Demonstrate modesty firstJun Kwang-hoon, the controversial pastor under fire for stirring churchgoers of Sarang Jeil Church to defy administrative orders on quarantine actions, fumed at the government upon release from hospital after he tested positive for the coronavirus. He hardly sounded apologetic for causing social unrest as Covid-19 cases spiked in and around Seoul since the Aug. 15 rallies in downtown Seoul that led to the toughest-yet weeklong social distancing measures. He sounded more like a mudslinger than a pastor.
Jun slammed President Moon Jae-in and brought out ancient controversies unrelated to the virus crisis to demean the president. He claimed that the state-led quarantine measures were a scam. He reiterated his bizarre theory on the coronavirus outbreak on YouTube. He claimed that China was dumping the Wuhan virus on “us.” His maverick actions can hamper quarantine actions and also hurt the overall conservative front.
He briefly apologized for “causing concerns,” but that cannot be enough to explain 1,083 patients from his church — and the sprawl in the virus spread since the controversial Gwanghwamun rally his church organized on Aug. 15. If he was sincerely regretful, he should have promised full cooperation with health authorities out of responsibility for the cluster infections.
Jun proclaimed himself as a prophet and religious leader, not a politician or social movement activist. “But if President Moon continues to deceive the public, I am ready to become a martyr,” he said. He is blasphemous to claim himself as a prophet defined in the Bible. If he is a true religious leader, he should demonstrate modesty first. Excessive self-assurance can make one arrogant and bigoted.
Jun has been acting more like a politician. He created a religious political party four times to vie in the parliamentary elections. He is self-deluded if he maintains he has no political aspiration.
Jun’s erratic behavior has also burdened the Korean Protestant Church. Korean churches have become labeled as hotbeds for the virus spread. An emergency committee comprised of 10 church organizations acknowledged the church’s fault for condoning the misdeeds of Jun and some extreme church groups. Jun must stop his disparage campaign if he has any concerns for the country and the church community.