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.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter -- The WMSCOG's misunderstandings

It's Easter.  A blessed Resurrection Day to you all!

The World Mission Society Church of God's general pastor Kim Joo-Cheol has shared this about the WMSCOG's view of Christian Easter celebrations:
Most Christians celebrate Easter by eating boiled eggs on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. Actually, however, it originated from the pagan custom of serving Easter (Ashtoreth)—the pagan goddess who was associated with the spring sun. Easter is fundamentally different from the Resurrection Day Jesus established. (source)
The WMSCOG has some serious misunderstandings regarding Easter (Resurrection Day).

First, eating boiled eggs on Resurrection Day has nothing to do with serving a pagan goddess.  It has to do with Lent.  Traditionally, during the time of Lent, the people would fast, and among the foods they would not eat were eggs.  What do you do when your chickens keep producing eggs but you are not allowed to eat them?  Do you let them go to waste?  No, you boil them, and keep them until you may eat them again.  [see comments for correction] When is the fasting of Lent over, and when do you get to eat the eggs?  Resurrection Day.  That's how you get lots of eggs on Easter.  Here's more about Lent.

Second, the "first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox" also has nothing to do with serving a pagan goddess.  It has to do with the date of Easter in relation to Passover.  As the early church became disconnected from Judaism, they needed to be able to mark the date of the Resurrection (which happened on the Sunday after Passover) without having to rely on the Jewish priests for the date of Passover every year.

Passover is set for the 14th day of the 1st month of the Hebrew calendar.  Months on the Hebrew calendar begin with the new moon and are 28 or 29 days long, depending on the lunar cycle.  The full moon occurs half way through the month (on the 14th).  The spring equinox is in the first month.  That's how the date is set for the first Sunday after the full moon after the spring equinox.  (That's the simple way to explain it.  If you want to know all the complexities, study the computus.)

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to address a few other accusations against Christians concerning paganism.

Accusation: Crosses were used in ancient pagan worship.  Christians who set up crosses in their churches are following after these pagan practices. (more here)
Truth: Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross.  If you are upset about that, take up your objection with God and tell Him Jesus should have died some other way.

Accusation: Sunday was used by pagans to worship the Sun-god.  Christians who go to church on Sunday are really taking part in pagan Sun-god worship.
Truth: Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday.  If you are upset about that, take up your objection with God and tell Him that Jesus should have picked another day to rise from the dead.

Accusation: Pagans worshiped the Sun-god, and the sun rises in the east.  Christians who hold sunrise services facing to the east on Easter Sunday morning, are really worshiping the Sun-god.
Truth: The women discovered the empty tomb at sunrise on Sunday morning.  If you are upset about that, take up your objection with God and tell Him that the empty tomb should have been discovered at some other time of day.  You can also tell Him that He should make the sun rise from some other direction on Resurrection Day morning.

Think it's silly to approach God with these objections?  Of course it is.  Likewise, it is silly to accuse Christians of paganism simply because you see some surface similarities.

I think you'll like these two articles by Ralph Woodrow:
Christmas, Easter, and the Cross
Did Sunday Worship Come from Paganism?

You might remember that Ralph Woodrow wrote the book Babylon Mystery Religion which taught that many Christian practices originated from paganism.  Then he realized the research was flawed and he was wrong.  He pulled the book from publication and wrote The Babylon Connection? to correct his errors and set the record straight.  Read more about it here.

I pray you have a blessed celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus and that all our loved ones who are involved in the WMSCOG will soon see the truth and return wholeheartedly to fellowship with their families.  I also pray that the pastors and leaders of the WMSCOG will be strong enough and noble enough and humble enough to speak out about the errors and seek the truth.  And finally, I pray that Zahng Gil-Jah and Kim Joo-Cheol themselves will seek forgiveness from the true God and turn from the path they have chosen.