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Shamanistic influences on Korean Christianity 
15th-Feb-2006 01:37 pm
I’ve been reading an article about Shamanistic influences in Korean Christianity at the Rick Ross website. (http://www.rickross.com/reference/yoidoyonggi/yoido3.html) I have seen this discussed on forums before, but I was able to connect some of the things that were said to my own experiences with UBF.

For example, the author of the article, Jeremy Reynalds, writes:
“One Korean scholar believes that Shamanism poses a very real danger to Biblical Christianity. He writes, "Korean Christianity faces imminent and dramatic confrontation with the power of Shamanism. If we overcome, we remain true to Jesus Christ. If we compromise, we are reduced to yet another form of Shamanism with Christian veneer" (Lee 1994:3-4). This same scholar says that "bok," or material blessing, lies at the heart of Shamanism. He says that among other (negative concepts) shamanism emphasizes material blessing and success in society without any accompanying concern for others. "It is individualistic, self-centered and possessed with selfism; a combination which results in divisiveness. Bok is not amenable to either individual or social ethics" (Lee 1994:4). With this in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that the concept of Biblical blessing eventually became distorted in the Korean church.”

I remember that after spending time with UBF members, I started to hear a lot about how God will "bless" us, not only with spiritual riches, but also materially (for example, when we got a large tax return, this was “God’s blessing” in our lives). Also, these blessings were connected with the things we would do in life; if we faithfully carried out the “ministry” God had for us (a UBF-based ministry), we would gain God’s blessing. I have no problem believing that God blesses us when we obey him (for example, He blessed Daniel when Daniel abstained from food forbidden by God). But I have also learned that sometimes, people who live godly lives have hard lives in this world, and sometimes those who live apart from God have comfortable lives in this world (for example, in the parable about the rich man and Lazarus, in which the sinful man is rich in this life, and godly Lazarus is a poor man). We had started to think we would be guaranteed “blessings” if we did the things UBF prescribed for us. When things in our lives started to get difficult, we thought we were doing something wrong, even though God often uses hard times to test and strengthen our faith. Another quote in the comments section...
16th-Feb-2006 11:07 am (UTC) - Re: Spiritual roadblocks in every culture
But I think it is also true that Koreans who have grown up in a culture with Confucian and Shamanistic assumptions may have to acknowledge it.

It's even worse. Not only they fail to recognize how Confucianism and Shamanism is *tainting* their understanding of the Gospel, they even believe that they are *perfecting* the Gospel. They believe that the Gospel + Confucianism (i.e. "spiritual order", pride+honor, keeping face, covering up etc.) + Shamanism (i.e. "material blessing", magical thinking, cause+effect, blessing/curse depending on degree of obedience etc.) surpasses the "ordinary" Gospel. This tainted (UBF-)Korean gospel is what they call the "gospel truth" (which cannot be changed according to John Jun), it's their "philosopher's stone" and they think it makes the UBF-Korean theology so "superior" to ordinary theology.

They believe that the Gospel with (UBF-)Korean smell is the true Gospel, and fail to see that the UBF-Korean smell is what completely ruins and perverts the very essence of the Gospel.
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