Early Unification Church History
by Mrs. Nora Spurgin
Early Unification Church History Part 1
This is the first in a two-part reprint of an article first published in Blessed Family Volume 4. Long before Father ever taught the Principle to anyone, he searched throughout Korea for the Christian groups which he knew God had been preparing and which had been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to play a role in the restoration process. Many of them had made incredible sacrifices in laying a foundation of faith, but in the end there always remained that ultimate test of faith that they unite with another person or group, making the foundation of substance, thus taking the providence to a new level in preparation for the coming Lord. Father explains that it was also a condition that this unity be made in pure faith and obedience to God without rational explanation.
The period of oppression under the Japanese was one of unbelievable intense persecution and hardship for Koreans, particularly for the Christians. It was also during this same period of time that providential preparation was taking place among the Christians so that the Old Testament and the New Testament eras would be restored and indemnified, paving the way for Father to begin his mission with the taking of a bride, and commencing to complete the unfinished mission of Jesus.
It is not news to us that the many failures in this early foundation were due to an inability to unite. During World War II and thereafter, Korean Christians suffered greatly, made incredible personal sacrifices, labored endlessly, and carried out directions from spirit world faithfully and obediently; yet in the end, one foundation after another was lost because of the unwillingness to unite with another person or group. Father often made special conditions personally so that he could inherit the foundations, and thereby he could salvage the great indemnity which had already been paid.
Even the establishment of the Unification Church was not God's original plan, but rather an alternate way to preserve the foundation of incredible suffering and sacrifice which has already been made. In this way a small group of early members made the conditions to inherit (and thus save) God's carefully nurtured restoration providence. The providential history of Korea both before and after the establishment of the Unification Church had one goal - that of uniting internal and external, male and female, and Cain and Abel on every level. The name Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity speaks as much to our mission today as it did at its inception in 1954.
Korea, in order to be the Adam country in God's providence, had to be dominated by an Eve country and by overcoming the Eve country gain independence. Therefore, Korea was ruled by the Japanese for 40 years from 1905 to 1945. During that 40-year period the Japanese tried to destroy the cultural tradition and even the language of Korea. They forced the Christians to bow down to idols in the Shinto shrines.
Many Korean Christians were imprisoned and suppressed by the Japanese government because of their refusal to do this. Father himself was imprisoned by the Japanese during this period. As a young man, Father was preparing himself for his public ministry; however, he did not teach the Principle at this time for he had promised God to begin his work after Korea was liberated from Japanese rule.
When God finds people and enlarges the foundation for His providence, He always has to work against the rejection of Satan. Therefore, as World War II neared its end the oppression from the Japanese became much more severe. These last years of Japanese rule became unbearable, especially for faithful Christians. people longed and prayed for the day of liberation from Japan. As those Christians prayed more and more seriously, many received revelations from heaven that after World War II Korea would be liberated and a new history would develop centering on that Asian nation.
Under such circumstances Christianity became divided. The most devout Christians refused to bow down to the Shinto idols, consequently experiencing imprisonment, severe torture, and even death at the hands of their Japanese oppressors. Other Christians, often from the mainline churches, chose to compromise their faith, externally uniting with the Japanese authorities by bowing before the Shinto shrines while internally maintaining their Christian beliefs. Many of the faithful Christians fled to the mountains where they hid and created underground groups centered around a spiritual leader. In the midst of sever persecution, and elusive in the mountains of Korea, these independent Christians became channels for many new revelations from God and Jesus, setting them apart from the established churches. Some Christians even received that they should not work with the existing churches. Consequently, they were not only in conflict with the Japanese authorities; conflict also arose between established churches and the many newly formed spiritual groups. From an internal point of view, these spiritual groups were part of the providential plan for restoring the Old and New Testaments and making the foundation for the Messiah to find a bride and establish the Kingdom of Heaven and earth.
Won Pil Kim tells us of the role spiritualists placed in Korean Christianity: "Many people who visited Father and became members had held leadership positions in one or another Christian church. Among these were the spiritualists. People who could heal and foretell the future formed an important part of the fundamentalist Christian churches, because their spiritual power drew others to the churches and the ministers were able to witness to them and multiply the membership. Thus, these spiritualists were the main leaders in the existing churches.
"For years, people had unhesitatingly received their ministers' words as God's words. But then the spiritualists began to receive by revelation that Jesus' crucifixion was not originally planned by God. Since the ministers had always thought that the crucifixion was planned by God, the spiritualists thought they would be pleased to hear the new revelations, so they went and shared the news with their ministers. However, the ministers denied the revelations. Since the revelations were contrary to what was written in the Bible the ministers said they must have come not from God, but from Satan. You can imagine how painful it was for the spiritualists to be told this.
"So the spiritualists would pray to God and ask what do. The same revelations would be repeated. Thus, the spirituals were faced with the dilemma of deciding whether to follow their ministers or their revelations from God. They were in a kind of midway position. According to the ministers, the revelations were contrary to the Bible. Moreover, when the revelations were given, no biblical basis or explanation accompanied them. "So the spiritualists would stop going to church, but eventually, having nowhere else to go, they had to return. Still, they were always looking for the true answer. Whenever they heard of the arrival of a new missionary or a new teacher, they would immediately go to hear hum speak. Also, they would go to the mountains to pray. Although they attended church, they could not respect their minister.
"In those days, the Christian churches were to some degree built on the foundation of the spiritual power of the spiritualists. Thus the spiritualists were pillars of their churches, and of course, their families as well, since the whole family would usually attend church together. When someone became sick, he would go to one of his relatives who was a spiritualist and quickly recover. Whenever someone had a problem, he would go to the spiritualist among his relatives and get some good advice.
"Thus, the spiritualists were always respected and valued by their families. Deep inside, however, these spiritualists lived in great conflict." Two spiritual groups, one on the east coast and the other on the west coast, played prominent roles in the restoration providence to lay a foundation for God's completed work.
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