I have read with interest the recent controversy that has brewed between Christianity Today (CT) online magazine and the Christian Post (CP) online newspaper. The conflict has developed over allegations that a prominent Korean church is secretly teaching to its members that its pastor, David Jang (photo) , is actually “the Second Coming Christ” (see CT article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/september/david-jang-second-coming-christ.html ). This idea is similar to what is taught by Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, a group with which Jang was at one time loosely associated. Jang’s organization has strongly denied the allegations, though some former members have produced notes from classes taught by the group’s leaders which definitely implied that Jang was “the Second Coming Christ”.
The issue came to light when the Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention was approached by the Jang founded and affiliated San Francisco–based Olivet University (OU) about purchasing Glorieta Conference Center in New Mexico. The SBC has been looking for a suitable buyer for some time and OU looked like a good possibility. The president of OU is a former SBC foreign missionary and professor of missions at an SBC seminary. Now Lifeway is having reservations in light of these allegations.
The issue has generated some heat particularly since the CP is owned by Jang’s organization. CP responded with an article about one of the CT writers who broke the story. CP said he was at one time an owner of a business that was investigated for questionable practices, including doing business with pornographers. I am not sure how that is relevant to the current question and smacks of an ad hominem rebuttal. The issue is still under investigation by a committee from the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and Lifeway has indicated that they will wait for the outcome of that study before proceeding with the sale of their conference center to OU.
In any case, however this thing turns out, it illustrates an ever growing need in modern evangelicalism: discernment. I hate to say it but there is a lot of false teaching and unscrupulous practices plaguing evangelicalism today. For that reason, ministries that focus on analyzing the beliefs and practices of new organizations and church movements are critical, ministries like MarketFaith Ministries!
Editor’s Note: In an email letter to Marketfaith.org, Michelle Vu, United States Editor of the Christian Post (CP) denies there is any association between that newspaper and Rev. Jang or his organization. We apologize for the mistake. In fairness, Ms. Vu has written a response to the Christianity Today story which can be seen here: <a href=”http://www.christianpost.com/news/olivet-university-sources-in-second-coming-christ-controversy-face-scrutiny-80176/”>http://www.christianpost.com/news/olivet-university-sources-in-second-coming-christ-controversy-face-scrutiny-80176/</a>.