My dad is a very devout believer, and he made sure I went to church every Sunday. But though I grew up in that environment, I struggled to believe with all of my heart.
I had so many questions about the Bible no one could really answer.
I saw contradictions, so I asked my Sunday school teachers and pastors about it. But they told me that they didn’t know. Some told me I was being disobedient and that I should just believe. But this only made me struggle even more in my faith.
When I went to university, I joined a Bible study Pastor Jung Myung Seok composed. When I heard him explain the Word, I was so moved. His explanations were simple but they made so much sense. It made me come to realize so much more deeper about the Bible.
The best part was that I was able to ask questions. My teachers didn’t frown upon me asking questions and did their best to explain. I received answers to a lot of my questions in the process.
I was encouraged to study the Bible and learn properly.
What was one of the things you struggled with the most in your faith?
Through the years, I’ve seen so much debate on how science and religion contradict each other. And so many times I’ve met people who used to diligently believe but then stopped believing because the Bible seemed like a fairy tale.
I’m a medical doctor by profession, so science is a part of my daily life. When I treat and diagnose my patients, I base it on tested research. So how could I live my faith disregarding the science I use every day?
When I started attending services Pastor Jung Myung Seok led, I came to realize that God is truly a god of science. There are no contradictions in the Bible.
There are no contradictions between the Bible and science if you come to learn properly about the Bible.
I’m so thankful for having met Pastor Jung Myung Seok. It’s been over 9 years since I’ve come to Providence Church, and every day, I grow more and more in my faith. I’ve come to realize deeply about Jesus’s love and about God’s love for mankind.
Why do you think Jung Myung Seok’s sermons are so powerful?
In the Bible, Jesus taught that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Pastor Jung Myung Seok has dedicated his life to teaching the thousands of people who attend his churches about what it means to truly live a life of love.
He wants to help us build a life where we can honor and serve the Trinity with all of our hearts. And he wants to help us treat all people who love on this earth well. God loves us so much. If we knew how much God respected and loved us and saw people from His eyes, then we would treat each other differently.
Apostle Paul, he taught us to live in such a way Gentiles could find no fault in us to accuse God with. Through Pastor Jung’s sermons, I have deeply realized that I must live my life in a way that glorifies God in everything I do.
I must be an ambassador for Christ.
My greatest motivation is that I can see that Pastor Jung Myung Seok is already living that kind of life (learn about his first experience with the Bible here). So I know that it is possible for me to do the same if I give it all of my heart.
Some people have criticized Jung Myung Seok’s teachings, but what do you think?
Pastor Jung Myung Seok has received a lot of persecution for the way he preaches the Word. It’s not based on church denominations or church religions, but rather, it’s based 100% on what the Bible says.
People often struggle to let go of their old habits, their old way of thinking. But to slander someone just because they choose to believe in a way that challenges tradition… I find that really upsetting.
Even Apostle Paul, a man who loved Jesus so much, had to endure persecution and even imprisonment. He had to go through that because the religious leaders at that time didn’t like what he taught. At that time, Apostle Paul wrote to the churches encouraging them not to be ashamed of his chains but to know that he is in chains for the gospel.
And even Joseph, a righteous man of God, was wrongly accused of sexual misconduct with just a testimony.
Pastor Jung always says, “Judge a tree by its fruit.”
A good tree, it brings up the good stored in its heart. Just looking at Pastor Jung’s life, that’s enough testimony of the good that is in his heart.
What did you first think about Jung Myung Seok’s Bible studies when you heard them?
Well, when I first learned the lectures that Pastor Jung Myung Seok taught, I naturally googled to check what the internet said.
What I saw was first of all very shocking. But as I was learning the Word, I saw how he based on his teachings completely on the Word. He based everyone on the Bible. So when you’re learning, it makes so much sense, and it’s perfect in context.
I saw so many pastors trying to disprove his teachings, but that was a big mistake on their part. You can’t disprove Pastor Jung’s teachings because he basis it on the Bible. So it is truth.
For me, when I saw what was on the internet, it helped confirmed my faith in him actually. There were so many pastors leading churches and thousands of people. But how could they not know how to explain the Word or the Bible properly?
So it really made my faith more solid when I saw that pastors from big churches didn’t know what Pastor Jung did.
What do you think about the criticisms people say about Jung Myung Seok?
Over the years, I’ve seen more and more slander sites coming up.
For me, it’s really frustrating. I’ve been in this church for 9 years. I myself am a leader of a Providence Church, so I know how Pastor Jung Myung Seok does things.
I receive instructions as a leader about the direction he wants us to take. And I am also the one who stands at the pulpit every Sunday delivering the sermons he writes. So I’m the person who spends the most time reading his sermons and looking over his directions.
So when I read websites about what people think Pastor Jung preaches, it makes me so angry. Honestly, it really upset me so much that I have to repent to God every time.
I live in a country where we have complete religious freedom. So I am free to believe in whatever I want. We also have something called a hate speech law. If you say anything that is seen as hateful, you can get prosecuted and imprisoned for that.
As a person living in an English country, I’ve seen what people have written about us on Wikipedia. Many people who’ve learned the Word that Pastor Jung teaches love the Word. But when they google more, they find that Wikipedia page where there’s such nonsense.
I know that Providence Church has tried to correct the false information on the internet. But there’s so much resistance.
Just because a church is small and you’re not used to the things they teach doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. And to not give a platform where they can express what they truly believe, that’s wrong.
Pastor Jung teaches about living purely for God. But there’s so much nonsense on the internet about how salvation comes only through sleeping with him.
Why do you think people think that?
I think people are mixing wrong information with the truth. I know the teachings that are actually taught in the church and the way we live our lives. But when I compare what Pastor Jung Myung Seok actually teaches us and the stuff on the internet, it’s different.
Some people make random comments out of ignorance. And some people say they are former members who have left, but if you look at what they are saying, they don’t even know the core teachings clearly. The majority of what the internet says is contradictory to what we believe.
I understand the internet for what it is. There’s so much room for people to express their opinions about Providence Church. But there should at least be a balanced representation.
When I look at the Wikipedia article about Providence Church, there’s only negative stuff. It’s slander.
Why can’t Providence Church be given a chance to state what it believes as a primary source? We’re all entitled to our opinions. But if people don’t believe the people who actually follow the a certain belief because of misinformation, how unfair is that?
It really upsets me. There’s no justice in that.
Think about it. What if Jewish people set up a page about Christianity on Wikipedia?
They would only state negative things, the things they disagree with. They would talk about Jesus in a negative light. But if the article was written by actual believers, people who actually live their life properly, then the page would reflect the true teachings of the religion.
So to take an outsider and then say all these negative things without giving Providence Church the chance and opportunity to state what we actually believe and what we actually know is true… That is really unfair.
What makes you think those criticisms are not credible?
I’ve looked at the resources and references that people have used. They are blogs.
Anyone can write a blog. We can as well. We can get thousands of Providence Church members to write blogs and use them as references for all the amazing things we do in Providence.
But I feel like this is a sensitive issue. I just can’t believe that in modern day society, one or two people have the power to contradict thousands of other opinions. And these are not just opinions but truth. What we are saying is true but what they are saying is not true.
It’s nonsense, for a lack of a better word.
For me, I hope that people will look past all those things the internet says and realize that people write with ignorance.
Those people don’t know what Providence Church is because they’ve never experienced it. They’ve never stayed long enough to realize what Providence Church stands for.
Why do you think people struggle to accept Providence Church and Jung Myung Seok?
Every religion has teachings that are hard to put to practice. It takes dedication and you have to let go of the things you like sometimes. Whether it’s Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or Islam, they all expect you to make sacrifices. And they expect you to grow yourself through that sacrifice. So religion is not easy.
But if you don’t like that religion and you find it hard to follow, then stop believing and just do what you want to do. Why blame others for your own inability to grow because you were unable to let go of a part of your thought process?
Even in Christianity’s time, Jesus taught that you have to be someone who lives according to God’s Word. You have to be someone who lets go of his old things. But many people couldn’t do it, so they persecuted him instead. They labeled him with all kinds of names because they didn’t understand. They couldn’t fathom how he could do the things he did.
My mom asked me, “What would happen if you left Providence Church?”
I told her, “I leave.”
My mom was worried they would hold me captive, but I laughed so much because it was funny. People say that on the internet, but it’s not true.
The first time I went to Korea, my parents felt like they were going to have a heart attack. They read on the internet that I would get abducted and sold as a sex slave. But after I left, I came back. They were so relieved to know the truth.
When you first came to Korea to visit Jung Myung Seok, what did you feel?
When I went to Korea and to Wolmyeongdong, the recreation center Pastor Jung Myung Seok developed, I realized everything the internet said was so ridiculous. I am living proof of the truth. I have confirmed the truth with my own eyes.
In Wolmyeongdong, Pastor Jung has made a place for people to rest, spiritually rejuvenate, and gain strength. He’s many so many great things for people to enjoy. His motivation was to allow people to experience God.
When you look at the truth and the stuff people write on the internet, it’s like they’re talking about two different religions with the same name.
The things that you see in the media are not true. I’ve been in Providence Church for 9 years. I’ve experienced and lived it every single day. So now, I have no complaints. It’s easy for me to follow and believe.
But for people coming for their first time, if all they see is the negative things, it really makes it hard for them to follow. I feel sad when I see that. When you start off with wrong perceptions, it really affects your impression of Providence Church.
The worst part is it’s lies. And if you hold onto lies, it causes a lot of damage.
People have the ability to express all of their opinions. But to call someone names or to make false claims against them or to even write untrue things, I really think that should be punishable by law.
People should realize how much damage they do when they lie.