World Mission Society Church of God

A new religious movement with roots in South Korea, advocating for the belief in God the Father and God the Mother.

The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) was established by Ahn Sahng-hong in South Korea on April 28, 1964. Ahn Sahng-hong, who was born to Buddhist parents and spent considerable time with the Seventh-day Adventists, aimed to restore the truths and practices of the early Church that Jesus established. Following his death in 1985, a significant doctrinal evolution occurred within the movement, particularly with the introduction and promotion of the belief in God the Mother, Zahng Gil-jah, alongside the already revered figure of Ahn Sahng-hong, who is considered by the church to be Christ Ahn Sahng-hong, the Second Coming of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

This religious group identifies itself as the only church that keeps the New Covenant established by Jesus, emphasizing the observance of the Sabbath on Saturdays from sunrise to sunset, celebrating the seven feasts of Leviticus 23, and the practice of baptism in the names of the Father (Jehovah), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (Ahn Sahng-hong). The church further distinguishes itself with its belief in the existence of a female image of God, God the Mother, which is based on their interpretation of biblical texts suggesting the dual male and female nature of God’s image.

Over the years, the church has seen considerable growth, claiming over 7,500 churches and 3.3 million registered members globally as of recent reports. Their expansion has not been without controversy, with external estimates suggesting significantly lower numbers of actual followers than those claimed by church leadership. Additionally, the church has faced criticism and has been labeled a cult by some Christian denominations and organizations due to its unique teachings and practices, such as the necessity of observing the Passover for salvation, a departure from traditional Christian doctrines regarding the nature of God and salvation.

Critics have also raised concerns about the church’s internal practices, including allegations of financial exploitation and coercive control over members. Former members have described mandatory tithing, encouraged donation of possessions, and restrictions on personal freedoms such as internet use and choice of music. Despite these allegations, the church has been recognized for its volunteerism and social contribution, receiving awards for its environmental and disaster relief efforts.

In theological terms, the WMSCOG’s teachings diverge significantly from mainstream Christianity. This includes the belief in Ahn Sahng-hong as the Second Coming of Christ and the existence of God the Mother, Zahng Gil-jah. Such beliefs have been critiqued for aligning with modalism—a heresy in traditional Christian doctrine that denies the distinct personhood within the Trinity—and for promoting a works-based salvation contrary to the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The church’s adherence to Ahn Sahng-hong’s prophecies, including incorrect predictions regarding the end of the world, further compounds the controversy surrounding its teachings and practices​​​​​​.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *