A pastor's first person testimony of Peter Daley that reveals of his malicious intentions and fabrications about the Christian Gospel Mission (Providence) and Pastor Jung Myung Seok.Read More
Peter Daley portrays himself as a reliable source for expert advise about cults in Korea and about Providence. The media and public must know about serious biases, hatred and violence, that Daley has through an examination of a video Daley made in 2006.Read More
Media published fabrications on Providence Religious Movement’s “Evergreens”
False Reports causing public contempt
Ordinary lives of members in Providence Religious Movement
Other Biblical and Historical Examples
The Reality is Different: Resolving controversies about Providence Church Korea’s “Brides”
Recent news stories about Providence Church Korea and Jung Myung Seok have made headlines out of claims that members of the Church are groomed to be ‘brides’ for its leader. This led to the misreporting of Jung Myung Seok as a religious leader who is a womanizer. Fortunately, the reality is very different from these news stories.
The concept of ‘brides’ stems from the Bible. Multiple parts of the Bible depict the relationship between God and people as ‘husband and wife’ (see Isaiah 54:5) ‘bride and bridegroom’ (see Revelations 21:2) and enriches it with imageries such as a ‘wedding banquet’ (see Revelations 19:7). This is the Holy Bible, the authoritative text, that served as the fundamental tenets of Judaism (in part) and Christianity. For anyone who knows the Bible, referring to oneself as the bride of God is nothing new and far from committing religious controversy.
Then what does it mean to be a ‘bride’ of God? This is where the misunderstanding lies. The bride-bridegroom relationship is defined by love. To Jung, that love is a love from a oneness of heart, thoughts and deeds between God and man that is metaphorical of the oneness between a husband and wife. This is the love that has become his lifelong philosophy and it’s called ‘spiritual love’- a love that is of the mind. This is what makes God and people become ‘bride’ and ‘bridegroom’. Jung has emphatically said, to the point of death, that this love is worlds apart from sexual love; it is completely different, as far apart as heaven and hell can ever be.
These news headlines came about due to misunderstandings by the media, and perhaps a disinterest in real Biblical principles. The reality is that Providence is made up of large groups of men, families, children and the elderly. They are all brides because they chose to love and live for the Holy Trinity, cherishing the same philosophy as Jung’s. Anyone who has seen the reality will know that the media has been indisputably wrong in its portrayal of Providence.
To understand why human beings are ‘brides’, we need to understand God’ history recorded in the Bible.
The New Testament: Father and Son relationship
At the time of creation, God created Adam and Eve to be in the position of children before Him. They interacted with God as their Father, throughout the early chapters of Genesis. God did not treat them as servants, as He did to the Israelites hundreds of years later.
Sadly, Adam and Eve committed ‘the fall’, that is, they disobeyed God’s command for them to not eat the ‘fruit of knowledge of good and evil’. Due to their disobedience, God banished them from the Garden of Eden and His relationship with them broke. Rather than being a father, He treated them as a master would to a servant. . To Noah and Abraham, the latter generation, he instructed them to offer sacrifices of animals and grains. Mankind had fallen from grace because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Then God, through Moses, gave his Ten Commandments as laws to the Israelites, as they were no longer privileged to be children.
It was never God’s purpose for human beings to remain at the servant level. Four thousand years later, God sent Jesus, the Messiah, to restore mankind to the level of children.
The transition from servants to sons was not easy.
Jesus transformed peoples’ lives and their relationship with God, despite suffering from persecution. Not everyone who heard his preaching believed him and followed him. Many found his teachings difficult to accept, left him and even persecuted him. (see John 6:60-66)
Becoming children of God required a greater commitment than that of servants. Jesus taught God’s Word that was at a higher level, in terms of spirituality. It required people to be more sexually pure and have a greater earnestness towards God in their daily lives. In Matthew 5, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” With this one proclamation, Jesus raised the bar on adultery. Sin was no longer just committing physical adultery, sin was also having adulterous thoughts.
The Bride and Bridegroom Relationship
As far people know, the relationship between a husband and wife is the most intimate of relations. Therefore, God uses this form of relationship as a metaphor for the relationship He desires to have with us. In the Old Testament, God referred to himself as the Husband to mankind, the Bride.
For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
God’s wish for us to be His brides, in a counterpart relationship, was made even clearer in the New Testament. In Matthew 25, Jesus spoke of the parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom to come; this was a parable about the Lord’s second coming. This became popularized in a famous hymn, with the line, ‘will our lamps be burning bride when the bridegroom comes?’
The revelations received by Apostle John, recorded in the book of Revelations, also showed mankind’s position as a bride before God.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
God’s Purpose: Human beings are His counterparts
Pastor Jung Myung Seok taught that God’s greatest wish and His purpose for creation was for human beings to live as His brides, His counterparts. Men, women, children, the elderly, people of all races and nations- for everyone, the issue of life is how much we love God and live for Him. Yet, Pastor Jung has been criticized for preaching about this bride and bridegroom relationship, a relationship of a higher spiritual level.
Pastor Jung lives as a bride of the Lord, and as a bride, he is preaching God’s word. He has put his entire life, heart and will to loving Jesus as his bridegroom. His teachings are not simply theories, but a lifestyle in itself. Living a sexually pure life is absolutely fundamental, as well as a morally astute life. He teaches by example of his own life for how to love the Holy Trinity as a bride to a bridegroom.
Should I be worried?
– Concerned Parent Read More
Hear the inside story from first hand accounts of the trial to the final decision, as well as his current situation.Read More
Bible Study: Providence 30 Lessons
Providence conducts a bible study all over the world referred to as the 30 lessons or Principles. The bible study is not like any other bible study you might have experienced. It’s a series of lectures that are progressive, meaning you have to learn the beginner lessons to understand the intermediate lessons, and based upon that foundation of principles we teach a few advanced lessons that help the reader to understand how the prophecies of the Old Testament and New Testament apply to this advanced time period.
Misunderstandings caused by tabloids
There is a common misunderstanding among outsiders who were exposed to media broadcasts about Providence back in 1999-2005. At the time the news portrayed the organization as a cult that worships it’s founder as a god. The broadcast called the organization JMS, an acronym which members had used to mean, “Jesus Morning Star,” but the news acted as though JMS stood for the initials of the founder’s name thus making it look as though members worship him. JMS has never been used officially by members to refer to the organization. Members refer to the organization as, “Providence.” Pastor Joshua Jung Myung Seok often preaches only God and the Lord Jesus Christ can be considered, “Lord,” and that any person that claims to be Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, or the Lord of second coming is false and idolatrous. These contradictions between public perception and the organization’s actual teachings have caused problems for members in the past.
Providence 30 lessons teach both about the Physical & the Spiritual
The Providence 30 lessons are based on a fundamental understanding of the difference between the physical and the spiritual. One can see that Jesus did the same in his sermons as he often preached in parables about the, “kingdom of Heaven.” Many traditional interpretations of the bible center only on the physical world and thus try to apply principles of the physical world to scriptures that refer to strictly spiritual phenomena. These strict literal physical interpretation are what have caused so many apparent contradictions between science and religion over the past century.
Art, science and medicine has made a lot of progress ever since the Renaissance. It was during that time that we began translating and printing the bible into spoken languages. The world also began implementing literacy for the masses as the world of academia transferred from religious scholars to the secular domain. So we have been reading the bible for ourselves for over 400 years, yet our interpretations of the bible have not really changed since the reformation. Unlike fundamentalist Christian theology, this bible study does not introduce interpretations that require one to disregard recent advances in science. If God created the world, then we should be able to resolve the conflicts between science and religion by considering both the laws of the physical world and the principles of the spiritual world which which only the domain of religion can teach.
Resolving contradictions contained within traditional bible interpretation
Pastor Joshua Jung Myung Seok’s teachings address many of the unresolved debates held within Christianity over the past 2000 years. In the Providence 30 lessons, there are lessons that specifically address the confusion over Creationism, Adam & Eve, Noah’s flood, Predestination, the humanity and divinity of Jesus, what constitutes heretical teachings, what happens after we die, and how the prophecies of the bible will be fulfilled in the last days.
The key Providence teachings center on the Lord’s imminent second coming. The most common theme is that the most critical thing to do in this time period is to be prepared spiritually by living a life of faith while physically alive in the body. Another common theme is that believers should raise their level of love for the Lord to that of a bride relationship of spiritual love with the Lord as preached in the Matthew 25:1-13 in the last book of the bible, Revelation.
Though Providence churches share fundamentally the same doctrines of salvation based on Jesus Christ as most Christian denominations our doctrines and teachings stress the importance of the effects of our daily life of faith on our spiritual life in the eternal world. Through the Providence 30 lessons, we interpret many of the aspects of the bible far less literally. Rapture, resurrection, advent, and even the Lord’s second coming are understood to have both a physical and mental aspect, but also a fundamental spiritual aspect – unlike most traditional Christian bible interpretations which teach a strictly physical resurrection, rapture, and second coming.
Providence church members are also known for their high standards of daily life which typically exclude smoking, drinking, and habitually drinking unhealthy amounts of caffeine. With more of an emphasis on nurturing the spirit through the daily life of faith members are also known for waking up early for prayer and for regular service attendance.
One key difference between Providence 30 lessons and the typical Christian teachings about the last days is that Providence stresses that the Lord Jesus Christ absolutely will not come back in his physical body from out of the sky at the second coming, but will come in spirit and must be received in spirit, and that He will work through people who are physically alive as God has always done in every time period.
Jung Myung Seok continues to reveal the deep secrets of revelation hidden within the bible, and each year our doctrine expands to contain more and more about the realities of this world and the spiritual world through the Providence 30 lessons.
Jeong, Myeong-seok (정명석) is the controversial leader of a new religious movement generally known as Providence. His Korean name is not중뮹석, as the variant Romanization (1) of his name Jung, Myung Seok would suggest, but 정명석. His Western name is Joshua Jeong, or, using the older Romanization, Joshua Jung. He is also known as Seon Saeng Nim (선생님), the Korean word for teacher, as R for Rabbi, the Hebrew word for teacher, or as Pastor Joshua. The following testimony was written before Jeong, Myeong-seok faced trial in Korea so if any details seem out date please understand the chronological context.
Jeong, Myeong-seok has been accused of sexual abuse in South Korea, China, and Japan. He has also been referred to as “false Messiah” and “international fugitive.”
First, where the rape charges are concerned, I cannot say it any better than an answer (2) in the faq section of providencetrial.com (3).
“To those who are familiar with the details of the allegations, there appears to be a consistent pattern that has emerged: the gathering of anonymous “victims” together in a public news conference in order to present allegations of rape. Only after the sensational details from the unknown victims have been reported by tabloid news media are any of the police agencies notified. The result is that there is no victim accountability, for when a victim’s identity remains unknown even to the police there can be never be a true investigation and the number of potential victims becomes limitless. A situation such as this provides no means for a fair trail; the news networks have already broadcast to the viewing public the sensational details of a crime for which no witnesses or evidence has ever been presented.”
Need I say more?
The Word for This Time Period
I find it perfectly believable that his word is the word for this time period. Families, which make up the basic structure of our society, are falling apart left and right. Sex, which used to be the cement holding a marriage together, now is its solvent (“one woman for the rest of my life – unimaginable”). More and more children grow up in split families with disastrous consequences. So it is not unreasonable to believe that the impetus of God’s course correction for our present society would focus on the family, and on sex. And it is precisely because this is where our modern world has most dramatically veered off course, that Seon Saeng Nim’s teachings are so counter-cultural and so difficult to follow.
But the harsh and uncompromising nature of his word makes it convincing that Providence is a religion that does not promulgate an image of God which we created in our own minds. It is easy to fall into the trap to cherry-pick sections of the Bible we like, and from that create a fictional image of God based on how much we understand, and then only attribute characteristics to Him that agree with the way we would prefer Him to be. This pretty much means we ignore the Old Testament because we do not like the way God is portrayed. In fact, Jeong-Myeong-seok’s teachings are the most compatible with both the Old and the New Testament of any denomination I am familiar with.
At the time of Jesus, a man could divorce a woman just by giving her a certificate of divorce (4). Jesus strongly rebuked that behavior and insisted on the indissolubility of marriage (5). In order for a person to get divorced in California, all that is needed is a checkmark next to “irreconcilable differences,” and that is the end of it, no further questions asked. The only difference to the time of Jesus is that both men and women are now allowed to give each other a certificate of divorce. This is not a minor accomplishment, but in terms of indissolubility of marriage, nothing was added. So we are right back there where we started from. 2000 years of Christianity have made no difference.
Another reason teacher Joshua’s word is so credible is its source. Jeong, Myeong-seok is a mystic. He spent 20 years in the mountains praying and fasting and never went to seminary. Mystics first appeared in the Fourth Century. The Church at that time had become a church of thinkers, not doers. Philosophizing about theology became more important than following Jesus and living a Christian life. The direct response to that were “confessors,” “ascetics,” and “mystics.” They went out into the desert as hermits in order to experience God by way of fasting and praying. Their emphasis was an experiential, rather than an academic understanding of God. Out of this grew the monastic movement (6).
Mystics were widely misunderstood and very suspect to the official church Mystics only became recognized for what they accomplished after they were safely dead (7). It is not surprising that the incredible insights into the meanings of Biblical passages that Seon Saeng Nim gave us came from a mystic and not a theologian. Mystics are not experts in theology, they are what Maxwell Maltz, in his seminal book on psycho-cybernetics, calls “inperts.” (8) Maxwell Maltz continues that all major breakthroughs in science came from “inperts.” They are not bound by their knowledge to only think inside of the box. It can be very much expected that God would reveal major course corrections through mystical “inperts.”
There is a natural resistance to course corrections. People do not like it. People did not like what Isaiah had to say (he was sowed in half), and they certainly did not like Jesus’s word. So, opposition is to be expected. In fact, if there was no opposition, something would be wrong.
That the opposition would target their allegations where it could inflict the most pain in terms of discrediting Seon Saeng Nim’s teachings is also not surprising (what a coincidence!). If the allegation had been that Seon Saeng Nim was a pick-pocket at Wol Myeong Dong, it would have been more believable. People do not like to have all their basic assumptions questioned, that is why most of the prophets were killed … We do not even have to go back that far: A reporter once asked Edison: “Everybody knows that there is no future in electric light. Why do you insist on continuing your experiments after you have already failed 5000 times?” To this Edison replied: “I have not failed 5000 times, I have successfully identified 5000 ways that do not work.” Or, just think of how much Sigmund Freud was ridiculed for his theories on child sexuality, not to even speak of Copernicus and Galileo …
It is surprising to see how hard it is for some people to believe that Mun, Seon-myeong (문선명) of the Unification Church and Jeong, Myeong-seok (정명석) of Providence could have developed similar teachings independently. There seems to be a real danger that we will witness another Newton versus Leibniz controversy. The argument on who should be considered the inventor of calculus engulfed the scientific communities in England and Europe for a long time, and as a result both sides suffered. There is now general agreement that both men invented calculus independently, Leibniz in 1685, 10 years after Newton, but Leibniz published his work 20 years before Newton did (9).
Do you know who invented the automobile? The British think the inventor was from Britain, the French are convinced that the inventor was French, and the Germans believe that he was German. I am from Germany, so to me the inventor of the gasoline powered automobile is Karl Friedrich Benz (like in Daimler Benz).
Similarity in revelation does not mean equality. Probably the most important characteristic of all Christian Churches is, by definition, the focus on Jesus Christ. Everything in Providence revolves around Jesus. The Unification Church believes Jesus was a failure and he is barely mentioned (10).
If that is not enough of a difference, I do not know what would be.
Jeong, Myeong-seok (정명석) did not respond to the charges first leveled against him in Korea, but instead fled to China. This might appear to be good cause for us to dispense with our usual conviction “Innocent until proven guilty.” But before reaching a rash judgment let us consider the following three points:
There are many examples of miscarriage of justice in the history of humanity. How many people were executed in the United States and post-mortem found innocent? Great Britain, the country with the oldest and probably most reputable criminal justice system has terrible incidences of miscarriage of justice. The Guilford Four, dramatized in the movie “In the Name of the Father,” maybe the most famous example (11). After a media feeding frenzy it is pretty much impossible to guarantee a fair trial, everybody has already made up their mind. That is why important trials get moved to another location for the defendant to at least have the benefit of a “fairer” trail. Now enter Korea. To insure a fair trial after the media pretty much decided whether somebody is guilty or not, the trial would have to be moved outside of the country. That, unfortunately, is impossible.
Heads of state are routinely granted immunity so they have enough time running the country rather than fighting off frivolous lawsuits filed by political opponents. In the best case scenario, fighting off charges against him made by unscrupulous detractors would have been a full-time job for Pastor Joshua for a long time.
Jeong, Myeong-seok spent the first twenty years of his life in the mountains praying and fasting (recall from the previous discussion that he is what is commonly known as a mystic). He would have certainly surrendered to the authorities had he felt that that was what God called him to do.
I am in no position to second-guess Seon Saeng Nim’s decision.
Secrecy in Providence
New people in Providence are not routinely taught everything there is to know about Providence. They have to learn the 30 lessons first, and pretty much in the right order, to really understand what Providence is all about and what it attempts to do, in other words, … you have to find out for yourself, just as in therapy. Everybody who has ever visited a therapist realizes that advice given by a therapist in the form of “This is what you need to do, 1), 2), and 3)” is worthless.
Is it fraudulent that the therapist keeps charging you money for more and more consecutive sessions even though he or she might have known since the first meeting exactly what you needed to do to get out of the rut?
Is it fraudulent for a movie theater to charge you $10.- and then not even tell you what the outcome of the movie is? Don’t you have a right to know? Don’t you especially have a right to know before you put down your money? Nobody likes “spoilers.” They are despised because they rob you of the experience.
Everybody who wants to learn statistics properly is first taught probability theory, then the student learns about probability distributions, and finally he or she finds out how these probability distributions can be used for statistical inference. This is bottom-up education – you learn how the formulas are derived before you apply them. A top-down statistics class just gives you the formulas and lets you plug in the numbers. “Statisticians” graduating from that class tend to make a lot of mistakes.
So in Providence you are taught Bible interpretation from the bottom up, and not from the top down. In a way, this is the complete opposite of indoctrination since you are constantly challenged to find out for yourself and to realize for yourself. Nobody gives you the answers ahead of time.
Jeong, Myeong-seok as Central Figure
A central figure is the main person through which God works in a particular time period. Noah, Abraham and Moses were central figures in the Old Testament, as were all the prophets. In the New Testament period the central figures were Jesus, Augustine, Luther and Calvin. Central figures are usually charged by God to implement badly needed course corrections.
Whether Jeong, Myeong-seok is a central figure is subject to debate. Different people have different opinions. Personally, I am certain that Jeong, Myeong-seok is a central figure beyond a shadow of a doubt. The step from traditional Christianity (Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox) to Providence is too dramatic, his insights too profound for there to be any room for doubt.
I was raised Roman-Catholic. So I was never told that Jesus would come back on the clouds. The Catholic belief is that the Second Coming of the Lord will occur at the end of the world, a cataclysmic event just as Jesus coming back on the clouds (12). We would not have to worry about missing the event, just as the Jewish people believed they could not miss the coming of their Messiah. Jesus surprised them once, but the next time it will be different? I cannot be that stupid anymore!
Am I going to go back to believe that the most important event in God’s history with humanity, the Fall, happened because Adam and Eve ate the wrong apple? Or am I going back to ponder hundreds of different interpretations of the Fall, each one designed to support the particular theologian’s pet-theory?
Could I entertain the thought that at the end of the world all the dead will rise from their graves and that the earth will resemble scenes in the movie The Night of the Living Dead?
At one point science and theology will have to converge. They describe the same reality. Providence’s theology is the most compatible with modern science that I am aware of. If Providence had been around at the time of Charles Darwin, he would have continued to be a devout Christian.
Am I going to go back to traditional Christianity where people place so little priority on understanding the Word of God that they do not even take notes during the homily or sermon?
When seen from a historical perspective, none of the arguments and charges brought forth against Jeong, Myeong-seok (정명석) are very surprising. Indeed, they were to be expected.
We do not live in a deterministic world. Nothing is impossible, except for us to avoid death and taxes. But the probability that Jeong, Myeong-seok’s revelations did not come from God is so small that I am not willing to take my chances.
I am a transportation engineer by profession having received my Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. I do not have any particular mission or title in Providence, I am just a regular member.
Defending the Truth: Find out what Providence Church teaches by reading for yourself.Read More