precisely why his dream did not die upon his assassination. Because Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: justice, martin luther king, martin luther king jr., mlk
Saturday, April 16, 2011 • 2:41 am
I’m very fond of this season in the Christian calendar because I can mention the word “ass” during my blog post and sermon and still keep all the fundamentalists off my back.
But seriously, the message of Palm Sunday is very significant. True, this fulfills the prophecy of the Old Testament and that’s very significant but there’s more:
The image of Jesus riding on a donkey – aka “an ass” – during Palm Sunday is a great paradox.
In some ways, it’s when things go downhill really fast for Jesus and for anyone and everyone associated with Jesus that had a different agenda about “the Kingdom” than Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, church, Jesus, justice, leadership, ministry, ass, donkey, palm sunday
Wednesday, June 10, 2009 • 1:15 am
Let’s first get the coffee espresso snob question out of the way:
What’s “your” espresso drink? Or are you a tea person?
In the face of some incredibly shocking statistics about extreme global poverty, it’s easy and understandable to feel paralyzed. I’ve often felt this way but instead of feeling the burden to change the world, just think about making an impact on one person, or one family, or one small village.
As some of you know, I also serve as the executive director of a non-profit community cafe called Q Cafe. I’m joined on the Advisory Board by Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: justice, non-profit, Q Cafe, coffee, humanitarian, non-profit, Q Cafe, seattle, stumptown, world concern
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 • 1:21 pm
There are 27 million reasons why you should give a frack about Human Trafficking. I want to invite you to join us for a special film screening of Call + Response. And if you’ve seen it, see it again and bring someone along. If you’ve already seen the film, can you share some of your reflections so that others might be encouraged to watch this film or screen it on their own?
We’re not here to bait and switch, ask for your money, or get you to come to our church or buy more cups of coffee. We simply want to partner together to love mercy and seek justice.
Join Quest Church and Q Cafe for a screening of the landmark film on human trafficking in our world. Following the film screening, join us next door at Q Cafe for an advocacy fair with local and global partners in the fight against human trafficking to learn how you can be involved. All profits go to World Concern and Break the Chains/International Justice Mission to support their work against human trafficking.
Human trafficking is considered the third largest industry in the world and despite our advances as a human society, there are more slaves today than any point in human history. That – folks – is the essence of human depravity. Tickets are only $5 and all proceeds go to benefit the fight and cause. Seats are limited so purchase your tix now. Help us spread the word by sharing this post or share the Facebook Event.
Two articles I want to share with you. The first is a recent article from the NY Times/blogpost
Anyone who thinks it is hyperbole to describe sex trafficking as slavery should look at the maimed face of a teenage girl, Long Pross. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: justice, seattle, call + response, human trafficking, international justice mission, slavery, world concern
Saturday, January 17, 2009 • 2:20 am
I received this comment last week regarding my supposed slandering of soon to be former President George W. Bush. The funny thing was I was trying to defend him in that post about an Iraqi journalist throwing a shoe at him. Okay, I know he’s not the greatest president and many can’t wait to see him out of office but we should give him some props. Why? His work and advocacy for Africa was signifcant and secondly, the reality of extremist terrorists is legit and he navigated the country through uncharted territories especially through post 9/11. But I still don’t support the war in Iraq.
Anyway, read the comment below. Good thoughts for rumination by the commenter who I don’t know. I appreciate the respectful tone in which he communicated his concerns. But honestly, I get very concerned about Christians quoting Scriptures instructing people to “respect our governing authorities and fall in submission to them.”
Really? Yes, let’s respect our leaders. I agree that it’s important but please don’t blindly submit to your leaders. Please don’t tell this Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, christianity, church, justice, barack obama, george w. bush, president
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 • 12:32 am
Racism sucks. Most of us can agree on that. The bad news is that many of us are racists. We just are. I fear that I may be a racist on some level or another. It’ll help our conversation dramatically if we can all start from the presumption that we’re all racists in some way. This way, we don’t have to all be so defensive. And if we aren’t, we can all agree that we’re all racialized…meaning, we can’t help but see the world and others via the lens of race.
I know that dialogue isn’t sufficient in itself but conversation and knowledge can become foundations to action. If you’re in the Seattle area, join us for our church’s 4th annual Faith and Race Depth Class. Register HERE. I can assure you that you’ll be disappointed by the class but that’s ok. It’s still good a good discussion to have…
For five weeks in October and November [5 consecutive Mondays beginning Oct. 22] we will be hosting our fourth annual faith and race conference. We hope to learn more about racism in America, deepen our understanding of what it means to call ourselves a “multiethnic church,” and continue the dialog that began in 2003. We will be working through a reader using excerpts from the articles and books below as well as video clips from the Color of Fear documentary. The format will be both small group discussions and lectures led/taught by members of Quest. The charge is $10 to cover the cost of materials.
By now, many of you have heard about the situation known as Jena 6. But how many of you have heard about the rape and beating of Megan Williams on September 7, 2007? Seriously, how many of you knew about this? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: justice, religion
Thursday, October 4, 2007 • 2:00 am
Less than a year ago, I was crossing a river from Thailand to Burma. Less than a year ago, I was preaching at a church in a Karen village in Burma. Less than a year ago, I was playing and laughing with kids in a small village in Burma…Laughing and playing must be strangers to that land right now. By now, many of you [hopefully] are aware of what’s going on with the anti-government protests in Burma or Myanmar. The painful reality is that such grave injustices have been going on in Burma for years. In recent days, the situation has turned for the worse. The larger global community and governments must hold this regime and those that support the Burma/Myanmar government accountable… Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: justice, burma, free burma, myanmar
Friday, July 13, 2007 • 11:57 am
I’m amazed how many people are tracking with the “gay conversation.” Many folks have emailed asking if Dan Savage has responded to my email. He said that he would a day or two after he received mine but no response yet. Let’s not forget…he’s a big shot. He’s an editor of the popular Stranger and has his own syndicated column that’s published in who knows how many places. He’s got people to see, places to go, and blah blah blah so I’m not surprised or disappointed. No biggie.
On the Slog [the Stranger's blog], he did mention that some of the Slog posters did such a great job responding to my doozies that he didn’t really feel the need to respond. Truth be told, there really were some incredible comments and dialogue. Several people have shared with me that they actually printed out ALL the comments, went off somewhere, and just read through them and in some cases, discussed them with friends. [That's a lot of wasted paper...]
I feel somewhat obliged to Dan. He has written, in my opinion, the best press about Quest through his “church review” and indirectly, given me one of the best compliments [I think] I have received. In responding to my concerns about posting what I intended to be a personal email on the Slog, he apologized for the misunderstanding and wrote [there]:
We’re not in conflict about the misunderstanding. Cho’s not upset with me; the man is gracious as all fuck. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: emerging church, justice, religion, seattle
Thursday, July 12, 2007 • 10:57 am
It’s sweltering hot here in Seattle this week. It’s also hot in many places. How did Al Gore manipulate the weather to get more support for his cause behind Inconvenient Truth?
When I became a Christian at 18, I never heard anything about the moral dilemma of environmentalism until seminary. I still wrestle with how to more organically speak of environmentalism and care of God’s creation within the context of a larger framework of ministry. I’m constantly challenged by individuals at Quest that not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Individuals that bike regularly to work, go hybrid and biodiesel, compost galore, and even taking steps to utilize solar energy. Very cool. I have much to learn. I’ve always felt like I’ve done my part and even converted my wife who is becoming the recycling Nazi. She recycles everything…
This leads me to some thoughts about the Live Earth concerts from last weekend. Anybody watch? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: culture, justice
Monday, July 2, 2007 • 12:12 pm
Let’s just say that last week was one of the more crazier weeks. Without even really trying, it seemed like I was upsetting a lot of people.
It began with an intense but good conversation with some representatives of the Republican party. Long story so I won’t even go into it. But let me just say this: I’m neither Republican or Democrat…but Go Obama. [Great, I've upset more people].
Then, of course, the email exchange with Dan Savage leading to the first installment of the “gay conversation.” It’s tough hearing your name associated with bigotry and hatred but it’s nothing compared to the pain, prejudice, and hatred that many in the gay community have faced. We need to listen to the stories of the gay community.
Through that post, I’ve also somehow managed to irk the fundamental Christians who question my hermeneutics, the liberals for my lack of theological acumen, couple Mars Hillians for what they perceive to be an insult to them and their pastor by my comments of not wanting to be compared to Mars Hill. [C'mon folks: you guys are major leaguers. I'm just a Single A minor leaguer with a .237 average. Don't worry about folks like me]. And to top it off, I’ve managed to annoy my wife for checking the blog on my smartphone during our quasi vacation time. Can I tick off any more people within a week? Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, Jesus, justice
Thursday, June 28, 2007 • 5:03 pm
It’s been a busy and crazy day today. We’re rearranging our staff offices; I’m dealing with chicken pox at the home, dealing with a rock being thrown into our church office window [luckily, no one was in there because the pastor sitting there was home because of an ailment], getting ready to head out tomorrow to Sabbath for couple days, and blah blah blah. And it’s probably about to get a little crazier…
Last night, I finally had a chance to respond to an email I received from Dan Savage, the editor of The Stranger - wittingly described by a friend as “the alternative paper to Seattle’s alternative newspaper [Seattle Weekly]. As readers of this blog know, he authored what I thought to be a witty review of Quest Church in the paper’s last edition. I was surprised that he posted my personal email and his response on The Stranger blog for the rest of the world to see. Oh well. My hope is not to engage in battle. That is the farthest thing from my heart. Most that know me will attest to this… While many have assumptions that Christians are hate filled, bigoted and ignorant, it’s my hope that more will realize that issues of justice, compassion, and mercy are dear to the heart of Christians – because they are near to the heart of God.
I am first posting my latest email to Dan, and then posting my first email and then his response…I share this here [with some trepidation] knowing that anything can be said. I guess that’s the beauty and beastly nature of blogs. It’s my hope that my email to Dan will answer some of the numerous responses from his readers and because I know my email will be posted anyways on his blog. Last week, I very much enjoyed reading the thread of comments from Scot McKnight’s [jesus creed] post about the church’s lack of compassion with the gay community. I had no idea that I’d be smack in the middle of this conversation as the culprit of that bigotry…
Related Links: Listening; Gracious as All F#*k; and The Gay Dialogue
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: bible, christianity, church, emerging church, justice, religion
Thursday, June 21, 2007 • 12:07 am
quest had the privilege of “co-sponsoring” a conference in 2002 with mustard seed associates [tom and christine sine] which is based here in seattle. i had an opportunity to join an eclectic mix of different presenters from around the world. i have no idea what i spoke about… q cafe hosted all the presenters during the pre-conference shindig and it was there that i briefly met shane claiborne. his voice is fresh, unique, and important. while there may not be total agreement with all of his thoughts, his role in the body of christ and his leadership to this and coming generations is critical.
this morning, i read this from the simple way website. simply, they are in need of assistance from the larger body of christ. would you join me in praying for this community, their neighborhood and consider making a donation?
6/20/07 11:25PM (UPDATED)
This morning, a 7-alarm fire consumed an abandoned warehouse in our Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Simple Way Community Center at 3200 Potter Street was destroyed as well as at least eight of our neighbors’ homes. Over 100 people were evacuated from their homes, and 400 families are currently without power. Despite this tragedy, we are incredibly thankful to share that all of our community members and every one of our neighbors is safely out of harm’s way. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, justice, prayer
Thursday, June 14, 2007 • 12:24 am
i love to study and teach the scriptures. but i also love to learn, study, engage, befriend, challenge, and be challenged by women and men that not only seek to submit themselves to the scriptures but more importantly, to jesus. i encountered this quote from cornel west several weeks ago [h/t enscriptchun] and have enjoyed meditating on it. we’re trying to invite him to quest but he’s on sabbatical for the next year and currently not taking requests. bummer. regardless, here goes:
“I speak as a Christian- one whose commitment to democracy is very deep but whose Christian convictions are deeper. Democracy is not my faith. And American democracy is not my idol. To see the gospel of Jesus Christ bastardized by imperial Christians and pulverized by Constantinian believers and then exploited by nihilistic elites of the American empire makes my blood boil. To be a Christian- a follower of Jesus Christ- is to love wisdom, love justice, and love freedom. This is the radical love in Christian freedom and the radical freedom in Christian love that embraces socratic questioning, prophetic witness, and tragicomic hope. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: christianity, Jesus, justice
Thursday, May 24, 2007 • 12:11 am
Ministry is never pretty. More poignantly, life is not pretty. It’s messy. Our idealism will never be met. It’s the simple and brutal truth. The reality: Quest Church is a failure. It sucks. The reality: I am a failure. I suck. But the good news – it’s OK. Everyone just breathe. God is gracious. God’s grace is sufficient. As for Quest: it’s too big, too small, too disorganized, too institutional, too Asian, too White, too educated, too young, too modern, too postmodern, too emerging, too un-emerging, too biblical, too liberal, too conservative, [insert your thoughts here]. After six years, while I can honestly acknowledge that Quest is a failure of sorts and has disappointed many people, I can also rest in knowing that it’s beautiful and has ministered to many people – by the grace of God. I feel so very privileged that God called my wife, Minhee and I, to be the visioneers of this church and hopefully, a movement to come.
So, while there are disappointments and I
might will never please each and every single person, I’ve learned that there’s great value in just showing up. There’s great value in simply DOING ministry, sharing life, and just trying. While the product might not be polished and the process is messy, it’s humbling – even if it’s very rare – to know that redemptive things can and are taking place. Here and there, I’ve wondered to myself if the church, the cafe, the programs, the sermons, the counseling, the Live Music, the community groups, the whatever…does it matter? Now, more than ever before, I’ve realized that being messy is where the gospel is often manifested. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: church, churchplanting, emerging church, justice, pastors
Monday, April 30, 2007 • 5:13 pm
The image above is haunting. I found it on flickr and haven’t been able to get my mind off it. This past Sunday, we continued our teaching through Colossians and have parked for two Sundays to focus on Colossians 3.18-19:
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. [tNIV] Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: culture, emerging church, justice
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 • 3:46 pm
I was 15 when I first learned about ‘comfort women.’ I thought it was a fictitious story; I thought, “That’s unbelievable. How is that even possible?” Tragically, it happens and is still happening in different forms. I know there will come a day when my kids will learn about things that happened in my generation and will wonder, “Why didn’t anyone [including my parents] do anything about it?” That will be another occasion I will be tempted to hide. The issues of human rights, children’s right, women’s rights, and global peace must still be forefront in our hearts. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: asian-american, justice, politics
Tuesday, April 10, 2007 • 10:46 pm
i’ve given myself 15 minutes for this post so excuse me for the choppiness. many in the church, including myself, don’t quite know how to thoughtfully integrate the subject of ‘numbers’ into conversations. the pastoral staff and i have never once spoken about how to increase the numbers at quest. that’s why some recent criticism that i ‘only seem to care about numbers’ sting a little more than the other stuff i find in my inbox. but isn’t it fair to say that numbers should absolutely matter but that numbers can grow to become an idolatrous obsession? geez, that’s another post and i only have 14 minutes now. Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: justice, ministry