Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – God impregnated David Yonggi Cho?

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This article will be looking at how David Yonggi Cho tried to dupe three youth into believing his lies in his book, “The Fourth Dimension”. The reason why we think it is worth quoting from his earlier works is simply because he still peddles this teaching to this day.

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We have covered how Yonggi Cho mislead his church into believing he had obtained an expensive bike, chair and desk. In this article, we will continue to explore how David Yonggi Cho finally acquire these possessions.

To make sense of this article, it is necessary to read our previous articles exposing how David Yonggi Cho has further progressed into a belief system that does not reflect the historic Christian faith.

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – Prophet Cho talks to omni-challenged spirit?

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – What spirit is leading Prophet Cho?

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – Cho’s ‘whopperstopper’

THE AGE OF MAKE-BELIEVING

Yonggi Cho lied to his congregation about owning special, expensive items. He says,

“After the service, as I was walking out, three young fellows followed me and said, “Pastor, we want to see those things.”

So how did Cho convince the youth that he owned things he didn’t have?

Cho writes,

Then the Lord came and helped me, and an idea floated up from my heart. I said, “You come over to my room and see.”

They all came, and they looked around to find the bicycle, chair and desk. I said, “Don’t look around. I’ll show you later.”

I pointed my finger at Mr. Park, who is now pastor of one of the largest Assemblies of God churches in Korea, and said, “I’ll ask you a few questions. If you can answer my questions, I’ll show you all of those things. How long were you in your mother’s womb before you were born into this world?”

He scratched his head and said, “Well, nine months.”

I then replied, “What were you doing for nine months in your mother’s womb?”

“Oh, I was growing.”

“But,” I said, “no one saw you.”

“No one could see me because I was inside my mother.”

Then I said, “You were as much a baby inside your mother’s womb as you were when you were born into the world. You gave me the right answer. Last evening I  knelt down here and prayed to the Lord for that desk, chair and bicycle, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I conceived that desk, chair and bicycle. It is as if they’re inside me, growing right now. And they are as much a desk, chair and bicycle as when they will be seen by people at the time of delivery.”

They started laughing and laughing. They said, “This is the first time we’ve ever seen a man pregnant with a bicycle, chair and desk.” Rushing out of my room they began to spread rumor all over town that the minister was pregnant with a bicycle, chair and desk. I could hardly walk through that town because women would gather to look at me and giggle. Mischievous youngsters would come to me on Sunday, touch my stomach and say, “Pastor, how big you are coming!”

Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Incubation: A Law of Faith, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 6-7.

There’s a chair in there, and a desk as well…

CHO’S CATEGORY FALLACY

Cho claimed that “the Lord came and helped” him get out of his lies. Yet his response deserved the youth to laugh at his stupidity. So far, everything he learnt from “divine revelation” has been false and now he expected people to believe he was “pregnant with a bicycle, chair and desk”. The argument fails to be convincing.

Why?

You have EVIDENCE of someone in the womb. If a wife suddenly developed an unnaturally looking big belly, one can ask if they are pregnant. You can put your hands on the stomach and feel the baby kick and move around.

The mother herself can testify that someone is in the womb because of all the movement. The husband can testify that it is his child in her womb. Ultrasound scans can prove that their is a baby in the womb.

But with Yonggi Cho’s claim – there is no evidence to back his nonsense. In fact, the smartest thing one can do is put their hands on Cho’s belly and feel if furniture is moving around. That’s all one can really do.

DAVID YONGGI CHO MALIGNS THE YOUTH

It is interesting to see Cho say that the three youth rushed out of his room “to spread rumor all over town that the minister was pregnant with a bicycle, chair and desk”. How is that rumor? All they needed to was QUOTE Yonggi Cho:

“Last evening I  knelt down here and prayed to the Lord for that desk, chair and bicycle, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I conceived that desk, chair and bicycle. It is as if they’re inside me, growing right now. And they are as much a desk, chair and bicycle as when they will be seen by people at the time of delivery.”

You will notice that when a false teacher is exposed – the first thing they do is attack those that spread the truth. It was wrong for David Yonggi Cho to lie about the youth. They did not spread rumor. They reported what Cho actually said he was going through.

Yonggi Cho was not about to repent of his stupidity. At the end of the day, he held onto his delusions of grandeur.

“But all those days I knew that I had every one of those things growing in me. It just takes time, as a mother takes time to give birth to a child. It takes time for you, too, because you become pregnant with all your clear-cut objectives.”

I was praising the Lord, and sure enough, when the time came, I had every one of those things. I had exactly all the things I had asked for – a desk made out of Philippine mahogany; a chair made by the Japanese Mitsubishi Company, with rollers on the tips so that I could roll around when I sat on it; and a slightly used bicycle, with gears on the side, from an American missionary’s son. I brought that desk, chair and bicycle into my house and was completely changed in my prayer attitude.”

Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Incubation: A Law of Faith, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 7-8.

What is odd about this story is the details he leaves out. Was his church embarassed by Cho’s stupidity and loopy reputation that they bought him these objects with the little money they had? Did he sue those who spread “rumors” so he could get the cash to buy his desired appliances? Did Cho visualise a “clear-cut” vision in acquiring a “slightly used” bicycle? He said he bought them into his house. Why weren’t these objects “delivered” in the room?

It’s odd that Cho emphatically states “The Lord never welcomes vague prayers”. Why does Cho give us vague stories?

And all this “birthing” talk – oh yeah – that’s not in the bible!

Where did David Yonggi Cho get it from? From divine revelation. However, it is becoming more clear that he is receiving this information from a lying spirit – not Jesus. Not God.

He lied to himself. He lied to his congregation. He lied to those kids and they didn’t believe. And now Yonggi Cho expects you and anyone else who reads this book to believe his lies.

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – Cho’s ‘whopperstopper’

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Whopperstopper – to say a thing that is not true even though the statement or declaration is presented as though it were true/infallible.

This article will be comparing the Spirit of scripture to the spirit Yonggi Cho talks about in his book, “The Fourth Dimension”. The reason why we think it is worth quoting from his earlier works is simply because he still peddles this teaching to this day.

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We have covered how Yonggi Cho was in the process of obtaining a chair, a desk and bicycle by “faith”. In this article, we will explore how David Yonggi Cho struggled and “overcame” personal issues so that he could operate in faith to acquire these possessions.

To make sense of this article, it is necessary to read our previous articles exposing how David Yonggi Cho has further progressed into a belief system that does not reflect the historic Christian faith.

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – Prophet Cho talks to omni-challenged spirit?

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – What spirit is leading Prophet Cho?

DECEITFUL FAITH?

According to Yonggi Cho, faith can “take wings and fly away” (pg 5). After writing down the specifics he wanted for his chair, desk and bike to God the previous night, the next morning he said that he “suddenly found that [his] heart was empty” (pg 5). How can he get his faith back to see these things come to pass?

He explains how he found the answer to this issue:

“On that morning while I was reading the Bible, and looking for a particular scripture to speak on, suddenly my eyes fell upon Romans 4:17, “God raises the dead, and calls those things which be not as if they were.” My heart fastened to that scripture, and it began to boil in my heart. I said to myself, “I might as well just call those things which are not as if they were, as if I already had them.” I had received the answer to the problem of how to keep one’s faith.”
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Incubation: A Law of Faith, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 5.

There’s a blatant error that Yonggi Cho made in his application of this verse. Yonggi Cho stated that Romans 4:17 says it is “God” that “calls those things which be not as if they were”. So why did Yonggi Cho say, “I might as well just call those things which are not as if they were, as if I already had them”?

Why does Cho have difficulty realising that he is not God?

What’s at odds with his selected verse is the context surrounding Romans 4. If David Yonggi Cho wanted an answer to his conundrum all he needed to do was keep reading further further down (see bold) through the example of Abraham:

“… as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrennessc of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” Romans 4:17-25.

So…

How did Abraham grow strong in the faith? By giving “glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised”.

What had God promised to Abraham? He promised to Abraham that he would be “the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.””

By having faith in God’s promise, what did this mean? It meant Abraham’s “faith was “counted to him as righteousness””.

What does Abraham’s faith mean to us? It means we too through faith are, “counted … as righteousness,”and that it, “will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification”.

Instead…

How did David Yonggi Cho grow strong in the faith? By calling those things which are not as if they were, as if he already had them.

What had God promised to Cho? Nothing. Cho demanded his imagination (or a demon) answer his prayers.

By having faith in God’s promise, what did this mean? Nothing. Cho made the desires of his heart more preeminent then God’s promises and perverted the scriptures to fulfill his cause.

What does Cho’s faith mean to us? It means we too can call things into existence through our own words.

See the problem? There are two competing faiths. One is the Christian faith that has been around for millenia, revealed in the scriptures. The other is a New Age shamanistic-like belief system that revolves around your desires and dreams. Cho has erred into practicing paganism, assuming that these revelations have something to do with Christianity and Christ’s Holy Spirit. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A LYING FAITH?

The good thing about reviewing David Yonggi Cho’s book is that he doesn’t communicate the best way at times. We will ‘extend grace’ to him on this shortcoming where necessary. At times, he can badly communicate the subject which in turn exposes issues we see in other Word of Faith cults. This next quote from Cho should highlight something a lot of us see in the Word of Faith cults: boasting and lying in the faith.

Cho continues his above testimony,

“I rushed to our tent church where the people had already begun praying, and after a few songs I started preaching. I expounded that scripture, and then said, “Folks, by the blessings of God I have a desk made of Philippine mahogany, a beautiful chair with an iron frame and rollers on the tips, and a bicycle made in the U.S.A. with gears on the side. Praise God! I’ve received all these things.”

The people just gasped, because they knew that I was absolutely poverty stricken. I was bragging about these things, and they could not believe their ears. In faith I was really praising God, doing just as the Word of God told me to do.

After the service, as I was walking out, three young fellows followed me and said, “Pastor, we want to see those things.”

I was taken aback and frightened, because I had not counted on having to show any of those things. These people were living in a slum area, and once they knew I had lied, it would be my last time to minister there. They would never come back. I was in a terrible situation, so I began to pray to the Lord, “Lord, from the beginning this wasn’t my idea. It was your idea for me to tell it like that. I just obeyed you, and now I’m in a terrible situation. I said it as if I had it, and now how can I explain this?” You’ve got to always help me.””
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Incubation: A Law of Faith, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 5-6.

As you can see, error begets error. From the beginning we have exposed every single false leading and false teaching that led Yonggi Cho to believe in his own delusions. Now it’s plain to see that Cho has bought his errors into his pulpit. Thank God that the youth called him out on it and asked him to prove it.

Cho confessed that he “was bragging about these things” and was concerned that, “once they knew [he] had lied, it would be [his] last time to minister there”. The three young fellows wanted proof of Cho’s claims.

This is really important fact to major on. It is not uncommon to witness Word of Faith cult leaders boast and lie within their definition of “faith”. So we have decided to call these lying faith declarations “whopperstoppers“.

What is a whopperstopper? Well no one can question those that make a whopperstopper. The authoritive “faith”-filled claim is to stop everyone from questioning the false claim.

We’ve seen these whopperstoppers performed through Cho’s disciple Phil Pringle. Pringle will often speak up his Presence Conference attendance figures “by faith” in the next year to boost people’s interests and boost attendance for his Conference. The problem is that none can question or fully know if his claim is true or not. Is he advertising? Is he lying? Is he being honest? Or is he “speaking faith”? For many people, the Christian thing to do is not question and simply believe the whopper.

We’ve seen Pringle “speak faith” (lying by ommission) in exaggerating “church plant” figures. What he does not tell people is that he considers a “church plant” to be someone who has the desire to start a church in their heart.

According to Pringle, this is not lying. This is Pringle speaking faith and relying on mysticism to confound those who question him about these figures. We’ve seen Kong Hee pull this “faith lie” as well. It’s a popular and useful technique to mystify and control the masses. It gets people’s attention. And what’s more, it makes them think you have a higher, divine authority than they do.

Cho was not expecting to prove his whopperstopper to the three young individuals and we will cover this deceitful ploy in our next article.

In closing, we have provided scriptures that refute that the Christian faith is a faith that boasts and lies for worldly gain and adoration.

IS FAITH BOASTING OVER WORLDLY GAIN BIBLICAL?

When you look at Paul boast, he often boasts on things that many Word of Faith teachers oppose. Paul boasted about Christ, His saving work and in his weakness or lack.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“But [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

Finally, if Cho is “speaking” faith, then how does “bragging” fit into the equation if it is the very thing the “law of faith” silences?

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.” Romans 3:27

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – What spirit is leading Prophet Cho?

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This article will be comparing the Spirit of scriptures to the spirit Yonggi Cho talks about in his book, “The Fourth Dimension”. The reason why we think it is worth quoting from his earlier works is simply because he still peddles this teaching to this day.

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RE-CAP

In our previous article. we previously covered how Cho claimed the Holy Spirit started talking to him.

“Then I sat down and began to cry. Suddenly I felt a serenity, and a feeling of tranquility come into my soul. Whenever I have that feeling, a sense of the presence of God, He always speaks; so I waited. Then that still, small voice welled up in my soul, and the Spirit said, “My son, I heard your prayer a long time ago.”

Right away I blurted out, “Then where are my desk, chair and bicycle?”

The Spirit then said, “Yes, that is the trouble with you, and with all my children. They beg me, demanding every kind of request, but they ask in such vague terms that I can’t answer. Don’t you know that there are dozens of kinds of desks, chairs and bicycles? But you’ve simply asked me for a desk, chair and bicycle. You never ordered a specific desk, chair or bicycle.”

That was a turning point in my life. No professor in Bible college ever taught me along these lines.”
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Incubation: A Law of Faith, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 3-4.

DIFFERENT SPIRIT TEACHING A DIFFERENT FAITH

Yonggi Cho’s continues,

“Then I said, “Lord, do you really want me to pray in definite terms?” This time the Lord led me to turn to Hebrews, the eleventh chapter: “Faith is the substance of things,” clear-cut things, “hoped for.”

I knelt down again and said, “Father, I’m sorry. I made a great mistake, and I misunderstood you. I cancel all my past prayers. I’ll start over again.”

Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Incubation: A Law of Faith, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 2), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1983. Pg 4.

The problem is that all translations we’ve looked at do not say faith is the substance of clear-cut things hoped for. In fact, you will not even see “clear-cut things” in the original Greek text.

If one would like to claim that this is the Holy Spirit, than why would the Holy Spirit contradict himself throughout Hebrews 11 and Hebrews 12? Why is the Holy Spirit leading Prophet David Yonggi Cho to add to Hebrews 11:1?

You might think that this is a fine point but this is what Yonggi Cho has built a substantial part of his doctrine on.

The bottom line is this: Which Holy Spirit do you believe? The Holy Spirit of David Yonggi Cho or the Holy Spirit that wrote the Holy scriptures?

Review of Fourth Dimension: Ch 1 – Prophet Cho talks to omni-challenged spirit?

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This article will be comparing the God of scriptures to Yonggi Cho’s false view of god. We will be majoring on God’s omnipotence and omniscience in Cho’s book “The Fourth Dimension”. The reason why we think it is worth quoting from his earlier works is simply because he still flogs this teaching to this day.

Here are the definitions we will be working with to understand the difference between the Christian religion and Yonggi Cho’s religion.

Omnipotence: infinite power or all powerful
Omniscience: infinite knowledge or all knowing

By the end of this article, people should rightly be questioning the authority of Yonggi Cho’s teachings in light of the interaction he has with the “Holy Spirit”.

A NON-OMNIPOTENT LORD

Yonggi Cho’s states,

“In 1978 I wrote the first volume of The Fourth Dimension.”
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Introduction, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 2), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1983. Pg vii.

The book ‘The Fourth Dimension” (volume one) opens up with Yong-gi Cho’s conversion story. He presents to the reader how he was powerfully converted to Christianity and saved from a “very unusual” form of tuberculosis. He was told he had three months to live by the doctor.

On the last pages of the introduction, he presents the reader with Christ and the gospel of salvation. He ends the introduction with this:

“Christ wants to bear your burdens. Jesus can forgive and heal you. He can cast out Satan, and give you confidence, faith and peace.

Christ wants to give you life eternal and be a present part of your daily living. While thieves come to kill and destroy, Jesus comes to give you life, life full and free.

Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is with you right now. Christ desires to heal you, and to deliver you from death. He is your living Lord. Put your faith in Jesus Christ, and expect a miracle today.”
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Preface, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg xvii.

Straight away from confessing Jesus “is your living Lord”, Cho states in the first sentence of chapter 1,

“God will never bring about any of His great works without coming through your own personal faith.”
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Preface, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 1.

Living Lord? The book at it’s beginning clearly has a false concept of the Christian God. What he is teaching is Word of Faith heresy, where man’s faith is exalted above God’s lordship. Yonggi Cho’s teaching on faith is refuted by God in Romans:

“What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar…” Romans 3:3-4

Our “faithlessness” does not “nullify the faithfulness of God” as the scriptures say. This teaching of Cho already is a direct attack against God’s omnipotence (all powerful nature).

A NON-OMNISCIENT LORD

David Yonggi Cho claims that the Holy Spirit spoke to Him. After waiting six months to receive a “humble desk and chair to sit on, and a humble bicycle to ride on” (pg 2) from God, he grew disappointed and cried out to God. Hear what Cho says about this experience [and make sure you add this book to your bible since Cho is now revealing new teachings of the Holy Spirit]:

“Then I sat down and began to cry. Suddenly I felt a serenity, and a feeling of tranquility come into my soul. Whenever I have that feeling, a sense of the presence of God, He always speaks; so I waited. Then that still, small voice welled up in my soul, and the Spirit said, “My son, I heard your prayer a long time ago.”

Right away I blurted out, “Then where are my desk, chair and bicycle?”

The Spirit then said, “Yes, that is the trouble with you, and with all my children. They beg me, demanding every kind of request, but they ask in such vague terms that I can’t answer. Don’t you know that there are dozens of kinds of desks, chairs and bicycles? But you’ve simply asked me for a desk, chair and bicycle. You never ordered a specific desk, chair or bicycle.”

That was a turning point in my life. No professor in Bible college ever taught me along these lines.”
Source: David Yong-gi Cho, Preface, The Fourth Dimension (Vol 1), Published: US, Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979. Pg 3-4.

And no professor in bible college should ever teach what Cho just said. Apparently, God “can’t answer” the prayer requests of people if their prayers are “vague”. What kind of god is this? Is this really the Holy Spirit? As the scriptures reveal, God is omniscient and knows all the secrets of our hearts and minds:

“If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” Proverbs 24:12

“If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalms 44:20-21

“… for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20

“… know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

“And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them…” Acts 15:8

“You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God…” Luke 16:15

Romans 8 highlights the fact that the Spirit Himself “intercedes for us through wordless groans”. And who hears the “vague” groanings of the Spirit?

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

At the beginning of his book, David Yonggi Cho is trying to convince his readers that he speaks with a divine authority. Who can argue with Cho if he claims that God gave him this new revelation knowledge?

So who do you believe? The spirit that spoke to Prophet David Yonggi Cho or the Holy Spirit who inspired the Holy scriptures?

Do you pray to a deity that cannot answer your prayers because you aren’t specific enough in your requests?

Or do you pray to God who the scriptures say is all knowing and all powerful?

Yonggi Cho and church in movie spotlight

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The LA Times reports,

‘Quo Vadis’ challenges the mission of S. Korean churches

As night falls in many South Korean cities, the sky glows a reddish orange from crosses sitting atop churches large and small. This country of 50 million has more than 58,000 churches — one for about every 860 people — and nearly a third of the population identifies as Christian.

On Dec. 10, the documentary “Quo Vadis” will begin casting a critical eye on some of the largest of these congregations — “mega-churches” with thousands of members, multimillion-dollar budgets and senior pastors who are feted like rock stars. The film, directed by Kim Jae-hwan, paints a picture of financial malfeasance and sexual abuse by those in control.

Everyone is telling me that I should be scared, that I should flee to another country.
– Kim Jae-hwan,”Quo Vadis” director

Given the film’s portrait of powerful institutions with little outside oversight, Kim said, none of the major multiplex chains here have agreed to screen it, possibly fearful of church protests, and instead producers have been working with independent theaters. The film, in Korean with subtitles, will open in Los Angeles and New York in January.

Kim, a Christian, said South Korea’s media have gone soft on the churches because of their significant political influence and financial clout. His goal: to spark what he calls an overdue debate on whether churches have lost their moral authority in a quest to accumulate more congregants and money.

“We need to seriously ask where our society is going and what these churches are really doing,” said Kim, a well-known former television journalist who is best known for his 2011 documentary, “The True Taste Show,” an expose of how major South Korean broadcast outlets took money from restaurateurs in exchange for flattering coverage.

One of the scenes in “Quo Vadis” includes a 2013 news conference in which elders from the Seoul-based Yoido Full Gospel Church, purported to be the largest Pentecostal church in the world, asked embattled senior pastor David Yonggi Cho to step down.

The elders accused Cho of using millions of dollars of church funds to buy stock in a company owned by his son. Despite the evidence against Cho, other Yoido elders argued that the allegations were baseless. Cho supporters who barged into the church gathering included one who reached for the throat of a speaker. A brawl ensued. As groups of suited men shoved one another and threw punches, journalists’ cameras rolled.

A few months later, Cho was found guilty of tax evasion and professional negligence. He was sentenced to three years in prison and fined more than $4 million.

Kim’s film isn’t the first to shine a spotlight on allegations against South Korean congregations, but “Quo Vadis” (Latin for “Where are you going?”) takes a weightier, more sweeping look.

“The other films about churches have focused on specific pastors or parishes and treated them as isolated cases,” Kim said.

The film also includes the former leader of Samil Presbyterian Church, Chun Byoung-wook, who was accused of sexual abuse by at least eight female congregants. Chun was forced out of the church in 2010 after making a public apology, but he didn’t face legal charges because the alleged victims didn’t want to identify themselves publicly.

In another case documented in the film, SaRang Community Church spent nearly $200 million, much of it donated by congregants, to construct a building in one of Seoul’s most expensive areas. The church was criticized in the media and by disillusioned churchgoers for spending such a large sum on an opulent building instead of assistance for the poor or another activity in line with its Christian teachings.

Some of Kim’s friends worry that he’s picked a fight that could endanger his safety; big churches have allegedly roughed up critics, as was the case at the Cho news conference.

“Everyone is telling me that I should be scared, that I should flee to another country,” said Kim, who shot “Quo Vadis” with $270,000 of his own money.

In South Korea, documentaries generally don’t draw big crowds. So despite the volatile subject, “Quo Vadis” uses humor to lighten the storytelling a bit to create a more entertaining — and marketable — product.

We need to seriously ask where our society is going and what these churches are really doing.
– Kim Jae-hwan, “Quo Vadis” director
The film uses actors to re-create or stage some scenes, and one of the main characters is a pudgy, scruffy, ball cap-wearing Korean journalist named Michael More (played by Lee Jong-yoon), who, among other things, chases down pastors facing allegations of misusing church funds and sexually abusing young congregants. This Korean version of Michael Moore asks the ministers to comment on the allegations against them.

The encounters often end with More asking the pastor: “Aren’t you ashamed?” or “Do you really believe in Jesus?”

The decision to employ the device of More was born out of necessity, Kim said: His requests for interviews with church leaders were denied. His best chance to talk with them was to wait outside the courthouses when hearings were scheduled.

The subject matter in “Quo Vadis” is fleshed out by talking heads, mostly professors, pastors and scholars of religion who describe South Korean churches as focused more on attracting congregants and donations than on any religious duty.

Kim stresses that there are South Korean churches that still do good work but that too many have lost their way and are in urgent need of reform.

A column in the Korea Times described the film as “a forceful reminder of the need for Korea’s Christian leaders to worship God, not mammon.”

Some critics featured in “Quo Vadis” argue that mega-churches’ practice of hereditary succession — of church leaders passing control to their sons — should be banned. Others have called for ending churches’ tax-exempt status and enacting measures to increase their financial transparency.

“The only way toward reform,” Kim said, “is to express anger, to start a conversation.”

Source: Steven Borowiec, ‘Quo Vadis’ challenges the mission of S. Korean churches, LA Times, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-quo-vadis-south-korean-movie-20141203-story.html, Published 03/12/2014. (Accessed 06/12/2014.)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 6) Ps David Yonggi Cho – Convicted

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Don’t forget that Cho said earlier in the investigations that he, “denied the allegations, calling them a smear campaign by a very small group of people in his church. ‘The truth will reveal itself during the prosecutors’s investigation. Those who filed the complaint will have to take responsibility accordingly.”

Not only did David Yonggi Cho smear his elders (what Kong Hee and Phil Pringle would call critics), he relies on the courts to reveal “the truth” rather deal with it biblically within the church. We have see this similar behaviour in the C3 movement and CHC. It is of our opinion that events like these reinforce the obvious factor that such men like Phil Pringle, Kong Hee and David Yonggi Cho do not behave honestly in the church.

And for teachers who always teach on faith, where is their faith now?

The Hankyoreh reports,

Yoido Full Gospel church leaders found guilty of tax evasion

yonggi cho jailed

Yoido Full Gospel Church senior pastor David Yonggi Cho is surrounded by supporters and bodyguards as he leaves Seoul District Court in Seocho district after being sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years, and ordered him to pay 5 billion won (US$4.67 million) in fines, Feb. 20. Cho’s bodyguards kept reporters away from Cho, struck a female reporter and destroyed a camera belong to KBS. (by Kim Bong-gyu, staff photographer)

Senior pastor David Yonggi Cho gets lighter sentence on account of his religious activities

On Feb. 20, Hon. Cho Yong-hyun with the 23rd criminal division of the Seoul District Court sentenced David Yonggi Cho, 78, senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, to three years in prison, suspended for five years, and ordered him to pay 5 billion won (US$4.67 million) in fines. Cho was charged with causing around 13.1 billion won in damages to his church and evading approximately 3.5 billion won in taxes in the process (embezzlement as defined in the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Economic Crimes). In addition, Pastor Cho’s oldest son Cho Hee-jun, 49, former chairman of the Yeongsan Christian Culture Center, was given a three-year prison sentence and taken into custody.

“The criminal activity would have been impossible without the approval of Pastor Cho, who had ultimate decision-making authority,” the court ruled. “By condoning the documents that were being written while he was the head of the church, he was largely responsible for these crimes.”

The court also took into consideration the fact that Pastor Cho has contributed to social welfare over the years as a religious figure, which it explained as the reason for his lenient sentence.

The court sentenced Cho Hee-jun to actual time in prison, regarding him as the mastermind behind most of the crimes, including dereliction of duty.

Cho was indicted in 2013 on charges of professional negligence and tax evasion. At the request of his son, Cho allegedly had Yoido Full Gospel Church purchase 250,000 shares of stock in I-Service held by the Yeongsan Christian Culture Center at 86,984 won per share, even though the shares were only worth 34,386 won each, resulting in a 13.1 billion won loss for the church. When a gift tax was imposed on the church’s expensive stock purchase, Cho allegedly submitted documents to the tax authorities depicting the transaction as a normal loan, evading 3.5 billion won in taxes.

Source: By Kim Mi-hyang, Senior pastor David Yonggi Cho gets lighter sentence on account of his religious activities, The Hankyoreh, http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/625270.html, 21/02/2014. (Accessed 21/02/2014.)

Related articles:

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 1)

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 2)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 3)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 4)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 5) – Sex Scandal Included?

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 5) – Sex Scandal Included?

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Allegations surfaced from Yonggi Cho’s elders claiming that he has mishandled church funds of up to US$500 million.

You heard that right. “… elders are accusing the Chos of embezzling as much as US$500 million or more in church money.”

Please read what we have covered on this incident in these previous articles:

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 1)

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 2)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 3)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 4)

Before reading this article, ask yourself this question – who is David Yonggi Cho accountable too?

The Hankyoreh reports,

Yoido Full Gospel Church elders make explosive allegations of massive corruption

Senior pastor David Yonggi Cho accused of siphoning off millions in church funds; his camp denies the allegations

By Cho Yeon-hyun, religion correspondent

30 elders from Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world’s largest megachurch, held a press conference at the Korea Ecumenical Building in Seoul’s Jongno district on Nov. 14 to allege that senior pastor David Yonggi Cho and his family funneled off hundreds of billions of won from church donations.

Yoido Full Gospel Church (left) and senior pastor David Yonggi Cho

The sheer scale of the amounts alleged by the elders to have been misappropriated is beyond the imagination. The elders made public a report from an investigation into three alleged improprieties by Cho made by a special investigation committee and ethics committee formed within the church last year. This time around, the allegations came from members of a group called the Prayer Meeting for Correcting the Church, including elders Kim Dae-jin and Kim Seok-kyun.

First, they claim that Cho returned only 64.3 billion won (US$60.2 million) of the 163.3 billion won (US$152.9 million) he borrowed from the church while building the CCMM Building between 1992 and 1998, when he was chairman of the church‘s Mission Society. The remaining 99 billion won (US$92.7 million), they say, was never returned.

By the elders’ account, construction payments of 28.5 billion won (US$26.7 million) and 16.6 billion won (US$15.5 million) were made at the time to Next Media Corporation and Facility Management Korea, companies managed by Cho’s eldest son Hee-jun.

It is also being claimed that Cho’s third son Seung-jae’s International Club Management Group bought three floors of the building from the church for 29.5 billion won (US$27.6 million) and sold them back three years later for 37.2 billion won (US$34.8 million) – pocketing the difference of 7.7 billion won (US$7.2 million).

In addition to allegedly appropriating 34.2 billion won (US$32 million) in Kukmin Ilbo newspaper lifetime reader memberships from 50,000 people for stock investments, Cho Hee-jun was also accused by the elders of making off with a total of 240 billion won (US$224.7 million) in assets related to the church.

They also claimed that David Cho’s wife Kim Sung-hae, president of Hansei University, has yet to account for 10.5 billion won (US$9.8 million) paid by the church as support for Bethesda Christian University, an institution she runs in the US. The elders also view US real estate purchased by the university for around US$15 million as having been bought with church money.

In total, the elders are accusing the Chos of embezzling as much as US$500 million or more in church money.

Associates of David Yonggi Cho insisted he had “no connection with any direct exchanges of money.”

Kim Sung-hae’s camp said the details of the Bethesda Christian University situation would be brought to light by prosecutors, who are currently investigating, but added that the elders’ claims were “merely allegations, not facts, and not worth responding to each one.”

The most explosive part of the allegations is the sheer amount of money supposedly received by David Yonggi Cho. The elders claim he received a severance payment of 20 billion won (US$18.7 million) when he stepped down as head pastor in 2008 – and that even that was decided without their knowledge or any voting by major church decision-making bodies. They also said no information was available on the whereabouts of 12 billion won (US$11.2 million) a year paid between 2004 and 2008 – 60 billion won in total – for “special missionary expenses.”

The elders gave a yearly total of 100 billion to 120 billion won (US$93.6-112.3 million) in donations received by the church. This would mean the annual amount taken in by the headquarters dropped by almost half from about 200 billion won a year when Cho spun off the Jisungjun center in downtown Seoul around the time he handed over senior pastor duties to Lee Young-hoon in 2008. Nevertheless, it remains the largest amount received in donations by any religious body in South Korea.

The elders also claim that Cho continued controlling the church even after his “retirement” by making decisions as “governor” – to the point where his successor Lee had difficulty exercising his authority on appointments and finances.

One of the former elders at the press conference, Ha Sang-ok, previously admitted to taking part in giving 1.5 billion won (US$1.4 million) while collecting the book “Madame Butterfly in Paris” from a female vocalist in France named Jeong who anonymously wrote the account about an affair with Cho.

“A sect leader might violate the commandments and do as he wishes, but a pastor cannot do that,” Ha said. “Over the past 14 years, I have met with Rev. Cho many times to try to persuade him to repent and return to being a great pastor, but the corruption has continued. That‘s why I had no choice but to disclose it to the outside world.”

The elders also made public a statement allegedly made by Cho saying he would give Jeong 1.5 billion won in exchange for her making no future mention of their extramarital relationship, along with copies of receipts for the two transactions totaling 3 billion won.

The church’s public relations office said the claims were “a personal matter that the church has no comment on.”

Lee Won-gun, an elder who functions as Cho’s “chief of staff,” said Cho is “unconcerned with money, to the point where I’ve never once seen him talk about giving money or not giving money to somebody.”

“There will be a response from this side after looking at the elders’ claims,” Lee added.

Cho is currently on trial for alleged causing 15.7 billion won (US$14.7 million) in damages to the church by instructing it to buy 250,000 shares of his eldest son’s stocks at a rate four times market value.

During the press conference, a physical altercation occurred when a number of Cho’s supporters attempted to rush the platform at the press conference and accused the elders of “insulting” the pastor.

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

From: By Cho Yeon-hyun, Yoido Full Gospel Church elders make explosive allegations of massive corruption, The Hankyoreh, http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/611326.html, Published 15/11/2013. (Accessed 22/12/2013.)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 4)

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Prosecutors Say That ‘Pastor’ David Yonggi Cho “Has Been Indicted On Charges Of Breach Of Duty And Tax Evasion”

WHO IS ‘PASTOR’ KONG HEE ACCOUNTABLE TO?

‘Pastor’ David Yonggi Cho is internationally recognised of having the worlds largest church.

We have covered articles how David Yonggi Cho mentors ‘Pastor’ and Founder Phil Pringle of the Christian City Church Movement (Sydney, Australia) and ‘Pastor’ and founder Kong Hee of City Harvest Church (Singapore). We know that Kong Hee is accountable to Phil Pringle. However recently Yonggi Cho sent his love and support to Kong Hee and Sun Ho. Kong Hee wrote,

“A greeting by my pastor.. Dr Yonggi Cho, founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea!” – Kong Hee, Video Greeting by Dr Yonggi Cho, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151320404966895&set=vb.11407771894&type=3&theater, 18 April 2013. (Accessed 09/06/2013.)

proof_fb-KongAndCho_10-06-13

Yonggi Cho is Kong Hee’s pastor? Is this who Kong Hee is accountable too? If he is, then CHC members should be concerned.

WHO IS ‘PASTOR’ YONGGI CHO ACCOUNTABLE TO?

It is important you read these previous articles before reading the latest news.

The first article reveals how Yonggi Cho seemed to lack any accountability to his elders. The question has to be asked, who is David Yonggi Cho accountable to in his church? Is this why we are seeing scandals break out in Phil Pringle’s C3 Church Movement and Kong Hee’s CHC leadership? Who are Kong Hee and Phil Pringle accountable to?

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 1)

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 2)

David Yonggi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 3)

The Global Post reports,

Pastor indicted for allegedly causing huge losses to church

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) — A noted pastor has been indicted on charges of breach of duty and tax evasion, prosecutors said Saturday.

Cho Yong-gi, the founder and pastor emeritus of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, is suspected of causing 15.7 billion won (US$14 million) worth of losses to the church by instructing church officials to buy stocks privately owned by his eldest son Hee-jun at prices four times higher than market value in 2002, they said.

The pastor is also accused of evading 3.5 billion won in taxes in the process.

Prosecutors indicted the son and former chairman of the daily newspaper Kookmin Ilbo on embezzlement charges in December.

After investigating him, prosecutors said the pastor is an accomplice in the alleged crime.

Source: Yonhap News Agency, Global Post, http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130609/pastor-indicted-allegedly-causing-huge-losses-church, 09/06/2013. (Accessed 10/06/2013.)

proof_globalpost-yonggichoscandal_10-06-2013

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 3)

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Yonggi Cho being investigated for financial misconduct.

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 1)

David Yonngi Cho Church Fraud Investigation? (Part 2)_

The Hankyoreh reports:

Senior Pastor At Major Church Investigated For Financial Misdeeds

Prosecutors have indicted David Yonggi Cho of Yoido Full Gospel Church on charges of breach of trust 

By Kim Tae-kyu and Lee Kyung-mi, staff reporters Prosecutors suspect David Yonggi Cho, 77, senior pastor at Yoido Full Gospel Church, of breach of trust resulting in 10 billion won (US$9.2 million) in losses to his church. They are also investigating him on suspicion of 6 billion won (US$5.52 million) in tax evasion, the Hankyoreh confirmed on Feb. 27. Prosecutors, who have already taken into custody Cho’s son Hee-jun, 48, the secretary general of the Yeongsan Christian Cultural Center, are planning on indicting David Cho soon.

Yoido Full Gospel Church has around one million members and is the biggest Pentecostal Christian congregation in the world. It was founded in 1958 by Cho and his mother Choi Ja-shil, who are both Assemblies of God pastors.

In Dec. 2012, investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, led by Lee Hyeon-sang, booked Cho Hee-jun without detention on charges of breach of trust according to the Act on the Aggravated Punishment for Specific Economic Crimes. He is accused of causing 15.74 billion won (US$14.49 million) of damages to the church. Allegedly, on Dec. 6, 2002, while serving as chairman of Next Media Group, he sold the church 250,000 shares of stock in I-Service at 86,984 won (US$80.06) per share, much more expensive than the market price of 24,032 won (US$22.12) per share.

According to Cho Hee-jun’s arraignment document, which was acquired by the Hankyoreh, prosecutors identified David Cho as an accomplice to the crime of breach of trust. On Nov. 28, 2002, David Cho received a report from a general manager at Yoido Full Gospel Church surnamed Kim that said, “If the elders and believers find out that the church is purchasing I-Service stock at the high price of 86,984 won per share, stock which the church has absolutely no need for, there could be a huge uproar.” Nevertheless, the pastor said, “We have no choice, since Hee-jun is in a difficult situation right now,” directing that the matter be dealt with as quietly as possible to avoid causing any trouble in the church. In other words, David Cho was receiving reports about and giving orders concerning the purchase of the stock that resulted in a loss for the church.

During the investigation, prosecutors also acquired evidence of tax evasion by David Cho. In 2004, when the Seoul regional tax office judged that this stock sale was a gift and ordered that 10.3 billion won (US$9.48 million) of taxes be paid, David Cho enlisted the aid of an accountant and submitted falsified documents to the tax office to disguise the transaction as a normal stock trade, not as a gift, prosecutors confirmed. He is suspected of using this means to only pay 4 billion won (US$3.68 million) in taxes, evading 6 billion won.

“David Cho has submitted documents about previous cases that show that such stock transactions are not subject to taxation, so we are conducting a legal review,” said a source with the prosecutors’ office. “Since we have indicted Cho Hee-jun as his accomplice, it is necessary for us to indict David Cho as well, even if only on charges of breach of trust.”

Source: Kim by Tae-kyu and Lee Kyung-mi, Senior pastor at major church investigated for financial misdeeds, http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_entertainment/575967.html, Posted on 28/02/2013. (Accessed 01/03/2013.)