Following the greatest event in the history of man, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the spread of the gospel would cause history to be written anew.From a history of darkness filled with sin and death to a history of light filled with righteousness and life.But the power of darkness with its authority over sin and death did not give up its influence easily. Instead, it would use every means to obstruct the gospel of Christ.
“You may not believe it but the tool that Satan used most powerfully in the history of Christianity was the church.”
As countless servants of God had warned, the ones who opposed the gospel the most were false churches and religious leaders. Just as 2000 years ago, the ones who opposed to Jesus Christ the most were the religious leaders of the Jews. And just as the Roman Catholic Church that was in power during the Dark Ages opposed the gospel by selling indulgences. That was why a religious reformation was absolutely necessary at the time. But what about today?
“120 years later, is the Korean church in crisis?” (Oct 12, 2004) ? KBS TV ‘Talking about Korean Society’ “Pastor, Our Pastor” (Mar 24, 2007) ? MBC TV ‘After the News’
Recently, response to articles about the Korean church, which stands at the top of Christian world following its explosive growth in numbers within the past 120 years, is passionate. But these articles are not about the steadfast vision of the Korean church, but the crisis that it faces. This is because of the unending stream of problems that flood out of the Korean church. Problems that even society cannot tolerate. Problems such as “church inheritance” and “financial problems” that are prevalent in large churches.
“Praising God, and having favour with all the people…” (Acts 2:47)
In the history of Christianity, the gospel-based churches that formed the early churches were like the salt and lights of the world, living clean and holy lives, favored by all the people. The ones who persecuted them were mostly the false churches and religious leaders. But the state of the Korean church is completely opposite. Why is it that the Korean church is open to such social and moral criticism?
“Ye shall know them by their fruits… but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:16, 17)
Jesus indicated that the tree was the problem, not the fruit. As in the words, “You get what you sow,” the fruits that are brought forth in the heart depend on what is planted. If Christ’s heart is planted in the church, the fruits of Christ are brought forth. If human desires are planted in the church, then only the fruits of those desires can be brought forth. That is why you can know the tree by its fruits.
“Pastor Ock Soo Park of the Goodnews Mission Church, 2005 Great Koreans Grand Prize” (Dec 21, 2005) ? Korea Times “Praise-worthy Korean, planting faith, hope all over the world” (Sep 23, 2004) ? Herald Business “Front-runner of church reform, Pastor Ock Soo Park, Goodnews Mission Church” (Jun 11, 2004) ? Kyunghang (Capital and Country) Paper
These are headlines from recent articles written about the Goodnews Mission Church and Pastor Ock Soo Park. In addition, reporters from the Chosun Monthly, JoongAng Monthly, ShinDonga, and others, after close coverage of Pastor Ock Soo Park and the Goodnews Mission Church, uniformly praise, “with cleanliness rarely seen elsewhere, a new leader able to lead the Korean church anew.” As surprising as being the focus of the main article approximately 40 times within only a few years, what does it mean when one is uniformly praised in this way?
“The Goodnews Mission Church are heretics that acknowledge only the Bible as the perfect revelation of God.” (Dec 1993) ? Amen News (The church and spiritual life)
But ironically, the Korean church regards the Goodnews Mission Church as heretics. If a church is normal, if that church is acting as the salt and light of the world, then shouldn’t that church glorify God and try to gain God as He works through that church? But the Korean church disagrees. Why is that? It is because it points out the problems of the Korean church too much (?) with just the Bible.
“Gu’won Pah (Salvation Sects) cause a lot of confusion for church members, but the reason why they are successful(?) is because the average person does not know about sin and salvation.” (Dec 1993) ? Amen News (The church and spiritual life)
The above shows the seriousness of the Korean church’s spiritual problem. The average person who does not know about sin and salvation…Korean church leaders confess that this is the true state of the Korean church members. Why does the church exist? It is to lead souls heading towards destruction to salvation by spreading the gospel of Christ! But what does it mean when Korean church members today do not know the most basic but important parts ? sin and salvation?
“It’s truly unfortunate that I was personally born again 6 year s after I became a pastor.” – Translation of Physicians of souls
Near the church that the author ministered at was the Metropolitan Tabernacle where Charles Spurgeon ministered. At the time Spurgeon’s church was known as the largest gospel-based church in the world. From time to time, Korean pastors would go to the seminary there to study. And a short time ago, one met the person who gave the above testimony. Although he was a renowned pastor in Korea and had come to study abroad, through the seminary he was born again. He sincerely wanted the ministers of the Korean church to reflect starting with the problem of their salvation.
“The problem with the Korean church’s investigation into heretics is that the investigation is based on the interests of their denomination, not a Biblical foundation.” (Pastor Heung Seon Lee, ‘Pastor, what’s a heretic?’)
From the beginning, the Korean church burned with disputes concerning heresy. Especially the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches who called each other heretics, until they entered the “Comity Agreements” that defined the regions where they could evangelize. But the dispute concerning heresy continues concerning newly formed churches. In fact, in 2002 the Christian Investigation Center on the Problem of Heresy and its representative Sam Kyeung Choi that had been active as the Korean church’s judge on heresy for approximately 10 years, was itself judged to be heretics by the established churches. This proves that the judgments of heresy tools to gain power.
“As a church that stresses spiritual life and true repentance centered around the Bible, the Goodnews Mission Church cannot be called heretics.” (Jun 4, 2004) ?Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea “Orthodoxy and Heresy”
In 2003, for the first time, the Council of Presbyterian Churches in Korea, a commonwealth comprising approximately 120 church groups, actually visited and conducted a multilevel inspection of the Goodnews Mission Church. In the end, realizing that there had been a lot of misunderstanding and distortion of facts, the above judgment was reached. But because many people do not know the Goodnews Mission Church accurately, they blindly call them heretics. Also, there are too many people who are ignorant about the history of Christianity and the true church.
And so, using the opportunity presented by the Seoul Grand Conference to be held in late April, we will provide a brief serialization including a clear introduction of the Goodnews Mission Church, the history of the early church that began 2000 years ago and the core parts of the Korean church’s history.
We ask for your prayers and support and we sincerely ask for God’s grace.
April 2007 Woon Hak Kang, Missionary London, England