Sunday, September 02, 2007


Press reports have not been charitable to the Korean hostages; the Korean church has also come under criticism. Questions are being asked:

Why did they expose themselves to danger?

Why did they put their nation and loved ones through so much anxiety?

Why did their government have to put up a ransom for their release (in doing so they only encouraged their captors to repeat their actions!)?

Are Korean churches competing amongst themselves over the quantity of members in missionary teams?

Were some team members not honest with their loved ones concerning their involvement in this missionary team?

Answers to these questions will no doubt provoke comments, accusations and a wide variety of opinions.

There was one report which suggested the departure of all Korean missionaries from Afghanistan as part of a deal which was reached between the Taliban and the negotiators.

Perhaps the Korean Church needs to evaluate their mission strategies and philosophy, especially in high risk areas like Afghanistan. If necessary a temporary halt of missionary activity might be prudent at this point.

Abandoning mission work completely in these high risk areas however is a grave mistake. To do so would be to devalue the martyrdom of the two hostages. They were brave men who gave up their lives for the sake of the gospel. We cannot but obey the great commission even if it means the risk of death or the loss of life. Paul's missionary journeys were fraught with danger. Are we to expect easier treatment from the enemy?

To the brethren in Korea I say: humble yourselves, do some soul searching in the light of God's word and learn from the mistakes. You will come out this experience wiser and stronger in the Lord.

And one more observation: the villains in this episode were NOT the Korean missionary team but the Taliban. They are the ones who kidnap innocent people and murder the defenceless whose only "offense" is to improve the well being of the ordinary Afghan.

The missionary impetus of the Korean Churches to reach the lost is an inspiration to all of us, especially in the Asian Church.


Anonymous said...

were they reckless?

Joel Tay said...

Very well written post. I cannot agree more. I get upset when I hear Christians blaming the korean missionaries for the whole episode.

I was also upset when I read that the Korean government agreed to stop all mission work in Afghanistan.

Bolivian Beat said...

Thanks Joel for your encouraging comment. I also get worked up when people blame the Koreans for what happened

Bolivian Beat said...

no I don't think they were reckless.

hey were merely obeying the great commission and the great commandment. The term reckless is a relative term. Many missionaries in the past were also criticised for reckless by their opponents. Sometimes being obedient makes you vulnerable to all sorts of charges and accusations.

Anonymous said...
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Bolivian Beat said...

pray for the korean church

Joel Tay said...

As you said, they were just obeying the great commission. Why did they expose themselves to danger? Why did they put their nation and loved ones through so much anxiety? They are following the footsteps of the apostles who were martyred in the early NT church. Would any real Christian then blame Christ or the apostles for putting their nation and loves ones through much anxiety and for exposing themselves to danger?

Secondly, those who say that it is not God's will for these missionaries to perish because they could have done so much more if they were alive fail to understand that Christ do not need us to accomplish his purpose. He can raise up children of Abraham from stones if he choose to do so. It is a privilege if Christ decides to use us as a means to accomplish his purposes. Those who believe that these missionaries life were wasted have a cheap... very cheap understanding of God's glory and sovereignty. After all, scriptures is clear that not a single sparrow can fall to the ground apart from God willing it. (Matt 10:29) If that is the case, then not a single drop of blood shed by these martyrs is ever in vain. It cannot be shed apart from the will of God. As Paul Washer once said, as children of God, we are all immortal until we had done what God have sent to do. Everything, even martyrdom serves as a means by which God will glory himself at the end. When Christ comes back to reward his church, it will be these very critics who will wish they had the privilege of laying their life down for their Lord.

Matt 10:26-39
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Anonymous said...

a noteworthy comment