Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

Korean Methodist Church Opens 31st General Conference…Moves to Designate 9 Groups as Heretical

2014-10-31 17:11

The Korean Methodist Church (KMC) opened its 31st General Conference on October 30 at Kwanglim Church in Gangnam-gu, Seoul (photo), focusing on the theme “Today’s Reform, Tomorrow’s Hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Among the proposals to be considered by the two-day conference is one designating nine organizations, including “World Mission Society Church of God” (formerly known as Ahn Sahng Hong Witness Society) and “Shinchonji Church of Jesus” (Shincheonji, New Heaven and Earth), as heretical groups.

KMC is counted as one of the three biggest denominations, together with Presbyterian Church of Korea Hapdong and PCK Tonghap. Nevertheless, it has been viewed as taking a relatively passive approach to the problem of heresy, compared to other denominations. The only organization it has named as heretical was Segye Bogeumhwa Jeondo Hyeophoe (Darakbang Evangelism Movement), designated as such by KMC’s 23rd General Conference in 1998.

KMC has undergone repeated troubles with its general conference, as well as with its election of the Council of Bishops chairperson. “It has taken us eight years to normalize this general conference. My heart is filled with emotion,” said Jeon Yong-jae, who presently chairs the Council of Bishops. “Let us take this conference as the opportunity for a great advance.” The schedule of business started around 2 p.m. on this day, with the participation of 1,237 delegates.

This year’s general conference will also decide on the question of whether or not to use the “21st Century Hymnal.” There are criticisms related to the huge royalties for use of the hymnal, and arguments over the quality of work of its composers and lyricists. Both PCK Hapdong and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea decided at their general assemblies last month, not to use the “21st Century Hymnal.”

The inauguration service for new KMC bishops will take place on the 31st, the second and final day of the conference. The bishops were elected on October 7 as the heads of 10 annual conferences throughout the country.

Reporter Park Ji Hun (lucidfall@kmib.co.kr), with Marion Kim (marionkkim@icloud.com)

Photo by senior reporter Kang Min Seok

Click here for the original article in Korean

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