As the Southeast Asia representative for David Jang's organizations—pastor of his churches, proprietor of his businesses, and editor of his Christian news website—Edmond Chua believed that Jang was a new Christ, a messianic figure establishing the kingdom of God on earth.
Just after midnight on September 6, 2005, Chua had completed a series of Bible studies, and his teacher, Susan Hu, was leading him through a crucial final lesson.
"I think Susan asked me, 'So who is Pastor David?' And I probably said something like, 'He is the Second Coming Christ!' I fully believed it. The [Bible studies] just seemed to point that way. It was very logical and deep. For the first time I felt that I knew the love of God intimately, strange as that may sound, considering who Jang is."
Chua told Christianity Today, "I actually thought of him as God and prayed in his name instead of Jesus'. And whenever I typed something about him, I would use the upper case on pronouns."
He doesn't believe it anymore—nor does his teacher, Susan. The two married on David Jang's birthday, October 30, 2006—the 14th anniversary of the founding of Jang's movement—along with 69 other couples, Susan said.
Like most of the other couples, the Chuas' marriage was arranged by the movement's leaders. "We are a lucky case: We knew each other for very long already," Susan said. "Some couples, the two never met each other before, but were recommended and they accepted with faith and obedience."
As Christianity Today reported in August, several former members of Jang's organizations similarly described encouragements to believe that Jang is ...