Background: For one week in mid July 2022, JTBC in Korea featured provocative broadcasts about Jung Myeong-seok, including a misleading audio clip that will be discussed in the article below. Similar themes were brought up in the Netflix docuseries In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal.
A sex scandal headliner based on an audio recording of President Jung Myung-seok was broadcast continuously for one week on JTBC. The following article was written from a Christian Gospel Mission (CGM) member’s point of view, after analyzing the problematic parts in the voice recording that was aired.
In fact, CGM has been misunderstood many times due to doctored recordings. For example, in the 1999 SBS series’ I Want to Know, President Jung Myung-seok’s sermon video on “Evangelize One out of Ten [yeol-ai-ha-na jeon-do]” had been distorted to sound like “evangelize one woman [yeo-ja-ha-na joen-do]” and aired. For such cases, editors usually ignore the context or video background but just focus on wording or parts of the sentence.
This was no exception. If we look at the overall context of the recording, President Jung Myung-seok’s key point is that faith should not be human-centered but God-centered. (You) should love God fundamentally using (your) brain. In fact, a CCTV video that was recorded at that time does not show any indication of what the broadcasting company claims to be true.
Also, as a believer of CGM, I didn’t find it abnormal when I heard the recording myself. It’s because I knew the intention behind his words. The wording that CGM uses can be a bit different from its usual context. For example, “love” does not [necessarily] mean the relationship between the opposite sex; rather, it usually refers to spiritual love, loving heaven, and leading a life of faith. If someone says “love,” a regular person may take it as having a sexual/romantic relationship, but Providence members understand it as spiritual love. Especially for a religious leader who preaches from a religious perspective, the meaning of his words may differ from that of the general world.
This time too, the intentional editing was noticeable, as the audio can certainly be seen as provocative and be misunderstood by those who do not know the doctrine of CGM. The words that became the center of controversy in the recording and the sentences that could be misunderstood due to ambiguous meanings will be discussed in this post one by one. (From here on, CGM will be referred to as Providence. Providence is used internally within CGM, meaning God’s Providence.)
1. Does God appear through a person?
This is mentioned a lot when you join Providence. The key point behind “God appears through people” is to “see God, see what’s fundamental” when you are looking at other people or nature. As a human being, we call upon God. But because God cannot physically appear before people, He enlightens them or appears through nature or human beings. The Messiah is the one who resembles God the most and is the one sent by God to the world to fulfill God’s mission. Thus, when interacting with the Messiah, “you should think of God.” That is the core. If you believe and live your life thinking about God, even if a person asks for sexual relationships in the name of the Messiah, you should reject it. The Messiah is not God. God is higher than the Messiah. In other words, even if you see the Messiah, you should look at the core and see God.
Furthermore, CGM teaches that the Messiah is a missionary of salvation, who records God’s Word according to each time period. He is not God nor the Second Coming Jesus. President Jung Myung-seok says that “the perfect Messiah, the Savior, is only Jesus,” and that “the almighty Divine Being is only the Holy Trinity; human beings or a person of mission could never become God Himself.” President Jung Myung-seok himself is also a bride (the counterpart of love) of God and is a person who leads people to meet the Lord of the Second Coming perfectly.
Anyone who receives the Word becomes a god
– President Jung Myung-Seok
This does not mean that humans become God Himself. As a human being, no matter who you are, if you develop yourself according to God’s Will, “you will be able to live a divine-level life’.” (As a human being, you can never become God).
2. Serve the Messiah with love instead of seeing him as a human?
What does this mean? If it means to be physically close, then tens of thousands of Providence members will go near him, and he may then be torn apart. So that’s not the right meaning. Since the Messiah receives God’s Word directly, the essence of the Messiah is the Word. “You should not live your life recklessly but be close to the Messiah” means to be close to the Word and thus be close to God. When we look at this spiritually, “to serve” does not simply mean to treat, entertain, or respect the person. As said in the Bible, “serving with love” means to offer love through your life; thus, in the recording, President Jung said, “do not treat the Lord like just another human being” but serve him. This means to live your life according to the Word, loving and serving the heavens.
3. Fruit should ripen?
The meaning of fruit in a physical love relationship is different from spiritual love. If the fruit means sexual organ in physical love, then the fruit between God and people is the brain. Love with God is done through your thoughts, life, and actions. And those thoughts, heart, and mentality commence from the brain. Therefore, in Providence, the spiritual fruit of love is the brain, that is, the heart, mentality, and thoughts.
What it means to ripen is for the person’s body and spirit to mature, for their brain, heart, thoughts, and mentality to resemble God’s thoughts, and for the person to be perfect in God’s eyes. That’s why the recording mentions “the fruit ripening” and “the thoughts ripening.” A person should fall in love when they are mature to a certain extent to avoid complications. The Bible also often references fruit as a parable for a person’s growth.
4. You say you want to do things together? Living together, a responsive life
Aim to live together. If you love, you will want to do things together. Even if God is dying to do things together with people, if people do not want it, it won’t work out. Thus, President Jung said, you should want to live with the heavens first. In other words, spiritual love with God is seen as living together.
There is also a “responsive life.” According to the purpose of creation, the doctrine of CGM, heaven and earth are in counterpart positions. Metaphorically, heaven is in the position of a man, and the earth is in the position of a woman. As it is a counterpart relationship, people are God’s counterparts of love. When a man and a woman love each other, they are happy when their counterpart is thankful. God is also content when people show responses to His Word. Being responsive means being thankful for the life we’ve been given, loving God’s Word, realizing God’s Word deeply, and taking action upon the Word in our daily lives. You should want to do it. Then, you will be able to realize the value of faith and the value of life. Thus, in a life of faith, being responsive is very important.
5. Don’t touch other people? You belong to God?
CGM views the Fall through its own doctrine on the Fall, which refers to Adam and Eve loving each other before their bodies and minds had matured to the stage God wanted. When the order of fertility and prosperity is swapped, it is viewed as the Fall. This means that the essence of human beings is God. So before centering on a physical person, one should live life centering on God first.
In Providence, if a person is still in the process of growing their faith, they learn about love through centering on God first—God who is the fundamental being of love—and engage in spiritual love with God while living their life. That process must be undergone to be able to have a perspective based on the Truth, so that even if one were alone, they would be able to control themselves with their faith, and even if they were to see the opposite sex, they would be able to see them from God’s perspective. That is the correct process.
In other words, as this Word is from God, we should not give our body to the Messiah nor engage in promiscuous sex. Instead, look at God rather than people. Learn from God first and live a life centering on God, and have a faith that centers on God.
In conclusion, this sexual promiscuity slander is used to attract people and occurs due to misunderstandings of the parable regarding spiritual love between God and human beings.
If you want to know a person’s intention, you need to know the concept behind the words the person has used. Before you start to debate, it is proper etiquette to align each other’s notions. If we have a different notion about something and start talking to each other, then even if you have endless conversations, you will only resolve it in your own way. This sexual promiscuity slander is used to attract people and occurs due to misunderstandings of the parable regarding spiritual love between God and human beings.
In the Bible, the Song of Songs describes God’s counterpart of love. There is parent-child love in the world, but there is also intense love that is inseparable, like the counterpart love between a man and a woman. God is the origin of love. All forms of natural love, from agape to eros, come from God. However, before God, eros is not a relationship between the opposite sex. It is love in life and a spiritual love that is done with the heart, mind, and thoughts. However, in the sense that the love of a counterpart relationship is exchanged between heaven and earth, rather than a one-sided love given by heaven, the love between a groom and a bride, and the love between each man and woman is used as a metaphor. Even if the Messiah has come, he would not have sex on behalf of God. If the Messiah preaches God’s Word and lives a life of faith according to the Word, then that becomes love with God.
CGM (JMS) teaches that love with God is not a physical love but brain love and a spiritual love. This is often referred to as agape love. It is unital love, knowing one’s heart and not a physical love done using your body. If it were physical love, then would male members and older men or women be able to live a life of faith in Providence? Love between God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Son cannot be a physical relationship type of love. Thus, regardless of your gender or age, no matter who you are, you can fulfill Heaven’s Will of love by having God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Son as the subjects of love. Before God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Son, as a bride, our love is equivalent regardless of gender or age. President Jung Myung-seok has taught about such spiritual love, and through the Word, he has helped people to feel and meet God in their daily lives. Many gentiles and people who had faith but could not feel God were able to feel him after listening to President Jung Myung-seok’s words. How could he help those people to feel God if he himself had not met God? People who had revived their faith through listening to the Word by coming to CGM churches, will know the truth about President Jung Myung-seok without having to see it with their own eyes.