World Mission appealing to National Aspirations
Kingdomizer Mission Alliance(KMA) is holding the banner of the world mission high for 2006, which had its name known not only in the Korean churches but also throughout society, by hosting ‘Jerusalem Summit II’ in August last year, where one thousand political and religious leaders had attended.
KMA that was established ten years ago dispatched missionaries to the forty five countries, with 3,600 affiliated African churches now; it is extending its mission territory as an organization with the name “the one who extends the kingdom of God”.
KMA focuses on training ‘the nominal Christians’ and changing them into ‘the soldiers of the Christ’; it has trained more than 8,000 pastors and church leaders in Korea. Especially it’s making a good fight in the areas where mission work is particularly difficult such as Rwanda, Zambia in Africa and Japan, China, Indonesia in Asia. And at the center of such an active mission of Kingdomizer is pastor Moses Lee, who preaches the word of God traveling the world by air more than 200 times until now. The most urgent priority is to make our own theology and missiology, getting out of the influence of the western theology.
Dr. Moses Lee is not only an outstanding scholar who got Ph.D. in Missiology at Fuller Theological Seminary but also is an activist who is spearheading kingdomizer in effect at the front of mission. He suggested ‘the mission theology appealing to the national aspirations (nationalism)’ as the key not only to Kingdomizer Mission but also to the revival of global missions which are depressed.
The Western Powers colonized the nations of Asia, America and Africa, and the Western theology underpinned its dominant ideology. That’s why Muslims and Indians are saying Jesus Christ, our savior is Satan. It is urgent to build up ‘our own mission theology’ which are independent, getting out of the influence of the western theology.
The core of ‘our own mission theology’ he mentions is to appeal to the national aspirations of each cultural area based on Gospel and then to missionize them strategically. His explanation is that when preaching the gospel of Jesus, we can maximize the result if it is contextualized suitable to each people, instead of just preaching the Western theology. The brief phrase, “Africa is the mother of church” brought about an explosive work of the Holy Spirit upon the crowd, who’s been suppressed for a long time Dr. Moses cited the revival fifty thousand people had attended in Rwanda several years ago to explain how great work of the Holy Spirit can happen in preaching the Gospel, if it appeals to the national aspirations. In those days all the people in Rwanda were stricken with an inferiority complex under the victim mentality. So were even Christians with defeatism because they thought they were undergoing hardship because Noah in the Bible had cursed Canaan, the ancestor of the black people.
However Pastor Moses, standing in front of them, awakened the suppressed souls proclaiming “Africa is the mother of church.” He spoke, “It is Africa where Abraham was able to raise the mission fund! It is Africa where Joseph who had been abandoned by his brothers was exalted as the governor and was able to solve the problem of world famine! It is also Africa where Moses and Josuah was born and grew up! And it is Africa where Jesus could be protected from Herod who tried to kill him!”
He also comforted them saying, “Mother is an existence who engenders life through suffering. Africa suffered a lot historically, but that’s why Africa can save the whole world with the genuine theology of suffering.” Then the crowd who heard the message started to shed tears, opening their closed mind. And they restored their ethnic identity and pride in the Bible which were distorted, and accepted Jesus as their savior.
When pastor Lee went to Japan and China for mission, he didn’t condemn or degrade its people. Instead, he persuaded them that they could become the best if they believed in Jesus. Whichever country he went, he studied its history and culture to graft on to the Gospel, and his such efforts yielded great fruits on each occasion.
“Paul didn’t begin his mission as condemning or criticizing others. Look at his mission in Athens. To the men of Athens believing in superstition, he said they were very religious. An altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD could be a contact point of Paul’s mission. To the Jews, preach the Gospel suitable for the Jews! To the Gentiles, preach the Gospel suitable for the Gentiles! It was Paul’s mission.”
The way Korean Christianity can survive is also to meet the national aspirations.
Pastor Moses emphasized that the mission theology appealing to national aspirations has to be established as soon as possible, not only for the sake of the revival of Korea mission which is depressed but also for global missions. His analysis is that Korean churches which went through continuous growth are now in a downward movement because they didn’t answer the national aspirations.
Actually at the time of enlightenment, of independence movement and of national foundation, Korean churches always satisfied the national thirst, which made it possible to expand great congregation on all such occasions. Pastor Moses insisted that however at the time of pro-democracy movement that broke out in Gwangju city in 1980, Korean Christianity fell headlong down, while just looking on genocide and repression of military authorities. On the other hand, Catholic which had not been really interested in ethnic problems, started to grow double as ‘Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral’ became the holy place for democratization of Korea.
“No any other countries whose Christianity had turned downward could revive in history. Korean Christianity has no future unless its national leadership is restored quickly. What our people hope most now is democratization, unification and globalization. Korean Christianity should defuse the ideological confrontations between the left and the right to bring about real democratic change. It should also present diverse strategies to achieve unification. And it should dispatch missionaries holding the Cross and the national flag of Korea in each hand to accomplish globalization. The way Korean Christianity can survive is to meet the national aspirations by the Gospel.”
The first ‘Kingdomizer’ church was established in LA, 1987, which was a multi-ethnic church consisting of 8 ethnic groups. And this was the beginning of Kingdomizer Mission Alliance that was founded on Dec. 28, 1995 in Korea. Now KMA is engaging in world missions with its headquarter in Atlanta and especially attracted global attention by hosting Jerusalem Summit II, a large-scale international event successfully in Korea last year.