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Jon man missionaries by the year 2020 
13th-Jan-2006 06:15 pm
Dilbert
I just read in a German Christian newspaper that there was a conference of the Korean union for mission in Seoul where they said that Korea wants to send out 1,000,000 missionaries until the year 2020. Timeframe and number reminded me a lot of UBF. Only that UBF wants to do it alone.

But it's the same attitude that people do not simply do their best and let God decide about numbers, but they set up their own numbers and God must follow these numbers - usually very high numbers which are something special in the Korean culture, like 10,000 (man) or 1,000,000 (jon man). And they set the time frame very high so that those who proclaimed these numbers will be out of office by then or the claim is forgotten after so much time. There had been similar claims by UBF for the year 2000 (and by the way, also by Bill Bright of CCC).

Quoting Sarah Barry in the beginning of the 1990's: "God answers prayer, so let's pray ... that God raise up 10,000 Bible teachers for America, and send out American missionaries to the ends of the earth--to 187 countries of the world by the year 2,000". Do you remember? Nothing of this was fulfilled. So what sense have these number prayer topics except creating pressure, excitement and void "vision"? In the end, the letdown is great, but they simply go on, simply increase the numbers to phantastic dimensions, increase the time frames so nobdoy can check any more...

And, I think even for all Korean missions together, the number of 1,000,000 is set up much too high. The article says that currently, only 11,000 Koreans are engaging in world mission. Only 26% of the Koreans are Christians, 26% are Buddhist and 46% without confession. So in reality they have a lot of work in their own country. Plus, the Korean Christianity is in a very desparate state. It looks big and exciting from outside, but inside it is full of corruption, doctrinal errors, man-made authoritarism and legalism, and false teaching like Yonggi Cho. All the problems of UBF exist in most Korean churches as well, albeit less extreme. The real task for the Korean church is to christianize their own country. Instead, they want to export their flawed teachings to other countries.
Comments 
13th-Jan-2006 08:15 pm (UTC) - weak foundation for Korean Christianity
I think Korea never had a good foundation to produce qualified Christian instructors, pastors, congregations, etc. The foreign missionaries went to Korea afterthe country had already been so badly devastated. There were very few genuine seminaries, and very few qualified foreign missionaries to train anyone. One missionary had to oversee like 40 churches spread out over a wide area. Read the old letters of John Folta and Dave Ross and even Bury herself. Sara Bury was not an ordained minister. Sammule Lee was never taught the Bible properly either. He is only known to have completed a correspondance (mail order) Bible study with Doug Cozart, along with many other Korean men around the country. Doug Cozart had met Lee only a couple times over the past 50 years, he was not his close mentor or shepherd as ubf and Lee claimed. How can a qualified religious leader come out of one year of mail order Bible study? Impossible. But a guy like Lee could walk into the Southern Pres. Mission and get a fulltime job and receive salary as a student mission director because he owned a Bible and claimed to be a Prs. pastor from some whole in the wall 'church'.

There is so much that is required to make a genuine Christian minister, and I do not find any evidence that Sammule Lee obtained what is required. I find Lee to be a fly by night leader, a counterfeit who certified himself as genuine. Lee plagiarized his messages from others, then inserted twisted applications and harmful interpretations. The genuine Bible commentator William Barclay from the Chruch of Scotland is the one from whom Lee did his most obvious plagiarizing.

I am afraid that in their zeal to do their own thing as Koreans, and there is nothing wrong with that, but to do their own thing too many Korean church leaders were established in the same pattern as Sammule Lee. I hope that a new wave of leaders can throw off the bad influence of the counterfeits and cheap imitators like Lee and others.
13th-Jan-2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
By the way, my statement about the desparate state of Korean Christianity is not what I say, but what a Korean friend of mine is telling me. He had been in UBF and became sensitive for these kind of problems. He studies theology, reads the Korean Christian newspapers and talks with other Korean Christians. He knows what he is talking about.
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