Return to old methods: New Shincheonji front group in NZ – Cornerstone Ministries

Before you sign up to any Bible course:
1. Be mindful of sharing your personal details with people you have just met.
2. If asked to join a Bible Study / Cell Group / Bible Class, always ask which church it is connected to and follow up with that church.
3. If offered to meet with a mentor / life coach always ask which church they are connected to and follow up with that church.
4. Avoid groups or people who try to coerce you into keeping the meetings/names/teachings a secret.
5. Avoid groups that encourage lying (i.e. using ‘wisdom’) to cover up their activities.

It has come to our attention that Shincheonji NZ have recently launched a new front organisation called “Cornerstone Christian Ministries”. They have a website and are on Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok. If you come across this “group” or know of anyone attending or planning to attend their courses, please warn them!

“Cornerstone Ministries” is designed to appear like a legitimate Christian ministry if you don’t know what you’re looking for. However, this is what we have noticed about their online presence.

1. Vague descriptions about themselves

From “Cornerstone Christian Ministries”‘s About Us page

The website and social media pages do not state who they are, what qualifications the teachers have, and who actually started the organisation. Rather, they make vague statements like “Made by people from all backgrounds who are inspired by God and the Bible to do great things for his Kingdom” and “an international Bible-teaching ministry working in several locations now established across Aotearoa.” These are throw away statements that are common from other SCJ front groups. Where are they based? What are their actual beliefs? Who is involved? Notice that on the website, there is no real person named, or leaders that you can contact. In contrast, Cornerstone Church (an evangelical Bible-teaching church in New Zealand) are happy to share who their leadership team are without lying about their names and details.

The website of Cornerstone Church, which (unlike Shincheonji) is actually a genuine Bible-teaching church.

2. Over-stated claims to teach only the Bible

Their materials repeatedly state that they are “only using the bible”. While there is nothing wrong with this statement, SCJ often over-compensate with this claim in order to shut out any doubts from skeptics. During their classes, instructors often use a lot of scriptures (often out of context) to make themselves seem more legitimate. The website’s statement “Free bible course” is also a huge giveaway. Not that there is anything wrong with a free bible course, however one should know this is a common ploy by Shincheonji to lure people in.

3. An emphasis on Jesus’s Parables

Their website states that they teach the New Testament and Jesus’s parables. This is the same as what Shincheonji’s main Bible studies focus on. Elsewhere on their website, they also state that their courses run for 30 weeks. This equates to 6 months, which is the general length of SCJ’s “Center” studies (large group classes taught by an SCJ instructor like Mark or Scott, mostly over Zoom). In these classes you are paired up with Shincheonji members pretending to be students learning for the first time. Everything you do is reported by them to the instructors who often weave in your personal details and hurts into their lessons.

It would not have been easy to spot that “Cornerstone Ministries” was an SCJ front organisation. However, it’s a shame to see that they are back to using such deceitful and harmful tactics. Shame on you SCJ NZ!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top