?

Log in

No account? Create an account
RSQUBF LiveJournal Community
Missions Incredible South Korea sends more missionaries than… 
11th-Mar-2006 06:19 am


Missions Incredible
South Korea sends more missionaries than any country but the U.S. And it won't be long before it's number one.

Has anyone seen this article in the current issue of ChristianityToday? I saw the cover of the magazine but I haven't read the article yet. Here is the link: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/003/16.28.html

If you read it before I get around to it let me know what think. If other Koreans have a tendency to be like UBFers this could be a scary prospect. What does this say about the state of Christianity in America? Why are Koreans so anxious to go out as missionaries? Conversely, why are Americans so reluctant? Look forward to seeing what the article actually says and hearing your comments. Wonder if it mentions UBF?
Comments 
11th-Mar-2006 06:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not so enthusiastic about the Korean spirit of "mission" (see also this recent posting). Why don't they evangelize their own country first? I think it is because they always have the illusion that they don't need to grow and change, they are already superior to others from the beginning, so they have to go out and teach them. I noticed that all the UBF Koreans immediately stopped learning (except their own UBF material) when they were in UBF, and only concentrated on teaching and changing and training *others*. That's a very insane attitude. I think it simply makes them excited that they (as a small country) can go out and teach others and be like saviors of the world.
19th-Mar-2006 08:30 am (UTC)
I'm a 2nd gen, new to this site. Brief background about me -- used to be a people-pleasing, all-accepting child/teen growing up in puritanical, black-and-white UBF. Today, I'm a liberal, left-wing, feminist, who sees more questions than answers, and who is not affiliated with any organized religion (much to the consternation of my parents).

I discovered this website as I was browsing the web out of boredom. I've found many of the postings interesting, but there is one theme I've noticed that bothers me -- there appears to be an anti-Korean tone to many of these postings.

I've seen repeated postings about all the things that are apparently wrong with Korean Christians (and perhaps Koreans in general). I admit that I don't personally know much about Korean churches, but I do know about Korean American churches. In my post-UBF years, I experienced numerous types of churches of various denominations, including white-American and Korean-American. Doctrinally, as well as in other ways, they've all been pretty similar. Some better than others, but none cultish. This is probably not your intent, but this constant singling out of Korean-Christians/Koreans appears to be grounded on a critical view of Koreans as a group. Let's be careful not to generalize an entire nation.

You also state, "Why don't they evangelize their own country first?" I believe people decide where to evangelize based on where they feel God is calling them, not based on statistics. The U.S. is full of non-believers; does this mean the U.S. shouldn't send missionaries out anywhere else?? Or that any other country with a statistically significant number of non-believers should not send missionaries out?

There are all sorts of Christian groups out there of all denominations and cultures, and there are a countless number of schools of thought when it comes to Bibilcal doctrine in general. As long as the group or individual is not a cult or otherwise hurting others, let them be. I've been through enough churches, talked to enough people, and lived long enough to know that we're never going to all agree. Of course, I'm not saying we shouldn't express disagreement. I'm only saying that when we disagree, we should be careful to phrase it as disagreement, and not as a right-wrong thing.

I'm new to this site, and am aware that I may be taking your comments out of context. If this is the case, I apolgize.
19th-Mar-2006 11:51 am (UTC)
Hello and welcome to the forum. Nice of you to join and write.

I’ll take this as an opportunity to put some things straight about our criticism of Korean Christianity. First, I learned that seeing things critically is often helpful. I learned I should always question my own motivations, but also my own culture. However, in my time of UBF I learned never to question the motivation and culture of others. That is wrong. One should not criticize from a judgmental point of view and a stance of “I am much better.” But one should be also careful and not accept every teaching and spirit as genuine or great just because somebody is making a lot of buzz of it. Jesus said “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” I think when we blindly accepted everything that came from UBF Koreans, we were not really shrewd as snakes, but stupid sheep whose wool could be easily pulled over their eyes.

We learned to be more careful. If you want to understand the Bible, study the context. And if you want to understand the problems of UBF, study the context of Korean Christianity.

What we are criticizing (or rather just observing) is that UBF Korean theology is sort of tainted with Confucianism, Shamanism and Nationalism. Later we understood that this is a general problem of Korean Christianity as well.

Now you are argumenting: Well, hasn’t American Christianity problems as well? Right, it has many problems as well, but they may be different problems. A problem does not get better if you realize that other problems exist as well.

Actually, I think the Western world has faced the same problems as Korean Christianity, only much earlier, and much more extreme. The European Christianity in the medieval times was full of superstitiousness. The church has to make many compromises with paganism. They tried to “reinterpret” their pagan beliefs, but until today we have ancient customs which are from our pagan heritage, sometimes intermingled with Christian festivities. Particularly the Catholic church has not overcome superstitiousness. However, in the time of Reformation and Enlightenment, these things have been dealt with and they are not much of a problem any more in the various Protestant Churches in the western world. Similarly, the problem of Authoritarism has been dealt with thoroughly when Luther said we need to obey the Bible more than any authority, even the pope. A good example is the Presbyterian Church which is based on a plurality of elders and mutual accountability, not on one-man/top-down hierarchies.

The ironical thing is that Authoritarism and Superstitiousness is now rising from the dead again particularly in the Evangelical churches in Korea who claim to be based on “sola scriptura”. I think it is highly ironical that an authoritarian cult as UBF emerged from a Presbyterian background in Korea. I think that’s what most of all irritating us. Other countries have their pagan and non-Biblical elements as well, but there is no country that is so vehemently claiming that it is strictly “Bible believing” as Korea.

Concerning the Korean “mission spirit” – yes, the western world made the same mistakes in the last centuries, when they were “evangelizing” foreign countries “by force” – after having made them their “colonies.” It seems Korean Christians are making the same mistakes today, believing their “Korean” Christianity and culture is the best and needs to be exported to others.

Anyway, let me reassure you that we are not anti-Korean at all. If I criticize somebody, this does not mean that I am “anti” somebody. The Bible says if you love your neighbor, you need to rebuke him. And actually, we are not even rebuking, but just trying to understand. Our emphasis is on Korea, simply because UBF is coming from Korea. You cannot understand UBF without understanding Korean culture and the background of Korean Christianity. We just all happen to be ex members of a Korean based cult, therefore we are talking about the origins of the cult based in Korean culture, and are not discussing the problems of German or Arabian or whatever culture, which certainly exist as well.
19th-Mar-2006 11:52 am (UTC)

You wrote “This is probably not your intent, but this constant singling out of Korean-Christians/Koreans appears to be grounded on a critical view of Koreans as a group. Let's be careful not to generalize an entire nation.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am not critical about Koreans as a group, or as individuals. But Koreans have a certain history and culture which has certain influences. You cannot generalize that *all* Koreans are like this and that, but you can certainly say that a huge percentage of Koreans are certainly influenced or tainted by certain elements stemming from that history and culture. I am vehemently denying the “politically” correct stance that all people are equal, men and women, Muslims and Christians etc. just because “you may not generalize.” All people are equal in the sense that they are all sinners on the one hand, and that they are all loved by God on the other hand, that they all have the same rights and dignity. But people are always embedded in their culture and one needs to understand that culture in order to understand the people.

You wrote: You also state, "Why don't they evangelize their own country first?" I believe people decide where to evangelize based on where they feel God is calling them, not based on statistics. The U.S. is full of non-believers; does this mean the U.S. shouldn't send missionaries out anywhere else?? Or that any other country with a statistically significant number of non-believers should not send missionaries out?

No, I don’t think sending out missionaries is wrong. But the relations should be right. There should be a sound balance between “inner mission” and “outer mission”. Korea is making a big fuzz about trying to evangelize other countries, totally denying that their own country is still a large mission field, as well what concerns the huge non-Christian part of the population as well as the restoration of the correct theology of the “Christian” population. That’s what I have seen in UBF so much: They are so eager to teach and train and correct others, but there is a complete unwillingness to restore and correct the wrongs in their *own* organization.

You wrote I'm only saying that when we disagree, we should be careful to phrase it as disagreement, and not as a right-wrong thing.

That depends. Sometimes, there are things which are just plain wrong, in an absolute sense. Or there are things which are just inconsistent and thus wrong no matter from which point of view, such as a Christian who claims to be Bible-based but orders divorces or abortions.

Again, let me reassure you that I am not anti-Korean at all. Quite to the contrary, I still have some extra sympathy for Koreans. But I am not so blind and naïve any more as I had been in UBF where we believed just because they have so many illuminated crosses in Seoul and UBF is so eagerly operating on the Campuses, they must be particularly spiritual people.
19th-Mar-2006 12:05 pm (UTC)
Just another comment on this: I believe people decide where to evangelize based on where they feel God is calling them, not based on statistics.

I believe in UBF, people think they go where they "feel God is calling them", but in reality they simply do if leaders are telling them to go and pressuring them enough. I know a missionary who wanted to go to Russia, but the leader told him to go to Germany, so he went to Germany. And if the leaders would not tell them to go, most wouldn't go anyway.

Samuel Lee made a big fuzz of it and said they should go to other countries (because he was eager to build up something "great"). If Samuel Lee had preached that UBF should focus on Korea, and on proper and healthy Biblical teaching, maybe all UBF members would have studied the Bible better, and it would be a sound and influential Christian organization today, and not a cult? Maybe then, as a sound and healthy Christian organization, individual members who are particularly gifted and willing for foreign mission would have felt compelled to go themselves?
19th-Mar-2006 06:42 pm (UTC) - not single out Koreans
Hi grace_x,

Thanks for visiting this forum, and welcome. I would like to assure you that our intention has never been to denigrate Korean people as a whole, tho we probably are guilty of this on ocassion. So we apologize to you and yours.

I have met a number or Korean people who are not affiliated with ubf, and they appear to me to be very different from Korean members of ubf. The non-ubf Koreans seem to be very hardworking and ambitious, totally committed to their families, and realistic in their thinking. I found ubf Koreans to be the opposite in these categories. The most glaring attribute I saw in the ubfKoreans is that they are dishonest in their words and actions. I do not see this in non-ubf Korean people. I think this is because they do not feel pressured to lie about their church or their intentions in inviting someone to their church. So I conclude that the dishonesty of ubf Koreans is solely derived from being in ubf, not from being Korean. The Americans in ubf, and all the so-called leaders, are dishonest people. I could name names and tell you some awful stories, but will not post them here. But in the obvious case, I was married to a dishonest ubfAmerican. Her American recruiter was also one of the most dishonest people I have ever met in my life. Follow the dishonesty up the ladder, and it ends with Samuel EE and Sara Bury. Dshonesty and decpetion are the real heritage at ubf.

I hope you may vist us often and share your unique perspectives with us.
God bless.
This page was loaded Aug 19th 2019, 11:46 pm GMT.