“처음부터 이단이 아니었다”
1991년, 그리고 2016년
한국 기독교계에는 검증 받지 않은 ‘이단 감별사’들이 수십 년간 활동해 왔다. 대표적 인물이 최삼경 목사다. 그는 2012년 한국기독교총연합회(한기총)로부터 기독교의 요체인 삼위일체를 부정하는 ‘삼신론(三神論)’과, 예수님이 마리아의 월경을 통해 나셨다는 ‘월경잉태론’을 주장해 ‘기독교 역사상 가장 악한 이단’으로 규정된 인물이다. 그가 오랜 세월 집요하게 공격한 표적이 평강제일교회와 설립자 박윤식 원로목사였다. 1991년 대한예수교장로회 통합교단의 76차 총회는 그의 일방적 주장과 조작된 자료를 검증 없이 받아들여 박윤식 목사를 이단으로 규정했다. 합동 교단도 이 결정을 그대로 받아들였다. 이단 감별사들의 전성시대였다.
그리고 거짓과 눈물의 세월 25년이 흘렀다. 25년이 지난 2016년 9월, 대한예수교장로회 통합 교단 ‘특별사면위원회’는 보고서를 통해 이렇게 밝혔다.
1991년 제 76 회 총회는 ‘박윤식 목사가 ‘하와가 뱀과 성교하여 가인을 낳았다’고 주장함으로 통일교와 같이 타락론에서 이단이다’라는 충격적인 보고를 받고 그를 이단으로 결의한 바 있다. (중략) 그 후 타 교단에서도 이단시비가 진행되면서 ‘박윤식 목사는 전도관 출신이다. 그러므로 전도관과 같은 이단적 요소를 가지고 있다’고 정죄하였다. 이 문제로 인하여 진실을 밝히려는 평강제일교회가 사실여부를 판단하기 위해 법적 송사가 이루어졌으며 송사 결과 박윤식 목사는 우리 교단이 이단으로 정죄한 가장 큰 이유인 ‘하와가 뱀과 성교하여 가인을 낳았다’고 주장한 사실이 없으며, 문제를 삼았던 <씨앗 속임>이라는 설교 또한 통일교와 같은 섹스모티브가 아니라는 사실과, 또 그가 전도관 출신이 아니라는 사실도 법원의 판결에서 확인이 되었다. 결국 박윤식 목사에 대한 이단시비는 그를 이단이라고 정죄한 주장들이 사실이 아님이 사법부의 판결로 확인이 된 것이다. (중략) 이후 탁명환씨가 몇몇 인사들과 박윤식 목사 이단 만들기를 주도했다는 사실이 드러났다.”
이런 어처구니 없는 사태가 발생하고, 한 목회자와 수만 명의 성도가 무려 25년간 말할 수 없는 고통을 당한데 대해 대한예수교장로회 통합 측 특별사면위는 “그동안 우리 총회가 이런 사실을 제대로 파악하지 못한 가운데 있었던 것에 대하여 고인과 고인의 가족들과 평강제일교회 성도들에게 유감의 뜻을 표한다.”고 공개적으로 밝혔다. 그러면서 “성부, 성자, 성령의 이름과 대한예수교장로회 총회의 권위로 고 박윤식 목사를 사면하고 평강제일교회를 믿음의 형제로 맞이한다.”고 공식 발표했다.
이미 진실과 거짓의 대세는 2007년 이후 갈리기 시작했다. 박윤식 원로목사가 저술한 ‘구속사 시리즈’가 발간돼 국내외 교계를 놀라게 한 뒤 성경 실력으로는 최고라는 개신대학원대학교가 ‘박윤식 목사의 신학 사상에 아무런 문제가 없다.’는 결론을 내어 놓았다(2009.12). 성기호 전 성결대 총장, 나채운 전 장로회 신학대 대학원장, 도한호 침례교신학대 총장, 예영수 전 한신대 대학원장 등 각 교파의 대표적 학자들도 “박윤식 목사의 신학 사상은 이단성이 없으며, 그를 이단으로 규정한 발표들은 사실과 다른 왜곡된 것이었다.”고 발표했고(2012.2), 마침내 한국기독교총연합회(한기총)가 “대한예수교장로회 통합과 합동에서 박윤식 목사를 이단으로 규정한 내용들은 조작된 것이거나 오해에서 비롯된 것이거나 왜곡된 것들이었다.”는 최종 결론을 내리기에 이르렀다(2013.12.17). 당시 한기총 지도부의 한 목사는 이렇게 말했다. “저 역시 최근까지 박윤식 원로목사님이 왜 이단으로 규정됐는지 모르는 채 남들이 그러니까 ‘그런가 보다’ 했습니다. 그런데 얼마 전 처음 박윤식 원로목사님을 만나 뵙고, 구속사 시리즈 7, 8, 9권을 단숨에 읽고 난 뒤 박 목사님을 평생 존경하고 섬기기로 결심했습니다. ‘어떻게 이런 책이 나올 수 있을까’ 싶었습니다. 이단 감별사들이 왜 이런 분을 이단이라 정죄했을까요.” (조갑문 당시 한기총 공동회장, 예장 합동 증경총회장)
25년 만에 비로소 오류를 인정하고 유감까지 표명한 예장 통합 교단은 2016년 9월 22일, 열흘만에 ‘이단 해제’를 돌연 번복해 교계를 어리둥절하게 했다. ‘성부,성자,성령의 이름으로 선포’해놓고 일부 세력의 정치적 공세를 견디지 못한 총회장이 일방적으로 취소를 발표한 것이다. 여호수아도 기브온 거민들의 위장 투항에 속아 언약을 체결했지만, ‘이스라엘 하나님 여호와로 맹세한 언약은 취소할 수 없으며, 하나님의 이름으로 맹세한 것을 취소하면 진노가 있다’고 말하지 않았던가(수 9:15-20). 거짓이 진실을 덮었던 25년 전 그날이 다시 떠오른다. 그러나 진실은 누구도 영원히 가리지 못한다. 구속사 말씀은 동서남북에 편만(遍滿)하게 퍼져나가고 있고, 하나님의 정확한 시간표가 일초의 오차도 없이 진행되고 있다. 박윤식 원로목사는 늘 “끊임없는 공격에 치아가 다 빠질 정도로 고통을 겪었지만 하나님 앞에 서면 모든 것이 드러날 것이기 때문에 눈 하나 깜짝하지 않습니다. 그들을 위해서도 간절히 기도해 줘야 합니다.”라고 가르쳤다. 평강제일교회는 그 사랑의 자세로 대한민국과 한국 교계를 밝히는 등불이 되기 위해 겸손하게 나아갈 것이다.
글_ 참평안 편집팀
“He was Not Heresy from the First”
“Heresy evaluators” with no verification or qualifications have been active in Korean Christian circles for several decades. Posing as specialists, they brandished their swords, using exclusiveness as a weapon. Numerous people have been hit by their blade and had fallen, shedding blood, victims to their strange standards. Many suffered helplessly from their malicious fabrications. Korean Christian circles overlooked these countless harmful consequences by acknowledging their exclusiveness, even using them to their advantage out of jealousy of their rapidly growing fellow workers.
Pastors who earnestly studied the Bible were ostracized, not for being wrong, but for being “different.” There was no process of detailed investigation or the listening of objections. Because of this, the biblical understanding within Korean churches were held at lower standards. These Korean churches that didn’t focus on the Bible with sincerity settled for inconsistent faith and became the target of criticism of the secular and moneyoriented world.
Then in the end of 2012, a serious incident occurred. The chief “heresy evaluator” Rev. Sam Kyung Choi claimed tritheism, which denies the Trinity, a key factor of Christianity. He also claimed the “menstrual conceived theory,” that Jesus was born of Mary through menstruation. He was ruled as the “worst heretic of the history of Christianity” by the Christian Council of Korea. This very man who was branded as “the most evil heretic” concentrated his attacks on the founding senior pastor of Pyungkang Cheil Church, Rev. Abraham Park. The root of this dispute dates back to 1975.
Rev. Abraham Park of the rapidly growing Daesung Church (Pyungkang Cheil Church’s previous name), was introduced to Rev. Shin Myung Kang of Saemoonan Church and heretic researcher Mr. Tak, and provided monthly funds with the hopes to put a stop to the rampant domination of heretical sects. However, in September 1978, when Mr. Tak published on the front page of the daily newspaper that the Unification Church was not heretical, Daesung Church stopped funding him. This marked the start of Mr. Tak’s persistent claim that “Rev. Abraham Park and Daesung Church are heretics.” He claimed, “Rev. Park preaches that Cain was born as a result of a sexual relationship between Eve and the serpent.” He also claimed that Rev. Park was in the Mission Hall of the heretic sect, the Unification Church. All these claims were proven false at court. A reward of 100 million Won was promised to anyone who could provide a recording of the claims, but to this day, no one has been able to provide such evidence. The claim that Rev. Park was in the Unification Church Mission Hall was also proven wrong when it was revealed that a person was found in the group who carried the same Korean name as Rev. Park, but spelled with different Chinese characters.
Following court ruling, Mr. Tak formally apologized multiple times, even visiting Daesung Church to make his apology. However, he then turned around and once again began his relentless attacks against Rev. Park. His attacks were succeeded by Rev. Sam Kyung Choi. In the 1991 General Assembly of the PCK-Tonghap (The Presbyterian Church of Korea), Rev. Abraham Park was ruled as a heretic due to Rev. Sam Kyung Choi’s bias claims and unverified fraudulent evidence. All member bodies accepted the ruling without any separate verification. This became a political victory and golden age for heresy evaluators. Fifteen years of lies and tears later, on September 2016, the joint “special pardon member” meeting of PCK-Tonghap confessed the following:
“There is no truthful evidence that Rev. Abraham Park preached, “Eve conceived Cain through a sexual relationship with the serpent,” which was the main reason for his heretical standing by us. The fact that Rev. Abraham Park’s sermon on “Seed Deception” did not have the same sex motifs as that of the Unification church and that he was not a member of the missionary group of the Unification Church was all confirmed by court of law. We express regret to the late reverend, his family, and to the members of Pyungkang Cheil Church, in failing to properly realize the truth throughout this entire time.”
However, the reversal between the era of truth and the era of lies has already been long ago. Rev. Abraham Park’s immortal masterpiece, The History of Redemption Series, first published in 2007, astonishing Christian circles nationwide. There were roughly 100 cases of Biblical interpretations that were “revealed for the first time in history” through this series. The heresy evaluators who had once accused Rev. Park of heresy through fabrications must have searched passionately for faults to criticize. None have been found for the past ten years. Rather, the work was respected and praised by not only great Korean Christian scholars like Dr. Kyung Bae Min (Former dean of Yonsei University’s Theological school), but also by great theologians worldwide, such as Dr. Bruce Waltke. This era in Christianity was made possible by the voluntary theological verification by honest scholars.
Reformed Graduate University, the country’s best in biblical skills, stated in December 2009 that “after thorough theological research, it is concluded that there are no problems in Rev. Abraham Park’s theological thoughts.” In February 2012, Sung Ki Ho (former president of Sungkyul University), Na Chae Woon (former dean of Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary), Do Han Ho (president of Korea Baptist Theological University), Ye Young Soo (former dean of Hanshin Graduate University) and other representative scholars from each denomination reported that “the theology of Rev. Abraham Park holds no heretical characteristics, and previous claims regarding his heresy were based on distorted facts.” Then finally on December 17th, 2013, the Christian Council of Korea, the representative union of Korean Christian circles, concluded, “Claims of Rev. Abraham Park’s heresy by the Presbyterian Church of Korea and General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea were based on fabrications, distortions or misunderstandings.” A pastor of the Christian Council of Korea said, “Up until recently, I also did not know why Rev. Abraham Park was labeled a heretic, but I believed it to be true because other people said so. However, I met Rev. Abraham Park and read books 7, 8 and 9 of The History of Redemption Series in one sitting. I then decided to serve and respect Rev. Abraham Park for the rest of my life. I thought to myself ‘How can a book like this be written?’ Why did heresy evaluators label such a man a heretic?” (Cho Gab Moon, previous co-president of Christian Council of Korea, former president of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea)
Many wondered why Pyungkang Cheil Church was attacked with the problem of heresy. Many people said, “There is no smoke without fire.” Others reacted with common sense, saying, “I don’t know what it is but I’m not going to that church.” There were a few ministers, theologians and saints that researched and reviewed references and attended church services. Among those who came to confirm things with their own eyes and ears, not a single person said, “this church really is heretical.”
Finally, after 15 years, the PCK-Tonghap acknowledged that they “labeled churches as heretics based on wrong facts” and expressed their regrets. However, just ten days after this final announcement, they canceled the “heresy release” on September 12, 2016, confounding Christian circles.
The heresy evaluators have been persistently sabotaging us and their political dynamics worked again this time, just as they had on that day in 1991. But no one can hide the truth and no one can block justice. The wave of the Word of God through The History of Redemption Series is moving towards the great ocean and the accurate timetable of God is progressing toward the predetermined time without a single second of error. Reverend Abraham Park had said, “Due to never-ending unjustified attacks, I have been through great pain and was so hurt that I even lost all my teeth. However, I was not stirred at all because I knew that before God, all truth will be revealed.” He also taught us to pray for them earnestly. Our Pyungkang Cheil Church will continue to love and move forward in modesty to become a lamp that lights our nation and the Korean Christian circles.
- True Peace Editorial Team -