Yoido False Gospel Church

yuidoLast week I took my first trip to Seoul, South Korea where I saw the church building for what Wikipedia declares to be the largest Pentecostal Christian church in the world with somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 members. I snapped the attached picture as we drove by one time. Coming from a little congregation that has perhaps 150 people on a Sunday, those numbers are staggering. That is at least half as many people as reside in the entire state of Idaho where I live. Unfortunately, the Yoido Full Gospel Church should be more accurately called the “False Gospel Church.” Here are a series of  quotes taken from the “About Us” section of their web site. First, they proclaim the false prosperity Gospel:

All believers who are saved are set free from the spiritual, mental, and physical sicknesses that we may enjoy good health.

Secondly, they teach that our words have creative power:

Our lives will become what we say. First, proclaim the word of hope aloud. Second, unfold your faith with spoken words. Third, say something creative and prosperous.

These are the same deadly errors spread in the United States by false teachers like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer and so many others. It is sad to see that the same false gospel dominates South Korea just as it does the United States. The name of Christianity and, even worse, the name of Jesus Christ are used to mislead people by promising them false earthly hopes when all they can truly deliver is an eternity under God’s wrath. It is truly heart breaking. And a sobering reminder that one of the greatest mission fields in the world is among the people who call themselves Christian, but have never heard the true gospel.


Filed under False Religions

8 responses to “Yoido False Gospel Church

  1. I grew up in Pentecostalism. My church growing up has gradually, over the years, drifted further into “word of faith” and “prosperity” teaching. But even acknowledging the error of those teachings, I think it is overly harsh and unloving to declare all believers of churches who fall prey to erroneous teachings believers of a “false gospel.” Error can indeed be deadly, and often is. Goodness knows I believe the errors of Protestantism have led many away from the truth of Christ. But Pentecostals, like all Protestants, believe in the truth of Christ’s divinity and His death and Resurrection, His forgiveness of our sins, His salvation by grace through faith, and the eternal life He gives us. It was the witness of the Pentecostal church that brought me to Christ, and I see Christ in so many of my Pentecostal brothers and sisters, and especially in my parents, in their lives and in their faith. And I affirm with every bit of my soul that many Protestants can and will be saved by that faith.

    • Hi Joseph,

      If you re-read my post careful, you will see that I never state that all Pentecostals are lost. Just as I never claim that all people who attend a Roman Catholic church are lost. I stated that the teaching of this church is false and does not lead people to saving faith. Some people may be saved in spite of their churches because they either hear or read the Word of God and are saved by believing in the true gospel through the working of the Holy Spirit. They may still be too ignorant to realize that the church they attend does not teach that true gospel and it may take time for them to realize and leave that church.

      In the case of these prosperity gospel Pentecostals, if they are looking for Jesus to give them creative power, health and prosperity, that “gospel” will not save them from their sins. And, by true gospel, I think I have made it perfectly clear in my many posts that it is repentance from sin and trusting by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of our sins.

      By your comments, it almost sounds like you are ready to come back to the true saving faith of Protestantism by discussing salvation through faith without mentioning the requirements for baptism, the Mass, confession, absolution, penance, purgatory, etc. 🙂

  2. You tagged this post, as you tag your posts about Catholicism, “false religions.” Them’s pretty strong words. 😉

    To me, the true Gospel is that God so loved the world that His only Son came and gave His life for us, to save us and forgive us and give us eternal life, solely by His grace, through faith in Him. Reformed Protestants like to make justification the central doctrine of the gospel, so I’ve been told in those very words, when that overlooks what the whole point of Revelation is. What is the whole of Scripture, but God’s love story to His people? Yes, God justifies us, but why? Because He loves us! And what is it that justifies us, but His love? The words “love” and “mercy” and their forms appear in Scripture some thousand times, while “justification” and “justify” appear only about forty. I do not think God is as legalistic with regard to “faith alone” as Protestants have tried to make Him. Jesus came to heal the sick and reclaim the lost, and went out of His way for people whom both the Pharisees and His own disciples would have left in the gutter. This is not the God who dangles spiders over fires, or who would condemn a faithful Christian because his doctrine was not 100% in line with whatever-one-thinks-orthodoxy-is.

    And I know many Protestants, many Pentecostals, who are full of that faith and love and mercy. And even those who are misled by false teachings, if their faith is truly in Christ, for the forgiveness of their sins, and not solely for some material or spiritual gain, then I have no doubt that He will have mercy on them. And only He can be the judge of their souls.

    And you should know, from talking to me, that I’ve never held any of those other things forth as something to hold instead of faith or even in addition to faith: they’re all part of it. God is the one who saves, and He saves us by His grace, through our faith, which is itself a gift of His grace. Those other things are just tools in God’s toolbox for how He saves us by faith; how Our Father can give us good gifts. In the strictest sense, no, they’re not “requirements” in the sense that God requires them to work in our lives. But every encounter with Christ in the Sacraments is a blessing and a help and a grace, and I don’t know how I ever lived without them (not very well, I can tell you that).

    God bless you and His peace be with you!

    (And I counted to make sure I wasn’t over 500 words. :D)

  3. Oh, and by the way, Dale: Are you familiar with Joseph Prince? He’s all the rage with evangelicals on the Pentecostal end of things — and he preaches grace. You might like him. 😉 No, probably not — he also teaches a lot of things that don’t sit well with me, so I’m sure they wouldn’t sit well with you. He teaches what seems to me sola fide taken to its extreme end: Justification through faith alone, by His grace, with no limits or expectations at all. He dances dangerously close to saying that a sinner need not even repent, that he can even go on sinning — and it’s all good; he’s forgiven, covered by grace, and things are cool with God. And there’s quite a bit of “prosperity” and “word of faith” theology in the mix, too. I think he’s very dangerous and deceptive (especially since my mother is a huge fan). And he’s in Singapore. Your Korean church made me think of that.

    • I have only listened to Joseph Prince a little, but what I have heard was definitely the word of faith prosperity gospel. And, if he preaches a view of cheap grace as you describe, that is not God’s grace.

  4. I attend an Assemblies of God affiliated university. Interestingly, in one of my courses today we discussed Yoido Full Gospel. My professor never mentioned Yoido being AG although I know that Wikipedia cites it as such but to be honest, it wouldn’t shock me if the AG claimed Yoido for the numbers. Also, I haven’t found anything on Yoido’s site about being AG. I feel that my professor would have mentioned if YFG was AG. He did, however, mention the current money issues that are going on with in the church (the founding pastor embezzling millions of dollars) and also mentioned some of the odd practices that go on at Yoido. Many Full Gospel churches are actually part of the Word of Faith movement which is a heavy prosperity gospel proponent.

    • Thanks for commenting. It is good to hear that your professor was pointing out some of the problems of Yoido. Hopefully they also discussed the false gospel aspect! I have found many references on the web that connect the Yoido Full Gospel Church with the Assemblies of God. Even the Yoido web site has references that appear to attach it and its founder to the Assemblies of God (but you have to look around a bit to find them). If this is not correct, I will gladly edit the post. You are absolutely right about the Word of Faith and the associated prosperity gospel being a big part of Yoido’s message.

      • I’m sure you’re probably correct that they are affiliated with the Assemblies of God. My professor did not discuss the false gospel aspect of their church due to time but he has discussed the prosperity gospel and his disgust for it. He actually showed us an approx. 20 minute video that Yoido put out to promote their church in the 90s. It was definitely interesting and tended to “down” Western Christians as not prayerful or spiritual enough. My professor even made the comment that Yoido seems to see the founder of the church as “the fourth part of the Trinity” which I believe would be accurate due to the amount of time that was focused on how wonderful Cho (the founder) is and how Christians should seek to follow his example as a Christian.