Christian Council of Korea

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The Christian Council of Korea (CCK) is a conservative organization of Christian churches across South Korea.[1] The CCK is one of the alliances of churches in South Korea,[2] comprising 69 denominations and 20 Christian organizations, which together represent over 12 million people.[3] The organization's purpose is to study, confer, and work together for the accomplishment of the Christian Church's earthly mission, while maintaining the individuality of its members.[4] The CCK was established in 1989 after a devotional service and meeting of respected senior pastors and representatives from various Christian denominations.

Recent Controversies and Accusations[edit]

The CCK has undergone a number of controversies in recent years mainly because the misdoings of its former members of their Heresy Handling Committee.

Some of the controversies have centered around accusations of financial mismanagement, bribery and corruption. A former CCK president confessed that "bribery has become the norm in the Christian organization."[5] A Seoul court recently ordered the suspension of the chairman of the CCK for procedural irregularities in electing the head of the umbrella body of Korean Protestant churches.[6] Other Korean pastors have also criticized the CCK for its corruption and infighting.[7] Christian networks and organizations say that the CCK has no ability to purify itself and must be dismantled.[8] The KNACP (Korean National Association of Christian Pastors) spokesman argued that the CCK must be disbanded and that the NCCK (National Council of Churches in Korea), another Christian organization in Korea, must not overlook the allegations of corruption in the CCK.[9]

Other controversies have centered on the conduct of the CCK's heresy investigations. Accusations of heresy have routinely been leveled by CCK member organizations and individuals against other members and individuals, leading to widespread division and confusion amongst Korean churches. The accusations and counter-accusations have been compared to the witch trials conducted by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages.[10][11] The CCK's Heresy Committee was accused of becoming effectively a private organization.[12]

In reality, The Christian Telegraph, in a report dated 4 June 2013, says that many of these accusations are because of Pastor SamKyung Choi or alternatively spelled, Sam Kyung Chae or Sam-Kyung Chae or Choi Sam Kyung and his supporters, who were at one time the president of the Heresy Handling Committee of the PCK (Presbyterian Church of Korea), the biggest denomination in Korea, a member of the Heresy Handling Committee of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), and the president of Heresy Counseling Center. With those titles he acted as one of the heresy examiners, wielded significant power, and spearheaded attacks against various allegedly heretical organizations or individuals. The article alleges that Choi traded favorable verdicts in exchange for donations. Other participants in the controversy have also leveled heresy allegations against Pastor Choi.[13][14] The proof of this heresy allegations is the investigation report by The Christian Post titled "Investigation Report on Sam Kyung Chae’s Tritheism and his theory of Jesus birth through Mary’s menstrual blood".[15]

To quote The Christian Post's investigation report on Sam Kyung Chae's heresy on tritheism and Jesus' conception through Mary's menstrual blood:[16]

"Rev. Sam Kyung Chae’s assertion “Each of Spirit of the Father, Spirit of the Son and the Holy Spirit is one, respectively. They are parts of the three." divides God into three, making the Father, the Son, and the Spirit as 1/3 of the whole. [According to Chae], “Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, Father God is one spirit and the Holy Spirit is one spirit. Then how can it be said that the two are one?” His assertion means that the spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are different spirits. It denies that the spirit of the Father and the Holy Spirit are one, and say they are different spirits from each other. Thus his theory is either ditheism or tritheism….The main point of Chae’s theory of conception through menstruation is claiming that “Jesus was born through the menstruation (blood) of Mary,” “Saying that Jesus was born without Mary's menstruation is same as saying that Jesus was born without through Mary’s body,” “Saying that Jesus was born without menstruation denies the human nature of Jesus,” and “The virgin birth means Mary didn't become pregnant because of Joseph’s semen.” He [Chae] stated, “Menstruation means human blood. Menstruation means blood, not eggs. Having menstruation demonstrates with blood that the woman has the ability to reproduce a child. So when pregnant, there is no more menstruation. The blood goes to the child. With the blood (Mary’s blood) the child grows.”[17]

The CCK has since expressed its regret over the heresy investigations and has said that it would be willing to reexamine the accusations and verdicts. But why would CCK be willing to reexamine the accusations and verdicts hurled against many evangelical Christian leaders and churches in South Korea? The reason is because CCK realizes that many pastors and Christian press media had been unjustly condemned as heretics without having the least chance of vindication during the tenure when Sam Kyung Chae and his supporters were in CCK. They were "lamenting the fact that such unrighteousness was rampant, and they are feeling sorry in light of the heavy responsibility of it."

To quote the leadership of CCK: "Therefore, we officially declare the investigations on heresy performed by Samkyung Choi and his followers and supporters including Hyungtaek Park (The Korean Presbyterian Church), Yongsik Jin (The General Assembly of Presbyterian Church in Korea), Byungkyu Choi (The Presbyterian Church in Korea), and Yongkyu Park (Professor of Chongshin University and Seminary) are demonstrably unfair...Samkyung Choi threw reckless and impertinently slanderous words at pastors in the representative leadership of the Korean Churches. He even accused and litigated against a few pastors in the senior leadership of each denomination. He openly criticized senior pastors such as the late Dr. Joongon Kim who served as President of Korea Campus Crusade for Christ, Pastor Yong-gi Cho (Yoido Full Gospel Church), Pastor Gyumil Na (Juan Presbyterian Church), Pastor Seok-jeaon Yoon (Yonsei Central Baptist Church), and late Pastor Yong-jo Ha (Onnuri Community Church) and others.

The CCK and Pastor SamKyung Choi have since parted ways, along with other pastors associated with him, including Pastor Hyungtaek Park and Pastor Yongsik Jin.

Results of the Controversies[edit]

In 2012, 20 denominations formerly belonging to the CCK created a new organization, the Communion of Churches in Korea (CCIK), as an alternative to the corruption and infighting which they felt made the CCK unreformable.[18] In response, the CCK expelled the denominations and pastors who joined the CCIK.[19] The CCIK has in turn leveled accusations of corruption and heresy against the CCK.[20]

On 18, September, 2012, the Baeksuk denomination of Presbyterian Church of Korea, decided to leave the CCK.[21] On 20, September, 2012, The Presbyterian Church of Korea, which is one of the largest Christian denominations in Korea, decided to leave the CCK.[22] On Sep, 29, 2012, the Korea Evangelical Fellowship also decided to leave the CCK.[23] On Apr, 14, 2014, the Kosin Presbyterian Church in Korea decided to leave the CCK.

However, in contrary to all these claims, a recent Christian Post article in 2012 reported that CCK has rejected Chae's claim that over 20 denominations have broken away from CCK and formed a new body, the Communion of Churches in Korea (CCIK). As quoted in the article "No denominations have left the CCK over this issue. If that were so, we (CCK) would have less denominations, but there are still 71 denominations in our membership.[24]

Despite the controversies, the CCK has retained a strong affiliate relationship with the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA); for instance, in 2011, they held a joint Thanksgiving ceremony together.[25] However, the 2014 WEA General Assembly, which was to have been held in South Korea, was postponed due to the internal divisions in the evangelical community in South Korea.[26]

Geoff Tunnicliffe, the CEO and secretary general for the WEA, said that the divisions in question are primarily organizational in nature. To further quote Tunnicliffe: "In recent months in particular there were some struggles within the Korean context, some divisions within the church, and because of that it presented them with difficulties in really hosting an assembly that was focused on Christian unity. They needed to focus more on some of the internal issues and resolving them before they could host a world assembly. The reality is that most Christians in Korea will consider themselves evangelical. At the core of everyone's faith there are similar commitments, they may have different preferences or styles, but I don't think the differences are over theology....There has been a growing awareness of the challenges that the Korean church is facing in being united. We've sought to find a way that it could still happen in Korea, but because it's coming in eight months and there is so much preparation that needs to take place, we thought that there wasn't enough time to really allow the Korean brothers and sisters to work out some of these challenges and host a big world assembly in the same year,"[27]

Tunnicliffe said that the Christian Council of Korea has understood and agreed with the decision to postpone the assembly [28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pauline J. Cha (March 26, 2004). "Christian Council of Korea Launches "Save North Korea" Campaign". Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "CCK must be dismantled", Christian Today, 2011-04-14, retrieved 2012-09-07 
  3. ^ Luiza Oleszczuk (Nov 22, 2011). "World Evangelical Alliance, Christian Council of Korea Hold Joint Thanksgiving Service". Retrieved 3 December 2011. 
  4. ^ CCK Constitution Chap.1 Art.3
  5. ^ "Time for changes in Korean churches", Korea Herald, 2011-04-26, retrieved 2011-04-26 
  6. ^ "Protestant churches should repent and be reborn", Korea Times, 04-03-2011, retrieved 04-03-2011 
  7. ^ "Megachurch pastor says time to dismantle Christian Council of Korea", The Hankyoreh, 2011-04-21, retrieved 2011-04-21 
  8. ^ "CCK must be dismantled", Yonhap News, 2011-07-08, retrieved 2011-07-08 
  9. ^ "CCK must be dismantled", Christian Today, 2011-04-14, retrieved 2012-09-07 
  10. ^ "CCK Heresy Committee judge like witches hunting", Ecclesian News, 2011-06-20, retrieved 2011-06-20 
  11. ^ "Yi Dai-Bog, monthly Magazine 'Religion and Truth'(formerly 'Church and Heresy') publisher, died", CBN TV, 2013-04-15, retrieved 2013-04-15 
  12. ^ "CCK's Heresy Countermeasure Committee became private organization", Christian Today, 2009-10-20, retrieved 2009-10-20 
  13. ^ "The Christian Council of Korea (Han Ki Chong) declares Pastor Choi Sam Kyung "the most evil heretic"". 
  14. ^ "Sources in 'Second Coming Christ Controversy' Face Scrutiny". The Christian Post. 
  15. ^ "Investigation Report on Sam Kyung Chae’s Tritheism and his theory of Jesus birth through Mary’s menstrual blood". The Christian Post. 
  16. ^ "Investigation Report on Sam Kyung Chae’s Tritheism and his theory of Jesus birth through Mary’s menstrual blood". The Christian Post. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "Investigation Report on Sam Kyung Chae’s Tritheism and his theory of Jesus birth through Mary’s menstrual blood". The Christian Post. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "새 연합기구 '한국교회연합' 정식 출범(A new organization 'The Communion of Churches in Korea' is established)", Nocut News, 2012-03-29, retrieved 2012-03-29 
  19. ^ "한기총, 임시총회서 정관 개정하고 한교연 가담자 제명(CCK expels CCIK participants)", Christian Today, 2012-05-18, retrieved 2012-07-27 
  20. ^ "한기총-한교연, ‘소모적 논쟁 중지’ 3일만에 깨진 합의", Kukmin Ilbo, 2012-08-08, retrieved 2012-08-08 
  21. ^ "The Presbyterian Church of Korea leaves out of CCK", Chosun Ilbo, 2012-09-20, retrieved 2012-09-24 
  22. ^ "The Presbyterian Church of Korea, a major Christian denomination in Korea, leaves out of CCK", Donga Ilbo, 2012-09-20, retrieved 2012-09-24 
  23. ^ Hana Jang (Sep 29, 2012). "Korea Evangelical Fellowship leaves out of CCK". Retrieved Oct 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Sources in 'Second Coming Christ Controversy' Face Scrutiny". The Christian Post. 
  25. ^ "World Evangelical Alliance, Christian Council of Korea Hold Joint Thanksgiving Service". 
  26. ^ "World Evangelical Alliance Postpones General Assembly Due to Divisions in Korean Evangelical Community". 
  27. ^ "World Evangelical Alliance Postpones General Assembly Due to Divisions in Korean Evangelical Community". 
  28. ^ "World Evangelical Alliance Postpones General Assembly Due to Divisions in Korean Evangelical Community".