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Globalization of Minjung in a Broader Sense. Revolutionary Aspects in the Lukan Writings.
Minjung does not merely consist of a group Koreans: in the truest sense, minjung transcend ethic, racial, and national boundaries. (Chung, Martin Luther and Buddhism pp.170-72. Chun elaborates on many forms of minjung in The Old Testament and New Testament times.) For instance, a group of women become a minjung when they are dominated by men or a socio-cultural structure. Some of the Korean Christian minjung who had been marginalized and oppressed by the ruling class in the 1970s later become an upper-middle class or members of the ruling political party of South Korea in the 1980s and 1990s. These people who used to be the minjung in the 1970s were being accused by others of being “oppressors” as they become organized and acquired socio-political power. In other words mean, once being minjung does not mean that they will remain always a minjung: some members of the minjung in the 1970s can become oppressors of other minjung in a later period, especially when a social or political revolution becomes successful.
Although Pentecostals often have been accused of being overly “Lukan”, I insist that Pentecostals today is not Lukan enough. Most scholars agree that both Luke and Acts in the New Testament share the same author. More than any other Gospel, Luke shows a special interest in the poor. Only in Luke’s Beatitudes does it remark, “Blessed are you poor, for your is the Kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). Unlike Matthew’s version, it drops phrase “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). In another case, Matthew 5:6a states, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” By contrast, Luke 6:21a says, “Blessed are you that hunger now.” Once again, Luke eliminated the words “for righteousness.” Again, only Luke’s Beatitudes have this sentence: “Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh” (6:216).
Luke speaks of special blessing given to the poor, hungry, thirsty, and weeping, while woe is given to the rich. (6:24) In Luke’s Gospel, a salient aspect of salvation deals with “liberating the poor and oppressed.” In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus Christ reads a passage from Isaiah 61:1-2: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to ‘the poor’. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at ‘liberty’, those, who are ‘oppressed’, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” According to Jesus, this passage not only refers to futuristic eschaton, but the Day of the Lord or the year of Jubilee has also arrived. In Luke 6:21, Jesus claims to the Jewish people in the synagogue, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Additionally, this passage alludes to the year of Jubilee (once every fifty years), when debts are remitted, slaves are liberated, and sins are forgiven. Moreover, Isaiah 61:1-2 also speaks of the liberation of Israel from nation of Babylonia. One can infer from this passage that the good news involves not only one’s individual personal salvation but also socio-political liberation. Salvation covers a revolutionary aspect, even though it calls for a nonviolent one. Acts 2 also reveals the “revolutionary” aspect of the last days between Pentecost and the Second Coming of Christ. Not only will God pour out the Holy Spirit on Israelite kings, priests, and prophets, but God will also pour the Spirit on ‘slaves’ and ‘women’ (Acts 2:18), who were more or less subjugated during the first century. Furthermore, they will also prophesy (Acts 2:18c). The people (minjung) who have been oppressed and subjugated will receive the same or even more of the Spirit’s blessings in these last days. With the outpouring on the day of Pentecost, the oppressed minjung with charismata were enabled to become the ‘center’ and ‘subjects’ of God’s Salvation history. In terms of this revolutionary Lukan aspect, Pentecostals have not been Lukan enough. On the whole, the Pentecostal movement in the past has tended to underscore individual, spiritual, affective aspects of salvation, while it was not diligent in retrieving these liberationist aspects of the socio-political gospel. From a minjung perspective, Pentecostalism remains foremost a Christian movement in which the powerless, weak, and oppressed become the powerful, strong, and liberated by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.