I have spoken in depth over the years about the G12 Vision and especially G12 Philippines. The toxic movement actually was started by César Castellanos an has even been rebuke by David Yonggi Cho that they stole the whole cell ministry concept from. G12 Vision is nothing more than the cell concept of Yoido Full Gospel Church taken to the extreme. Continue reading…
Tagged in: César Castellanos
I have wrote before on the false teaching of G12 Philippines and the dangerous leadership of many of their leaders. However, I have not spoke as much about Cesar Castellanos that is based in the South American nation of Colombia. To be clear, I consider the his teachings to be dangerous, demonic and just completely unbiblical. Continue reading…
David Yonggi Cho is the pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world’s largest church. He is a pastor of pastors. Yoido Full Gospel Church is more like a domination that has camp meeting regularly than an actual local church. Cho is only the Apostolic leader over it all.
I have been to this church in Souel and it is quite amazing. He has built an amazing work for the Lord that started with an old stolen Army tent left after the Korean War. I like what I found in Korea and I liked the freedom that Cho operated in from a ministry point of view.
I listen to him to speak once at Oral Roberts University and he told about all the times he tried to do great things for God only to fail. It was faith building for young revivalists to know ministry really is about trail and error more than the mega-church make it sound like.
Is G12 churches supported by David Yonggi Cho?
The simple answer is no. A core value of Yoido Church is cell ministry but even Cho has reservations about these g12 churches. Cho used it as a tool to grow the church, not to replace the great commission. G12 churches think that their cells are the great commissions. Being a cell group is salvation. This is completely rejected by David Yonggi Cho.
Yoido used cell ministry is one of many tools to grow the church and preach the gospel to South Korea. It never was the focus on the ministry nor did it replace the gospel. In fact, David Yonggi Cho blessed and helped Benny Hinn as well as Reinhard Bonnke when they came to gospel crusades in Seoul. He did not believe that cell ministry would do the great commission, only be one of many expressions.
It is important to understand that Cho believes in using all tools at hand to develop soul winning ministry. He will use crusades, church services, outreaches to governmental leaders, and cell groups. All he cares is people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; not how they came to know Christ.
It is the message that is divine, not the method. The problem with G12 churches and why David Yonggi Cho would never support them is they make the method more important that the message. This is not something that Cho would sign off on. In fact, he has rejected it completely.
Cho also understands that cell ministry is completely a cultural thing. It is a biblical model because it does not work everywhere but it can work within some cultural. He would never try and preach the model into the scriptures. It is not unbiblical but it is extra-biblical.
It is important to note that Cho did say publicly that cell ministry, while it works in Korean culture would not work well in American culture. Americans would be won by media presentations of the gospel, not cell groups.
G12 Churches misrepresent David Yonggi Cho
Cesar Castellanos is the main leader in the G12 movement and he repeatly misrepresented Cho in his books and his videos. Cesar did go to Korea and saw what was happening at Yoido Church. However, there was no impartation from Cho. To my knowledge, I do not think they met while he was in Korea. I am not sure if they have met since or not. That is possible.
If they followed the example of Yoido Church, they would give everything away. The church charges for nothing. Counseling is free. Books are free. Food is free. It is based on the words of Jesus, “freely you have received, freely give.”
G12 Churches do not follow this model in any way, shape, or form. There is a price for everything. Counseling with Castellanos is worth about $150 American dollars. That is not bad. If you counsel for two hours a day, you only make around $78,000 a year. Only.
All the conferences at G12 churches are far from free as well. Some of them can get over $100. Charging for conferences is something that need to seriously stop. If you are charging people to hear the gospel; you are a pastor, you are a scam artist. It is just that simple.
For G12 churches and Cesar Castellanos is anyway connected with David Yonggi Cho is completely untrue and that seems to have more differences than they have similarities.
The secret of Yoido Church
I believe the key to the church growth in South Koroa was not any one thing. They realized that as well. They used anything that would work to grow. Cell ministry was a tool but it was not the tool. The focus was always on the gospel of the Kingdom being preached to the lost and dying world.
If pastors burned for the lost like they do in Seoul, we would see much more of a harvest in our cities than we do. They also have never settled for what they have. They see the harvest from what is the field still, not what is already in the barn.
Something that many miss is that they have not won the nation of South Korea or even the city of Seoul. While they have over 800,000 members; most people in Souel are still on a bobsled to hell. They are still going to hell without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Yiodo Church still has work to do.
- I have no choice but bring this public rebuke to a very dangerous and demonic teaching in the Church today. It has done untold damage to the harvest in the Philippines. It is known as the G12 vision or G12 churches. Part of what these churches preach is being in a cell group will save you.
César Castellanos is a pastor in Columbia. He claims to have a vision from the Spirit of God. He did not. What he did was visit Souel, South Korea and saw the Yoido Full Gospel Church and their emphasis on cell ministry. It took that and added a new level of heresy on top of it and that become the G12 churches we know today.
How it came to the Philippines is not completely clear but what I know, I will tell you. A pastor from Arizona, Rich Witmer went to Columbia and came back and made Generations Church in Yuma, Arizona into several g12 churches. At some point, he traveled to the Philippines and did conferences on church growth and in one of them met Leo Carlo Panlilio, pastor of Destiny Church in Quezon City.
Introduction to g12 churches and Carlos Panlilio
Panlilio openly brianwashes people and is very proud of the fact. To be honest, my introduction to g12 churches only came because word are flying around that Leo Carlo Panlilio had publically attacked me from the pulpit over my position on revival and freedom from abusive leadership.
At one point, I had some discussion with him on Facebook and found out he was pretending to be me on Friendster, and emailed Joel Comiskey under my name attacking him. He also emailed pastors all over the Philippines attacking our renewal meetings. Joel is a good guy. He believes differently on missiology but I still respect him.
December 2009 it reached its height. Panlilio and a few other pastor had rallied together against me and the renewal meetings because I refused to include brianwashing into the mix. I do know at one point there was a meeting to try and destroy me, my meetings and my ministry. At the head of the meetings was Leo Carlo Panlilio and Chito Sanchez. It seems that Chito’s issue was something personal and that I did not believe that revival is about pastors but the Holy Spirit.
At a renewal meeting, I publically rebuked pastors for their rebellion to God and if any pastor was a real man of God, join me to speak on the streets on Tondo. After all, Jesus came to minister to the lowest of society. Shortly after that, emails were coming that these pastors had rallied against me.
Panlilio was the biggest concern. He went as far as to tell me if he ever met me, he would “kick my ass” and he would beat me senseless. I love Jesus and I know turning the other cheek is the thing to do but my American military side of me said “bring it!”
It was at this point that I realized that I had hit a nerve in alot of pastors about these g12 churches and I needed to dig deeper and find out what exactly it is, why they were so aggressive, and if it was a cult or not.
G12 churches are cults!
As I digged into it, I called an old evangelist friend of mine that does massive crusades in Colombia and talked to him about it. He confirmed that is was a cult and many in the evangelism arm of Christianity consider César Castellanos to dangerous to the Great Commission. In June 2010, I made a trip to preach in a gospel crusade in Colombia. I needed to see these g12 churches up close.
What I found was churches that develop an unhealthy heiracty of man worship that is a complete misunderstanding of the New Testament and of the United States military than they base alot of the “chain of command” on. The chain is there in the military but you are not required to blindly obey someone just because they have brass and you don’t. Questioning authority is allowing in the military. Many that never served do not understand this.
Around this time, I came in contact with a Gunnery Sergent from the United States Marine Corp that was very concerned about g12 churches as well. His concern was not the abusive leadership as much as these pastors like Leo Carlo Panlilio that was blackmailing people out of their whole paychecks and blaming them for not giving enough to the pastors.
Finally, I sit down with a friend who was a pastor that was using the g12 churches as a model and we openly discuss the issues. I knew him from bible college and he was someone level headed and did not blindly follow any teaching. He had a bright mind.
He confirmed that many of the issues was there, that he had met with Castellanos and left with questions. He used the system limited and did so because of the area he was in is very relational. Mass Evangelism and illustrated sermons would not work.
Get in a cell or go to hell
These were the words of Leo Carlo Panlilio to me in 2009 and it is exactly what is concerning to me. Being in a cell group is not a requirement of the Lord Jesus. He wants you to win souls and release the Kingdom of God, not have cell groups and worship a pastor. This is especially true for a man that uses the pesos of poor Filipinos to vacation in Palawan at five star resorts and drive his Harley Davidson around.
Jesus never called anyone to a cell group, a house church or even church at all. In fact, the concept of church as we know it in the Philippines is based on what the Spanish brought here in the 1500’s; the Book of Acts talks nothing about cell group or Cathedrals. All of it was added later. It was centuries later too.
The will of God is that you are born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, are full of the joy of the Lord, and you give away that joy everywhere you go. Anything else is added to the will of God and His plan for you. When you make a cell group an added requirement, you are adding to God and the bible says adding to God’s will and Word will make you a recipient for judgement in your life.
A special note to Filipinos
History is full of times that a failure to follow the demands of a leader would result in being beaten, enslaved, raped or even killed. Any questioning of leadership would land you in jail or paraded to Rizal Park to be shot to death. Blind obedience would provide you a longer life and having more of a quality of life as well. Colonization is over. Martial law is over. You can now openly question leadership. It is the beauty of living in a Republic.
If you have believed into the lie of G12 churches, there is freedom for you. Leave this cult as quickly as you can, find a church that believes in freedom, and is not trying to become its own denomination in the process.
I was “poked” by Carlos and saw the status that is his “story,” Here is what is true about what he said.
- I have not met him face to face that I am aware of.
- He did make threats to me on Yahoo messager and Facebook.
- He did tell me “get in a cell or go to hell.”
- He is against mass evangelism
- He did partner with Chito in a demonic alignment to destroy me.
- Joel Comiskey did reach out to me after he emailed Joel using my name.
- He did use my name to “warn” people on Friendster.
- My ex girlfriend did contact him for some hate mail.
Now for what I did not say and why I spoke out now, seven years (not nine) after the fact.
- I did not say I met with César Castellanos. I could have if needed but no need for it. A friend of mine has met him.
- I am not against Destiny Church in Quezon City. I have no reason to be.
- The leader of Generations Church is very dangerous. A whole website is set up to deal with that.
- I do attend a church in Makati City close to my house. I do not worship my pastor and will rebuke him as needed.
Why have I spoken up now? I recently wrote an article about pastors that abuse the people that worship with them on Sunday. Here is the article. About a dozen Filipinos ask me what I thought of the G12 movement. I thought it would be good to address it as I see it. I talked about Carlos because he is one of the main leaders involved and the only person I had contact with.
My “home church” (I hardly believe in home churches as we worship the Holy Spirit) is in Missouri. My pastor shared many of the same views from his experiences in South America. He has seen this article.
About paying for the boost: it is peanuts. I paid P100 for it. I do this a few times a week. Recently, I boosted my article on William Seymour as well. That is not uncommon.