The Words of the Selig Family
Why I Choose to be a Unificationist!
Recently I was speaking to a sister I hadn't seen in years. She and her husband have been distant from the church for some time. After exchanging external pleasantries, she asked, "Are you still active?" It was such a strange-sounding question. My first reaction, frankly, was indignation, but I held my tongue, and just said "yes." We continued speaking and I gently witnessed to her about all the various activities going on, trying to relate to her as an old friend or an older brother.
I know lots of inactive members, as we all do. "Inactive" sounds better than "former." It leaves the door open and, hopefully, is more accurate. One "inactive" member, in particular, calls me regularly every few months. He's done very well for himself financially. We did so many providential things together. I have great memories. What I regret the most about his leaving is that I lost my friend. Close friends are hard to come by in the church, although I have lots of brothers and sisters. I'm also sorry he left because he could've made a lot of money for the church. For each talented member who leaves, it only adds more responsibility and burden to True Parents and those who choose to stay behind.
November 15th marks 25 years since I signed membership, more than half of my life. I could've left the movement a hundred times. It would've been easy. Lots of people do, but I choose to stay. I'm always amazed people do choose to leave, especially in the last decade. It's easy to be at least an inactive member, and even receiving the blessing is easier than it used to be. Things have changed so much since the '80s.
As my spiritual birthday comes around, I've been wondering how to articulate why I choose to remain a Unificationist. We all have free will. No one pays us a salary to stay, so recently, I’ve been praying about this. My reasons may not apply or be identifiable to everyone, and they may not be so profound or convincing, but they work for me.
Reasons I Choose to be a Unificationist
1. I want to be as close to God as possible. Surely that is a natural desire for everyone. The Divine Principle is the highest truth. It clearly explains the nature of Heavenly Father, and the reality of the creation, fall, and restoration.
2. I am indebted to True Parents. There are no finer role models than the True Parents. All these years they have taught us by example. I don't always understand the significance and meaning of their words. I leave that to the philosophers of our Movement, but I can't deny their constant dedication and pursuit of excellence. Father is a true and heavenly revolutionary prophet.
3. I trust our leadership. I know, I know, sometimes it seems they're only interested in results, numbers, and another donation, and in my 25 years I have met some leaders like that. But by and large, they are selfless, sacrificial people just doing the best they can under extraordinary circumstances. I think back to my very first "central figure." The Japanese brother spoke no English--nada, zip—but through his wife, the I.W. at that time, I was saved. If he hadn't personally taken care of me, I would've definitely been swept off into Satan's world. He and his wife prayed for me, gave me responsibilities best suited to my talents, and at the same time, subtly worked to raise me up. I owe my eternal life to that family.
4. I love and respect our members. Unificationists are extremely good and considerate people. We all recognize them. They are humble, trustworthy, virtuous, and just plain nice. Some may even qualify for sainthood. Anybody with any sense can tell you that part of the secret of happiness is to surround yourself with people of character. It's bound to rub off.
5. Life in the Movement is relatively simple. Of course we have to do very difficult providential work, but watch a popular movie or television show and you can see that life in Satan's world is even tougher. As they say, it's a jungle out there. You've got to fight for jobs, position, the right school, friends, clothes. It's all about control, money, sex, image. In comparison, life in the Movement is straight forward. Besides a modicum of income, we only need to: (a) attend church and recite pledge on Sundays, (b) do Hoon Dok Hae, and, (c) tithe. And if you really want extra points, add (d) go to meetings. The more the better. Follow these four steps, and you're guaranteed a seat in heaven.
6. Our lives are purposeful, challenging, and busy. I don't necessarily comprehend Father's direction or the spiritual reasoning behind each campaign and condition, but if I unite, and this is after years of experimentation, then I feel more connected to Heavenly Father, my conscience, and my wife. Everyday we are called upon to push the envelope of our faith, beliefs, and our inner selves.
7. The Unification community offers the best environment for children. It is supportive, safe, pure, moralistic, and nurturing. Satan's world is crude. Women are treated without heavenly respect. Our community -- extended uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters -- offers the best situation for the innate natural qualities of children to blossom and develop.
8. We are building the Kingdom of God on Earth and Heaven. I really believe in a God-centered utopian world. It's part of our original nature. As children we believed in it, but as we aged, some of us forgot the dream. Unificationists are true idealists. And yes, I believe it will happen in our lifetimes.
9. Through the Blessing, my lineage can be restored. I can communicate with my ancestors through the language of prayer and love. They'll be given new life and hope of redemption, forgiveness, and eternal happiness.
10. Lastly, and best of all, Heavenly Father gave me a wonderful wife and daughter. Donna loves and attends me and when I look at our daughter, I see the image of God.
I know my reasons may not convince everyone, and in fact, I may change them tomorrow, but for today, on my 25th spiritual birthday—they work just fine.
William and Donna Selig were Blessed at Madison Square Garden in 1982. They live in Rockville, Maryland, with their 13-year old daughter, Hannah.
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