LUPD has installed its own set of COVID-19 guidelines. Lehigh Police Chief Jason Schiffer said he is pleased so far at students' willingness to follow Lehigh's new health guidelines. (Xinru Qin/B&W Staff)

“God the Mother” solicitors reported on campus

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Michelle Gebo, ‘21, was walking down to E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library one evening when a woman stopped her near Packer Avenue. 

“Do you have a minute to talk about how God is our mother?” the woman asked. 

Gebo didn’t want to be rude. 

“Okay. I’ll talk to them,” she thought. 

Gebo said it had slipped her mind that she’d seen a message a few weeks before that warned students to “watch out” for solicitors on campus. 

Several students have experiencedand some have reported to LUPD—being solicited for information by individuals sharing material about “God the Mother.”

“God the Mother” is the female image of God, as recognized by the World Mission Society Church of God, a Christian non-denominational church. 

According to its website, the World Mission Society Church of God has registered members in 175 countries. The church believes in Elohim God—God the Father and God the Mother.

The religious movement began in South Korea when Ahn Sahng-hong, Christ Ahnsahnghong, founded the church in 1964. 

The church made news when former member Michele Colon told People Magazine the World Mission Society Church of God was actually a cult. 

The National Council of Churches in Korea condemned the World Mission Society Church of God as heretical.

More recently, students have seen posts shared on social media warning them of the church’s presence on college campuses. 

Brett DeWeese, ‘21, had seen a warning post on Instagram over the summer, which was shared by a friend who attends Syracuse University.

When some of her Lehigh track and field teammates told her they talked to a “weird person” who mentioned “God the Mother” this fall, she remembered the social media post. 

Another one of DeWeese’s teammates said she had talked to a woman sharing “God the Mother” information over the summer. 

“(My teammate) said the woman was totally harmless,” DeWeese said. “She just really wanted my teammate to give her her number or go to a meeting to talk more about it, but she said she talked to her, and nothing came of it.”

Students on other college campuses across the country have been exposed to social media posts and encounters with individuals who seem to be associated with the World Mission Society Church of God. 

LUPD Chief Jason Schiffer said his records show three reports of possible related incidents at Lehigh. For one of the instances, however, his department does not have enough information to directly connect the World Mission Society Church of God to the situation.

He said though there were three official reports, LUPD could have received more calls or tips, but the amount of detail given determines whether the instance culminates in a police report. 

The three reported instances occurred during September and October this year. 

Schiffer said Lehigh is a private property and does not allow solicitation from outside groups. An outside group can fill out the paperwork to register to hold an event on campus, for example, but it has to go through the proper channels. 

“So what we tell anyone who is trying to solicit anythingif they’re trying to sell things to our students or solicit information or anything like that(is) … they can do that stuff on the sidewalk off campus, but not here on our campus,” he said. 

Schiffer said it is legal for individuals or organizations to stand on a public sidewalk off campus and talk to people as they pass by. If the behavior starts to cross into harassment, however, the situation could rise into criminal behavior. 

Schiffer said it is relatively rare to have outside solicitation on campus.

Gebo said the “God the Mother” solicitor advised her to give her time to talk to others. 

“She was saying, ‘If you ever run into people, you should give them 10 or 15 minutes of your time to talk to them,’” she said. 

Gebo said the woman asked if she wanted to know more, and though Gebo said no, she assumes the woman would have asked her for her information if she had been interested.

Schiffer said if students question the legitimacy of an individual or group on Lehigh’s campus, they should call LUPD so the officers can take appropriate action. He said students should ask individuals if the organization they represent is authorized and connected to the university. 

He said it is safer to ask an individual or organization for its contact information instead of giving out your own.

“Now, you can check up on them without giving your personal identifiable information away,” Schiffer said.  

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8 Comments

  1. Deacon John Novak on

    This group is dangerous and self destructive and has its members cut off all relationship with family and friends who are not members of this cult they preach a dead Korean guy who stated this church in 1964 they claim he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ they insist that you keep the weekly sabbath and dietary law found in the ot book of Leviticus women must wear veils on their head in church women and men are seated separately in church they believe they must keep the 6 holy days of the Old Testament and all
    The Old Testament comandments and keep the Passover to be saved the ignore the death and resurrection of Jesus on the cross or that you are saved by what Jesus did for us on the cross and we are saved by grace not the law

    • Apparently, I met a lady from the church today who wanted to “share the good news about the mother” with me. I thought she wanted to talk about the role of mothers and women in the Christian society. Then she started talking about a woman Spirit and how this is the way to be saved.
      She also said we have to keep the sabbath and passover and that we are not saved fully yet. Meaning that what Jesus did is not significant. I was shocked. I made her realise the only way to be saved is through Jesus and what He did. His death, burial and resurrection.
      She even said there’s a male God and a female God (who is the new Jerusalem) and believing in this is what brings salvation. hahaha.

      I showed her John 3:16 again. The most common verse about our salvation. And even that we confess with our mouth and we believe with our heart that Jesus died, was buried and rose again for us and this is how we are saved. This is the gospel according to 1 Corinthians 15 :1-3 And that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

      She rejected all I had to say and even said I want displaying humility. She only mentioned the name of the church once and not again when I asked thereafter.
      We She saw she couldn’t shake my belief, she said “God bless you and bye”.

  2. Today I was on my break at work, sitting outside on a small stairs. I was approached by 3 women, but only one talked to me while the others stood by. She wanted to share the word about “God the Mother” and said “did you know that in the Bible, God is speaking in plural?” She then showed me Genesis 1:26 where it says “in our image” and saying how man is in Gods image and females are in God the mothers image. She didn’t take too much of my time and I just didn’t want to be rude, but I’m glad she wasn’t super pushy and asking for my own information (she didn’t ask for my number or anything). She did say that they have bible studies going on if I was interested, I explained I don’t have the time as I am a student and working. She said “okay, you can think about it when you hear about us again” and left me after that. Felt off especially since I’ve been hearing about “God the Mother” on TikTok and people trying to get peoples information.

  3. If somebody would have invited you to a campus party you all would have gone blinded and wild out, but when somebody invites you to a Bible study you call the Police?? Really? These people are truly harmless and all they want is to show you verses from the Bible. If you would study a little bit you would understand much better about this world, about yourself and the future. But since you can make time to stay on Fb or on these websites to write and boast about it and not taking a little time to see whats going on you will never understand.
    What if this is really the Truth and you treated it like this, what if these people are actually right and are trying to save your soul but you chose to stay in the dark?You go to church to receive salvation and go to Heaven ( I’m assuming thats the reason why you go to church, if you even go) but how do you know which one is the church that God will recognize? How can you even recognize Christ when he will come a second time when we couldnt even recognize him the first time, and we crucified him? Just saying..what if? T

  4. Florence Gibbs on

    So much fear in these comments, America truly is a rigid patriarchal society and Christianity as it is practiced most often feeds into this and exacerbates this. Think about how Jesus related to women in His historical context, and have the imagination to follow through with what that means for our relationship with Him today. Of course God can be thought of as a mother and a father, S/he is our all in all. S/he created over 50% of humans to be female! S/he loves women, created everything that is beautiful, powerful and extraordinary about these ‘ordinary’ human bodies. Have a little wonder, have a little appreciation of God’s creation, open your minds to how God feels about women and how narrow and abusive our patriarchal society is. You will be much happier, and Christianity will blossom

    • Balzar Ritchin on

      It’s not fear. That’s disingenuous and you know it. Like characterizing pedophilia as fear or rigidity, lol. Nice try. God mandated patriarchy from the beginning and to deny that is to deny the authority of God. That’s all you’re doing. America was colonized and founded on Christian principles and came out of centuries of Christianized European culture. Calling it “rigid” is your own swipe and reveals your contempt for the traditional roles as decreed by God. Feminism is a denial of God’s authority. Equality didn’t exist before or after the Fall. Eve was created after Adam, in order to be a “helpmeet”, not an equal. She was made from one of Adam’s ribs, right? Unlike every other creature which were indeed created in pairs at the same time. After the curse it was affirmed and then reaffirmed many times in the New Testament. God is not unfair. Going against the proper order guarantees failure and since it’s began being practiced in the 1970s has done nothing but ruin families and our society in general. There is no mother of God. There is no Queen of Heaven. It’s not a s/he. Have a little reverence and respect for what God has revealed about himself.

  5. Balzar Ritchin on

    They tried to scam me today as I was going to my car. A man with two women asked me if I was a Christian and then began asking me if I’d heard of the “mother of god” that’s in the bible “that most Christians don’t know about”, lol. Well, of course not, since there’s no such thing in the bible. I waited patiently and politely for him to finish his sentence and then told him that he was deceived and spreading heresy. I said he needed to get out the cult he is in and stop helping to spread heresy. There’s no mother of God and they’ve been deceived. I said they’re not welcome and to get out of there and stop trying to deceive people. It’s the first I’ve heard of them. I should have asked what bible they were using. They reminded me of JWs but apparently are more along the lines of moonies. Remember them? It’s too bad they immigrate here to the US and then attempt to engage us in their satanic cult-of-personality fantasies. Everybody sees Americans as patsys because they abandoned the faith and became so naive. Even Christians don’t know their own faith. Anyway that’s one more bunch of antichrists among us.

  6. The problem is that if you know the Word you would definitely know that there is no God the Mother. 1 John 5:7-8 says “For there are THREE that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word (Jesus), abs the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. There is NO God the Mother, this is a false doctrine like Paul warned about in 2 Timothy.

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