True Family Values
Joong Hyun Pak and Andrew Wilson
Chapter 6 - Spreading Gods Blessing [Part 1]
6. Our family pledges to embody God and True Parents; we will perfect a family which moves heavenly fortune and conveys Heaven's blessing to our community, by centering on true love.
There is a logic and an order to the clauses of the Family Pledge (Figure 10). After the first pledge introduced the themes of true love, the Kingdom of God and our responsibility to establish it in our community, the second and third pledges focus on our individual family as the starting-point and basic building block of the Kingdom. They call us to realize God's design for the true family as one which embodies both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of love. The fourth pledge moves to the universal family, the natural expansion of the individual family as its love multiplies horizontally to fill the earth. With the fifth pledge, the scope of action unfolds still further to include the spirit world. In the sixth pledge the focus reaches the highest point of all, the work of God. We are called to embody God's nature, inherit God's power, and do God's work. We participate in the work of God when we spread His blessings, sharing them with the people in our communities until the entire earth is covered with blessings. The seventh pledge then concludes with a vision of the Kingdom of God on earth as it will be realized substantially- the world of the culture of heart. Thus, living by true family values begins with our families and extends to the ends of the cosmos. The love that flows through our families will brighten our communities and eventually transform the entire society.
Figure 10: Living By True Family Values
In brief, the sixth pledge describes the horizontal movement of ever-expanding blessings. God is the font of all blessings. The goal of God's work, the Divine Principle teaches, is to establish His three great blessings on the earth: blessings of inner spiritual light, blessings of love and family, and blessings of wealth and abundance. As families who have received rebirth in Christ, the True Parent, we come to embody his nature, and hence God's nature. We become members of Christ's body. Our desire is to act in concert with God and Christ to convey God's blessings to others, yet we cannot accomplish this great task by our own works. We have to move heavenly fortune, which is the power of God. God dwells with us and empowers us when we deny ourselves, sacrifice, and work for the benefit of others. Though these efforts may be hidden from sight, they serve as the foundation for God to work with us and bless us. Once we become families of great fortune, we should make every effort to share God's blessings with others. Whenever we share from our fortune, our fortune increases all the more in a virtuous circle of give and take.
Of all the blessings we can share, the most precious are those which can restore and give new life to the family. Unique among these is the Holy Blessing officiated by the True Parents. Bestowing God's grace upon the family, the Blessing opens the door to every sort of blessing on earth and in heaven. Through its expansion worldwide to millions of families, the Kingdom of God will finally be established on the earth, even in our lifetime.
The Family Which Embodies God and True Parents
In order to spread God's Blessing to others, our family pledges to embody God and True Parents. The phrase "the family which embodies (taesin kajong-) God and True Parents" has a significantly different meaning from the phrase "the family which represents (taep yo jok kajong) heaven and earth" in the second pledge (Figure 11).
In the second pledge, the word "represent" (taep yo) describes a family's position before God. The family takes responsibility to stand before God as a true object partner, representing all families who are unaware or unwilling to stand in their proper positions. In the Bible, when all of Israel dwelt in darkness and God looked for someone who would carry His message, Isaiah said, "Here I am! Send me." (Isa. 6:8) It is just so with a family that represents heaven and earth. It stands before God as if it were the only family on earth. It proudly stands in the forefront of responsibility regardless of the circumstances and regardless of what other people do. The accompanying phrase, "central (chungshim) to heaven and earth," refers to a family's responsibility to care for others in its domain. A central family lives for the sake of others, protects them, helps them, and raises them up. It lives as though the fate of society depended on it alone. Like Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other central figures in the Bible, a central family carries the weight of the providence on its shoulders. A central family stands ready to take responsibility on behalf of God and for the sake of society. Rev. Moon takes his responsibility that seriously. In speaking of his mission to America, he said,
This universal principle must be taught to American youth who are in darkness and confusion today ... If I don't fulfill this duty, then God must find someone else who will. This is the only course left to America and someone must do it!
Figure 11: Three Responsibilities Of a True Family
The meaning of the phrase, "the family which embodies (taesin) God and True Parents," in the sixth pledge includes the sense both of embodying God and True Parents and of being a member of the body of God and True Parents. It goes without saying that the True Parents regard themselves as both a representative (taep yo) family and a central (chungshim) family, uniquely responsible to represent humankind before God and to bring salvation to the world. Hence, any family that aspires to embody the True Parents will also regard itself as such. Nevertheless, taesin has another more internal meaning: a connection grounded in a unity of heart and will. The meaning of a taesin family has four aspects.
You Must Be Born Again
First, a taesin family embodies the qualities of the True Parents' family. It shares their heart and zeal to do God's will. It practices their tradition. Becoming a taesin family means that we should study the True Parents' way of life and make it our own: their daily schedule, their life of prayer, their sacrificial spirit and absolute determination. We should learn their methods of preaching and teaching. We should train ourselves in the way they win the heart of even the proudest VIP. We should emulate their attitude of patient forbearance toward those who betray them. Naturally, we should learn the True Parents' language, Korean. To inherit the True Parents' tradition, we have to put aside our former ways and habits, including the traditions of our own culture wherever they fall short. Their ways of self-denial and self-sacrifice certainly challenge the self-centered and indulgent individualism which characterizes the lifestyles of many Americans.
A taesin family is a true family. True love shines through and through, as this family achieves unity in every way: mind and body, husband and wife, parents and children. It should show forth the godliness which is the original nature of every family. Jesus spoke of his own divinity as potentially present in each one of us: "I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." (John 14:20) We should embody the divinity of God within us, manifest the love of God among us, and shine forth the light of God to everyone around us. Rev. Moon envisions a world where:
Many children like Jesus should be born, and many brides and grooms who are like Jesus should arise. Many families must emerge with ideal spouses-such as Jesus' [family] would have been-who can raise perfect children. God's ideal world begins here.2
How can we become Christ-like? How can we inherit the True Parents' heart and love, power and grace? Many of us have already been consecrated as God's children through the Blessing. Yet, the Blessing is no panacea. We still wrestle with our fallen nature, fight with our spouses, and struggle to unite with God's will and the call of conscience. When we received the Blessing we were still spiritually immature-at best our spiritual level was only at the top of the growth stage. God did not yet dwell powerfully in us. After the Blessing we must still grow to full maturity before we can become the wholesome vessels able to embody the substance of God's love and the True Parents' love. How do we attain such a state of oneness with God that His love pulsates in each of the billions of cells in our body?
Jesus gives the answer; he said we must be born anew: "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5) Though Jesus' disciples wondered at this, later, on the day of Pentecost, they received the Holy Spirit: "And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:3-4) From that moment, these disciples, beginning with Peter, who had formerly been timid and at a loss for words were filled with the power to speak persuasively and proclaim the Gospel. (Acts 2:14-36) These disciples who had fled the scene when Jesus was arrested and cowered in fear of the authorities now spoke boldly to the authorities and preached Christ at the risk of their lives. (Acts 4:813) These disciples who had marveled at the miracles of Jesus were now empowered to perform miracles themselves in the name of Jesus. (Acts 3:1-8) Paul describes how the Spirit working within us transforms us into children of God, embodying God and Christ:
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God ... When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. - Rom. 8:14-17
Unfortunately, the last line, "provided we suffer with him," is too often overlooked. The grace of the Spirit is alive only in the person who, like those first Christians, takes up his cross.
The forces of darkness which beset the modern world, the scourges of war, racism, exploitation, corruption and moral decay, have pressed hard upon the Christian churches. People cry out anew for God to act once again to definitively end the reign of evil and loosen its hold on our hearts. The True Parents have come in the power of God to give God the victory and the glory on earth for all time. They offer the hope of renewal and bring a new infusion of the Spirit to revive the crippled churches. The issue for us is how we can be transformed from the befuddled and cowering disciples at the foot of the cross to the bold and dynamic apostles filled with the Holy Spirit.
There is only one way, the way of the cross. Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt. 16:24) When we sacrifice ourselves for others with a God-like heart, when we go beyond the limit of our strength and feel that we are about to die, then God will meets us and embrace us. Rev. Moon says,
If you are anxious to see God or to see True Parents in a dream, the only way is to work for God with your whole heart. You must have the type of God-like heart that is willing to shed blood for the sake of all people. You must have such a heart that you would even forget sleeping, and cry with me. That is the closest path to reach God.3
God's heart cries out for people who will go down to meet the people in the midst of their pain and suffer together with them. To that end, God first raises us in the truth and wraps us in His love. Then He sends us out to the world with some trepidation: will we remain faithful, or will we turn back rather than face the pain? God is delighted when we willingly bear the cross and demonstrate our loyalty to Him and His cause. We become His friends and companions, sharing the same heart.
The outpouring of pentecostal spirit is founded on sacrifice; it likewise finds its completion in sacrifice. According to the Divine Principle, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross became the basis for God's exercise of power from heaven:
By delivering Jesus to Satan, God set up as compensation the condition to save sinful humanity ... How did God achieve this? Because Satan had already exercised his maximum power in killing Jesus, according to the principle of restoration through indemnity, God was entitled to exercise His maximum power. While Satan uses his power to kill, God uses His power to bring the dead to life ... God thus opened the way for all humanity to be engrafted with the resurrected Jesus and thereby receive salvation and rebirth. -Moses and Jesus 184.108.40.206
Jesus laid the foundation for spiritual rebirth at Pentecost by the cross. The classical sign that a person has connected with Jesus and received rebirth occurs when he puts aside his old manner of life and takes up his cross, following in Jesus' footsteps.
Pentecostal experiences are not ends in themselves, but are meant to empower us to better fulfill our responsibility in our walk of faith. The Spirit helps us in our weakness, so that we can be strong enough to bear God's burdens and fight in His struggle to renew the sinful world. Today, when God is bringing providential history to its consummation, new Pentecostal phenomena abound. For example, at the outpouring of Spirit at Chung Pyung Lake in Korea, evil spirits are cast out, illnesses healed, and forgiveness abundantly given. The spiritual works of Heung Jin Nim and Dae Mo Nim are clearing away the obstacles which have until now blocked the love and power of God from flowing abundantly into people's souls.
This new Pentecost likewise unfolds on the foundation of sacrifice; this time by Heung Jin Nim and Dae Mo Nim, members of the True Family. Heung Jin Nim sacrificed his young life to protect his father; he exemplified the ethic of filial piety. At the moment of the fatal auto accident, when the oncoming truck was skidding towards his car, he swerved to absorb the blow himself and save the lives of his passengers.4 Grandmother Hong devoted her life to attending True Mother, braving many trials to protect her and raise her in purity. Ill and confined to bed for the last ten years of her life, she prayed constantly for the True Family and all the membership. She became particularly concerned for members who continue to suffer and struggle, unable to keep a high standard of faith or find the promised ideal of love. In her prayers, God showed Grandmother Hong that many blessed families are infested by evil spirits, the fruit of their sinful lineages. She then prayed that her earthly life might quickly pass, so that she might heal these families and help them attain the fullest measure of freedom, peace, unity and joy. At Heung Jin Nim's ascension, True Father gave him dominion over the entire spirit world, and at Grandmother Hong's ascension, he gave her the title Dae Mo Nim and commissioned her to bring spiritual grace and healing to people on earth. As Heung Jin Nim and Dae Mo Nim sacrificed on earth to attend God and the True Parents, so now they can descend from heaven with the spirit and power of God to help us who are attending God and the True Parents.
Nevertheless, according to the Divine Principle, the final responsibility to defeat Satan lies not with the Messiah, not with the Holy Spirit, but with each of us:
After the Second Coming of Christ, the people of faith are to bear the third responsibility to defeat Satan, the fallen archangel, and complete the providence of restoration. They are to achieve this in accordance with the Principle of Creation, which lays out the way for human beings to gain the qualification to rule the angels. -Restoration 2.2.5
The outpouring of grace at this new Pentecost empowers us to fulfill our responsibility to subjugate the principalities and powers of evil. God intends that we ourselves become lords of both the spirit world and the physical world and to link them through our minds and bodies. Whatever power the spirit world possesses should become our strength in the battle for goodness. We ourselves will defeat Satan and gain a victor's crown. In this way, we attain a living oneness of heart and spirit with the True Parents and with God.
Member of the Body of God and True Parents
Second, a taesin family is a member of the body of God and True Parents. Paul wrote of the church as the body of Christ, saying, "You are the body of Christ and individually members of it." (1 Cor. 12:27) As members of Christ's body, Christians share one mind and one spirit, which is to do the will of Christ in the world. Yet in its unified action, the body of Christ consists of many members with diverse talents and vocations. Some have exceptional faith, others are gifted preachers, some are healers, some speak in tongues, others have the gift of prophecy. Paul cautioned his readers not to compare their gifts or their positions in the church, for in the body every member is equally important, from the least to the greatest. Rather, everyone should devote himself for the up-building of the whole while caring for each other. "If one members suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together." (1 Cor. 12:26)
In the same way, regardless of our mission or level of ability, as members of the body of God and True Parents we should all move to one purpose, the fulfillment of God's providence. We should pool our talents and support each other in our missions. When both parents in a family are called to mobilize for some special campaign, neighboring families should willingly open their homes to care for the children. If a child of a poor family becomes sick and requires expensive medical treatment, neighboring families should willingly contribute to help them with the medical bills. The Unification Church has a wonderful tradition of adoption to give childless families the opportunity to complete the Four Great Realms of Heart. Most importantly, all the members of the body move together in a wonderfully coordinated way to fulfill God's will. The members' willingness to cooperate and sacrifice is the key to the church's organizational prowess. At the recent World Culture and Sports Festival in Seoul, and again at the various conferences in South America, representatives from the many different organizations established by the True Parents joined together to make the meetings a success. They exhibited the extensive reach of this marvelous body into every field of activity, including religion, politics, sports, science, business, media and the arts.
As members of one body, no one should be puffed up by self-conceit or by reason of exceptional revelations. As Paul said, we should "hold fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God." (Col. 2:19) We share concern above all for the welfare and success of the True Parents and the True Family, since they are the Head that gives every blessing to the body. No individual or organization should ever regard itself as independent from the True Parents and the central providence. Occasionally a person responsible for some small domain will make the mistake of trying to preserve his turf and his manpower by finding ways to isolate his domain from the center. This type of thinking does not work; it is against nature. If a person slips on an icy path and his body falls to the ground, does his hand think, "I should protect myself at all costs and not risk injuring myself by breaking the body's fall"? No, it willingly puts itself in harm's way to protect the head and back and soft organs. By this principle, when we sacrifice our smaller purpose for the sake of the greater providential purpose, we will prosper all the more.
For the same reason, even if we believe we possess superior insights and abilities, and know best how to accomplish some task, we should not insist on our own way. The better way is patience, until we can communicate our knowledge with the higher centers of the body. The member who grows impatient with a seemingly obtuse and stubborn leader who seems not to understand or accept his point of view, and hence cuts himself off, becomes a failure. A successful member humbly and patiently serves his superior, eventually winning his trust. In that unity of heart, his superior may accept his idea; on the other hand, he may recognize that his proposal was flawed when seen from the superior's wider perspective.
Being a member of the body of God and True Parents uplifts us. United with them, our faith and character become mature, as we "grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ." (Eph. 4:15) Joined with them, we grow with them to embrace higher and higher levels. Participating in their glorious work, our value becomes like theirs, and our glory becomes like theirs. We are their hope, as they are ours.
Acting Together with God and True Parents
Third, being a taesin family means to act on behalf or God and True Parents. Embodying the True Parents' love and heart, we become qualified to do what they do. As members of the True Parents' body, we are their hands and feet, mouth and ears, extending all over the globe. Moving as one, the True Parents through the agency of this body can right this world turned upside down. We give them the needed reach to fulfill their great responsibility.
Of all the things the True Parents do, the most important is to administer the rite of the Blessing. In recent years, Rev. and Mrs. Chung Hwan Kwak have officiated at Blessings all over the world, representing the True Parents. Ultimately, many families will be ordained with this priestly authority. After the True Parents pass into the spirit world, the church as their body will remain on earth, conveying the Blessing to all the people of the world.
Embodying God and True Parents in this way also has a painful side. For on sober reflection, we are utterly unworthy to stand in their shoes. We often deviate from their directions and fall far short of their standard of attendance to God. We do not share their seriousness or determination. We do not feel the depth of God's sorrowful heart that impels them to the absolute degree of sacrifice and devotion. Spending much of our time consumed with personal affairs, we devote only sporadic efforts to advance God's providence, while they think of nothing else. This weak faith in fact cripples the body of God and True Parents. Instead of acting together with them, we become their burden. Instead of extending their reach, they drag us forward by dint of their sheer will even as we criticize and complain. The True Parents can only act on the foundation which we provide them. By our faithlessness we undermine their foundation, leaving them to pay additional indemnity in places like Danbury prison.
Nevertheless, the True Parents hold us no rancor, but continue to build us up until we are able finally to stand as mature fruits acceptable to God. They have healed our infirmities and helped us to overcome our shortcomings until we can finally become victorious with them. We need only prevail in the small arena of our clan and community as tribal messiahs. Then we can stand alongside them as God's representatives dispensing blessings to the world.
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