Many in our churches who spend time on our college campuses have come across the rather strange sect which teaches about the Mother Goddess. I had not come across this group personally until a recent experience while sharing my faith at Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, California. Normally, I like to avoid writing against groups I do not agree with, preferring to put the truth out there and let people decide for themselves. However, for the sake of those I am reaching out to and to protect vulnerable young college students from the aggressive tactics of this group at Bakersfield College, I decided to create a short explanation of the group, which are known as the Worldwide Mission Society Church of God (WMSCG). This effort grew into a slightly longer essay which I am publishing here. WMSCG PDF
What You Need to Know About The World Mission Society Church of God
(The group which pushes the Mother Goddess on campuses)
The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCG) was founded by Ahn Sahng-hong in Korea in 1964.
The most unique teaching of this church is that the deity is composed of two separate persons: God the Father and God the Mother. They use as their chief passage to support this belief Galatians 4:26. “But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.” If we look at this scripture in its context, Paul is using a type/antitype metaphor in which Hagar represents the “present city of Jerusalem” which stands for Judaism and Sarah represents “the Jerusalem that is above” which stands for Christianity. In this case, the use of the word mother is a reference to Sarah as the mother of Isaac, who represents the divine promise concerning the Church (Gal 4:23). This passage certainly is not a reference to a female deity!
Another passage that members of WMSCG use is Genesis 1:26. “Then God (Elohim) said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness’” In this case, members of this group will accurately point out that the word for God here, Elohim, is a plural of the singular El. They also note that God refers to himself as “us.” Some have used this passage as a proof-text for the Trinity—the triune nature of God, but most commentators protest. Scholars generally believe that in this case God is using what is known as the “royal we.” Often a king will refer to himself and the kingdom over which he rules as “we.” As further evidence for this, in Genesis 1:1 it reads “In the beginning Elohim (plural) created (singular) the heavens and the earth. Here, the singular form of created proves that this is a single God who did the creating. In any case, one thing we can say for sure is that this passage provides zero support for belief in a Mother Goddess!
Here is a quote from WMSCG literature:
“The Hebrew Bible’s word used for “God” presents somewhat of a mystery for those who do not know God the Father and God the Mother. Rather than using “El” or “Eloah,” both singular terms for God, the original text of the Bible uses “Elohim.” Elohim directly translates to “Gods”—plural.”
The WMSCG uses an aggressive evangelism strategy, especially focusing in on female college students. Pictures at their web sites often show crowds of mostly young women. They claim that their teachings come from the Bible and that what they teach is what the apostles taught, despite the fact that there is no historical evidence whatsoever that any of their unique teachings were ever taught by the apostles or the early church. When confronted with the fact that their teaching flies in the face of church history, members of the group will not face the facts here, but will always change the subject.
Members of WMSCG do not tell people until they are firmly committed to the group that they believe Ahn Sang-hong is the Second Coming Jesus who came with a new name—the Holy Spirit. In other words, they believe that their founder, who died in 1985, was God-in-the-flesh. They use Revelation 3:1-11 and Revelation 2:17 to try to prove this claim. They make this claim despite the fact that John was told that the vision concerning the seven churches in Revelation concerns churches in the Roman province of Asia (Revelation 1:11), not Korea and the visions in Revelation concern things which “must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1), not two thousand years later.
The other thing that they will not tell the public is that they believe that Jang Jil-ja, the former wife of Ahn Sang-hong, is God the Mother. In other words, they believe that a Korean widow in her 70s is the female Goddess. They also teach that Ahn Sang-hong fulfilled in his own person several prophecies of the Messiah.
The WMSCG also teaches that the Christian Church is required to celebrate the seven Jewish festivals. They teach that there is a Christian version of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Weeks, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles. Although Jesus celebrated these feasts, as did Jewish Christians, including Paul, in the first century, there is no evidence that these festivals were ever celebrated by Christians who were not from a Jewish background. They also claim that Christians must observe the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath and that the Church founded by the apostles never met on the first day of the week, despite the fact that all historical evidence says the exact opposite of this. In other words, all evidence proves beyond any doubt that the apostolic church always met on Sunday, which they called the Lord’s Day. When confronted with the historical evidence that none of their claims are true, they are not willing to consider the historical evidence, claiming that their interpretation of the Scripture is the correct one, and that is all that it needed.
Members of WMSCG try to prove that Christians must celebrate a Saturday Sabbath using Old Testament scriptures such as Ezekiel 20:12. They also say that Jesus observed the Sabbath (which is true, of course, because he was a Jew), and therefore his followers should observe the Sabbath. They do this despite the fact that Paul made it clear that we are not under the Law of Moses (Galatians 2:15-16, 21, 3:1-3, 3:10-14, 19-25, 4:21-31, 5:2-4) and that, as Christians, we are not to be judged based on things such as Sabbaths (Colossians 2:16-17), which were mere shadows of what we have in Christ.
The WMSCG do not believe in the classic Christian doctrine of the trinity—that there is one God in three persons. Instead, they believe in one person who plays different roles at different times. This heresy is known as Modalism.
For example, they say;
“As soon as God was born in the human form, He stopped playing the role of the Father and began to play the role of the Son. At that moment, the age of the Father ended and the age of the Son began. With the change in age also came a change in the Savior’s name. The Savior was no longer named Jehovah but Jesus.” Members of WSMCG make similar arguments with regard to the Holy Spirit. However, they are consistent in arguing that the Mother Goddess (unlike the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit) is a separate person from the Father.
It can be a challenge to interact with members of WSMCG because, although they try to present themselves as interested in discussing the Bible and Christianity, they have literally zero interest in having a discussion. Like a similar group, the Jehovah Witnesses, they want to engage in an argument rather than a discussion. They have a few pat, well-memorized arguments which they will not veer away from under any circumstances. Even a well-versed and experienced student of the Bible will not be able to make progress against such a strategy. Less experienced disciples of Jesus may be confused by this group and would probably do well to avoid arguing with them entirely. There is little of any of the heart of Christianity in this group. Theirs is a Christianity of the head, not the heart. Our job, then, is to show the heart of Christianity—to be true Christians and to really love members of the WSMCG in the hopes that perhaps they will come to their senses.