Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ 100,000 Graduation Ceremony: Was It Possible Through Man's Effort Alone?
Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ 100K Graduation Ceremony: Was It Possible Through Man's Effort Alone?
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji Church of Jesus) hosted a graduation ceremony for Class 110 of Zion Mission Center on November 10th. According to Shincheonji Church of Jesus, 103,764 graduates took part within one year, enabling Shincheonji Church of Jesus to host the 100K Graduation Ceremony. Due to capacity, 60,000 graduates joined in the ceremony with simultaneous live-streaming from international branch churches in other world cities.
100,000 People Graduate in 10 months
Another 100,000 People will Graduate at the Next Ceremony
Unprecedented Event in Korean History
"God's power, it's possilbe to be together"
Sensational event shook the religious world in Korea on 10th November. A truly SUPERB event that has rattled the religious world.
On November 10th Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji Church of Jesus, Chairman Man Hee Lee) held a Graduation Ceremony for 103,764 graduates of Class 110 of Zion Mission Center. From Koreans' perspective, a figure of 100,000 doesn’t seem too significant given the hundreds of thousands who have been rallying at Gwanghwa Gate on the weekend in the last few years. Moreover, some religious denominations have insisted on their explosive growth, boasting of growth from 100K to 1M which makes people question these religious groups’ own estimation.
Therefore, some people ignore Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ graduation figure of 100,000, even though Shincheonji Church of Jesus officially declared it. However, the 100,000 people of Shincheonji Church of Jesus show a marked difference in standard.
Although inevitably varying from person to person, most of the 100,000 graduates had to earn their living or study full-time alongside an intensive 6-8 month Bible study course. This is no minor achievement. Through the Bible study course, students had to master the 66 books of the Bible and take a 300-question graduation exam with a compulsory minimum passmark of 90%. Within the established church, it is a sight only found in seminaries where pastors are nurtured. A graduation ceremony of 100,000 is unheard of in a seminary.
As a reporter, I have witnessed social and religious phenomena throughout social and religious circles for the last 10 years and know of the history of the religious world from people of many denominations. I’ve listened again and again to stories from devout believers and philosophers about the rise and fall of many religious denominations. Despite Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ annual growth in membership of 20,000 people, their doubts remained. To make matters worse, some people asserted that the church would quickly come to self-ruin.
Their predictions were ill-founded as they grew explosively. Moreover, the church’s growth in such a hostile climate caused me to wonder ‘Is it possible that this could be achieved through man's effort alone?’
One pastor I met at the 100,000 Graduation Ceremony who requested complete anonymity because of possible persecution from religious circles said: “This work of evangelism, Bible-teaching and graduation of 100,000 people within 10 months is not the work of man, but the work of God. It can only be done if God is with them”. He spoke honestly even though he couldn’t reveal his identity due to possible persecution by the established church.
Shincheonji Church of Jesus, The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji Church of Jesus) hosted a graduation ceremony for Class 110 of Zion Mission Center on November 10th. According to Shincheonji Church of Jesus, 103,764 graduates took part within one year, enabling Shincheonji Church of Jesus to host the 100,000 Graduation Ceremony. Due to capacity, 60,000 graduates joined in the ceremony with simultaneous live-streaming from international branch churches in other world cities.
A representative of Shincheonji Church of Jesus who I met at the ceremony also said the same thing, saying emphatically: “a total of 103,764 people have graduated after a 10-month process of evangelism, harvest and sealing, and there are still more than 100,000 people currently in Zion Mission Center. How can anyone say this is the work of man? Isn’t this God’s work promised in chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation?”
On the other hand, the established church is persecuting more than ever. They spew all kinds of hatred and slander about Shincheonji Church of Jesus through Protestant press - similar to the cutting ‘Kill All Commie’ remarks made at a far-right rally - demanding that Shincheonji Church of Jesus be dismantled. They claim that Shincheonji Church of Jesus is ‘Anti-nation, anti-society, anti-religion’ but it has been revealed that this is in fact the history and behavior of the Presbyterian Church in Korea. During the Japanese colonial era, they acted as pro-Japanese informants and worshipped Japanese shrines. In the last 10 years, 12,000 crimes have been committed by their pastors, even homicide through their coercive conversion program.
The Bible teaches the attitude believers must have today.
The book of Acts, which records the evangelistic work of Jesus' disciples, illustrates the persecution that the apostles - particularly Peter - suffered testifying about Jesus Christ's ministry in Israel. Acts 5:38~39 in particular shows what Christians today must take heed of. Peter and the other apostles testified about Jesus but the furious Jews planned to kill them.
Gamaliel, a respected teacher of the law honored by all the Jews of that time in Israel, warned, “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.”
He advised: “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
History is a warning and example for the present and future. There is no debating that today’s religious circles must take Biblical history as a warning and example.
The recent reality of the graduation ceremony proves Biblical history to be evidence that they will be unable to stop or fight God, if indeed Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ 100,000 graduation ceremony is from God and not of human origin. It's time for the established church to discern with eyes wide open and let go of its vested interests.