Richard Riss on David Yonggi Cho
While taking part in a CMR-Renewal
(mailing list) discussion on the teachings of David (Paul) Yonggi Cho
, someone forwarded a message to Richard Riss, and subsequently posted Mr. Riss' reply to the list.
From: email@example.com (Azusa)
Subject: Re: [CMR-R] OT vs NT prophecy
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 12:50:33 EDT
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Originally from: Azusa <Azusa@aol.com>
Originally dated: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 12:50:33 EDT
Anton, here is a response from Richard Riss on your report on Pastor cho.
Richard gave me permission to forward it to you. Bill
I do know that Cho is a praying man. He prays about eight hours a day.
I do not. So I'm not about to say bad things about him because my
doctrines do not agree with his on certain points. While his ministry is
not perfect, neither is mine, nor is Anton's. As Christians I would
think that we would all mutually have to cut one other a lot of slack if
we were to sincerely follow the golden rule. I would think that Anton
would want to give David Yonggi Cho room to be mistaken on certain points,
even if those points are major points, and, reciprocally, that he would
expect that pastor Cho would allow him to be mistaken on some major points
There is no evidence, to my knowledge, that Cho advocates the use of the
occult. If the complaint is that Cho does so unwittingly, then could this
really be a legitimate complaint? My understanding of God's mercy is that
He loves the heart that is inclined to Him, and that even if a person who
has such a heart does damage unwittingly, God does not immediately squash
that person. On the other hand, if Anton believes that the heart of pastor
Cho is not inclined to the Lord, then I would like to know how he can be so
sure of this.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Anton Hein)
Subject: [CMR-R] Richard Riss on (Paul Yonggi) David Cho
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 1998 18:45:32 GMT
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Originally from: firstname.lastname@example.org (Anton Hein)
Originally dated: Tue, 07 Apr 1998 18:45:32 GMT
On Tue, 7 Apr 1998 12:50:33 EDT, you, email@example.com (Azusa), wrote:
>Anton, here is a response from Richard Riss on your report on Pastor cho.
>Richard gave me permission to forward it to you. Bill
Thanks. I have interacted with Richard before, and even have links to his
(read-only) mailing list.
>I do know that Cho is a praying man. He prays about eight hours a day.
>I do not. So I'm not about to say bad things about him because my
>doctrines do not agree with his on certain points.
Hold it right there... I don't care if someone prays 24 hours a day - if his
doctrine is heretical, prayer isn't going to help him. Muslims pray. Jehovah's
Witnesses pray. Mormons pray. Word/Faith teachers pray. Politicians (I won't
name names for now...) pray.
Too, the Bible shows we should warn against false teachers and false doctrines.
It doesn't say we should not do so if it turns out those who teach error turn
out to pray a lot...
> While his ministry is not perfect, neither is mine, nor is Anton's. As Christians
>I would think that we would all mutually have to cut one other a lot of slack if
>we were to sincerely follow the golden rule.
Check the Word on what the golden rule is. I sure hope that when I go wrong,
someone will be there to call me on it. That is the Scriptural thing to do
(e.g. Gal. 6:1ff; James 5:19-20)
What Richard proposes here is that Jesus, Paul, Peter, Timothy, Titus, Jude and
others all broke the golden rule by exposing false doctrines and false teachers.
Now, everyone is welcome to search high and low and try and find even one time
when I claimed to be perfect or to have a perfect ministry. Never happened.
But just because I am imperfect, and know others to be as well, doesn't mean we
have to put up with error. That, indeed, would be very unloving.
> I would think that Anton
>would want to give David Yonggi Cho room to be mistaken on certain points,
>even if those points are major points, and, reciprocally, that he would
>expect that pastor Cho would allow him to be mistaken on some major points
The "my-hand-washes-yours approach..." What is this? A trading game? I'll
give you "Heresy 7," if you give me "Error 9"?
So tell me... what are the rules? At what point does one cross the line? When
is there too much error? Under Mr. Riss' rules, do we embrace, say, Mormons as
>There is no evidence, to my knowledge, that Cho advocates the use of the
Richard should read Cho's own books. A "good" place to start would be the
two-volume "The Fourth Dimension." Written by Mr. Cho, is contains enough
evidence to convict him on all counts.
> If the complaint is that Cho does so unwittingly, then could this
>really be a legitimate complaint?
Where did *that* come from? Who said Cho teaches these things unwittingly?
That is conjecture. Even a casual reading of the books in question - as well as
most of Mr. Cho's other words - shows that he doesn't teach these thing
unwittingly. In fact, in the books I mentioned he points that out himself.
These things have been out in the open for many years now.
But Mr. Riss' argument brings us back to his "golden rule." *If* Cho was
unwittingly advocating the use of the occult, the golden rule would have us
point out this error.
>My understanding of God's mercy is that
>He loves the heart that is inclined to Him, and that even if a person who
>has such a heart does damage unwittingly, God does not immediately squash
I never said God would immediately squash Dr. Cho or anyone else who teaches
false doctrines and encourages false practices - knowingly or unknowingly.
>On the other hand, if Anton believes that the heart of pastor
>Cho is not inclined to the Lord, then I would like to know how he can be so
>sure of this.
Richard's message is like the wind in Holland - it changes direction from moment
Only God knows the heart, so we are not to judge it (save by the Holy Spirit -
see Acts 8:21-22). We can not judge a person's salvation. However, Scripture
shows that we can - and should - judge a person's teachings, prophecies, and
David Cho promotes false teachings and occultic practices. He does so in his
own books, and has, so far, not recanted them. Whether or not his heart is
inclined to the Lord is not up to me to say, nor is that the subject at hand.
Now... I have to wonder why Richard is so willing to cut Cho slack. Personally,
I believe the answer can be found in Tricia Tillin's article "Looking Beyond
Toronto: The Source and Goal of the Second Pentecost":
This "Second Pentecost" was prophesied to BEGIN IN CANADA, and to spread from
there to the whole world. The following quote was taken from the Foreword to
"The Latter Rain", by Richard Riss. This Foreword was written in 1987 by
James Watt, who in 1974 served as Ern Baxter's Associate Pastor in Surrey,
British Columbia, Canada - the relevance of the link to Ern Baxter will be
seen later in this article.
James Watt writes:
"In a sense, the fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles came forth with
the blowing of trumpets from North Battleford... the time of restitution
of all things is about to take place...According to Paul Yonggi Cho (sic)
of Korea and twenty other prophets, the last great move of the Spirit will
originate IN CANADA, and by seventy Canadian cities will be brought to the
210 nations of the earth before Jesus returns."
The plot thickens, doesn't it? How many know that David Cho also prophesied the
renewal at Brownsville would take place?
And Bill, a good place to start your research on what David Cho teaches is:
The "Toronto Blessing" - A Theological Examination of the Roots, Teaching and Manifestations, and Connection Between the Faith Movement and the Vineyard
Church, By Stephen Sizer, and Anglican minister.
[NOTE: Incorrect URL Removed. The correct URL is
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/sva-tb01.html This note is not part of the original message.]
Chapter 6 is almost entirely devoted to Dr. Cho. Some items:
A leading evangelical Anglican minister wrote to me about his concerns,
I have been privileged to minister twice in Korea and some years ago my
evangelical friends in Korea were very suspicious of Yonggi Cho's teaching
and attitude. They were surprised that he was accepted by evangelicals in
Britain, since they felt he was very definitely heretical. They were so
antagonistic they were almost unwilling to let me see his church. I almost
felt they feared I might be contaminated by it....We have a responsibility
to warn our folk about this false teaching and people like Gerald Coates
and Sandy Millar do seem to be moving towards areas of teaching that can
only be called heretical. It would be tragic if some of our best known
evangelical leadership continue in that direction."
In the February 1995 edition of Alpha, in an article entitled, "God as
servant, Man as God", Charles Strohmer criticised David Yonggi Cho's "faith
incubation" process, along with similar techniques of other "Faith Movement"
proponents such as Kenneth Hagin, Agnes Sanford, Kenneth Copeland and Maurice
Cerullo, as a clear departure from the true gospel.>
Michael Horton, writing in Power Religion, castigates Robert Schuller's
forward to Yonggi Cho's Fourth Dimension arguing that it is a blend of
"psychology, magic and religion" (p.327). John MacArthur, is equally
forthright. In Charismatic Chaos, he asserts that Cho's ideas are "rooted in
Buddhist and occult teachings" (p.149). These are all well-informed
criticisms of David Yonggi Cho's teaching, that cannot be ignored or swept
under the carpet.
The article should serve as a wake-up call to many who are enamored by
manifestations, "good feelings," visions and what-not.
If Mr. Richard is unaware of these things (and this is just a mere sampling of
what's out there), he ought to look into them. After all, the Bible nowhere
suggests we should cut error any slack. It is precisely the kind of nonchalant
approach Mr. Riss appears to favor that gives legitimacy to critics of various
renewal and revival movements.