My grandfather was one of 6 martyrs produced by the Evangelical Holiness Church of Korea. He was kidnapped by the North Korean regime and presumably murdered. People who knew him remembered him as a person who tried to live in strict accordance to the Bible. For example, he reserved the best seats in the sanctuary, usually the first few rows in front, because James 2:1-4 instructs that the poor should not be discriminated against the rich.
I must be have been influenced by my late grandfather because I have the same conviction, that nobody should be favored or discriminated against because of family, school, or hometown ties. This isn’t particularly hard for me, because I don’t really care about those things. I usually don’t know what schools our deacons attended, even after I’ve known them for years, unless the subject comes up incidentally during conversation. I don’t ask them about it and they don’t bother to tell me.
Some people resent this attitude of mine. These are generally people who graduated from the same high school or college as me. They seem to expect preferential treatment because of school ties. But that’s against my principles. I can’t make special visitations because this is a ministry that belongs to the shepherds.
People who hold high positions and celebrities also seem to expect different treatment from me. For example, some wanted me to visit them and personally present the gospel instead of them coming to the monthly meeting at my office like everyone else. But I can’t do that either; I only do this for people on their deathbed.
If people want to be Christians they must humble themselves. If they bring their social status into church they will not become true Christians and their faith will not grow. For their own benefit, they need to follow the same church regulations that all other members do. They need to attend the same Bible classes, walk the aisle to make a commitment as others do, and come to the gospel presentation meetings just like other members.
Giving special treatment to anyone would hinder their faith rather than help it grow. That is why we never introduce visitors in church with social titles such as Minister, President, Congressman, or Professor.
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