“In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” tells about “Korean cults” and uncovers Jung Myung Seok’s evil deeds. (Picture / subtitle from Netflix)
The Netflix documentary “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” mainly speaks about “Korean cults” and introduces the deeds of 4 cult leaders. It sparked discussions as soon as it was released. Among them, there is a discussion that the new religious group founded by Jung Myung Seok (정명석), the Christian Gospel Mission, also known as Providence, has been sexually assaulting female believers. It is alleged that the victims are spread across many places, including Taiwan. In this regard, the Christian Gospel Mission Taiwan Providence Church issued a 4-point statement on the evening of today (8th), emphasizing that the female members of the Christian Gospel Mission have not been violated or selected to bathe together as reported by the media.
Taiwan’s Providence Church put forward a 4-point statement, refuting that the leader Jung Myung Seok had sexually assaulted Taiwanese women. (Picture / Recapitulated from Jung Myung Seok – Our Life Tutor Facebook)
【Full Statement of the Christian Gospel Mission – Taiwan】
The Christian Gospel Mission – Taiwan began to devote itself to the local development of Taiwan in 2009. It has worked hard to study, try and practice in the fields of sports, culture, art, and public welfare. However, it has become the focus of public opinion because of Netflix and media reports. Violence is an act of harm and destruction. It not only harms individuals, but also harms the harmony and stability of the entire society. It is really unbearable to see church members face threats of violent words and bear many attacks because of reports. We are against any form of violence!
In response to recent media reports, the Christian Gospel Mission made the following statement:
1. The female church members of the Christian Gospel Mission did not report being abused or choosing to bathe together in the media. When Next Magazine published the report in 2001, when a hundred female college students were victimized at National Chengchi University, and in 2005, when Apple Daily published a report on the sexual assault of thousands of people, there were no such incidents, no substantive evidence and no victim testimonies presented. “Nearly 100 people were victimized” and “1,000 people were sexually assaulted” are the speculations of Next Magazine and Apple Daily. The School Safety Center of the Ministry of Education, in accordance with its responsibilities, stated in the letter No. 0940180806 dated January 11, 1995, that on October 15, 1994, the School Safety Center affiliated with high school vocational schools and tertiary institutions was asked to know whether any related incidents occurred on campus. So far, no school has reported any incident of victimization of students as described by the media.
I hope everyone can examine whether the trial of the case in 2009 is really uncontroversial. In the past 14 years, the Christian Gospel Mission has worked hard to show our accurate selves and our church life, and we want more people to know us not just through the claims in the media. However, because of the case in South Korea, we are constantly being questioned.
3. I hope that the media can respect the right of privacy and the freedom of religious belief of the faithful. Because the media went to the church without permission to take pictures and disturb the personal life of the faithful, it has seriously affected the rights and interests of the faithful. I hope that the public can give the faithful space with respect. This includes the recent concert held by the “Peace Symphony Orchestra and Choir” in order to promote social care, so that people who are alienated from society and themselves due to technology advances can feel the mood conveyed by the creator through music. Instead, the people involved in this choir are being stigmatized and threatened with violent attacks. I hope that the general public will not blindly follow such claims and arbitrarily forward speculative words to encourage the spread of violence.
4. The Christian Gospel Mission sincerely apologizes to the scholars and social figures who were implicated by this media report. I also thank scholars and social leaders for giving advice in academic exchange activities. I hope that everyone can respect academic exchanges and legitimate public communication, and not use public opinion to influence the lives of scholars and social leaders.
The Christian Gospel Mission is a legal religious organization deeply rooted in Taiwan. We hope that social rumors will subside and end, and we will continue to work hard for Taiwan. May God bless this beautiful island.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the religious organization “S,” that caused the second wave of spread of COVID in South Korea, became an issue. As a result, national resistance to heretical religious groups exploded along with resistance to Christianity. On the internet, I Am Jesus, a parody of I Am a Singer, which was a composite of religious leaders calling themselves “the Second Coming Jesus,” was circulating.
Among them was Pastor Jung Myeong-seok (founder of Christian Gospel Mission, so-called JMS). Why is President Jung Myung-seok, who has lived the life of a “religious/faithful bride of Jesus,” being treated as a “self-proclaiming Second Coming Jesus”? Is it because human nature seeks stimulation? Instead of the Word of God that resolves life’s problems, or wholesome and touching stories, the propagating power of stimulating rumors and criticizing content is much more overpowering.
This time on Netflix, a documentary called In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal was aired and spread secondary and tertiary content, once again infringing on President Jung Myung-seok and CGM members. Hold on. Here you can just press the “Back” button, saying “Oh, this article was written by a JMS believer” or “You are a cult, so you shouldn’t speak,” but I hope you can read this until the end.
That “perspective” is repeated again
Actually, as a result of checking the main content of the program, I found out that the logic, flow, and information used to attack CGM are the same as before. Mr. K, the key figure of the opposing force who appears directly in the program, has continued to slander CGM with the same narrative since 1999 through SBS’ I Want to Know, MBC’s True Story Expedition in 2020, and JTBC in 2022. In President Jung Myung-seok’s sermon video, he distorted the audio and subtitles from “evangelize one out of ten [yeol-ai-ha-na jeon-do]” to “evangelize one woman [yeo-ja-ha-na joen-do],” and he did not hesitate to use only a portion of an audio recording of President Jeong Myung-seok to make a religious consultation with a [church] member in need sound like a sex crime.
And in 2023, through Netflix’s In the Name of God, using OTT (over-the-top) platform characteristics that are not restricted by broadcasting law, without hesitation, President Myung-seok Jeong and the CGM are portrayed in a sexual and provocative way.
This program is promoted by various media outlets as being objectively and credibly produced. However, it meticulously interprets the path that President Jung Myung-seok walked through one person’s one-sided logic and narrative, which is Mr. K’s. This path, which started with the Word of God that saves lives, is a history that Mr. K has never been a part of. Based on the malicious claims of those who left CGM and the one-sided allegations of the opposition, the broadcast only tarnishes this history as a “history that sexually seduces female believers.” It was done to the extent that I thought it was childish. There was no mention of how God’s words had resolved people’s life issues or how it solved Biblical questions. Instead, Mr. K himself is portrayed as an “apostle of justice who seeks to rescue those who had been harmed by President Jung Myung-seok.”
Video claims and contents: is all of it true?
On February 17th, CGM filed an application for an injunction to ban the broadcast, but the Court rejected it. “For past cases, they have cross-checked various materials such as videos and photos, and the part related to the ongoing criminal trial is in line with the plaintiffs’ statements since they have met and conducted interviews with the plaintiffs, so it is difficult to see them as false,” the Court described.
In the film, Mr. K’s argument, the tearful statements of the accusers, and the presented video and audio recordings of the female believers make people speculate, “President Jung Myung-seok really committed these crimes.” The reenactments also emotionally trigger the general public and induce them to believe that “this really happened.”
But are these allegations and contents true? It is unclear from where these materials were gathered, and whether they were really produced at the site where President Jung Myung-seok had allegedly violated the female believers. In particular, the full version and context should be clearly given for recordings that are offensive and shocking for viewers. Among the statements of the accusers in the actual film, there were many things that could be proven to be absolute lies.
In the Name of God may end up as a source of stimulation and entertainment (or discomfort) for the public. However, CGM, which has been quietly preaching the gospel and spreading a sound view of faith, will be undermined, and the damage to its image and members will be severe.
Currently, President Jung Myung-seok is undergoing the first trial, and no decision has been made yet. The process from the prosecution of Ms. M in 2022 to the arrest and trial of President Myung-Seok Jeong was not easy from the standpoint of CGM’s opposition. Although I cannot reveal the specific trial process and the circumstances of the accusers here, there were sufficient grounds to prove that Ms. M’s claims were false. Meanwhile, the accumulated negative public opinion led to the arrest of President Jung Myung-seok. In the Name of God is the culmination of that. The accusers, including Mr. K, appear to be trying to agitate public opinion on a global scale through In the Name of God in order to lead the trial in their favor.
It is often argued that broadcasting should be fair. However, it is difficult to come up with such good broadcasts. This is because the broadcaster’s circumstances, characteristics, and financial logic have no choice but to come into play. In particular, fair broadcasts are no fun. In a reality where few people seek the Word of God, to have content encompassing CGM’s wholesome nature and image that differ from its opposition’s claims would be meaningless from the standpoint of OTT, which pursues profit. In order to make content that sells well to the public, there is no choice but to compose content that is stimulating and R-rated.
In the Name of God is a concoction of CGM opposers who cause trouble for CGM and try to justify themselves by any means beyond logic, Netflix’s pursuit of profit, broadcast producers’ desire to succeed through an OTT platform, and the general attack of Christianity which condemns CGM as heretical. Anyone who consumes content should keep in mind that there will be a certain number of hidden agendas.
[Writing | G. jams ]
* This blog collects organized material on the main issues appearing in Netflix’s In the Name of God.
Some of them can be fully explained, but some have not been made into content due to the safety of CGM members.
Interview with the President of Christian Gospel Mission Jung Myung-seok
[Special interview with Chungcheong Herald Correspondent Kim Gwang-mu / Reporter Kwon Seong-ha]
“Sometimes he appears shining like a star.. At other times he appears as soft as the moon.. At other times he appears as dazzling as the sun.. He told me to write a poem. He made me a poet”
– From the poem ‘Who made me a poet’
It started with a saying that sounded like a legend. “There are so many beautiful flowers over that mountain.”
The young poet’s heart was filled with overflowing dreams. Secretly, I ran out of hope, gasping for breath. The poet’s life flowed like a river, and flowed like a drop of water on a blade of grass. As the snow melted and flowed on a spring day, the clouds flowed by. The place where the poems flowed is Wolmyeongdong, a mountainous village in Geumsan, Chungcheongnam-do.
The original name of Wolmyeongdong is ‘Dalbitgol’. Even though it was a mountainous area where less than ten households lived, the moon was exceptionally bright. 月明洞 is the name of the village in Chinese characters.
The beautiful flower that the poet dreamed of bloomed as the ‘gospel’ in Dalbakgol.
Wolmyeongdong (144-1 Seokmak-ri, Jinsan-myeon, Geumsan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do) is a mysterious place. At first glance, it looks like any other mountainous area with a thick pine forest. However, when viewed from the sky, it looks like “Miwon Ja” took off her jacket exposing her red skin and navel.
Buildings such as stones and trees, water and waterfalls, lawns and temples evoke a passage from Dr. David Hawkins’ Homo Spiritus.
“It’s best to just keep doing your job and leave the rest to Providence. Then, God takes the last step.”
Another name for Wolmyeongdong is the Natural Temple. This is what the people of the Christian Gospel Mission (CGM) call it.
As Dr. Hawkins personally saw and wrote, Wolmyeongdong’s huge three-story building is beautiful and majestic. It is mysterious to see megaliths, which are likely to weigh several tons, standing vertically. Did God really move it?
President Jung Myung Seok (76 years old) said, “To say so would be a lie. Mowing grass in the valley, making volleyball courts to play with, and making potato fields have become training centers that come from all over the world. God works in secret. However, he gave only the words to make it beautiful, magnificent, and mysterious. I entrusted it to famous landscaping experts and they did the landscaping for my home. It was beautiful and grand, but it was not mysterious to anyone looking at it. So I asked him to stack several tons of stones vertically. Then he shook his head and left. It has been raining for a full week, and in prayer, I heard the words, ‘You should build it up.’”
“I didn’t know how to build it, so it kept falling apart. As amateurs, we only knew how to put stones on the soil, so there was no way it could be done. But after it collapsed five times, it was built on the sixth. Even though the rocks have collapsed, our hearts have not. It was accomplished as God’s Providence had envisioned. So, in the end, God moved it.”
I was curious about the word “Providence”. It seemed to mean something beyond the principles and laws that govern our lives and phenomena in the natural world.
“Providence is God’s will. My humble hometown, my humble and pitiful hometown was created according to the plan (as it is now) because of God’s will. Now, everyone who sees it admires it, and a lot of people come to see it. I am stunned when I see everyone (laughs).”
In fact, Wolmyeongdong is a training center that gathers all kinds of missionaries.
For over 10 years, President Jung Myung Seok and his followers took shovels and carried soil and stones to complete the project. The paths in each valley of the training center are all paths created by God’s will.
At that time, President Jung said, “To pave the road (길) is to pave the way (도). It is difficult to make a road on a mountain, but how difficult would it be to create the ‘true road’ of life?” This proverb is still being talked about.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.1 million people visited Wolmyeongdong training center annually. Devotees and visitors naturally come into contact with Geumsan’s special product, ginseng.
In fact, the memories of the three World Geumsan Ginseng Expo held in 2006, 2011 and 2017 are vivid in the minds of the people of Geumsan. At that time, a whopping 30,000 members of the Christian Gospel Mission from home and abroad traveled all over the Ginseng Expo.
At the 2019 Geumsan Ginseng Festival, many believers promoted the effect of ginseng and purchased it. The economic ripple effect estimated by the Geumsan-gun Office amounts to 100 billion won. It was also beautiful, majestic, and mystical that the people of Geumsan were the same.
Professor Max Weber’s ‘Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism’, who emphasized that religion has a great influence on the protection of individual freedom and property rights, comes to mind.
Wolmyeongdong is very similar to Christian Gospel Mission. For about 10 years, CGM’s founder President Jung Myung Seok was imprisoned, but CGM grew bigger.
He spread the gospel to 73 countries around the world, including Japan, Taiwan, and the United States, and established megachurches in 200 cities across the country. This is unusual in the context of the decline of the Christian generation in Korean society.
The answer was concise. It is explained that this is because they preach and follow God’s ‘Absolute Word’ as it is. He also cited an increase in the number of logical young believers.
“People see the same thing differently. Even when Judas Iscariot died, some say that he was hanged, and in other Gospels, his intestines burst and he died. The same is true of the old debate about heresies. The Bible is 90% parables. Even if a new religion emerges, God is the same. Whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament, it is God’s will that Jesus was born and preached the gospel, and that is the Word of the new age. If those words are right for the times, then we have to follow them. However, many religious leaders and theologians failed to do so. It is said that teaching according to the Bible is wrong. The younger generation is different. Religion and science must match. If God said it took only 6000 years to create the heavens and the earth, would the youth go to church? Students believe that something is true only when it is logical. It is difficult for the younger generation to accept the saying that salvation comes only by believing in the church. Everyone can be saved, but it is God’s Will that we are saved according to our deeds. God is not the only God of religion. He is the God of science, philosophy and art.”
In the same vein, this is the design that Wolmyeongdong and the training center will show the future. It is CGM’s calling to create a platform to develop the talents of the younger generation based on their faith.
In fact, in Wolmyeongdong, various cultural and artistic activities such as Korean traditional music, orchestra, musical, theater, cheerleading, jazz dance, martial arts demonstration, and magic show, as well as sports club activities such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, table tennis, swimming, skiing, horseback riding, and mountain climbing are held throughout the four seasons. Volunteer activities such as cultural arts volunteering, visiting Kkottongnae, and volunteering at facilities for the disabled, are also plentiful.
“While serving in the Vietnam War as a soldier twice, I contemplated the essence of religion and the eternal truth at the boundary between life and death. Religion is a life, not a theory. It is listening to the Word and putting it into practice by loving God. I think the mission of Wolmyeongdong and the training center is to convey to the world the victory of faith in Korea that has been achieved through pastoral activities for the past 43 years. We will make Wolmyeongdong, which God envisioned, into a world-class park that embodies the world of religious harmony and peace. This is why people from all over the world come to Wolmyeongdong to believe in God.”
2021 has been an amazing and challenging year. While many had thought COVID-19 would be a thing of the past, new variants (Delta and Omicron) amongst other reasons caused COVID-19 to persist and even emerge more strongly in many parts of the world.
In spite of these challenges, the question the Trinity pose to us is – have you made yourself anew in body and spirit this year? This was the theme and direction from the Trinity this year, and Pastor Jung had also delivered many sermons – and led by example – on how we should change ourselves anew. Making Wolmyeongdong in new ways, giving thanks in new ways, praying at even higher levels, holding services in refreshing new hybrid ways…. these are just some examples of how Providence has changed in new ways.
Just as important is how each one of us has changed in new ways. It is easy to blame COVID-19 for not being able to do things better, but this is an opportunity for us to do things in new ways. Every crisis is an opportunity, and the bigger the crisis, the bigger the opportunity. Let’s change our perspectives towards the challenges of COVID-19 and find those opportunities to do things in new ways!
This Christmas, God’s creation continues to give Glory to God through their magnificence and beauty. God also shows himself through nature to all of us. Nature continues to make itself anew daily, in an amazing cycle of life. May we celebrate Christmas with Jesus who came to this world to save us, so that we may live renewing ourselves in a Godly manner everyday, just as nature does.
Enjoy these breathtaking pictures taken by our members, reflecting God through nature.
With the spirit of peace, heartwarming soccer games took place.
<PineNews 14 May 2019> More than 300 local churches from the Youth Union of Korean Churches, part of Christian Gospel Mission (CGM), were gathered at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on 12 May to hold the 2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament. With the cheering from more than 40,000 CGM members, the atmosphere at Daejeon World Cup Stadium became even more vibrant than the 2002 World Cup.
Around 200 international players from 14 countries, including Korea, Canada, Hongkong, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and more than 2,000 cheering supporters were present. The matches of the 2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament were played with ‘Peace’ as the motto and with a sincere hope of the complete termination of all wars in the world. A continuous presence of a thick cloud cover over the stadium provided radiative cooling throughout the day.
The event began with a joint Sunday Service. It was followed by the opening ceremony, the semifinals, the finals, and the closing ceremony. During the Sunday Service, President Jung Myung Seok said, “The greatest blessing in human life is loving and serving God, brothers and sisters.”
During the opening ceremony of the 2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament, the Peace Cheering Group presented a performance that involved a large soccer ball with the words ‘Peace Soccer’ engraved. Leading on from that performance, large banners with drawings of an eagle and a cheetah each holding a soccer ball unfolded over the 2,000 performers.
President Jung said, “Peace soccer isn’t all about winning. It aims to promote the spirit of peace. Regardless whether you are in a team that has won or lost, let’s play peaceful matches with excitement.” He further mentioned, “Soccer isn’t just a sport. It is an artwork created by 11 players through harmonizing. I hope that today can be the day when you can show your skills to your fullest.”
After the preliminary rounds, the teams that qualified for the semi-finals were: Focus, Tiger, Cheetah, and Lion (Overseas Alliance Team). The teams performed thrilling matches. The final match was between Focus and Cheetah. Focus became the final victors from the breathtaking finals. A professional athlete from the Focus team who had been interviewed said, “With the spirit of faith in God, my team and I encouraged each other when playing the matches. I had a good time, having more fun than playing in a regular league game.” President Jung led and encouraged the tournament by playing with all the teams.
Without a doubt, the International Peace Soccer Tournament displayed the spirit of peace. During the matches, players lent their hands to the fallen opponents to help them get back on their feet. It was heartwarming to see how players encouraged other players who missed opportunities to score a goal by patting on their shoulders. The crowds also cheered for every single team. Whenever a goal was scored, everyone at the tournament became ecstatic and joyous.
A university student, Kim Heechan, mentioned, “It was awe-inspiring to see how people were in harmony through soccer regardless of their race, gender and culture.” Yang Jeesoo, who attended the tournament as a member of the cheering squad, said, “it was very charming to see the cheering squad cheering for all of the teams and players contrary to the usual cheering squads, who cheer for their team, their country and their favourite players only. Also, it was very fascinating to see how the players played the matches with delight and enthusiasm.
One of the staff mentioned, “We hope the spirit of peace shown through the International Peace Soccer Tournament will spread to all over the world, so that there will be no more wars, fighting and hatred. Young people will work harder to fulfil the true peace on this earth. Please look forward to the International Peace Soccer Tournament, which will be held annually.”
[PINENEWS, reported by Hong Hwayeon] The Rock Gemstone Festival was held during the autumn season. It aimed to provide healing and solace for people who are tired of their busy daily lives, and attracted visitors.
Christian Gospel Mission (CGM, led by President Jung Myung Seok) held the 5th Rock Gemstone festival on 28 September 2019 at Wolmyeongdong Retreat Centre (aka. Wolmyeongdong). The festival lasted for 9 days, commencing with an opening ceremony, and ended on 6 October.
Wolmyeongdong is an attractive destination for both domestic and international tourists, due to its world-class stone landscape, ponds, giant waterfalls, grass lawns, dense pine forests and the top notch Korean mineral natural water. This place has been made known by people through word of mouth and the ‘Gemstone Rock Festival’ has become a global festival after its continuous development.
Since 1990, President Jung Myung Seok and CGM members have been making the beautiful, majestic and amazing world-class rock landscape in Wolmyeongdong. As part of the Rock Gemstone Festival, a 360 degrees rock landscape, formed by around 2,000 beautiful and amazing rock masterpieces, was presented to the audience.
Contrary to the weather forecast, the 28th of September, when the opening ceremony was held, had a deep clear autumn sky. Even though it was only the first day of the festival, more than 3,000 international tourists from Asia, including Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong and 5,000 visitors from Korea came. A line of small but charming stone towers, made up of two piled rocks each, greeted the visitors as they walked along both sides of the 100m long path from the entrance of Wolmyeongdong to the pond.
The opening ceremony began with a friendly soccer match between Taiwan, Hongkong, Malaysia and Singapore. Later at 10am, the Sunrise Art troupe performed on the beautiful celebratory stage to the bright and humorous tunes of a 200-member brass band, receiving a big round of applause from the audience.
Jung Myung Seok, president of CGM, delivered the congratulatory speech and said, “There are masterpiece landscapes that are made by God’s design. Just like the inscription on the headstone (which reads), ‘designed by God, inspired by Holy Spirit, protected by Jesus Christ, and actions were taken by my disciples and I’, All the rock art works here in Wolmyeongdong are made and put up by God’s design. I hope all of you will enjoy your time here, and make unforgettable memories as you listen to the stories each rock gemstone has with God”.
At this year’s festival, President Jung had put in efforts to plant 11 pine trees and adorn the rocks. One can see hundreds of giant pine trees and even a 350 years old ‘pine tree masterpiece’ bonsai.
The ‘1000 year Ornamental Rock Group’, consisting of domestic ornamental rock experts, is also having another exhibit. More than 100 pieces of rocks were exhibited, including 50 ornamental rocks that President Jung Myung Seok had found along the riversides through spiritual inspiration, and other rocks owned by the ‘1000 year Ornamental Rock Group’. Shapes and pictures that are carved on the stone by nature made the visitors speechless. The images of a human face, a woman, a smiling face, a bride, a mother, an eagle, a cheetah, a lion, a crane, and a palm tree immerse the viewers in nature’s amazing artistic touch.
The ‘poem exhibition’ that was held around the ambitious masterpiece rock landscape was also very popular among visitors.
Park (alias) from Seoul who visited the festival stated, “It was delightful to observe the stonewall walkway on the way to Wolmyeongdong. I was amazed to see how small rocks were carefully balanced and piled up, as if they were all stuck together permanently. I had thought they were bonded together using glue.”
Visitors who attended the Gemstone Rock Festival also attended the Geumsan Ginseng Festival that was being held nearby.
The place where the Geumsan Ginseng Festival was held was bathed in yellow from shirts worn by visitors from Asia. International visitors and domestic visitors showed great interest towards ginseng, and crowded across the ginseng market and ginseng medicinal herb market streets.
The Governor of the Geumsan region, Mr Moon Jeongsoo, expressed his thankfulness towards the visitors by stating, “Geumsan is the home of Goryeo ginseng. Your interest towards Geumsan ginseng, which is one of the greatest foods for well-being with more than 1,500 years of history, is greatly appreciated”.
Every year, more than 1.18 million people visit Wolmeongdong to see its beautiful scenery.
2020 has been a challenging year for the entire world. The COVID-19 pandemic has tragically taken many lives and affected even more livelihoods.
Yet, Pastor Jung Myung Seok still behooves us to give even more thanksgiving and glory to the Trinity. Surely that is difficult – if we have lost loved ones, jobs, friendships… but that is truly what it means to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Yes, the road ahead is still uncertain, like walking through the mist. Even with news of the vaccines, there are news of the mutating variants of COVID-19 as well. The winter cold in the northern hemisphere brings about better conditions for the disease to thrive – making it a bittersweet white Christmas.
But what problem can be too big for our God? Instead, let us give thanks and glory, and God will surely hear our earnest prayers. Today, as we celebrate Christmas, may we remember that Jesus our Messiah was born in the midst of cruel hardships – the threat of death and without a proper place to be born. Yet, he overcame all and brought salvation to all mankind. We too will surely be victorious if we remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Korea Post is a longstanding and established english magazine established 34 years ago. It is subscribed by ambassadors in over 110 embassies and political institutions and provides essential information magazine for over 1.6 million foreigners living in Korea.
This 2020 article describes in great detail about Christian Gospel Mission, also known as Providence, as well as its retreat center Wolmyeongdong, and its founder Pastor Jung Myung Seok.
Popular scenic locations include places of outstanding beauty, places where famous people were born, and places of historical significance. This place, Wolmyeongdong (in Seomak-ri, Jinsanmyeon, Geumsan-gun, Chungnam province) used to be nothing more than a desolate valley surrounded by mountains: it was full of weeds and thistles, and visited by no one. Then in 1989, after hearing the voice of God, President Jeong Myeong-Seok began developing it with his followers. With whole-hearted devotion, they developed and beautified the valley, and so it was reborn as ‘The Natural Temple.’
A popular scenic location should have rocks, trees, and water, and people should visit it in all seasons. Wolmyeongdong is not lacking in any of these criteria. The topography and the shape of the surrounding mountains are both exceptional. It has a wide, green lawn, a large sports field that is larger than international standard sized soccer field, majestic rock landscaping, beautiful waterfalls, a lake, gazebos located at every vista point, medicinal spring water that has healed countless incurable diseases, hiking trails through pine forests that create the purest oxygen, huge boulders in intriguing shapes, and much more. All of these masterpieces of nature come together in harmony to create scenery of extreme beauty.
Neither the Great Wall of China nor the temples of Greece were built with majestic and mysterious boulders like Wolmyeongdong’s rock landscapes. Every year, more than a million people visit this valley from all parts of Korea and the world in order to enjoy the breathtaking landscape of Wolmyeongdong, unrivaled throughout the world.
Many regions became famous in the course of history because truly remarkable people were born there: Wolmyeongdong valley has also become known because of the great man who was born there. It has become an important place full of profound stories.
From the beginning of Wolmyeongdong’s development until it became what it is today, President Jeong worked harder than anyone else on the front line, receiving the detailed design directly from God through prayer each day.
Thus the place that only echoed with the lonely cry of cuckoo birds 30 years ago has now become a worldclass destination. It is a place Korea can boast of proudly to the world; a place regularly visited by people from more than 70 nations.
Church architecture is one of the most outstanding cultural features of Europe from the middle ages. Similarly, Wolmyeongdong has now become a temple, God’s palace, that will represent the religion of today.
On first seeing Wolmyengdong, visitors exclaim, “It is surely a masterpiece through which we can see the Omniscient and Omnipotent God! It’s like paradise on earth!” Astonished topographers say, “This is the greatest location; it is Jamiwon*!’
(*Jamiwon: a place with star-shaped topography regarded as a place of good fortune)
If you have not yet visited Wolmyeongdong, try to make your way to these legendary hills. If you see it in person, you will naturally utter sounds of wonder and astonishment.
President Jeong shares deep teachings about life using the miraculous transformation of this place as a backdrop. He says, “Just as Wolmyeongdong became a different world when we developed it, a person’s destiny also changes according to how they make themselves. Make yourself with God’s Word. If you do, you will gain many things to enjoy throughout the life of your body and for eternity in spirit.”
He was born in Wolmyeongdong, Seomak-ri, Jinsan-myeon, Geumsan-gun, Chungnam province. Starting in his early teens, Jeong prayed in the mountains for 21 years, read the Bible more than 2,000 times, and has studied God’s Word and put it into action for the past 60 years.
He founded Christian Gospel Mission based on his philosophy of ‘Only God.’ He has delivered the Word God and Jesus taught him to people from more than 70 countries around the world. With that Word, he has guided more than a million people from Korea and abroad to live the life of a true believer.
Jeong graduated from The Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary in 1983. In 1998, he completed an executive management program at the graduate school of Administration, Chungnam University. In 2001, he received an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the Open International University under UNESCO in Sri Lanka.
His literary career as a poet was launched in 1995 when his poems were published in a monthly literary magazine, Munyehsajo, and since then, he has published six volumes of poetry called ‘Poems of Inspiration.’ In 2011, ten of his poems were printed in the Korean Poetry Encyclopedia, which spans 100 years of Korean poetry. His poems are loved by many, with volumes 2, 3, and 4 of his ‘Poems of Inspiration’ featuring on Kyobo’s best-seller list for poetry for several months. In addition to literature, President Jeong has a profound understanding of fine art, music, landscaping, sport, and other artistic endeavors. He founded a global movement of culture, art, and peace, and through holistic education he has raised talented and creative artists to promote peace and culture throughout the world.
He constructed The Natural Temple according to the design God gave him and it is a masterpiece of landscaping that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In just one year, he composed lyrics and melodies for more than 700 songs, published three albums, and held a gala concert. Thirteen solo art exhibitions testify to his prolific work as a painter and calligrapher. In 2011, his painting was selected as exemplary among all the artworks at the Argentina International Art Biennale. His artistic talent has been acknowledged in Korea and overseas.
In addition to six volumes of poetry, President Jeong has written about 150 religious books, such as The Word of Salvation, Predawn Pulpit, Conversations with the Holy Son, and The Record of History: the Spiritual World. He has also published collections of sermons (The Word of Life and The New Word of the Complete Testament) and collections of proverbs (Heaven’s Word and My Words, Proverbs of Wisdom, Proverbs from Sermons, Drawings and Proverbs of the New Time Period, and Proverbs of Resurrection in the New Time Period). He served in the Vietnam War not once but twice, between 1966 and 1969, and in 2018 he published a four-volume memoir based on his experiences, The War Was Cruel: Love and Peace. These books contain vivid testimonies about his extraordinary effort to actualize the philosophy, ‘love life’ and ‘make peace,’ and testify about the amazing deeds of God who was with him.
The following discussion is about the history and the vision of Christian Gospel Mission (CGM), based on an interview with CGM’s Director of External Affairs.
1. Churches in Korea
Currently, CGM has about 100,000 members in Korea, including new and existing members and their families. In the past, we had around 400 churches in both large and small cities throughout Korea, but many were combined to form about 200 larger churches. Ten of the larger churches in metropolitan areas like Seoul and Busan have over 1500 members.
2. Oversea Churches
We have spread the gospel to people from more than 70 countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and the Republic of South Africa. There are currently about 20,000 members overseas.
3. Which countries have the largest membership outside Korea? How do you spread the gospel?
Aside from Korea, membership in Japan and Taiwan has grown the fastest, and we also expect thatthe 70 other countries that have received the gospel will grow strongly in the future. The driver of this rapid expansion is the Word we teach. The Word is CGM’s greatest strength, and we base our faith on the Word. Rather than making evangelistic efforts through cultural events or volunteer service, which tend to produce short-term results, we have focused purely on spreading the gospel. More recently, however, we have extended our activities to other social contributions, working in connection with national and international NGOs that seek to provide lasting solutions to the various problems people face around the world.
4. The positive influence that CGM has brought to Korean religion and its future vision
As you know, South Korea is a nation of the mind and spirit. It even earned the label, ‘religious department store,’ for its array of religions and depth of spiritual discourse. Among these religions, Christianity has achieved notable growth and prosperity. At one point, Korean churches held significant influence over leading Christian countries in North America and Europe, foreshadowing a Christian awakening and the coming of the Messiah, but that influence has been in decline since the end of the 20th century. We are reminded of the Old Testament prophecy of Amos: ‘“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. In that day the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst.”’ (Amos 8:1113) In this time of spiritual famine at the turn of the century, our church has been a beacon of hope among Korean churches, with teenagers and college students comprising 80% of the congregation. These teachings, which are able to quench the spiritual thirst of this generation, were received by President Jeong directly from Heaven. His message emphasizes day-to-day faith expressed in action, and encourages believers to always serve the Holy Trinity and live out their faith in the midst of daily life. Many young people have found answers to their fundamental life problems in the teachings he demonstrates through his words and actions, and their lives show what an ideal life can look like. This is how our church is now seeing strong growth, despite ongoing opposition from more established churches. The members of Christian Gospel Mission strive to live as the salt and light of the earth in a society that has lost its sense of what is truly valuable, and strive to make a meaningful history of actualizing God’s sincere love and truth on the earth.
5. Prospects for overseas ministry
Languages and cultures differ, but truth is universal. God’s truth in the Bible is now being revealed, and this gospel will reach beyond the present 70 nations to the whole world in the next 10 years. We expect the gospel to impact both Christians and non-Christians.
6. What is the current direction of overseas ministry?
Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan are expected to continue growing strongly on the foundation of their impressive growth to date. Even in Europe, where the roots of Protestant and Catholic history go deep, our teachings are having an impact. Churches have also been established in major cities in America and Canada, and we are actively evangelizing in many parts of Oceania, Africa, and Latin America
7. What is the most notable difference between CGM and other churches?
CGM does not limit God’s power and His will by interpreting the scriptures literally or confining faith to the sphere of church. Rather, we help people realize that God governs society, culture, art, science, and everything else, not just religion. This is what separates us the most from the established Christian churches, which interpret the things of faith only literally and thus struggle to provide direction for members, and also separates us from other new religions that gradually center more on their leaders than on God. Another significant distinction is our determination to reclaim the arts and culture that have been corrupted by the world, through the Word of God.
8. What in Korea would you most like to show national ambassadors?
Wolmyeongdong is a beautiful, mysterious, and majestic temple built in nature, without equal in the world. Many artists and experts of various fields have praised its extraordinary features. The founder, President Jeong, always testifies that God designed it and the Holy Spirit and Holy Son protected us as we built it. The founder and the members put God’s design into action to make Wolmyeongdong a place full of stories with the Trinity. So it is most definitely the first place we would like to introduce to national ambassadors.
9. What is your plan for external expansion?
Our measure of success is not the number of members. A large congregation is meaningless if we do not express the love and truth of God in our lives. However, in the course of living out this faith, our churches will continue to grow in size and number throughout the nation and the world. CGM is called the ‘Providence’ of God, and we believe that the world of Providence will see monumental growth with time.
10. What is it about Christian Gospel Mission that excites the hearts of young people?
CGM solves the fundamental problem of spiritual thirst for truth through God’s deep Word, and instills in young people a faith that is not delusional or conceptual but becomes life itself. This is our greatest power to motivate people.