Ricky and I watched an incredibly depressing documentary on North Korea.
To be honest, I don't know anything about North Korea. It's not talked about much in the news besides North and South Korea being mad at each other. Kim Jong Il is a dictator and yada yada yada, but I never really truly knew anything about the country.
As it turns out, these people are under horrible oppression and have been ruthlessly, and fearfully, brainwashed. As usually happens whenever I am enlightened about things happening in the world, I began to feel incredibly guilty about my ignorance. They existence of labor camps in North Korea, where hundreds of thousands of people are sent to be worked to death, are reminiscent of the holocaust. In many cases, they are not even told what they did wrong. If a family member defects, then the extended family may be thrown in prison. Millions of the citizens are malnourished and dying, and yet through all this, they openly worship Kim Jong Il as God.
It was insightful to me. On my first reaction, I was completely sickened. I was disgusted that so many people worship him as God, and that Kim takes that glory for himself, and even perpetuates that belief constantly. I also assumed that they were praising him for fear of imprisonment or death. However, the more I watched, I saw that most were completely genuine. They truly loved their leader, and they truly would die for him and they believed that he was responsible for everything good in their lives. The more I watched, the more I felt like I was looking at a reflection of myself.
God. We love Him. We praise Him and we hold Him responsible for everything good in our lives. We look forward to the day when He'll return and bring peace on the Earth with His kingdom, and we will praise Him for all eternity. We believe that without Him, we are destined to burn in hellfire. We would die for Him. We love Him in good times and bad, even with all the suffering around us, we praise Him. We wish He'd reach down His pinky finger and feed the world, and when He doesn't we love Him anyway.
Now I was sickened because the Savior and God I served looked a heck of a lot like Kim Jong Il. How could Christians be following a God like this? I thought, could we be brainwashed in the same way?
But it didn't take much time thinking about it before realizing how silly it was of me to compare them. There is so much suffering in the world because people have not chosen God. People have created the evil in the world, not God. Also, the North Koreans who genuinely love their leader are only doing what they were created to do in the first place - worshipping. We were all created to worship, walk with, and love the Living God. The Bible says we were created by Him, and for Him. Anyone in this world who does not know Him, must worship something! They worship their jobs, and money, and other things that will always leave them empty. The worship coming from the North Koreans is simply misdirected, but in a much clearer way than in America. I saw the people bowing down, crying out to their "Dear Leader" saying "thank you" and "I will serve you always!" but God should have received that praise. They gave it to Kim Jong Il, just like we give it to money and materialism, and work, and food, and freakishly stupid celebrities!
In America, we worship other things; things that are more hidden, but we are under the same oppression. Our only hope is in God - to forgive us. While I sit in my cozy house, I still feel sad for the North Koreans who are dying in labor camps. I wish that I was not so apathetic. Humans have such potential for goodness, and I just wish that we knew how to use it.