Korean mission congress asks: "Is what we convey a gospel polluted by culture or a Biblical gospel?"

By CDI Staff |
Korean World Missionary Fellowship holds mission congress
The mission congress held by the Korean World Missionary Fellowship. | Noh Hyeong-gu/Christian Daily Korea

The Korean World Missionary Fellowship (KWMF)’s mission conference on the theme of "Next Generation Mission Leadership" kicked off at the Korea Theological Seminary in Cheonan this past week, as reported by Christian Daily Korea. Held from April 24 to 27, the KMWF seeks to address one of the major challenges facing the Korean church: the issue of "revival of the next generation" and "faith succession." 

As the number of young people in churches decreases, mobilizing them as missionary resources to ensure the continuity of Korean missions has become an increasingly urgent issue. This has also become a significant issue in the field of overseas missions, according to the KMWF.

“The crisis of population decline due to low birth rates in Korea is not an exception in the missionary field. Nevertheless, the commandment of the Lord for the commission of mission must continue, making the establishment of next-generation missionary leadership a very important task for the Korean church,” the KMWF stated in the lead up to the mission conference.

The evening meeting of the mission conference on the first day concluded with a sermon by Pastor Kim Nam-soo, followed by comments from other pastors and a prayer meeting.

Rev. Kim, who serves as Senior Pastor of Promise Church in New York, NY, U.S. and mission strategist of the 4/14 Movement, preached a sermon titled “Turn Your Community into an Aircraft Carrier - Let's Go to the Waiting World!” 

“I have experienced many distortions of the Gospel. It has become distorted as it has become acculturated,” he said. 

“As a result, the Gospel that started in Jerusalem became a culture as it went to Turkey and Europe. From there, Christian culture emerged and became institutionalized, and this became commercialized as it crossed over to the United States. And this Gospel came to Korea and turned into a blessing,” he added.

“So, the question is whether the Gospel we need to convey to the world is the Gospel that the Apostle Paul received from Jesus Christ and the Gospel in the Gospel books,” he continued, and emphasized, “We need to analyze this again.”

He mentioned that “one theologian analyzed the American Christian faith and said it is based on covenant theology. The theology that God makes a covenant with humans, and human life and blessing are determined by the mutual compliance of obligations.” 

“The theology merged with the pragmatic culture of the United States, singing the hymn that if one accepts the word of God contractually like the word of Deuteronomy and obeys, one will receive blessings, and if one disobeys, one will receive curses.” he said.

He pointed out, however, that "there is a flaw in that it lacks the unilateral grace of God, in that the issue of life and blessing of believers depends on themselves. [...] In other words, it does not stand on the foundation of the theology of God's grace, which God has unilaterally decided to give to believers regardless of their conditions.”

“God already knew that humans always break the covenant with Him through the figures mentioned in the Bible. Therefore, God decided to unilaterally give grace to believers through the covenant He gave to Jacob and Isaac, which was later fulfilled through Jesus Christ, the descendant of David,” Kim said.

“I hope that missionaries reject the gospel polluted by culture and convey the gospel as stated in the Bible. The reason why the power has not manifested itself despite this great gospel is because it has been conveyed incorrectly,” he said.

The sermon was followed by a time of prayer focused on reaching the next generation with the gospel.

​KWMF expressed its hope that this conference would be a starting point for the next generation to take on the challenge and pride of becoming missionaries, stating, “Although the environment may not be favorable, there have always been and will continue to be those who respond to God's calling. We hope that many next-generation missionary leaders with a passion for the gospel and wisdom of the Word will emerge through this missionary conference.”