Did Ahn Sahng Hong Teach That The Cross Is An Idol?
The World Mission Society Church of God believes that the cross is an idol. Members are taught that crosses are pagan symbols. Therefore, any crosses, whether they be in the form of jewelry, statues, paintings, etc., must be destroyed and thrown away.
Church history books and encyclopedias say that the cross was used by ancient pagans as a religious symbol or a talisman for the deceased, and it was an instrument of execution in the time of Jesus Christ. During the secularization of the church, the cross was introduced into the church and was used as personal fashion accessories as necklaces and rings. For this reason, the
Church of God denounces the cross as an idol, and emphasizes the meaning of the holy blood of Christ who was crucified, not the cross itself.
Did Ahn Sahng Hong Teach that the Cross is an Idol?
An in depth search for the words “cross” 십자가 and “idol” 우상 in the text versions of Ahn Sahng Hong’s books resulted in absolutely no evidence that Ahn Sahng Hong ever believed or taught that the cross was an idol. In fact, in 1984 Ahn Sahng Hong and Zhang Gil Jah were photographed in front of a depiction of Jesus on the cross.
What does Joo Cheol Kim say about the Cross?
Nowadays, most churches use the cross, and we can clearly see how corrupted Christianity has become since it adopted pagan customs. To use the cross as a symbol of the church is an abominable act of participating in the scheme of the devil who put Jesus to death.
Five years after Ahn Sahng Hong died and six years after the above photo was taken, Joo Cheol Kim felt that it was necessary to commit the idea that the cross was an evil symbol to paper. To date, the WMSCOG has been teaching that the cross is a symbol of idolatry for 30 years.
…the mortal spirits deceived by Satan would live by looking at Jesus Christ who shed His precious blood on the cross…This abominable act was a shadow, which showed that people would worship the cross, a mere instrument of capital punishment…
By Joo Cheol Kim’s definition, the picture above proves that Ahn Sahng Hong and Zhang Gil Jah were “deceived by Satan” and “worshipped the cross”. The WMSCOG believes that Ahn Sahng Hong is “god”. Why wouldn’t God want to warn against committing such an “abominable act”? Does God make mistakes? For more information on whether or not the WMSCOG’s claims about the cross are supported by the historical record, click here.
Where did the Cross Idolatry teaching come from?
Ahn Sahng Hong was a Seventh Day Adventist prior to establishing his own church in 1964. The Seventh Day Adventist church includes a cross in its official logo, so it makes sense that Ahn Sahng Hong did not teach that the symbol of the cross is evil. The only other major religious group that shares in the belief that the cross is an idol, is the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). The Jehovah’s Witnesses were established in the 1870s, more than 100 years prior to Joo Cheol Kim writing My Sheep Listen to My Voice. In fact, the JWs rationale for believing that the cross is an idol is eerily similar to that of Joo Cheol Kim.
Nowhere does the Bible suggest that the earliest Christians used the cross as a religious symbol. Instead, it was the Romans of that era who used the cross design to symbolize their gods. Then, about 300 years after Jesus’ death, Roman Emperor Constantine adopted the cross as the emblem of his armies, and it thereafter became associated with the “Christian” church. Since pagans used the cross to worship their gods, would Jesus’ disciples have used it in their worship of the true God?…Therefore, the early Christians did not use visible objects and symbols to help them feel closer to God.
Just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The World Mission Society Church of God also includes Emperor Constantine in their explanation about what they consider the cross an idol in the “Sermon Preaching Practice Level 1” book.
Why is this Important?
The World Mission Society Church of God claims to believe that Ahn Sahng Hong was the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God Himself. Setting aside for a moment that Ahn Sahng Hong’s writings contradict Scripture, it would follow that the WMSCOG would treat Ahn Sahng Hong’s teachings and writings as they would treat the Bible.
Every word in the 66 books of the Bible is given by God. So, we must not add to it or take anything away from it. The Bible should not be interpreted based on human thoughts such as individual philosophies or ideas. When we study the Bible in its original context, we can find the right path to salvation. So, the Bible emphasizes God’s command again in the last chapter of Revelation: If anyone adds anything to God’s words recorded in the Bible, God will add to him the plagues described in the book, and if anyone takes anything away from them, God will take away his salvation (Rev 22:18–19).
This is clearly not the case when Joo Cheol Kim has added a teaching about the cross being an idol to the WMSCOG doctrine that is not in the Bible and was not taught by Ahn Sahng Hong. By the World Mission Society Church of God’s own words, God will send Joo Cheol Kim the plagues in the Bible.