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Tacoma Port

Vertical Movement, by Rev. Andy Yong (March 2021 Banner, Online edition)

At the Western Reformed Seminary, I learned about the Reformed faith, such as the inerrancy of the Bible, God’s absolute sovereignty over salvation, total depravity, and the Five Solas. My false beliefs about God, men, salvation, and the church were also put in place.

When I graduated from seminary and started church planting in Tacoma, I thought that I should spread the Reformed faith, based on the Word of God, to the Korean-American community. So even now, the question of “Future goals for your ministry” in my monthly mission report is answered, “Shepherding Korean-Americans to stand firm in the Word of God and grow into a Reformed Presbyterian Church.”
I had the goal of spreading fundamental and God-centered faith to those who already had faith but whose faith was humanistic, liberal or only for carnal blessing. But now, looking at the people God has sent to me, there is no one who meets my goals. In other words, no one came to our church pursuing the Reformed faith.

I don’t know if it is only in Korean churches, but there is an expression called “horizontal movement.” It is when someone moves from one church to another (without moving to a new home). There are many reasons for such a move. There are seemingly plausible reasons, but in the end, it is usually because of a personal issue or preference—most are not for spiritual or fundamental reasons. However, God has not allowed even one in our church who has done that popular “horizontal movement.”

Everyone gathered here did “vertical movement”, not “horizontal.” The reason I coined the term “vertical movement” is because the movement to our church seems like falling from the sky. All of them, including my family, have moved here from other places or have not attended church for a long time.

There are many plans in my heart, nevertheless it was the Lord’s plan that did stand. I was looking for individuals or families who had the Reformed faith to help me and to plant a church together. However, all the people God sent to me are those who need my prayers and help. When David escaped to the cave of Adullam, about four hundred men, who were in distress, debt, or discontented, gathered to him (1 Samuel 22). Though I can’t compare with David, my situation is like his.

What is clear is that God sent me to shepherd those at Covenant and God loves each one. What I hope is that these people will learn the Reformed faith correctly and abandon their humanistic, liberal beliefs and faith for only carnal blessings.
For the believers of Covenant BP Mission to grow into a Reformed Presbyterian church as my future ministry goal states, it must be all God’s work because it is impossible without the power of God to create something out of nothing and to call those things which do not exist as though they did (1 Corinthians 1:28). I am grateful to God for giving me the privilege to help build Christ’s church. I sincerely thank you for your prayers and support.

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