pdate (Feb. 26): Several pastors spoke up after David Yonggi Cho's sentencing to defend his character and values.First, Cho apologized to his church congregation when elders accused him of embezzling, and refused to blame the crime on his son in court, Taiwanese pastor Mao-Song Chang toldThe Gospel Herald, which describes itself as "the world's largest pan-denominational Chinese Christian news provider."Cho also has a simple lifestyle and spends much of his resources on social welfare, Bob Rodgers Sr., pastor of Louisville's Evangel World Prayer Center and a personal friend of Cho, explained to Charisma. He attributes the scandal to Cho's "prodigal" son.On Sunday, Cho told his Yoido congregation that his conviction was the hardest day of his 50 years of ministry, and said, "God forbid, if God calls me back today, I will still be able to go to the Kingdom of God," reportsThe Gospel Herald, which notes other details of the 78-year-old's Sunday sermon.-----The founding pastor of the world's largest Pentecostal congregation has been sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling 13 billion won (US$12 million) in church funds.David Yonggi Cho, 78, founded Yoido Full Gospel Church, an Assemblies of God-affiliated denomination that has grown to more than 1 million members. Last year, CT noted how the pastor emeritus faced indictment for an alleged stock scheme with his son.Last Thursday, the Seoul pastor was convicted of embezzlement as part of a scheme in which he arranged for the church to buy stock from his son Cho Hee-jun at more than three times the market price.Hee-jun was sentenced to three years in prison for colluding with his father. Hee-jun, 49, previously served as chairman of the Yeongsan Christian Cultural Center.Church administrators warned David Cho against purchasing the stock at an inflated price, but the pastor said he had to help his son out of a tight spot, according to Cho Hee-jun's arraignment document. Cho was also convicted of evading 3.5 billion won (US$3.2 million) in taxes, according to Yonhap News Agency.Church elders have also accused the pastor of embezzling additional funds.read more: http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2014/february/founder-of-worlds-largest-megachurch-convicted-cho-yoido.html
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Ugh...how sad. North America is full of this brand of Christianity. The Prosperity Movement reminds me of Amway. Me, me, me. It's all about me, eh? Imagine the audacity of man, who thinks he is superior or at least on the same level of God. Imagine the arrogance of man who thinks he can command God? I can almost guarantee this pastor has this sort of mindset. Otherwise, he wouldn't have such a "prosperous ministry". God rarely gives His children such successful ministries as He knows full well, power and wealth usually deceives and destroys.Hopefully this trial brings this man to his knees in true repentance.
This should be a cautionary tale of families controlling churches. It is not biblical. What a wonderful example David Wilkerson set when he appointed Carter Conlon and not one of his sons to step into the pulpit of Times Square Church. Gatherings are not family businesses...........bro Frank
Kind of like hiring your wife for a job opening. What happens if she messes up and does something really wrong? Can you fire her? Of course, you can't help but treat her with some discrimination.When families take over a business or even a church, watch out. Someone told me one time to stay away from a family run business. Even if it sounds good and old-fashioned, you are headed for trouble. Same goes with a close-knit church where every family member has a position. There will be no openings to serve. No opportunities to do anything in the church. It will be like a family run clic. The church we are going to attend has a husband and wife and no children (they are too old for that), and they look to the members to serve. That is healthy.
I read this about David Yongi Cho in South Korea. And then I think of pastors who have virtually nothing in North Korea. Pastors and church leaders who face death on a daily basis seeking to bring the light Christ into the darkness of Kim Jung Un's nation. I read in a VOM magazine that the average life expectancy of an evangelist sharing Christ in North Korea is 3 to 6 months. That is if they're caught and executed on the spot. Instant martyrdom would be merciful. But for most NK believers who are inprisoned they are in a death camp where there only out is through death. And oftentimes that will be with three generations of their families.Yet in an article that brother Greg posted the North Korean church is growing faster than both the North Korean and the American Church put together. One brother shared on one of our calls that the North Korean church is growing 5 times faster than a church in South Korea.One can only believe that the Prosperity Gospel imported from America has stifled the growth of the South Korean Church. At one time the South Korean church was a vibrant praying church. The legacy of David Yonggi Cho was that of a praying church. But what Satan could not do to the North Korean Church by persecution he did to the South Korean Church through the prosperity gospel.Brothers and sisters in North Korea are growing in the midst of their persecutions. The blood of the martyrs is definitely becoming the seed of a growing Church in that nation. But one wonders what will be the legacy of the South Korean Church.To their credit there are thriving South Korean churches that are sending out missionaries into restricted nations. And some of them are paying a price. But like the American Church they are few and far between. They are remnant. The legacy of the Korean Peninsula may very well be the persecuted church in North Korea. For they are the ones who are in the shadow of the Cross and bearing the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.I can only pray that David yonggi Cho and others in his church will be on their knees and repentance before God. I can only pray also that they will remember their brothers and sisters who are truly carrying the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ in North Korea. I can only pray that this church will start to redeem itself and take an interest in their brothers and sisters who shed their blood for the Lord Jesus Christ in North Korea.Only because of Jesus.Blaine
I could be wrong, but with folks like this, I don't think they need any outside influence, I think it a matter of the heart.
early churches were born of poverty while 21st century churches are known of riches....
You sound like Ravenhill! :)Yes, the church used to be a life boat rescuing the drowning, now they are a cruise ship recruiting the promising.