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November 25, 2012, 09:36:29 AM
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Offline Peter

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Negative Experiences with Good News Baptists
« on: November 25, 2012, 09:36:29 AM »
June 14, 2014 Update: If you're looking for information about fugitive Yoo Byung-eun and the Korean ferry disaster, you can find it here: The Salvation Sect (Gu Won Pa) & the Sewol Ferry Tragedy. Guwonpa is an umbrella term used to describe several (now different) groups with shared origins. The below information concerns the Guwonpa group that was, before the ferry sinking, the most visible and notable of the three Guwonpa groups.
________________________________________________

A 2006 thread from my old board:

Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Thread Started on May 2, 2006, 7:44am »
pillaroffire


Hi!
I've recently made a very negative experience with a pastor of one of these Good News Baptist churches.

I got in contact with these people through their student missionaries which I met on campus. They wanted to evangelizeme. I tried to explain to them that I'm a christian but they didn't get it right away. They were nice and I directly felt connected to them. What surprised me a bit is that they were not really skilled at evangelizing. They had no bible verses prepared which they could use to show the people that they are sinners and that they need salvation and how they can be saved. All they had was a booklet with their testimonies and a plain text, but no bible verses. I gave them some tips how to use bible verses and also which bible verses are suitable for evangelizing. They invited me to their church, too. They gave me a tract from the Good News Mission. It contained a sermon from their leader pastor Ock-Soo Park. I never read this sermon, maybe I should have read it before I went to their church...

On the back on the tract there was also advertisement for one of pastor Park's books. It said "The beststeller, which shook the whole world."
I do not really think this book shook the whole world, I think it only shook those which belong to the IYF because if you do a search for "pastor ock-soo park" on google or yahoo you will only find stuff about him on their own websites. This guy is nowhere near being famous in the christian community. In all my years, and I listen to a lot of famous christians from the USA etc., I have never heard this name.

The students also told me that this pastor had his own page in the New York Times where he posts sermons. I did some research I could not find anything which shows a connection between the New York Times and this pastor.

So I went there to this church not expecting anything bad. I was actually thinking that this was from God and that God had arranged this. I went there and first of all I found out that the church was basically only a huge house with a huge backyard. All doors were closed. Obviously they did not expect any "strangers". I already wanted to leave when somebody opened. They welcomed me. All the korean students were already in the building. I would say 85% of the few people which were there were only made up of korean students. There were only a few people which seemed to belong to this church which are not student missionaries from Korea.
First of all they sang a few songs, then the students did a coreography and danced and then others played some solos on the violin. Then he asked wether somebody has a testimony. One girl gave a testimony. Something which I noticed is that very often she said things like: "And then I had to think of what Pastor Park said...". She said this a few times and I asked myself who is this pastor Park? (this was before I had done my research) I had the impression that they are pretty focused on this guy.
Then the pastor started preaching about Luke 8 and the difference between the woman which was thankful and the person which had invited Jesus which did not display this thankfulness. He also preached about us being righteous in God's eyes and that we have to look at God and not on ourselves because when we look at ourselves we will not feel like we're righteous. The sermon was basically okay.

When the sermon was over somebody who sat next to me, who was not a student and who seemed to really belong to this church, asked me who I am and where I come from and then he started explaining things to me which I already know. He talked about Adam and Eve and how they were driven out of Eden and I asked myself why does this guy tell me all this stuff?

Then the pastor joined us. He seemed nice and smiled. He also asked me a few basic questions, wether I had a church and how long I have been a christian and how I got saved.
He asked me where I met those girls from his church and we talked a bit. Then he wanted to know how I got saved. I told him my testimony. A few years ago I was not a christian but I had a problem and asked God for help. God helped me and this was how it started. I didn't know christians in real life at this point of time so I asked questions on the net in christian forums and learned stuff and one day I also gave my life to Jesus by praying a sinner's prayer, before this time I did not even know that such prayers exist.I would not even say becoming born again depends on having said such a prayer because in the bible they also did not have sinner's prayers, the heart matters. And then he asks me how I want to know wether those christians which I learned from are right and I said that you can compare it to the bible and I said that there are also bible teachers which are reliable and which God put in this position on purpose, which is to teach others. But he seemed arrogant to me. He said that all christians think they are right. If they noticed when somebody is wrong then how can the bible say the blind lead the blind? This didn't make much sense to me. By saying this he judged all bible teachers and made them look like they are all wrong. Then he said that if you have read the whole bible like three or four times then God will give you thoughts, and these thoughts will always stay the same not like christian opinions which may change. He was very convinced of his own opinion. Then he asked me how I got born again he wanted to know which sin I confessed when I got born again. I did not really understand what he wanted from me.

And then he asked me what I do when I sin and I said I ask God for forgiveness. He then said this is not biblical! He said that the bible only says that we have to CONFESS our sins and confessing is not the same as asking for forgiveness.

1.John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I never spent much time thinking about this.I simply feel like it's appropriate to ask God for forgiveness when I have committed a sin. But he insisted that this is not biblical. He tried to make it look like I don't believe that Jesus' blood covers all my sins.

We talked about this a while and I do not remember everything he said. I said that I think it's simply appropriate to ask God to forgive me when I have sinned. Sometimes when I sin I really beat myself up for it and do not feel forgiven but other christians also have this, too. And then this guy asked me who tells me that those christians are really christians?
I know christians which are sincere and in spite of this suffer from sin and struggle with sin. And then he said straight in my face that I am not born again and that I have never really repented, that I'm carnal and that I fight with sin in my own strength. I replied that there are christians which struggle with sin but he simply questioned wether these are real christians. I replied that Paul also struggled with sin and he describes this in Romans 7. He simply said Romans 7 is about people under the law and it shows Paul before he got saved. He said when Paul was got saved he was in the state described in Romans 8, this would basically mean that everything which Paul describes in Romans 7 does not apply to christians! He claimed that religious people struggle with sin, too. But he himself would not struggle with sin. He said I would struggle with sin and that I would try to fight against sin but I cannot win. He claimed that he does not struggle, he said Jesus would fight for him. It's true that I struggle with some sins which I have not yet overcome. I also didn't understand wether he suffers from sin or not. Somehow he did not give clear answers. I tried a few times to ask him a yes/no question but somehow he wasn't able to really define what he means. Maybe he didn't want to, maybe he couldn't, maybe he noticed that his logic has flaws, I don't know.

He only said that he also sins, but not how often, and that Jesus fights for him. But I didn't really understand what's the trick and what's supposed to be so great about him. If he also sins then he also isn't free from sin. If he is not free from sin then he is also a slave to sin. This is what he accused me of. He said I'm a slave to sin and asked me wether I have sin in my body. What would you reply to this dumb question? Do you have sin IN your body? What a dumb question.
I feel sick, I feel like vomiting.I only wanted to get out of this building. I told him that I do not accept his opinion because who tells me that he is right. In order to believe him I needed to know that he was truly speaking from God and not his own opinion. I was really upset. Before I left he said that I have no clue of the bible...

First of all when he told me all these things I was astonished and thought what if God is revealing things about me to this guy but I think what he does was only something like a gimmick. I bet he tries this stuff with everybody who comes to his church and the interesting thing is this. I went to their homepage and looked what pastor Park teaches. He teaches exactly the same stuff. He says all churches in Korea are wrong and if you sin and ask God for forgiveness you're insulting Jesus. 
Because by doing so you say that Jesus' sacrifice was not enough. This guy seems to have forgotten that Jesus HIMSELF teaches us in the Lord's prayer to ask for forgiveness "and forgive us our sins..."
I feel really sorry for all those people which are lured into those churches. The thought that this pastor does evangelizations makes me sick. I think it's symptomatic that this pastor teaches exactly the same stuff as the leader, pastor Park.
They all seem to have the same thoughts and the same tricks. They seem to think that they got it right and all others are wrong. I mean how can somebody be so arrogant and question all other christian teachers but then expect people to believe him? I asked him how am I supposed to know that you're a christian? lol!
I also feel sorry for all the student missionaries which are being recruited which may be totally honest christians. I cannot really say what was going on with this guy, wether he was simply misled or wether he was really hostile and trying to harm me but I think it's impossible and also very arrogant to think that you can say wether a person is born again or not. If I see somebody doing drugs I still cannot say wether this person is born again or not. Who gives me the right to judge this person? This person could be a christian who is backsliden by God is still working in his life trying to draw him back. But this pastor is totally fussy about Romans 7 and since he believes Romans 7 is about non-christians, which it is not, then according to his logic every christian who struggles with sin like Paul in Romans 7 cannot be a christian. It's so easy... 

I would really stay away from this organisation. Their theology seems questionable and I also don't see any connections between them and other christian organisations. They seem to be operating alone...
And try to make it look like pastor Park is a famous bible teacher who wrote a book which shook the whole world....
If he was a famous bible teacher you would find plenty of stuff about him on the internet also on sites which are not from goodnews...

What I would like to know is wether the student missionaries have to pay their trips all alone or wether IYF pays it? If IYF is really all about saving the lost then one should expect that they financially support their missionaries. Does anybody know something about this? If IYF is indeed a cult then what are their goals?

Re: Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #2 on May 2, 2006, 11:23am »
Rambo
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Well handled pillaroffire.

It's difficult sometimes to tell the difference between people who are just misguided and those who are vehemently heretical.
It seems this clown falls in the latter camp.

For what it's worth:
On the back on the tract there was also advertisement for one of pastor Park's books. It said "The beststeller, which shook the whole world."
As SOON as you see that phrase in a work of "nonfiction" start going on the offensive with that.
If, as a Christian, you have no heard of someone they purport to be famous, you should not say, "I haven't heard of him" but instead say "No he isn't famous. He is a nobody.
And then he asks me how I want to know wether those christians which I learned from are right and I said that you can compare it to the bible and I said that there are also bible teachers which are reliable and which God put in this position on purpose, which is to teach others. But he seemed arrogant to me. He said that all christians think they are right. If they noticed when somebody is wrong then how can the bible say the blind lead the blind? This didn't make much sense to me. By saying this he judged all bible teachers and made them look like they are all wrong.
And this claptrap?
I'm sorry but for me, that's another flag. If someone says you should judge and then, not 3 (THREE) sentences later, judges, to me, that is a hypocrit beyond rational thought.
It always sounds to me like nothing more than someone who loves the sound of his own voice.

He tried to make it look like I don't believe that Jesus' blood covers all my sins.
Did he try to make it LOOK that way or did he try to CONVINCE you?

And then he said straight in my face that I am not born again and that I have never really repented, that I'm carnal and that I fight with sin in my own strength.
By all things holy, that is a terrible thing to say.
You seem like you have a really great story and that your faith is a beautiful thing and that it's important to you. PLEASE do NOT listen to this guy. PLEASE don't worry about what he has to say.
The BEST thing that I would suggest you do (and that i myself am doing) is study the bible. Find the verses that support your point. Go to him again (on your terms) and engage him in discussion.

I know a couple of Christians who are hurtful and judgemental in that way. It is such an ugly thing...they remind me of Pharisees to the extreme.
He said when Paul was got saved he was in the state described in Romans 8, this would basically mean that everything which Paul describes in Romans 7 does not apply to christians!
all Paul is providing (as best as I can see) in romans 7 is a sort of etymological study of "sin"
this section from Paul seems almost stream of conscious and when it comes to what Jesus is saying in the Lord's prayer..even what John is saying in 1 John, WHY do we need to be forgiven at ALL????
If one takes Romans 8 at face value (as this dude has done) it presupposed that Christians have no control of themselves and are completely controlled by Christ and therefore, lead BLAMELESS lives. And yet, there is still mention of sin, and forgiveness spatterred throughout Paul's letters, and more IMPORTANTLY through Christ's teachings.

So what does this mean?
Well, like all good verses, it means that it requires study and prayer and more than the kind of simplistic understanding that this pastor has.

oh gez... and at the end of it all I realize you weren't even asking for an opinion. Sorry!
Perchance did you find/attend their church in Busan? I'm quite curious.

November 25, 2012, 09:40:10 AM
Reply #1

Offline Peter

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Re: Negative Experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 09:40:10 AM »
Re: Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #3 on May 2, 2006, 1:05pm »
kammy


Hi Pillaroffire. I just read your story and I feel for you. Is this happening in Korea? or at a church outside Korea but has a lot of Koreans attending?

Quote:
Quote
Philippians 2 (New International Version) 12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out[c] the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

I think the text here is an example that we are constantly trying to rid ourselves of sin from our lives. Salvation is not a one time experience but an ongoing purification through confessing to God, and repenting from old ways and habits, and asking God for help as you struggle through things.

You were right on to hold your ground. You were right on never to go back.

Here's my theory which might help you to understand the cultic mindset here.

Cults operate based on fear, anxiety, and guilt.

Quote:
Quote
2 Timothy 1:7 (New King James Version)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

In Korea, an established order is super important. It's all from Confuciasm. Unfortunately Confuciasm has a darker side that tends to allow megalomaniacs and control freaks operate freely as they become more elevated in social standing due to age, education, etc. The Japanese have the same problem but not to the degree of Koreans. Needless to say, I have seen my fair share of mainstream Korean Presbyterians Pastors who use their position to get what they want or to get a stranglehold on their flock (sometimes they are unaware of how out of line with God's personality they are since they put themselves in "idol" status.)

My guess is that the line of logic he was trying to use was in an effort to break down your self esteem and confidence, which is easy to do with a Korean College student. They are still tender, protected, sheltered children until their first year of college. My guess is that the more you resisted his attempt to assert authority over you, and the more you questioned him (in his church no less, likely in front of his flock) the more you shamed him, and the more he attempted to shame you back and make you feel belittled. Lessers such as juniors in age, or women are expected to simply agree at least on the surface. He must have percieved you as a lesser. If you are in Korea and you are a foriegner, you are automatically of lesser standing than he is. The fact that you counted him with scripture, stood your ground, and didn't back down only illustrated his tenuous hold on his own beliefs. The real fireworks would have started if you had really started to undermine his authority: "Well, the real question is how do you know your interpretation of scripture is correct? Why do you feel you have a right to question me on my faith when you know nothing about me. I believe you are trying to undermine my current faith and are acting inappropriately. If you are suggesting that one man or a few men have the perfect interpretation of God's scripture and his heart, why would God have sent his Holy Spirit to guide us, council us, and to teach us?"

You know why Jesus had so much trouble with the Pharasees? They were just like these guys, super authoritive, dogmatic, and pushy.


Quote:
Quote
Matthew 23 (New King James Version)
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'

8 But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

15 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

And you know what they tried to do to him...

God bless you and keep you,

Kammy

Re: Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #4 on May 2, 2006, 1:12pm »
Peter
Administrator


Just a quick post this time, busy day!
The church was founded in Korea, led by a Korean.
They seem to operate world wide.
Pillaroffire isn't in Korea.

This groups around though, they're on my uni actually, not officially, but they're around.

A recent photo, yesterday actually, a banner just off campus, pointing to my uni's main gate. If it was on campus I'm sure it would be removed:


November 25, 2012, 10:12:46 AM
Reply #2

Offline Peter

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Re: Negative Experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 10:12:46 AM »
Re: Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #5 on May 2, 2006, 9:41pm »
pillaroffire


Hi @ all.

This happened in Germany.
I also wasn't suspicious when I went there, since their tract looked christian and since they had bibles and since I couldn't find anything about these girls which seemed strange to me I was not expecting this to be a cult.

"Did he try to make it LOOK that way or did he try to CONVINCE you?"

Well, he did try to convince me that I'm not born again, this is for sure. He said it to me at least half a dozen times. In the end I was really angered and really pissed. I mean there's nothing worse which you can tell a christian. I'm not going back to this guy, I think if I saw him again I might get the urge to vomit.
Do you know what's funny? In his sermon he spoke about the man in Luke 8 who had invited Jesus, he said Satan had made him become arrogant...

This man is not the only person which has become arrogant. But I'd really like to know what would have happened if I had believed him. Maybe he was expecting me to submit to him and to also thank him kinda like: Oh thank you! Thank you! You noble christian man, what do I have to do to get saved? Join your church? Donate money? Please, tell me!

LOL!

I really would like to know what his plan looked like. I bet we talked for at least 2 hours, maybe even longer. First of all I didn't even understand why this guy is taking so much time for me. Usually pastors are pretty busy. I really think he does this stuff with everybody who comes to his church. He involves them in small talk and then goes over to asking what do you do when you sin? And then the person will say what I said and then he'll get prissy about the verse in 1.John and try to make this person believe that she doesn't believe in Jesus' blood or whatever. This guy said that unless you got it 100% right, which the bible says, you cannot get anybody saved because then they would not believe what's 100% correct. As if God was like that, as if God would reject somebody who wants to be saved and doesn't have his theology 100% correct. Nobody has a 100% correct theology, we're all humans.

Even though this guy smiled and seemed friendly from the outside I could not sense much mercy in him and in the end when he told me that I have no clue of the bible he wanted to offend me, which is also not christ-like. He got upset because I told him that this is simply a joke trying to judge the salvation of a person by his standards.

Re: Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #6 on May 3, 2006, 7:41am »
Peter
Administrator


Pillar, thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

I know its been a negative experience for you, but I hope we can explore some positive aspects of your experiences.

1) You've seen what Christianity isn't and should never be.
2) You've seen how a cult operates and are better prepared to avoid them in the future.
3) You are now able to identify groups to not avoid.
4) Hopefully through this site and others, you've met some nice, interesting people?

If anyone ever tries to tell you you are not reborn, if someone tries to criticize your own personal relationship with God, you know they don't respect you as a person, and are intolerant of your beliefs.
You know what comes out of their mouths is not from God. What comes out of their mouths is only for the profit of one man.

This "we have 100% correct theology, and no one else does," idea is interesting, and it's common to all destructive cults:
We offer the ONLY path to salvation / happiness etc.
Very black and white and totally simplistic. Join us or you'll go to hell. God loves us more than everyone else. We are the chosen people etc. Absolute crazy talk, insanity even 

It is the part of the indoctrination process that results in people becoming slaves for life. Once they believe they are part of the ONLY 100% Correct Church, how could they ever leave? Or even question the founder? Why would someone leave a 100% correct church for a 83% correct church? They would be losing 17% correctness:'(
They wouldn't leave, they wouldn't choose, and they wouldn't think. They're locked in; their freedom to choose has been taken away from them.
That great quote by Galileo comes to mind:

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

In your email you referred to the pastor being absolutely adamant that you should never ever visit a different Baptist Church.
A safe religious group will respect your right to choose and experiment. If I had asked my school priest about exploring other faiths and ideas, I have no doubt he would have been encouraging of that. He would have respected me as an individual and respected and encouraged my right to find my own path to God. Cults, no they don't do that, they dictate, order, control and stifle critical and creative thought at every opportunity. They criticize everything that does not originate from their own Dear Leader.

One aspect of these Korean Bible cults claiming to be the only True Christians that is also worth mentioning is the fact that these leaders, mainly Moon, Jeong, and maybe Ock (I don't know) have little or no formal education. They haven't studied history, they haven't studied other faiths, and they certainly haven't studied Ancient Hebrew. Jeong is an elementary school graduate, if that.

They are claim to have read the Bible and received insights and understanding that no one else, in over 2000 years has had.
To imagine that they can receive some secret truth from a 6th or 7th translation of the Bible is ridiculous. They are reading a translation of a translation of a translation of a translation, done over 4000 years.

And the idea that God would chose one obscure little Korean sect as the only path to Salvation is equally absurd. God works in mysterious ways, but surely not that mysterious? God created everyone, and although I don't believe in God, my opinion of the God of the New Testament is that he loves everybody.

Also interesting to note are the Bible verses that speak to pride and arrogance. Pride and arrogance seem to be that hallmarks of these Korean cult leaders.

And money, well Jesus spoke about giving to the poor, these Korean guys, particularly Moon and Jeong, they've made themselves into billionaires and millionaires.

Ock, well I don't know much about him, but the promotional video I saw of him at Kyungpook Uni, he looks like he has a pretty good life financially speaking.

It's amazing to me that these guys can actually practice the opposite of what Jesus preached, and get away with passing it off as the "Only 100% correct Christian doctrine." Astounding even! And disgusting 

That banner outside my uni is history! Somebody took it down last night^^

November 25, 2012, 10:13:45 AM
Reply #3

Offline Peter

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Re: Negative Experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 10:13:45 AM »
Re: Negative experiences with Good News Baptists
« Reply #7 on May 3, 2006, 11:16am »
pillaroffire


Hi Peter!

If my testimony is able to warn others then it's already worth it.
I cannot really say wether this organisation produces only bad fruits but I don't think I would want to be involved with them. Somehow huge organisations like this one always remind me a bit of totalitarian regimes, where all the members are only like single cells which are replacable and they all look up to the great leader....
I wouldn't feel well in such a club. And also the fact that they do not seem to have anything to do with other christian organisations is concerning.
I think these people simply need a gimmick, something which makes them different to all the other christians. If they had the same opinions they could not say they are better or have a better theology. What Ock believes is in no way the opinion of the majority of christians. I did some research and almost all christian pastor commentary writers and bible teachers in the past and also now would not have shared his opinion. But he accuses the church in Korea to be wrong while he is right, lol. And what's also really smart is using the resistance which his organisation gets to "prove" that he is right. lol!
If resistance always meant being right then a lot of people were right. then scientology would be right, the raelians would be right, the KKK would also be right...
This is silly. Betting flak from the others doesn't mean you're right but they want to make it look like this. They are accused of being a cult and I think this makes them think even more that they are right.