The Words of the Miffleton Family
Call To Repentance
July 18, 2000
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" (Matt. 3:1-2)
THUS BEGAN the mission of the Messiah 2000 years ago, with a call to repentance. Strangely enough, John was not preaching to the gentiles but to the Chosen People-- the Israelites-- who should have been well prepared to receive the Messiah. I suppose he should have been able to say, "OK, you guys are doing a great job... now let's follow Christ." Instead, he blasted them, especially the religious leaders, saying, "You brood of vipers!" Jesus didn't have very nice things to say about them either.
Therefore, ANY hope we have to see the Kingdom of Heaven in our lifetime is incumbent upon the call to repentance-- a call that, according to True Father, is "eternal" (The Way of Tradition, III, p.73). Who must repent, and why? For what should we repent? After all, most of us have worked hard all our adult lives for this movement.
Well, this modern-day "John the Baptist" (me) says that we ALL should repent, and deeply. Repent with blood-stained tears, even to the point of death if need be. Those rare souls who have nothing personally to repent for (which I doubt), should nonetheless repent on behalf of others, even the whole nation and world. I myself spent many years pleading with God in tears on behalf of people who were too ignorant and dominated by Satan to do so themselves. I don't know if it ever helped anyone else, but it sure did ME a lot of good.
Why should we repent? Because here it is 40 years after the advent of True Parents, and the world is still fallen-- it is still hell on earth. America doesn't seem to be any closer to restoration now than it did 23 years ago when I first joined. So I must ask: is fallen society becoming more and more like us, or is just the opposite the case? As much as I hate to admit it, we are coming more to resemble fallen society. Consider this very UE list, for example: the bickering, the fighting, the lack of Christian charity. Several members of our prayer group have withdrawn from the list because it was making them sick. That just reflects a general lack of focus and lack of unity-- not to mention a severe lack of brotherly-sisterly love. How many of us secretly yearn for the "good old days" when we were all on fire for God and True Parents? Who wants to go back to that? True, heartfelt repentance is the road to return to that original spirit. Father says: "Only repentance can cleanse you in front of the nation, in front of your parents, in front of yourself, and above all, in front of the True Parents and God. You must repent. So far we have been like bloodsuckers; we have not been adding to society but subtracting from it. This is the naked truth without symbols and flowery words."
What To Repent For
The list of things that we should repent for is vast and varied-- too long to include here-- so I will consider only three. These are things that should not be found amongst a spiritually mature membership.
First, is RESENTMENT. You hear about this all the time in Korea and Japan, and now in America. According to Dae Mo Nim, many Family members are developing debilitating medical conditions as a result. Our members resent the way they've been treated (by the Church), the way they're treated now, and the fact that their lives haven't turned out as they expected. When one is full of resentment, new life is all but impossible and spiritual growth a distant dream. Is the Kingdom of God a place for people with resentment? Obviously not. In the Kingdom of God there is nothing but heartfelt GRATITUDE. Resentment is simply the absence of gratitude, just as darkness is the absence of light. It's been said that we should forgive those who wronged us in the past, but I think the roots of resentment go deeper than that. Resentment comes because we unconsciously BLAME GOD for our misfortunes. Fallen man does this constantly. Every time something bad happens, he shakes his fist and cries, "God, why did You let this happen?" It was this "blaming God" mentality that led to the human fall in the first place. For this, we absolutely must repent. [note: I think there is such a thing as "heavenly resentment" but that's not what I mean here. I'm referring to the selfish resentment that cuts you off from God's love.]
Second, those who have become cynical and disillusioned must repent. There's nothing wrong with being "cynical"-- so long as it helps you cut from Satan's world and embrace God's. I myself am extremely cynical when it comes to the so-called "glories" of the fallen world. Being disillusioned is fine if it helps you come to grips with the reality of God's providence. But from my experience, disillusionment occurs when things do not happen according to our expectations. What if our expectations are wrong? I recall one day in the Atlanta UC center, we were visited by a Korean leader named Mr. Park. During dinner, one brother asked him, "Mr. Park, when is the Harvest going to come?" Mr. Park stopped chewing his food, looked as if someone had thrown cold water in his face, then said, "There will be NO harvest! Older Family members must shed blood, tears, and sweat for God's providence. That's the only way anything ever gets accomplished." Thus, restoration can only occur this way: one person at a time, one square inch at a time. That could take thousands of years! Who expected that?
Here's another example: how many brothers and sisters worked and sacrificed for years in anticipation of the Blessing, then when it finally came, could not accept the person True Father chose for their spouse? I know many who failed on account of that. It just shows how tenaciously we, as fallen people, cling to our self-centered notions of love. The one thing that is most difficult to sacrifice is your OWN IDEA-- i.e. your expectations. God's Will is likely to be accomplished in a manner most unexpected. There is no way to anticipate it, thus we must have a perpetual "wait and see" attitude. Expect only what happens. If that's the case, then there is never an excuse for disillusionment. What if God had become disillusioned? He would have aborted the providence long ago.
Third, and most important, is the failure to love our brothers and sisters. We often speak of "unity" and "obedience to True Parents," and as vital as those things are, without love they are empty gestures. I met a sister on MFT once, who said, "I joined the church because of the TRUTH, not love. I experienced love later on, but it was the Divine Principle that made me join." Even though her statement was a not-so-subtle putdown of the Oakland Family (where I joined), I couldn't help but think, "There's a sister who really doesn't know the Principle."
Why would any Family member sneer at love? The essence of God's Being is love; the Principle exists for love's perfection-- that's the mission of the truth. The old viewpoint used to be: well, some people are more "vertical", others are more "horizontal". I found that to be completely false. You cannot love God (or True Parents) without first loving your own brother and sister. Those who have no deep love-- meaning tearful love-- for brothers and sisters have somehow distanced themselves from Heavenly Father and Cham Pu Mo Nim. Always, always, the most "vertical" people I've known are the ones with the deepest love.
However, with love, "unity" and "obedience" take on a whole new meaning. When you truly love someone, that's all the unity you need-- you don't have to agree with everything they think, say, or do. When you are motivated purely by love for God, True Parents, and humanity, your actions are automatically obedient. During my life as a lone pioneer, I often wondered about that since my entire life of faith seemed to be one "disobedient" act after another. After much prayer on the subject, God told me (in so many words): "Don't worry about it. As long as you follow My will, I am responsible."
How to Repent
Normally, we think of repentance as a prayer with tears, saying to God, "Mi an hamnida," receiving forgiveness, and moving on. We've all experienced that. But I grew a little weary of sincerely repenting for some mistake, then making the same mistake later on. I sought some way to repent with ACTION so that change would come about. In the end, I found that the way of repentance had to be accompanied by an offering, a sacrifice. To truly repent, the sacrifice would have to be on the level of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac-- i.e. what you cherish the most.
Now, it is difficult for me to offer this counsel because I know just how painful it can be. I went down that road because it was the only one available to me. Some years ago, my "Isaac" was revealed to me-- a person that I loved deeply-- but that's where Satan's accusation was. I had no choice but to terminate the relationship without explanation. I felt like my guts were being ripped out and I shed many bitter tears. But from that time, my relationship with God was cemented for eternity. Now, He will not let me go-- even if I run away!
Has anyone ever wondered why the True Parents "neglect" their own children, regardless of the damage done (and indeed, damage has been done)? It is to prevent Satan from accusing them of loving their own children more than his-- namely, us. Yet, Father never falters from what must be a heart-wrenching sacrifice. I believe that Blessed Couples are routinely accused of putting their own children first. Believe me, I sympathize. For this reason (and others), I have deliberately given up the possibility of having physical children of my own. I will leave no descendents. But I gladly accept this fate to concentrate my attention on adopted, spiritual children. In the end, that's what my pathway of repentance required. I hope that yours will be less costly.
Cham Sarang gwa Kido
Carl Elijah Miffleton
Cosmic True Parents Federation
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