Truth Is My Sword Volume I -Collected Speeches in the Public Arena
by Bo Hi Pak
My Tribute To America
Originally written in 1961, the following was published in The Way of the World in February 1974. In his own words, Dr. Pak gives testimony to his life, his faith, and his love for America and humanity.
During the Korean War, I was a soldier who fought side by side with my American brothers in the raging mountain battles of my native Korea. Many times during the war I witnessed the courageous deaths of unknown American heroes. Sometimes the enemy's high explosive fire did not even leave enough to bury. Thus, when I visited Arlington National Cemetery some years later, I read the inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."
The inscription on one tomb was "Korean War." I thought to myself, "This could be one of my friends." With great emotion I prayed for the souls of the heroes whose deaths I had witnessed. More than 30,000 Americans died in my country, and certainly most of their heroic actions were known but to God.
For me, as for many Koreans, America is more than an ally, more than a friend. America is a brother with whom we Koreans are tied in blood-shared bonds. With this deep sense of gratitude toward America, with our bonds of brotherhood, I now wish to present my earnest feelings and my tribute to this great country from the very bottom of my heart.
I first came to America in 1952. That was the year we were fighting a most painful war in Korea. The nation as a whole was in chaos. My people were dying. Towns and villages were completely devastated. Refugees flooded the country, and the aged and the children were withering away like autumn leaves from hunger and cold. I left a country devoid of hope, my kinsmen in despair.
America Is Paradise
Arriving in America through San Francisco's Golden Gate, my first thought was that I had arrived in a paradise-a new world for which I dared not dream. The things I saw, the sounds I heard were a cause of endless astonishment and they profoundly impressed me. I saw a flood of automobiles which seemed to cover entire cities. I saw countless numbers of beautiful women drivers, tall skyscrapers like a toyland, sparkling television advertising, and, above all, automatic Coke machines which do their own mathematics and give exact change without even cheating a penny.
America the blessed! The land of blessings! This came to my mind: These people have all the essential needs for livelihood; they have peace of mind; they have happiness. These first profound impressions of America, however, left me very much alone. There was too much contrast with what I had seen in Korea and what I saw in America.
That night, in an exquisite hotel room in San Francisco, I dropped to my knees and violently protested to God: "Oh God, it is very plain to me there is no God. If there is a God of mercy, He has already closed his eyes. Otherwise, how can it all be so unfair? Should Koreans be born for misery and suffering? If it is all the same to you, couldn't you share with my starved children a chunk of meat from the mouths of dogs and cats in America?"
Many foreign people today are apt to think America was born a millionaire, that the people themselves had nothing to do with its blessings. I know this much: nothing is farther from the truth. In America's history there was a time when not even a whole day of life was taken for granted. Today's America is not a product of chance; America's prosperity was not brought about by the ocean's tides; it was achieved by the blood and sweat of America's ancestors who fought for today's great nation. Along the road to success from wilderness to a powerful nation, America had its disappointments, setbacks, and bitter struggles.
We must not forget those men who stayed on at Valley Forge risking their lives; we must not forget that Abraham Lincoln did the fine but unpopular things without fear; that more than 56,000 men died in prison camps between 1861 and 1864; that later, in four wars, half a million Americans fell in battles on foreign soil. And we must not forget those pioneer women who faced Indian attacks and were partners in the movement westward.
America Is Great
Yet, these are not enough reasons for America being what it is today. These are certainly great reasons but not the greatest. I can easily find these same reasons in many other countries. The essence of greatness lies in something else. I found that this has truly been a nation under God. Wherever I go, I have found God in action in this country. "Trust in God"-this faith has made today's America possible. There is no one else who could have made this miracle of America come true, only God.
There is no more impressive story in American history than that of the Pilgrim Fathers who first came to America's shores. They came to America for God, for freedom of worship. When they left Holland, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean were high and the sky was dark. And the Mayflower was too unsound to guarantee the lives of those in her who were heading for an unknown land. Yet the Pilgrims trusted in God and did not fear the future. The Mayflower Compact was signed "In the name of God, Amen." In their pursuit of freedom to worship as they desired, the Pilgrims were willing to risk their lives and to make sacrifices. This is, I believe, the very spirit of the founding of America. This, I believe, is the real and only reason why America deserved the blessings of God.
When I first visited Capitol Hill, I saw the little prayer room in which, it is said, great statesmen, who have great decisions to make, kneel humbly before God, and earnestly seek divine guidance. Every single meeting in Congress, I was told, is opened with a prayer, thus letting Him speak to each man's heart and conscience.
Each president of the United States is sworn into office before Almighty God by reciting the solemn oath while his hand is placed on the Bible. President Kennedy concluded his inaugural address by saying, "asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own." These are things which moved me deeply about America. I would like to think of them as the real foundations of America's greatness, the wellsprings of America's power.
While under Japanese occupation, Koreans were forced to call America "bei kok," which literally means "rice country." When the Allied forces liberated Korea, we immediately changed the name to "mee kuk," which literally means "country of beauty." We changed the name because of the reverence, respect, and admiration we felt toward America. America is a country of beauty of land, cities, mountains, and rivers. It is a country of beauty of its people, beauty of its hearts, beauty of its noble friendships. Above all, America is a country of beauty of faith and love. This is the beauty I admire, cherish, and respect most of all.
The World of Today
I pay tribute to this America under God. However, honor means duty, blessings mean responsibilities. Blessings of God never come alone. America, which has been given great blessings, also has been given a sublime task. What is America's responsibility? Before answering that question, let us first look at the world of today.
We are at war. No one can deny that we are totally committed to a deadly war against communism. The Communist goal has been made abundantly clear in four words: "We shall bury you!" Either we win this war or we die. Look also at this grim reality: we have been losing the war. The Communist Empire, which started from zero forty-five years ago, now rigidly controls one-third of mankind. In the last fifteen years, 900 million people have become dominated by communism. And the surge of Red domination is now greater than ever before. Almost the entire world is on fire: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America. And everywhere the Free World remains on the defensive. The Reds force us back inch by inch, yard by yard, situation by situation. Times are not favorable to us.
What a pity that so few men know the true meaning of this war with communism. How frighteningly few realize that the Communist declaration of war was made not against America, not against free men, not against the Free World, but against God. communism denies and rejects God. communism provides its followers with a new faith, a program of action, a hope of establishment of final good for all mankind. This godless, final good, this "perfect" godless society takes away the Kingdom of God from man's hopes. The writings of Marx and Lenin take the place of the Bible. This war with communism challenges the very existence of God Himself. If the evil power of communism prevails in worldwide triumph, it means the defeat of God before the defeat of free men. That will be the day when God is thrown out of the window, off this planet Earth.
This is one thing He can never afford to have take place, because God has His own plan to establish His own Kingdom on this earth. God showed His clear determination in Isaiah 46:11: "I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it." And the hope of the establishment of the Kingdom of God can never be an illusion. For this establishment God needs champions. Indeed, He has already summoned His champions to fight and to win this war.
The Call of God
As He summoned the shepherd David from the wilderness as the champion of God to win over Goliath, as He summoned Moses as the champion of oppressed Israel to win over the pharaoh of Egypt, God has summoned this nation, the United States of America, as His champion to fight this war for His victory. Here lies the responsibility of America! Has America awakened to this calling of God?
Today, we constantly hear the voice that communism is an enemy of the free world. What does it mean? It means simply that America is fighting for America. We are fighting for our survival. Today, we constantly hear the appeal of crisis. The word "crisis" has become a part of our daily diet: Berlin crisis, UN crisis, crisis in Africa, crisis among teenagers, in industry. Yet no one, practically no one, ever thinks of the crisis for God, the crisis for His Kingdom. God has been forgotten.
As long as we fight our own war, chances are we will lose, because God has no hand in it. As long as America fights for America's survival, America has no advantage over Communism. And as long as God is forgotten, no crisis on earth will be settled because the answer to crisis is in the hand of God, not here.
If, as President Kennedy said, "Here on earth, God's work must truly be our own," a new realization, a new awakening must come to America. That awakening must be the voice of America. Today, everyone in America feels the bomb is so near. Few in this present world escape from fear of nuclear war. No one can be entirely free from this fear of catastrophe. Yet no one knows exactly how to prevent it and still win the battle.
May I dare to commit myself in this answer: We must realize this war as God's war, make ourselves champions of God. The faith of David destroyed Goliath. The faith of Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea. The faith of America, the faith of free men, will destroy the giant Goliath of modern times.
When America's faith comes to the point of understanding, we won't have to use our nuclear weapons. The Hosts of God will destroy the enemy for us.
Look to the solemn truth. After Jesus' crucifixion, his surviving disciples marched to Rome at a time when Rome's authority was making the world tremble. Romans had the dignity of an empire. They had a fearless army counted in millions, and they had endless treasure. Roman power seemed to stop even the rising of the sun. Jesus' army had nothing except bare hands, and even these bare hands were tied by chains. But Jesus' disciples had a weapon. Their weapon was faith in Christ. They were willing to face any danger, any hardship, any form of sacrifice for God's cause. As to what happened, history is witness. God fought for them. The collapse of Rome came from inside. The giant Roman Empire collapsed before Jesus' army. The divine principles of God remain the same. Let us make this war as God's war and win this war by the same principle.
The Army of Jesus
Today, America has a billion times more strength than this barehanded army of Jesus. Our enemy is unquestionably smaller than Rome in comparative size. There is no reason why we cannot win. Today, we have all weapons, but no weapons. We have every conceivable weapon that man can create, all but the weapon of faith. This is the tragedy of America and the tragedy of the free world.
The question is clear: this faith will be the deciding factor. Those who possess God will possess the world. And this great nation under God must become one which possesses this ultimate divine weapon. America must now live up to her traditional motto: "In God We Trust." God left no alternative.
Now then, where can America truly find this trust? Despite an urgent craving for new faith, America's faith now faces its most crucial trial. One of the American missionaries dedicated to work in Korea once told me: "I did not send my son to any good American school in Korea or nearby Japan, but I sent him to a British school in Singapore. Why? There is no God in a good American school. Our youngsters seem to believe they can live without Him. Why bother?" This is the grim reality. Let us be honest. How many of us really believe that Jesus Christ is the answer? How many of us really believe there is a God who presides over the destiny of a nation and its people?
The Christian doctrines of modern churches often lack rationality, and they are full of contradiction. Our churches face spiritual and philosophical deadlock in the face of Communism. Spiritual power and direct communication with the living God, which Jesus possessed, are almost entirely absent from today's churches. They are virtually unknown to the Christians of today. It is a marked phenomenon in the West, as well as in the East, that Christians and non-Christians alike long for a positive religion which enables man to experience definitely the reality and the power of God by direct confrontation with Him.
A supernatural power, originating from the spiritual world, is now decisively interceding in human affairs. That is why we are apt to feel that world affairs are out of human control. Today people feel uncertain, insecure, and confused. They do not know the exact cause of their uncertainty or how to cope with it. In the meantime, the churches are addressing themselves in a dead language to situations and issues that no longer exist. 40
A New Spiritual Awakening
Dr. Samuel Miller, Dean of the Harvard Divinity School, said, "Christianity may be at death's door. If religion is to have any real place in the modern world it will have to undergo a radical revolution." The question still remains, where will America find a new spiritual awakening?
"We need a new revelation." This is the cry of many Christians. Why do we need a new revelation? Because we have nothing else to try. So far, we have tried all theories and all the best possible means available to break through the spiritual deadlock. But the efforts have been in vain. The solution must come from God Himself because He is the only one who knows the solution. And this solution must be given to us. We need it now. Therefore, yes, we do need a new revelation.
The Bible says, "Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7) In this historical moment of transition, there must be a voice of God. God must tell us what to do. However, people may say, "We already have had the revelation, the Bible. What else do we need?" That is right. Through the Bible, the words of God are revealed to mankind. But how many of us read and truly understand the Bible?
Not long ago a book publisher gave us some shocking news. He said that the Bible should be shifted from the book shop to the decorator's store. The Bible, he said, serves more as an ornament than as a book. It decorates churches, libraries, home bookshelves, schools, hotel drawers, and elsewhere, everywhere except the soul of modern man. There are more Bibles in this world than any other book, but it is the least read among all books.
Yes, there are many people who are desperately trying to read the Bible, but sooner or later many of them give up in disappointment. Why? The Bible makes little sense to modern thought. It is difficult to understand and therefore difficult to sustain interest. The Old and New Testaments are primarily written in parables and symbols. Therefore it needs interpretation. For 2,000 years theologians have attempted the interpretation of the Bible, and they have produced numerous commentaries, most of which vary in content. This diversity of interpretation, therefore, has caused a diversity of doctrines. This has resulted in a definite division of over 300 denominations and sects in the Protestant churches.
It is plain, therefore, that the ultimate truth contained in the Bible has not yet been discovered. Unless this ultimate truth is revealed to man with the explanation of the inner meanings hidden in all parables and symbols, the Bible will ever remain a book of mythology. When the ultimate truth is revealed, then this shall be the day when the barriers of denominations and sects shall be broken down, and all Christian churches will be able to unite.
Under the truth of sunlight, candlelight cannot argue, but join. Therefore, we need a new revelation of truth, of sunlight. God plainly promised this revelation would come by saying: "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father." (John 16:25)
"He Will Guide You Into All The Truth"
Furthermore, Jesus once said to his disciples, "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth." (John 16:12) It is plain, therefore, that Jesus could not reveal all the truth. It remains the task of the spirit of truth to reveal it.
We do need a new revelation. The spirit of truth must come. The issues are clear. It is not we who create the answer but it is given. It is Jesus who knocks at the door with the answer. And it is we who must listen to His voice and without fail open the door. The Bible said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come unto him and eat with him and he with me." (Rev. 3:20)
I would like to pause here to tell my own story. In May 1952, the Red Chinese Army launched its spring offensive in Korea on an unprecedented scale. The attack came on the eastern sector of the front. Our defense line totally collapsed, and a tragic retreat to the south took place. I was in this retreating stream of helpless soldiers. I was a company commander leading what was left of my company.
When the retreating stream came to the Chang Chon River, we were forced to cross the river in bare feet with our equipment carried on our heads. There was no order, no law, in these frightened hordes of miserable sheep. Just as I was about to cross behind the several hundred who were in the water, enemy machine gunfire opened up directly in front of us. It was a trap. In a moment the river turned crimson with the blood of my comrades. I fell to the ground trying to take cover. But there was no cover. There was a steep cliff behind us and the river was in front. The shower of bullets came even faster. My friends were dying all around me.
Oh God! Oh God!
In this moment of deep despair, I, this man who had never been to church, shouted in desperation, "Hananim, Hananim!", which means, "oh God, oh God!" I knew no one else could save me. The next moment I knew my heart was empty. I had no God. I saw no reason why God should favor me.
During the next flashing moment under this continuing shower of bullets, I firmly decided, "Let me have God in my heart. Better late than never. I may die in the next ten seconds. Let me have faith in God in ten seconds. Oh God, come into my heart!" Then all I remember is that the miracle came. The rescue really came from heaven.
Friendly fighter bombers appeared in the sky and began to shatter the enemy. Enemy machine guns stopped. This was our only chance to escape. I ordered my men to follow me. But among the multitude only three showed signs of life. One stood up and the other two, who were seriously wounded, just stirred. Thanks to God, I was alive and without a scratch!
After this horrible experience, I realized in humbleness that my life no longer belonged to me. I felt my life was on a lease. Somebody else owned it-God. I wanted to be a Christian and a good Christian. For a period of five years after that battle, I studied the Bible from cover to cover. I never missed church meetings. But my efforts were in vain. I was not a Christian at all. My heart was icy cold and Christ meant not much more than Smith or Jones next door.
My questions had new terms. My doubts had deeper dimensions, and my hunger of heart grew greater and more desperate. I asked myself, "What is the Kingdom of Heaven? What is our original sin? Did Adam's eating the apple bring sin from generation to generation and to me? Why did the merciful God create this apple of death? How can He be merciful? Suppose man has fallen; why did He not, or could He not, detect the fall and prevent it? If God is all-knowing, He must have known of man's fall. If He knew, He could have prevented it because He is almighty. Was He taking a nap at that very moment? As far as I am concerned, God is dead! And furthermore, supposing Jesus purifies all our sins, including original sin, why were those faithful Christians not delivered from sin? Apparently, faith in Christ could not remedy the original sin. Why is that so? Why did Jesus promise to come again? Is He really coming? Then how, when, and where? Why had God saved my life from the riverside slaughter?" It seemed to be hopeless. Then once again, all of a sudden, came the strange voice. The spirit of God led me to another riverside rescue, this time spiritually.
I met a great leader in Korea. He might be called a spiritual champion or a religious genius. But neither of these terms is the correct one. He was, and is, a chosen instrument of God of the 20th century. He unfolded the mystery of the Bible, the principles of creation, the principles of the fall of man, God's new dispensation, and the providence of cosmic restoration.
His extrasensory experiences started when he was about 16 years of age, at which time Jesus appeared to him and told him that he was destined to accomplish a specific mission, for which Jesus would work with him.
With these extraordinary spiritual gifts, he began to explore the hidden meanings of the parables and symbols in the Bible. He studied the unanswered questions of Christianity in confrontation with God Himself. Over a period of seven years, God revealed through this great human instrument, the whole truth of the Divine Principles. These are the principles by which God created man and the universe at the beginning. By these same principles, God is going to restore mankind and the universe now because the work of God is nothing but re-creation.
I Understood Fully of the Father
By the powerful truth of the Divine Principle, my soul was ignited, my heart was impassioned, and my words and lips empowered. I became a totally new man. My life was totally changed. And I cannot help but tell others this wonderful news. By this truth I no longer saw dimly of the Father, but I saw Him face to face. I no longer knew a part of the Father, I understood fully of the Father. Questions were resolved in a new dimension. Doubts faded away, and my hunger of heart was satisfied in full.
Good news always spreads. This good news spread all over Korea within a few years by the new and determined Christians from all denominations. This news spread in Japan on a gigantic scale. It spread to China, to Germany, and across the Pacific to the United States of America, where great faith should belong.
A striking characteristic of the principles is their interdenominational, interreligious, and universal nature. In the Divine Principles, the wall of denomination is broken down. You will feel a new-born Christian in heart and soul before being a sectarian. It is wide enough to contain all sects. At the same time, it is narrow enough to go into any sect. Where the Divine Principles go with its newer, more urgent realization, churches flourish, members are increasing, and burning spiritual fire flares up.
It is universal because in the Divine Principles, nationality is insignificant. Before you are an American and I am a Korean, we are all children of God, citizens of His Kingdom on this planet. Wherever you go you will find your home, your family, because before this is yours, it is my Father's. Korea and Japan were enemies for a long time. When I came to this country, I stopped in Japan and met Japanese brother and sister workers in the Divine Principles. I met all new faces in the morning, yet that same evening when I departed, we bid each other tearful farewells. I never thought for a single moment they were Japanese and I was Korean.
It is particularly vital that this teaching is interreligious. Today it is a marked phenomenon that the world is heading for one world. That world should be under one God. Then that one God's principles must be good for all. There must be one idea powerful enough to unite all religions.
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6) It has been tragic that oftentimes Christians narrowly interpret the Scriptures with the feeling of resentment and segregation toward other religions. They say, "Other religions have no Christ. Therefore, they are headed for hell, no matter how they try." Thus Christians monopolize Christ.
"No one comes to the Father but by me." What an absolute statement that is! Jesus said this because there is one God and one Christ for all. Therefore, Christ came not for Christians only but for all of mankind and for the whole universe.
Then Christ must make sense to other religions. Christ must be the center of every religion. Instead of denouncing or segregating other religions, Christians are responsible to erect the road of Christ to other religions. We must convince them not to abolish their religion, but instead fulfill their goal of religion by knowing Christ. Christ is theirs as much as ours.
We must convince them in an ultimate sense that there is no Christianity, no Buddhism in the sight of God. There is one God, one Christ, and one life in one family. We all are in the same boat. When we reach the goal, I am no longer a Christian and he is no longer a Buddhist monk, but the same man in God. The man in God does not need religion of any kind. Religion is something like a booster to orbit the rocket. Once the rocket is orbited, the booster is no longer needed. All religions as a whole are in the same endeavor in their respective ways to orbit man around one Christ. There must be oneness in religion. Under the Divine Principles there is.
There will never be a moment as there is now for the call for unity of Christianity. It is intensely needed and we are almost desperate. There are many councils, negotiations, and discussions going on in this world. However, unity of churches never comes in councils, negotiations, or discussions. The unity only comes when we orbit Christ and discover the true oneness in Christ.
And the Divine Principles not only achieve the unity in Christianity, but also achieve the unity in all religions. When our small hearts melt in the big heart of Christ, all of mankind shall live in one heart and one heart is enough. So far, we have failed.
Divine Principles Bring Clarity to All Religions
Under the Divine Principles, for the first time in history, Christianity makes total sense to Buddhists and followers of Confucius and other religions. Other religions begin to see their goal of religion in the gospel of Christ through the Divine Principles. For the first time, they see Christ now as the ultimate Buddha, the ultimate Confucius. In Japan Buddhist monks have paid for publication of the Book of Divine Principles. Have you ever heard of such a thing-non-Christians footing the bill for the works of Christians? Further, the monks sit not in the temple but in churches, side by side with Christians.
Every day, every hour, we hear the urgent cry for spiritual revival or a spiritual revolution. World-renowned evangelists at their every meeting call for a spiritual revival. Hundreds and thousands of pastors and ministers appeal for the revival of faith to their congregation each Sunday from their pulpits. Famous statesmen today are crying for human dignity and decency. They all say: Something must be done or we are headed for disaster. We must do something now. There is no time for delay, or we may not be sure that we will have a tomorrow. Some writer claimed that it is of no use to talk about the future because this time Armageddon is really at hand.
There is one thing, however, that we must realize. As long as we hear this gigantic battle cry for a spiritual revival, there is no spiritual revival. We don't have the answer yet. As long as you hear a hungry man's appeal for food, you know that the man is still hungry. Once he receives the food, however, you will no longer hear him cry out, for his hunger will have been satisfied. It is obvious, therefore, that the world does not have the answer to the spiritual hunger.
We have listened long enough to the cries; we have enough motivation for a spiritual revolution. What we need now is food, food to satisfy our spiritual hunger.
The Divine Principles do not call for a revival because they are in the mainstream of the very revolution of man. We will become busy with eating and digesting the truth; we will, in time, be satiated of our hunger. The Divine Principles are not advocating a revolution; they are actually carrying out the revolution. They will not tell you that there is need for change, but they will change you, and you in turn will change the world. What we need today is the "how" and not the "why." We had better find a new way; the same old way will not do. And there is a new way! And this is the Divine Principles, which never has been tried before. It will show us precisely "how."
America, that has been so courageous in seeking a new world; America, that has been so bold and fearless in seeking new ideals; America, that has been so dedicated and so steadfast in earning fame as the nation under God, must once again be the seeker of new truths in a new dimension. America's spiritual hunger will be met in full in this new truth movement. America will find a new realization and awakening in the Divine Principles. As Jesus said, "I am in the Father and the Father in me." Why not make America in the Father and the Father in America; why not let Christ run this great nation?
And the Divine Principles will do it. Blessed are those who find Him.
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