An Extraordinary Man Tells the Story of His Church and His Life

During his life, the Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee has been called many things; evangelist, faith healer, messiah, charlatan, heretic, and by some, the anti-Christ. But one adjective that is never used to describe this charismatic and compelling man is “non controversial.”  In his latest book, My Life, My Faith II the Rev. Lee faces his critics straight on and tells his side of the story about his life and his beliefs.  

To understand Rev. Lee, it is necessary to understand his church, as they are one and the same. The Manmin Central Church was founded in 1982 with just 13 members, under the motto “Arise, Shine.” The latter reflects the notion common in early churches that its members are bonded together in faith and love and are dedicated to national evangelization, world mission, and regional development.  

By 2006, church press materials boasted 100,000 members in the Seoul-based Manmin Joong-Ang Church alone and today the church has 8,000 branch churches throughout the globe and has commissioned 103 missionaries to 22 countries.  There were two recurring themes during the years that the Rev. Lee and his church evolved from a small country church in Korea to a religious behemoth with a global presence.

One was the constant stream of faith healing that Rev. Lee used to harvest converts and in later years, massive crusades in such countries as Uganda, India, Russia, Germany, Peru, Republic of Congo, and the U.S. just to name a few. The latter were extremely well attended (“The 2002 Miracle Healing Prayer Festival” held in at Marina Beach in Chennai, India, brought together more than three million people over four days) and drew the attention of news networks worldwide, including CNN.  

Throughout the book, Rev. Lee describes his experiences with faith healing and global crusades in rich and easy to comprehend detail. Although My Life, My Faith II is by and large a success story, it has its dark side as well, as Rev. Lee readily admits.  In particular, he takes special pains to describe his side of the story concerning the famous MBC incident.  In 1999, the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, a South Korean television broadcaster, aired a documentary critical of Lee. In response to the documentary, 300 of his followers allegedly invaded the television station, bent on breaking into the station control room to cut the power, while another 1,500 organized a sit-down protest in a nearby street. Rev. Lee remembers the MBC incident quite differently and hence, is able to provide the reader with a different perspective for judging the conduct of his followers.  

My Life, My Faith II challenges the reader at a variety of levels, both emotional and intellectual; especially when it comes to accepting the reality of faith healing.  But in the final analysis, “faith” is the operative word in the term faith healing and each reader is free to draw his or her own conclusions about the subject.  Meanwhile, none of this detracts from the fact that the book is extremely interesting and informative and is well worth taking the time to read it.   

Title:  My Life, My Faith II  

Author:  Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee  

Publisher:  The Christian Press 

Publisher Address:  #401 Sewon Bd. 136-70 Younji, Jongno, Seoul, Korea 

Publisher Phone Number and URL:  +82-2-869-1537, not available  

ISBN, Price, Publication Date:  978-89-88390-17-7, $10.00, 2008 

Reviewed by: Ron Standerfer for Reader Views (February/2009)  Ron Standerfer is a freelance writer and photographer who is a frequent contributor Blogger News Network as well as numerous other online news sites. His latest novel, The Eagle’s Last Flight chronicles the life of an Air Force fighter pilot during the Cold War and Vietnam years. Details of his book can be found at http://www.ronstanderfer.com. 

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