Skip to comments.Is there salvation for Kim Jong-Il?
Posted on 12/22/2011 4:45:11 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Il, finally died at the age of 69. It is highly debatable whether or not his death will lead to liberation and life for the long-suffering people of North Korea. Kim was brutal towards his own people. To give just one example, he manufactured a famine in the 1990s where it is estimated that more than 2 million people starved to death. While this occurred, Kim was dining on ample amounts of fine food and liquor. He seemed to have little concern for the millions who were indoctrinated to serve their dear leader. Between internal politics and squabbling for power and international apathy towards the suffering within the hermit kingdom, the people of North Korea remain in need of Gods salvation.
I am relieved that this man is no longer in the world (and by the way, how is Zimbabwes dictator Robert Mugabe still hanging on? Hes almost 90 years old!). And I hope he is being punished for the horror and suffering he inflicted upon millions his own people.
Yet, I know that the God of Jesus Christ does not think as I do. In the Old Testament, Yahweh reminds Israel, My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways (Isa 55:8). My own way would be to give Kims victims the opportunity to execute revenge or enact justice upon him in whatever way they wish. This is the pound of flesh mentality that is so well examined in the Korean film, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance by director Park Chan-Wook. At the films climax, the parents of scores of children who have been murdered by a serial killer are given the opportunity to exact revenge upon the perpetrator in whatever way they wish. It is a scene that is almost absurd in its grisliness. But it shows the gruesome truth of how we (and I) often yearn for bloody vengeance against unspeakably evil actions and people.
Gods ways, however, are not our ways. Does this mean that God holds open the possibility of salvation for a man like Kim Jong-Il? Our Catholic faith would say yes. The church professes that hell does exist. And Kim would be a perfect candidate for damnation. But the church does not profess certain knowledge that anyone is actually damned. It only professes certain knowledge of those who have entered into communion with God.
So, we are forced to live in ambiguity. We have no way of knowing. So maybe the better question to ponder is this: should we want there to be salvation for such a brutal man, even if justice is somehow achieved as a prerequisite? And what does it say about me (and us) if I prefer a pound of bloody flesh to trump Gods ridiculous love for all human beings? Im not sure I want to answer that question.
-- Kevin Considine is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Loyola University in Chicago.
Guest posts express the views of the author. hey do not necessarily reflect the views of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.
some people just need to reach room temperature....
on the day he died Rush opened his show with....
‘Kim Jong Il is now Kim Jong Dead’.
Why would anyone expect a dictator in N Korea to care more about his serfs and slaves than the powers to be in Washington and most state capitals care about US Citizens?
He kept his slaves and serfs in government indoctrination camps we keep our youth in public schools aka indoctrination camps.
As for his salvation, read Hebrews 9:27 and then John 3:3
What we know about Kim’s salvation:
He lived in a manner that the Gospel warns us will send a man to Hell.
We don’t have certain knowledge of the state of the soul of any man.
That seems a rather easy question to answer. If God is a God of His word and a just God and warns us that there is eternal damnation and suffering for not following Him wouldnt we be just also in expecting that very thing to happen?
God said it, I believe it.
FWIW, a democratic republic has never suffered a famine
A lefty told me since there is no hell/heaven or afterlife, Kim Jong Il is just dead while in the same sentence, the same lefty was explicit that GW Bush along with Dick Cheney will be going to hell...and he was serious.
This was told to me yesterday.
RE: A lefty told me since there is no hell/heaven or afterlife, Kim Jong Il is just dead while in the same sentence, the same lefty was explicit that GW Bush along with Dick Cheney will be going to hell...and he was serious.
My only conclusion -— This lefty wants to be God (or like him ). He wants to create or un-create hell for whatever reason he wants.
True, and he would've had to have accepted Christ before death. Who knows.. maybe he did at the very last.. the one "known" is... it's God's call.
I would disagree with that statement. Other than that person, only God knows the state of a man's soul. Baptism and following the sacraments does not confer salvation. Or so I believe.
That being said, Kim could have had a last minute conversion. So could have Hitler, Staling, and Mao. The smart money bets the other way.
God also said that he wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. We can therefore know that, if there was any way (consistent with God's character and therefore consistent with his word to us) that God could have saved KJI, he would have done so.
What we can't know is the degree, if any, to which KJI repented of his sins and asked God -- as best he knew him -- for mercy in the closing moments of his life.
And that's why we can't know KJI's eternal destiny, with absolute infallible certainty. The best we can do is an educated guess.
And it doesn't look good for him.
The author is referring to canonized saints, of whom the Church "professes certain knowledge" that they are enjoying the beatific vision in heaven.
Aside from those persons, you are correct that we can't know with an infallible degree of certitude.
OK, I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I am curious. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that the Church purged the rolls of the saints of personages that they figured never actually existed?
On a side note, Baptists believe that all believers are saints. But we can’t be certain of anyone’s actual spiritual sate. More than one preacher has run off with the choir director.
However (to make a theologically picky point), the only canonizations which are absolutely infallible are the formal canonizations done by the Vatican. Those didn't start until the Middle Ages. Before that, saints were proclaimed by popular acclamation -- they just started being venerated in some area, and were "added to the rolls" by popular demand. Those are the saints of whom (in a few cases) we can't be sure they really existed.
A good example is "St. Valentine". The problem is not that "St. Valentine" didn't exist, but that there seems to be more than one "St. Valentine" story, and it's not clear that they're really about one person, or two, etc.
That’s interesting. Thanks for the reply.
And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
And a very Merry Christmas to you as well!