Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

Dr. Lee Sang-Ku’s New Calling After Withdrawal From Seventh-day Adventist Church

2018-11-30 11:15

Dr. Lee Sang-Ku (75, photo), director of the NewStart Center, became famous in the 1980s through his TV health lecture series emphasizing the importance of endorphins. Last month he publicly announced his withdrawal from the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), where he had been an active member for the past 35 years. On November 28 I met Dr. Lee at the NewStart Center in Sokcho, Gangwon-do, and heard his explanation of why he left the SDA.

Dr. Lee said, “Having been with them for decades, I came to realize that what they believe in is not Jesus but the commandments. Without knowing that the first commandment all through the Old and New Testaments is love, they pursue only the Old Testament church and have no understanding of salvation through faith.”

He further explained, “SDA is a completely legalistic group that teaches, ‘You go to heaven if you obey the commandments.’ Their legalist perspective, calling traditional church denominations fake and portraying themselves as the only true religion, is self-destructive… More than 150 thousand SDA members are still being fooled by these wrong doctrines and wasting their lives.”

Following its arrival in Korea in 1904, SDA was designated as a heretical group in 1915 due to its problematic doctrines on salvation, the Sabbath, and revelation. Major Korean church denominations including the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK Tonghap), PCK Hapdong, PCK Hanshin, PCK Kosin, Korean Methodist Church, and Korea Evangelical Holiness Church declared its teachings wrong.

After graduating from Yonsei University Medical School in 1967, Dr. Lee went to the U.S. and was trained as an internist at Michigan State University Wayne. In 1976 he became an allergy specialist at University of California Irvine. When he became a professor at Weber College in 1982, he joined SDA.

He decided to withdraw from SDA about three years ago, after a visit by a cancer patient. “A faithful SDA deacon who had been diagnosed with a sarcoma came to consult me, saying, ‘I was told I only have two months left. But I’m still not sure I’m saved.’ So we read the Gospel of John verse by verse and I helped him confirm his salvation. And surprisingly, when he was assured about his salvation, he became completely cured. This news spread immediately in the SDA Church, and I was attacked.”

Currently at the NewStart Center he cares for patients with terminal cancer, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and atopic diseases. He said, “Traditional medicine only alleviates the symptoms of disease. The fundamental healing power belongs to God alone. One can be completely healed only by God’s loving cure, which heals deteriorated genes… During the 20-day program, my lectures are half about health, and the other half are Bible study.”

“I feel responsible for those who joined SDA because of me… If only they had gone to a different church, they could’ve learned the Gospel correctly and lived with true assurance…. I’m sorry,” he said, bowing his head. He added, “I hope the Korean church receives me well so that more fruits can be borne in the field of healing ministry… I’d like to prove scientifically and Biblically that the source of medical treatment and the source of life is God’s love.”

Article and photo by reporter Paek Sang-hyun (100sh@kmib.co.kr), from Sokcho, with Yeara Ahn-Park (yap@kmib.co.kr)

Original Article in Korean:
안식교신자 율법주의로 인생 허비” 엔돌핀 박사의 회심: 제칠일안식일교회 공식 탈퇴한 이상구 박사의 새로운 소명

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