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brainwashing in Korean churches 
29th-Apr-2006 11:59 am
The following article appeared in one of the leading Korean newspapers. I translated the part of the article in English.

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/culture/religion/117349.html

인터넷 공방에 이은 이날 2라운드에서 1백여 명의 지켜본 가운데 류연구원은“목사들이 교인들에게 ‘우리 교회 나와야만 구원 받을 수 있다’면서 사람들에게 자유롭고 열린 사고를 못하게 세뇌시켜 이성과 합리성을 박탈하고 있다”고 비판했다. 구 목사도“기독교인들이 성도들의 잘못은 치리(징계)해도 되지만, 목사들의 잘못에 대해선 하나님이 심판하므로 성도들이 치리해선 안 된다는 잘못된 상식에 빠져 있다”며 “가톨릭 교황이 그런 소리를 했을 때 캘빈마저도 ‘그런 무식한 소리가 어디 있느냐’고 했다”고 말했다. 비리를 밥 먹듯 저지르는 목회자와 이에 맹신하며 옹호하는 신자들의 문제에 대해선 이견이 없었다.

In today’s second round of talk which followed the previous internet debate, Mr. Ryu, a research associate, said critically of Korean pastors. He said that they take away free and open thinking from their church members by preaching to them that they will be saved in no other churches but in their own. They are brainwashing their church members in this way and are depriving them of their rational thinking and sound reasoning. Pastor Ku also pointed out that many Korean Christians are misled to believe that church members should not try to discipline their pastors when they commit sin because it is God who will discipline them but ordinary church members must be disciplined by their pastors. He also quoted Calvin who once said that “it is an absolute nonsense” when the pope mentioned something similar regarding the accountability of church leaders. They both were of the same opinion on the problem of Korean pastors who commit corruption with no hesitation and the Korean Christians who blindly support their pastors.


Note: Pastor Ku is the director of Christian Alliance for Church Reform and Mr. Ryu is a research associate at Saegil Institute for Christianity and Culture
Comments 
29th-Apr-2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
He said that they take away free and open thinking from their church members by preaching to them that they will be saved in no other churches but in their own.

UBF, like most Korean churches, teaches its members that they are saved only in UBF because all other local Christian chruches are not good enough to save them. But UBF goes only further in brainwashing its members than other Korean Churches by teaching the members that leaving UBF to move to other local churches is the work of Satan (http://community.livejournal.com/rsqubf/2006/01/26/).

UBF is brainwashing at its extreme. UBF is playing an instrumental role in spreading the problems of Korean churches overseas. UBF is not about studying the Bible one to one. UBF is about converting students to committed UBF members using the Bible and making them remain under the control of UBF system. UBF exists for the sake of UBF organization itself and for the glorification of Samuel Lee. UBF does not exist for the glory of God.
29th-Apr-2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
Oops, I think that man (Mr. Ryu?) is the first Korean I saw wearing a beard. In UBF, this would probably suffice to label him as an unbeliever ;-)
29th-Apr-2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
Yes he is Mr. Ryu (Sang Tae Ryu). He also wrote a book titled "Korean churches have betrayed Jesus." He seems to be very critical of Korean churches. I must say that some of his points are very controversial. He seems to hold plualistic view. But his points on the problems of Korean Christianity are well accepted among many Christian as well as non-Christian Korean people as Pastor Ku agrees with him in the article.
29th-Apr-2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
Near the end of the web page featuring the book written by Mr. Ryu, there is the list of contents of Chapter 3.

In this chapter, Mr. Ryu allotted one section with title, "Do not call a fellow church Satan (형제 교회를 사탄이라고 부르지 말라)." How interesting! I thought only UBF calls it the work of Satan for its member to leave UBF to move to other local churches. Maybe this is done commonly in Korean churches.

Why would one church call its fellow brother church Satan? Maybe out of too much competition to recruit members among and make them committed to their own churches? And this fierce competition is considered strong zeal for Jesus and absolute obedience to world mission command as it is in UBF? So there seems to be nothing special about UBF but all of its special features are easily found in the list of the problems of Korean churches.


3장. 깨어라, 기독청년이여!

목회자의 길을 가려는 젊은이들에게
목사의 말에 맹종하지 말라
'목사'나 '평신도'는 계급이 아니다
I-message 신앙을 가져라
안식일에는 안식하라
십일조 헌금은 의무사항이 아니다
술은 술, 담배는 담배일 뿐이다
성욕은 식욕과 같다
이단과 사이비에 대하여
형제 교회를 사탄이라고 부르지 말라
제사, 전통문화인가 우상숭배인가
30th-Apr-2006 08:29 am (UTC)
So there seems to be nothing special about UBF but all of its special features are easily found in the list of the problems of Korean churches.

That's what one Korean friend of mine is also telling me. He said that by studying UBF, he can clearly see the problems of the Korean church and Christianity in general, because in UBF all these problems are in higher gear, you can see them more clearly like in a magnifying glass. UBF is like the bad side of Korean Christianity, taken to its extreme.
2nd-May-2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
A Korean friend told me that Mr. Ryu is a very liberal Christian (if a Christian at all). He seems to believe and propagate that all religions are equal and Christians should not insist that Christianity has the sole truth. To prove his point he shows how corrupt the Korean Christians pastors and churches have become and he says this is the result of fundamentalistic Christianity, so we should be liberal.

I think though his premise and observation is undisputable, the conclusion is wrong. The problem of these pastors is not that they are not liberal. In reality they are liberal, just as UBF is liberal and allows all kinds of compromizes, even abortions. They are not fundamentalists concerning Christianity, but only fundamentalist about their own organization and man-made rules and status. The Bible is not their fundament, but their own pride and their own ideas.

Is there any criticism of Korean-style Christianity in Korea which is not coming from a liberal point of view?
3rd-May-2006 04:03 am (UTC)
Is there any criticism of Korean-style Christianity in Korea which is not coming from a liberal point of view?

Pastor Ku comes from non-liberal camp. His view is fairly orthodox. Mr. Ryu seems to come from liberal camp. It seems that Pastor Ku and Mr. Ryu were selected for the debate to represent both liberal side and orthodox side. Pastor Ku and Mr. Ryu have different views on theological issues. But both of them have the same views on the problems of Korean churches.
3rd-May-2006 05:39 am (UTC)
That's good. In Germany, the criticism comes mainly from the liberal camp (i.e. the state churches). The Evangelical Alliance disassociated from UBF, but they usually don't talk about cults and dangers of spiritual abuse and leave criticism of the cults to the state church. That was a big problem for me when I was in UBF: The only criticism I heared was from those who have a liberal view, and say we shouldn't take the Bible too serious. So it was easy for me to accept UBF's usual excuse that criticism is only "persecution" by unbelievers who don't want to live according to the Bible.

It is very important to show that UBF is problematic because they *don't* follow the Bible, not because they follow the Bible too closely or seriously as some suggest who are liberal or critical of Christianity and don't understand what the Bible is all about.
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