Biblical Answers to the World Mission Society Church of God

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.--1 John 4:1

Are you or a loved one struggling with this group? Do you need Biblical answers about the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCoG or CoGWMS), their founder Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng/Sang-Hong) or their current leader "Mother Jerusalem" (a.k.a. "Heavenly Mother God," Zang/Zahng Gil-Jah, or Chung Gil Cha)? Thank you for coming here. I hope my blog helps you. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Is the Cross an Idol? - Part 3 - What About a Gun?

A continuing look at why the cross is not an idol...

In Part 1 and Part 2 we saw how the World Mission Society Church of God misuses its sources in an attempt to prove that the Christian symbol of the cross is in reality a pagan idol, and that history shows the symbol of the cross connected with Christianity centuries earlier than the WMSCOG claims.
However, art and images of the cross are less commonly found in the early church than they are in later centuries.  Why is that?

The WMSCOG's quote from History of the Christian Church (see Part 1) implies that the early Christians despised the cross because of its use as a cruel tool of execution.  We saw that History of the Christian Church actually says that the cross was "despised by the heathen Romans" not by the early Christians.  Even though the WMSCOG distorted its source, is there evidence that that's why the cross image is less commonly found in the early centuries?

I've done some reading and the conclusion seems to be evenly split.  Some say it was the severe persecutions of the early church that made it dangerous for them to display images of the cross openly.  Others say (agreeing with the WMSCOG) that it was too much of a reminder of the brutal death of Jesus for them to associate it with anything good.  This brings me to questions the WMSCOG often poses...

The WMSCOG says since the cross was used to kill Jesus, why would people who loved Jesus use this execution tool as a symbol, hanging it around their necks and placing it in their churches?  If Jesus were killed by a gun, would you hang a gun around your neck or put a gun on the top of your church?

At first, it sounds disgusting--a gun as a symbol of something as good as Jesus?!  In our society, death by a gun happens primarily in the course of a crime or by accident.  That's why the idea brings up such feelings in us.  Let's think a little deeper, get past those initial emotions, set up a more modern analogy, and see how we feel then...

First, the story of Jesus' sacrifice:

All of us are sinners.  We can't seem to avoid it--even when we try to be good, we end up sinning in attitude, thought, or deed.  Even the Apostle Paul had this problem (Romans 7).  The price of our sin is death, not just bodily death but eternal separation from God, and we all owe it (Romans 6).  How will we ever escape this debt we owe?

God is a just God.  The debt must be paid.  But He is also a loving God.  He loves us dearly.  God made a way to pay the price for us through Jesus Christ.  Jesus willingly suffered and died on the cross and rose again so that we could have eternal life with God (Romans 4).  When we accept that payment of Jesus on our behalf, we have crossed over from certain death to eternal life (Romans 5).

So because of Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection we have life instead of death.

Now an analogy we can relate to:

I've heard some use an analogy like this, "If your son (mother, brother, etc.) were killed by a gun, would you hang a gun around your neck to remember him?"  The WMSCOG video we saw in Part 1 used the analogy of a helicopter accident and a daughter who hated helicopters because they reminded her of her father's death.  Those are incomplete analogies, showing no depth in understanding the sacrifice of Jesus.

We need something that incorporates as many elements of the story as possible.  Also, the instrument of death doesn't have to be a gun.  We should be able to replace "gun" with anything suitable in order to get a good analogy for our purpose.  Here we go...

Imagine you and your family (parents, spouse, children, grandchildren if you have them) are all sentenced to die.  Whatever it was that caused the sentence of execution doesn't matter, but because of the law of the land there is no possibility of changing it.  You all will die soon.

You can imagine this scenario in different times and places.  You could be headed for the guillotine, or the executioner's axe, or the hangman's noose, or the firing squad, or the lethal injection table, or the stake for burning, etc.  As you all are waiting for your turn for execution, along comes a man--a free man, a man who has done absolutely nothing wrong.  He looks at you and your family, and then you see him talking with the governor, who is watching over the day's executions.

After a few minutes, a guard comes over and takes off your chains.  You and your whole family have been set free, and you will never have to fear being brought back for execution again.  You were all as good as dead.  Now you have life!

As you leave, you notice the man.  He's tied up and about to be beheaded, or hanged, or shot, or injected, or burned at the stake.  You ask the governor what's happening, and he tells you the man agreed to take the punishment instead of you and your family.  He accepted the trade because of the rank and position of the man.  You can't help but watch in awe as the man is executed.

The governor says, "Your sentence has been paid.  You are free to go.  Of course, if you still wish to pay the sentence yourselves, you are welcome to do so."  You and your family walk out to freedom, but the image of the man being executed in your place stays with you.  It is because of his sacrifice you have life and not death.

Reconsidering how we feel:

Keep imagining that scenario.  Every time you and your family see a guillotine, or an executioner's axe, or a hangman's noose, or a gun (from the firing squad), or a bonfire, etc.--how will you feel?  What will you remember?  Will that become a symbol of death or a symbol of life for you?

When I think about it, I find that any disgust that rises in me regarding the instrument of execution is soon overshadowed by the memory of how my family and I have life and freedom now.  Every time I see that particular execution tool, I'll remember what that man did for us.

Disgust is overshadowed by reverent awe and thankfulness.

So would I wear a guillotine, or axe, or noose, or injection needle, or flame, etc., around my neck or put one up in my church?  Yes, I would.  How about you?

As a mere decoration, it means nothing.  But as a symbol of the great sacrifice that's been made for us, it's rich with meaning.

If the cross only makes you think of death, you are missing the most important aspect of it--life and freedom.  Perhaps that's what's missing in the World Mission Society Church of God?

More about the cross and symbolism next time....

Click here to go on to Part 4.


  1. OUTSTANDING ANALOGY HERE. .(AROON)Please throw more light on the fear of last descruction put by WMSCOG. They say that North korea is going to initate the 3rd world war, which will pull down the curtains. I am your huge fan Jenny, so if you have the time, do write a post on that

  2. Hi, Aroon. Hope you've been well. Excessive use of fear is one of the marks of a cult. I'll see what I can write about that in the future. After this series about the cross is finished, I already have plans to write more about the bride in Revelation and about the antichrist. Thanks for your encouragement, Aroon. May God bless you.