It doesn’t take much online scrolling to recognize the complete dysfunction in Christian churches in the West today. Amid the economic, political and racial division, Christians are also finding spare minutes to bicker over theology and church politics.
Apostle Alexander Pagani is sounding the alarm on a cult that is taking advantage of those divisions to infiltrate and recruit congregants. “It’s an epidemic,” Pagani says, speaking of Shincheonji or known in America as New Heaven New Earth church.
The group was founded in the 1980s by Lee Man-Hee. In part one of our interview with Pagani, he breaks down the beliefs of the church and its leader, the “Promised Pastor,” who says he is the only one able to interpret the book of Revelation. The church tells its members they are the only ones counted in the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation.
New Heaven New Earth is now reaching out to Christians across America, looking to join together for Bible studies. You may have even been contacted by someone.
“These false prophets are like jackals among the ruins. If you don’t know anything about jackals or hyenas, these are scavenging animals that feast on dead things left over by people or animals along the way,” Pagani says.
The first way they try to get your attention is talking about unity. They know the Christian church is experiencing a deficit of love between its members, but as soon as the false prophets hook you in with their talk of love and unity, it turns to uniformity.
The second is the tactic of love bombing. New Heaven New Earth targets Christians who have suffered church hurt, are disenfranchised and tired of legalism. “They are very loving instead of being very dogmatic like many Christians are,” Pagani says.
While you may try to think the best about people’s intentions, Pagani warns believers to stop being naive to the tactics of cults. “Just because you think they would never do that doesn’t mean they would never do that,” he says. “Yes, they would. If you don’t want to take my wife’s word for it, take apostle Paul’s word for it.”
Acts 20:29-30 says, “For I know that after my departure, dreadful wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock. Even from among you men will arise speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples away after them.”
Now is not the time to be seeker sensitive when it comes to false doctrine. “Be loving when you’re supposed to be, but be militant when you’re supposed to be,” Pagani says.
Tune in to part one of our interview with Pagani where he talks in depth about his personal experience with the cult and how pastors should stay on guard.
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Shelby Bowen is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.