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Congenital Christianity

David Kim


David Kim

Adventist Business Executive and Co-Founder of the Nicodemus Society



  • January 4, 2014
    2:00 PM
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for you you may not have the video on her behalf when the meeting unanimously I wanted to as likely to visit us online at www. DY C Mann a man privilege to be with you this afternoon would you please join me in prayer I will kneel you may face even our Lord God heavenly father you are God we praise you we thank you for Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith we pray Lord that you would be with us in this plenary session we pray that you would speak through your humble servant and that you and only you would be glorified we pray that the Holy Spirit would give us hearing and comprehension but even more important than comprehension we pray that the Holy Spirit would give us conviction conviction of what it is that you have two say to us the Sabbath afternoon we pray this in Jesus is precious and lovely name amen I'm the son of Korean immigrants on an older brother I'm a husband father a former professional cellist and I'm not corporate executive yet as important and as defining each of these things is each of these faxes to who I am and my identity there is one fact that is more important than any of these facts to who I am what I am today and that is but I am a survivor of a chronic and deadly disease is a disease that affects millions around the world is that it runs in families and is passed on through generations it is a silent killer there is no known cure for this disease absent a literal miracle from the Lord himself I am a survivor of congenital Christianity congenital Christianity is a spiritual condition it is in many ways similar to Seventh-day Adventist Christianity but it lacks one thing is at its core superficial and it lacks an authentic saving relationship with Christ some of you may be suffering from the very condition and in order to help you self diagnose I'd like to share with you a non- comprehensive list of potential symptoms you might observe are you ready for the symptoms you want to know what they are very well one you avoid talking about your faith at work or at school because you're not quite sure what your believe what you believe and you're a little embarrassed to you know that Saturday's the Sabbath but what's the big deal it's just the day three you've heard that we have distinctive a Michael police about death hell and the sanctuary but you have no idea what they are and why they matter for you hear people refer to the spirit of prophecy but you're ambivalent about it even though you've never actually read any of the books fly those beasts on the prophecy seminar flyer look strange and bizarre to you and you got no clue what they mean six you think that mega church down the street is a lot more fun and a lot more interesting but you feel sort of bad that you think that seven UN saying from all unclean meats except for pepperoni bacon and shrimp because they taste so good a man don't seem into you abstain from all alcohol suffer low beer wine socially but while in the hard stuff only mixed with orange user cranberry juice because then you can't taste it and you can't taste it if not there eight you dutifully wait until sundown on Sabbath before you head to the theater to see twilight in IMAX 3-D amen you go out to lunch after Sabbath church service because surely God does not want you to start and those garlic bread sticks are so much yummier than what they got potluck ten this is the last one you character status will mostly but you go because you want your kids to have exposure even though you don't have any personal conviction or investment in the face these are just examples but they should give you an idea of what were talking about any of this sound familiar of course not you is that you are seeing right of course not you but maybe a friend or family more of a family member or another church member you observe maybe the head elder will have good news and bad news which you want first I think the bad has it that will go with the bad news first which is what I was planning to do anyway a man the bad news is that untreated congenital Christianity leads to eternal death one hundred percent of the time the bad news is that while the disease is passed down that sure is not you cannot be saved on your parents faith for the fate of anyone else the bad news is that you must affirmatively choose to be cured it won't just get that or you can't walk this off that's the bad news who wants the good news and then the good news is that there is a cure and I stand before you as living proof a congenital Christianity survivor I testify to you that I have been cured of this disease by the love of Jesus and the power of the everlasting Gospel amen the good news is is that if God can save a wretch like me he can surely save you and the good news is that that is not too late it's not too late for you even if you have been suffering under the putrefying mother a little more math on congenital Christianity for years or even decades it is not too late for you God can still reach down from his throne touch your heart and turn your heart from a heart of stone in Florida last I know that you can do this because he didn't for me my story begins three generations ago in the early nineteen hundreds when my great-grandfather was the second ever ordained Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Korea amen his son my grandfather also entered the ministry and he became the first native Korean to be the president of the Korean Union conference amen his son my father did not go into the ministry but he attended Adventist schools all his life until he went one of the top medical schools in Korea where he scored number one on the medical board exams that year all the while observing Sabbath in a country which required attending class on Saturdays amen and that's where I come in because I was a four-month old when my mother my father two suitcases and a baby showed up in Boston for his residency so while I am a one five generation Korean American I'm a fourth-generation seventh day Adventist my roots in the face go all the way back to the earliest days in Korea and while many blessings come from having this heritage in the church it comes with a predisposition to congenital Christianity my earliest spiritual memory comes from when I was four years old I would come down to early on Sunday morning to watch television while my parents slept and it didn't take me long to notice that every channel I turned to actually wouldn't have remote controls old every channel I turned to and we didn't have cable we only had rabbit ears on that old every channel I turned to begin have cartoons has anyone ever heard a Sunday morning cartoons note what you have on Sunday mornings yet church services right to every channel I turned you have church services and even at the age of four I saw are the confused what what day is this this is what was going to church on Sunday and after a little while of this I decided I would ask my mother and so my four -year-old feet walk to the kitchen where my mother was doing the dishes and she was very busy young mother of four -year-old and a two -year-old I said to her online which means mommy career I said on my wire all these people going to church on Sunday don't they know that Saturday's the seventh now before I tell you what she said I need to clarify something I thank the Lord for another safe and she is a Bible worker she is a church planter she is an evangelist amongst the Korean immigrant community but at the time of this she was at a different place in the spiritual and so I said to her why are these people going to church on sent Sunday not on Sabbath and she said to me I don't know and left it at that now I don't know why she said that maybe she was just too busy right mother to four -year-old and two -year-old known to be busy maybe if you are stupid if you want to take the time to explain to me or maybe she thought I was too young to understand a fuller explanation I don't know what the reason was but what I do know is that I left our conversation scratching my head I was utterly confused and I thought of my mother doesn't know who knows one of the primary risk factors for congenital Christianity is confusion from my earliest childhood experience I was confused about what we believe that I did not receive the instruction in the home parents and future parents this is why the Lord in his divine wisdom told us in Deuteronomy chapter six verses six and seven and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart you shall teach them diligently to your children and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house when you walk by the way when you lie down and when you rise up which is Bible language for all time a man you leave your children confused even when there are beginners or kindergarten you increase their risk of congenital Christianity you might think that they are too young to understand you I think that they're not paying attention but they are paying attention and they are watching you and they are listening to you more than you know and even from these early formative years you have the opportunity to give them the vaccine of a soundly biblical age appropriate foundation for their faith a man the ensuing years of my childhood and adolescence read like a classic textbook case of congenital Christianity in the sixth grade I was pulled out of the Adventist schools for two reasons reason number one the excessive PDAs on the part of the high school kids at the co- located Academy I don't mean iPhones I mean what profession had gone to the point where my parents found it was not an appropriate place for their sixth-grader and their fourth-grader to be at school reason number two the academics were not as challenging as I needed I must admit that I was getting bored even at that age and so my parents took me out and they put me in the public schools starting in sixth grade which was actually quite good for me academically but my face was assaulted from all sides continually specifically my face was under assault from the curriculum the extracurriculars and the peer pressure will talk about each one let's talk about the curriculum the curriculum was one hundred percent secular and humanistic from biology to English literature I was exposed to the breath of worldviews in which humanism was glorified and God was poured down and don't get me wrong I presented a seminar this week on witnessing to the wealthy worldly and well-educated and as a missionary to these people we need to understand their mindset and understand their culture we need to build to speak that language but exposure to these worldviews can be dangerous if we are not firmly grounded in the reality of God and the truth of his Word amen by beholding you become change and if all your beholding his Darwin can't Russo and Richard Dawkins and you're not beholding Moses Daniel John and Paul and the others that you will be changed best case you set yourself up for confusion and doubt worst-case set yourself up for apostasy or even atheism that was the curriculum but beyond the curriculum or the extra regular activities weather sports clubs Arthur academic if he had him rethink conflicted with the Sabbath a man if it's not good if you're in a public school and the stuff is not conflicting for you you need to listen to the rest of this message it seemed that everything conflicted with the Sabbath and I struggled greatly with these conflicts because my unconverted heart wanted to achieve much of the world and I thought the way to achieve much of the world was to receive the validation of the world rather than rely on the mighty right arm of the Lord in my case I was gaining some success as a chalice I was one of the best in the state of California is considering cello performance as a profession and one of the ways that you develop a track record in music performances the competition circuit but time after time after time I had to decline participation because all of these competitions rounds out it was a difficult excruciating struggle and my teenage mind and the struggle was compounded by the fact that individuals in our own Seventh-day Adventist church were encouraging me to compromise by the way we should not find it strange that Satan would use the world to make it difficult for us to keep the Sabbath there was a sweet older woman she was one of the pillars of our local church and she was a strong supporter of the local music scene she knew of my talent as well as our struggles I will never forget one Sabbath afternoon when she pulled me aside she told me it would be okay would be okay if I competed because two reasons one I be playing good classical music and nothing of us to do because I be glorifying God with my talent is if you said would be okay I'm convinced that he meant well but this well-intentioned church member with causing even more confusion for me and setting me up for compromise and ultimately full-blown congenital Christianity we would do well to recall Jesus 's words in Matthew eighteen verse six whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin it would be better for him or her for no stone were hot and around his neck and he were drowned in the depths church family you don't have to be blood related to someone to inflame their congenital Christianity you can even be a well-meaning church member but be careful because you may make your self a contributing factor to someone else's congenital Christianity and Lord have mercy on you if you do that though talked about the curriculum and how it undermined my face was talked about the extracurriculars and how they created conflict in my heart but the third factor the most powerful and potent factor with the peer pressure beginning in the sixth grade through my tears I was exposed to the range of filth and wickedness that we unfortunately consider a normal part of growing up between the school bus the sleepover the field trip the cafeteria the popular media and various and sundry other settings where ever I turned Satan was there to teach me what was pleasurable and desirable and required for social standing and required for emotional fulfillment and for physical gratification and ultimately happiness being a little bit delegates because this is a G rated sermon but I hope you understand what I mean in fact from all I can gather from the news in the media today is even worse not a day goes by that I don't see another sensational salacious new story about what some young people did and who they did it to and when they did it to one and where and how often in the locker room behind the cafeteria in the dorm on Facebook with a cell phone or with a WebCam course there are exceptions there are exceptions before every person who is managed to handle the onslaught of peer pressure and were a emergence stage and unfold multiple of that number see here Koch taste smell images media substances and myriad experiences which we need mental emotional and even physical scars which will haunt them for the rest of their lives there are many of you right here in this hall know exactly what I'm talking about you've been there you've done that and you walk through life bearing the resulting guilt and shame of what you've been through Satan uses these emotions and these experiences to make you wonder of God even there he uses these experiences to make you wonder if God is even there and if he's there he cares or if the character whether he is even capable of delivering you from this body of death thing in your mind and your thinking and he may even push you to the point where you would wish that God did not even exist because if God did exist as the Bible says and if you were as pure and holy and righteous as good as the Bible says then you would be certainly destined for internal death and so you say to yourself and Satan puts that on your mind that if God doesn't exist then I'm okay and you choose that point of view is with this mindset that I went my way through high school all of this heart shame conflict in a motion hitting the side of the saw behind the façade of perfect grades musical accolades and admission to world-class schools like Stanford University and Eastman school of music I was chasing the world is doing very well by his standards but all the while I was ambivalent toward God I was resentful toward his church as completely spiritually ungrounded cast adrift in a sea of worldliness and secularism against this backdrop I went off to Eastman and has any new college freshman I was looking for affiliation I was looking for belonging one of the places I look for this with at the local chapter of inter- varsity Christian Fellowship of course there wasn't an Adventist group on campus of course there wasn't one I was so glad to hear what Elder Wilson said this morning about that and I thank the Lord for the ground I has been the path that is been laid by campus ministries in Michigan a man so there was an atmosphere but it didn't matter to me because I didn't know any better I didn't know the difference I just thought we're like evangelical votes at the center I will never forget the first Final Fantasy Rabat canvas there it was led by senior French war plan his name was Drew we went around the circle and we all said namely from what you're studying and something about your spiritual background when it came my turn a dialogue ensued and sounded something like this I my name is David Jim from San Luis Obispo California and secure setting cello performance my spiritual background is to simply identify family Seventh-day Adventist and surgeries and certainly all yourself they are friends how will my patient will my family so bad that Justin and I also think it's pretty clear from the Bible that Saturdays this is the day of worship is the seventh interest to them well okay well Colossians two sixteen and I looked at him blankly I said oh even have to refresh my memory about that what we need Colossians two sixteen figures it will look it up let's look at what's really together sought I took my Bible I was I knew enough to know that Colossians in the New Testament you go eat popcorn go eat popcorn Colossians two sixteen so we turn to it as I start reading okay I'll read this so let no one judge you in food or in drink or regarding a festival or a new moon or sadness to does your Bible say Sabbath I will never never forget that moment Drew says to me right there by being so focused on keeping the law you guys existing legalists Jesus free us from the law will never forget that moment I was mortified I've never seen a person my life is completely at a loss as to what to think you would think that someone who grew up in our church would understand the difference between ceremonial Sabbath and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment and if you don't understand what I just said go talk to your pastor a man but as you just heard I did not learn about these things growing up and so I felt confused betrayed and humiliated I went never went back to the Bible study and I stopped going to church by congenital Christianity had metastasize and checking out I never gave up on the idea of God I had no idea who he was I'd no idea what to believe I had no idea what church was the right one I was spiritually the welder until I left the next fourteen years were a blur I was in hot pursuit of worldly success and I was succeeding over that period of time he earned a bachelors and Masters degree in cello performance from top schools with full scholarships I performed all over the world at some of the most prestigious venues under some of the great conductors and orchestras I earned an MBA from the top programs in the world I worked at some of the most prestigious companies in all capitalism and I married my beautiful wife and had two children I felt like I'd achieve the American dream I didn't have a white picket fence but I had a solar heated swimming pool all take the pool over the years the Lord had drawn me back in the church I married my wife in the church while we lived in Chicago without even serving as an elder when we went out to California but I was not you are converted but still just as confused about her message is ever archaeology in my lifestyle were a mess the outside of the cup and dish were clean but inside I was full of extortion and self indulgence I would whitewashed tomb which fewer appeared beautiful outwardly but inside I was full of dead bone and all uncleanness on the outside I appeared righteous men but inside I was look upon receipt and lawlessness this period of my life was marked by an intense ambivalence toward God Adventism and Christianity as far as I could tell simply Adventists were evangelicals who went to church on Saturday was sticking to the Sabbath out of a desire to be here to the fourth commandment but I've bring a completely legalistic mindset to it on top of this I can diagnose the degenerative bone condition in both my hips are suffering to multiple unsuccessful surgeries I was in a lot of pain for the greater part of ten years I walk with some combination of a limp the Cane and crutches I don't have them today praise the Lord amen as far as I could tell God was leaving me alone to deal with this and I was angry at him so I focused on worldly success but I called it providing for my family because it sounds better I did have personal devotions I didn't study the Bible I never talk about my face as I didn't have any family worship only inconsistently only if I happened to come home early enough for the kids to still be up which was where I was prideful just ambitious for worldly things God and church was something I did for my children just in case it were true but I was angry at God and consumed with world yet through all of this God was trying to reach me there would be times of church without your song or testimony or something in a sermon I would touch my heart and tears come to my eyes but then I would quickly wipe them away as inconspicuously as possible and hope that no one had noticed in these moments I knew that the Holy Spirit was working on Arthur refused to yield to his prompting I still too proud to angry too consumed by the world and I didn't know God much less trust him I can understand the Bible and message it didn't make any sense to me I was congenitally Christian but my heart with unconverted in the spiritual context I was sitting in a church board meeting yes I was sitting on the church board as an elder it was spring of two thousand eight were talking of putting on the first evangelistic series in over ten years at the church and the pastor was talking about the importance of every member of attending all the meetings to support the meetings and I remember thinking to myself with five nights per week for five weeks really all the weekend and will write a check I think I'm all about writing a check but my mother come during the week when I'm so busy with work you just heard how busy I am work there was no way that I was going to Little did I know that God had different plans for me come November instead of being busy with work I've been told that I need to find a new job which was a shock because only six left before I was doing great but I been caught in the undertow of the great financial crisis of two thousand eight like so many others so the bad news was that I had to look for a job during one of the worst financial crisis in the history of economics but the good news was that plenty of time to go to meetings and then and I give thanks to God for the opportunity to hear the entire gospel message in a systematic way there are actually two meetings as part of Parkland Jeffrey Rosario unfolded the message step by step night after night I saw for the first time the logic the coherent and the reliability of the Bible and our gospel message for the first time I could cut through all the clichés involved with our Christian faith and see that the Bible can be trusted I could see why an all powerful and all loving God would allow evil to exist for a season I can understand the physics of salvation through Jesus was why he had to die and what it has to do with me I could see that God has given us prophecy to get us safely run here through a target he hit only we will read it I could see that all the do 's and don'ts that are associated with God in the Bible and even our health message are not because God is picky or arbitrary but because he is trying to prepare us for the reality of life in his direct presence for all eternity amen I can see that every word in his word is love intended to fit us for heaven and earth may knew for the first time God was real to me because for the first time he made so amen I'll never forget how I felt sitting in the hall looking up at the PowerPoint and realizing for the first time that the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel chapter nine perfectly pinpointed the beginning of Christ's ministry in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar a man if you don't know what I just talked about go talk to your pastor I had two immediate thoughts my first thought was wow is true my second thought was will this is true I better do something about it my life has never been the same the Lord put me on the road to recovery and never looked back that next month was G Y C San Jose a Medford UIC and I decided I would take a step out into evangelizing I decided to be a local bus guide as I can handle that because I would have to have to get off the bus and actually knock on a door so I survive I survived the experience intact I should look for other witnessing and training opportunities I can ask coat to go the four-day program where I learned how to give personal Bible study and I accompanied my churches Bible worker thank you Eiko to follow up leads from view I see on the job search from God was faithful in the worst job market in a generation the Lord gave me not just one not just to not just three not just for not just five six excellent job opportunities I had the pick of the litter and that's what brought me to Philadelphia where I live today and as I embark on a new job opportunity in a new place just over four years ago it is almost as if God gave me a clean sheet opportunity to start over and I purposed in my heart be faithful to God in all aspects of my life professional personal to bring my authentic faith everything I do an inmate has made all the difference the Lord has been so faithful is blessed so richly let me describe to you some of the differences I've seen in my life not to bring glory to myself but so you can see practical I will differences I just told you what I would like and I want to show you what the Lord has done amen amen I'm a regular devotional life on a depth and consistency have never had before in particular I am praying more than I ever have before I used to pray like a minute maybe but now has my walk with the Lord has eaten out for a thirty minutes or more amen every morning and I will pray without ceasing during the day as I go to my meetings and talk to people in NC and interact the Lord is teaching me how to praise him like David did in the Psalms the Lord is teaching how to confess specific sins specific since I have to confront every morning I knew the wickedness in my heart and realized that I need to save your and you shortly also that I'm gaining victory over sin because there things I have to confess all the time which Arthur fallen off the radar praise the Lord but there are also things which I sent to confess all the time which I still have to confess all the time but that shows off that shows me what is most deeply seated in my heart and drive me to my knees the Lord is teaching how to pray for others intercessory prayer gets out of our selfishness and into the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus pray for you and for me guys given me the boldest of spiritual conversations with everyone around me I have a dozen or more of these every week with people at my work and my sphere of influence these spiritual conversations and letters Bible studies personal Bible study for the range of people from atheist the Buddhist lawyers and MBAs to PhD 's the Lord save my family life rush out the door in the morning you heard that right I told you and I stumbled back and when the kids were asleep but did today we gather every morning for family prayer I have read evening we come together for family worship the Lord has continued to deepen my appreciation for what it means to be a godly husband and father if you want me to pray every morning that I would love my wife as Christ loved the church giving being willing to give my own body for her and treating her as a member of my own body God is so merciful and good I'm so thankful that he got a hold of my heart while my children were still young by his grace my congenital Christianity was stopped by no means perfect but I'm better than I used to be and by the grace of God all be better every day day by day from face-to-face and from glory to glory the Lord is even using my musical talent in a completely new way in my congenital Christianity my music was a way to glorify myself and to feed my own ego I considered doing special music a burden and beneath me and when I would do it I would play a classical piece to better showcase my abilities over the last few years however the Lord has been teaching me how to perform for his glory and not my and the culmination of this process has been my involvement with an amazing recording project called the Lamb wins is an epic musical journey through the book of Revelation the song safety chapter by chapter verse by verse through the entire book of Revelation is texturally rich theologically powerful culturally relevant and eminently listenable which is technical language for the techno tunes are really catchy guys revealed to me how much he's changed me through this project is the most gratifying musical endeavor I've ever been a part of because he is redeemed my musical talent from glorifying my carnal self glorifying God so what about you are you suffering from congenital Christianity is your religious experience dry and barren are you keeping up appearances at church while feeling empty inside you feel as if you're passing Christianity and Adventism were predetermined for you by a genealogical heritage from your parents or your grandparents or practically later to the faith but you've lost your first love I have good news for you you two have the opportunity indeed the obligation to make your own decision for Christ you cannot be saved by your parents faith cannot be saved by her husband where wife's faith you cannot be saved by your graduating class that Adventists will continue up the great that it cannot give you salvation the choice is up to you the cure is available to you Jesus is waiting for you get out the door he wants to come in he wants to destroy a congenital Christianity coursing through your veins to replace it with the blood of Jesus Jesus knows your heart you know your confusion your heart your guilt or shame your resentment he knows only thing but he still wants you to know you felt in talking your heart this week you felt the desire to respond to this precious gift if only you could believe all you could see past whatever barrier is standing between you and your maker if only you could believe that he can reach down and touch your heart and make it new make you into a new creation if this is you you will you been hearing the messages and desiring to respond if you've been suffering under the crushing burden of congenital Christianity but are ready to be changed if you've been running away like the prodigal son it is time stopped running it's hard to stop running and to stand up and come to the front to declare to the Lord that you are tired of running and it you want to be sure of your congenital Christianity you want to trade in for an authentic relationship with God if this is you stand up come forward and say to the Lord that you're tired of going through the motions are tired of pretending come forward right now if you are suffering from congenital Christianity the Lord as we share this song and ask the Lord to reach down to talk your heart and you make a new make all things new and him and him to the news is that in mind the blue men is nine to and with men known as the day was good seeing you that there is a man him they all things being nine nine nineteen a.m. I might have man I'm aiming so then I think you made your when you and I may use by the only Wednesday as a come to him him and him to him to be a time of man is so getting a good man known in an e-mail being into the him and him and him him him him him him him a and and is in him will I go in guns on road signs bringing their Zulu jive CAC makes and you knew him and him and all suffering from congenital Christianity is chasing the world needs to come forward now is your time and ancestor in an brother Neil as we approach the Lord in prayer the Lord God our father the Creator our Redeemer the one who re-creates we are but dust you are got to get recently were so click chase after whatever right shiny objects the world hangs before I will the Lord will come before you because we want to change come before you because we don't want this congenital Christianity disease that Lord you need us to do something yes it's use in Lord UCS here forward as a token of our choice is a Lord I pray for each one of us which is not only a here and now but every day day by day until we see Jesus himself break through the clouds with all of his glory with all his angels bring us home Lord we have made this choice we give ourselves to you will a friend or revival refinish or frame of his trust and the trust for a in our holy are these this is as fleeting as the D-Link is a supporting ministry of the sentencing outages please see since I is young to be knighted by belief in Christ oriented Christians to download the pictures other resources like this please visit us I am in Beverly W Lacey


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