Feb 2, 2018

Fringe Sect Proselytizes on Campus

Ethan Starr
The Torch | Boston College's Catholic Newspaper
January 31, 2018

In the past few days, Boston College students have been approached by college-aged individuals asking if they would be willing to take part in a Bible study with them, with some students agreeing to do so. Those who accepted were introduced to the core beliefs of the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG).

Within minutes, two individuals that the author met with delivered a well-planned lesson—complete with three scriptural extracts—demonstrating the unquestionable existence of “God the Mother.” This female deity, was not an alternative manifestation of God or a representation of the Church, but a separate, contemporary deity. The missionaries claimed that God the Mother and God the Father have a spousal relationship, from which the familial structure of humans on earth was derived.

Several representatives from the WMSCOG proselytized on and around campus throughout the month of January. This, however, is not the first time they have attempted to convert BC students. Representatives from the group have been visiting campus since the beginning of the decade. Equipped with biblical quotations, they preach their message in pairs, emphasizing “proof” that the Bible refers to the existence of multiple deities.

What exactly does the WMSCOG believe? Where did it come from? The group’s founder, Ahn Sahng-hong, cultivated a devoted, international following after he was excommunicated from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1962. His followers claim that he was the second coming of Jesus.

Ahn died in 1985 in South Korea, but his organization did not perish with him, nor did it dissipate in 1988, 1999, or 2012, when the WMSCOG claimed the world was coming to an end. Still referring to itself as a Christian organization, despite its doctrine of bi-theism and rejection of the cross as an idol.

The first “unquestionable” proof for a second deity stems from Genesis 1:26, “Let us make human beings in our image,” demonstrating a multiplicity of gods. Disregarding the subsequent confirmation in Genesis that “God created human beings in his own image,” the missionaries questioned students as to how one should interpret the confusing plurality of pronoun usage. The “our” could be easily interpreted as referring to the Holy Trinity rather than God in the singular. From a linguistic approach, the original Hebrew expresses the pronoun using the ‘Royal We.’ The phrase is meant to express a hierarchical separation.

Missionaries also emphasized Galatians 4:26 in their argument for the Mother God: “The Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.” This section is taken out of its context, where St. Paul differentiates Jerusalem from the Heavenly Kingdom. The so-called “Woman of Revelation 12” provides another reference to a female on which WMSCOG rests its bi-theistic teaching. While no one in the academy claims to have a perfectly consistent interpretation of the entire Book of Revelation, the female pronouns are most commonly associated with Jerusalem, Mary, or the Church Herself.

There is every indication that the WMSCOG could frequent Boston College’s campus for some time to come. Their beliefs can be found on their website, though their primary arguments have been listed above.


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