The Words of the Stephens Family
Rev. Ki Chul Lee presents a lecture on Christian history at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul. Translator: Kim Setton.
On July 23, fifty-six religious leaders from 16 denominations arrived in Seoul, Korea, for a 10-day conference on the teachings of our Father and the historical roots of our movement in Korea and Japan. This marked the second of six such conferences planned by Father for American ministers this year.
Father has told us that his course of suffering over the last 40 years is due to the failure of the Korean Christian groups prepared to receive him. When they did not accept him, he had to indemnify the foundation that was lost by going into North Korea and eventually into Hungnam prison. In these 40 years Father has been working through the Unification Church to rebuild his foundation. These ministers' conferences in the Orient play an essential role in accomplishing Father's goal of unity with Christianity.
The conference itinerary, which follows the same basic schedule as the first ICC Seminar in Korea affords the ministers an opportunity to observe the roots of our movement, its heart, its strength, and its vitality. With their own feet the ministers climb the mountain to Father's Rock of Tears and pray together. With their own ears they hear testimonies by Father's earliest disciples, the fervent prayers of our members at Sunday service in Seoul, and lectures on the Principle and the preparation of Korean Christianity to receive the Second Coming. With their own eyes they see the replica of Father's first humble cardboard and mud church, the ominous "tunnels of aggression" built by the North Korea communists, and the factories, businesses, and other great accomplishments of our movement.
By offering Christian leaders this experience, Father is opening his heart to them. He longs for them to understand his whole life from the beginning, not just from what they have heard through American media. And he wants them to experience first-hand the culture and people of our fatherland of Korea.
The most valuable and substantial effect of these conferences is the respect and trust that ministers develop for lather as a man of God. Most of the participants do come to Korea with some lingering skepticism or even suspicion about Father. But when they go home, most of them testify that they feel God is actually behind Father and our movement. There- fore they can trust us because they can trust our "roots"' They can now testify from their own experience, and freely work side by side with us to help establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
Dr. Joseph Paige speaks at Sunday service in Seoul.
From his sermon at the Headquarters Church in Seoul, Korea, July 28, 1985
Dr. Joseph C. Paige is the executive vice president of Shaw Divinity School in Raleigh, North Carolina
I am so thankful to God to be back in Korea again. I feel a great kindred for the people here. I can relate to your struggles, your hopes, and your aspirations.
As we landed at the airport here on Tuesday I said a silent prayer. I could not hold back the tears as my feet touched Korean soil, because so many memories came back to me. Landing here on Tuesday, visiting Panmunjom on Friday and Pusan on Saturday, and worshiping with you today have been spiritual high points of my life.
Sunday Service at the Chung Pa Dong Church in Seoul.
I was in Korea from 1951 through 1953 as a part of the United States forces under the United Nations command. We were part of that brave and gallant cadre of men from America and other great nations of the world who came over to defend your noble country from continuing communist aggression from the North. Like all of the forces of the United Nations command, we came over in the name of God and freedom, determined to liberate South Korea. I was young then, brave and God-fearing. I had volunteered for service in Korea because I believed in the cause. I left my comfortable university teaching position out of a sense of patriotism and a commitment to God, and I was convinced then as I am convinced today that my presence, my courage, and my boldness were not so much due to my own strength but rather to the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the expression of God within me.
After the war, I served at Koje-do, Cheju-do, and Pusan. My last year in Korea immediately following the war as with the Pusan military post. I have fond and grateful memories of those years.
Another reason for the excitement I share in just being here is my profound love for some of your brave religious warriors and my desire to again visit the "fatherland" or "homeland" of your great spiritual leader, the Reverend Doctor Sun Myung Moon, truly among the greatest of our world religious leaders, not only at this time, but in the history of world religions. I believe that history will affirm this.
While I am very much a Baptist, I am also very much a Unificationist at heart. True, there are some theological differences, and some points of genuine disagreement, but these differences are small when compared to the many areas where there is agreement.
Visiting Panmunjom at the 38th parallel.
A unique and essential element of the Unification movement is the dedication and the commitment to doing theology. The members seem to practice reality theology. They preach it, they teach it, and they do it. They make every effort to live out their spiritual convictions.
This is the big "drawing card" of the movement and its great attraction to us in America. This is what makes the Unification movement so unique. And the notion of doing theology seems to permeate the movement at all levels -- from Rev. Moon and the leaders to the missionaries in the smallest local centers.
The irony of it all is that it is this emphasis on living out your theology that draws attention to as well as criticism of the movement. You see, you in the movement are trying to do what God wants you to do. And, in doing so, you are also pointing out a weakness in areas long overlooked by our mainline denominations.
The truth of the matter is that our mainline denominations are threatened by what you do and how you do it.
In America, in Japan, in Korea -- wherever your missionaries or leaders are -- I've found a dedicated, loving, and caring band of Christian activists, persons steeped in the spirit of Christ, grateful and loving to "Father," as you affectionately refer to Rev. Moon, and always thankful to Heavenly Father and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Praying and singing at the Rock of Tears, the holy ground in Pusan.
Right now I believe that more than any church or movement in America or the world the Unification movement is making a special and serious effort to translate its tenets of faith into a simple and positive way of life, and in so doing it is enduring undue hardship and pain as well as ridicule and resentment from those negative to the faith.
We are proud of Rev. Moon. Our love for Rev. Moon is genuine and of God. It is because we love Rev. Moon and because God loves Rev. Moon and because we respect him as one of the truly great leaders of the world that Shaw Divinity School honored Rev. Moon by awarding him the Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree during our annual Convocation for the Awarding of Degrees on May 11, 1985.
This was a historic event for both Shaw Divinity School and Rev. Moon. It was the first time that a major institution in America had been bold enough and honest enough and serious enough to honor this great leader. He was honored for his contribution in several areas: his Christian leadership, his strong fight against communism and communist aggression, and his outstanding contribution in support of religious liberty, world peace, racial, economic, and social justice, ecumenism, and more specifically, the unity of world Christianity.
You might ask why a well-educated black American, a dyed-in-the-wool Baptist minister, would turn to Rev. Moon, of all leaders, for religious inspiration or for spiritual guidance.
You might ask why an executive vice president of a major mainline institution in America would turn to Rev. Moon, especially since there are other renowned scholars of the world to whom he could turn.
Participants sign guest books at the Pusan church museum.
And yet, I will say today as I have stated in response to inquiries from all over the world: In awarding this special honor to Rev. Moon, we acted in the spirit of Christ. I declare to my brothers and sisters in Christ, both from America and Korea, we truly acted in the spirit of Christ. This has been affirmed by the Holy Spirit.
You see, I am a very spiritual person. I pray a lot, I fast a lot, I meditate a lot. I depend on God a lot. In fact, I totally rely on Him in all things and for all things. The honor to Rev. Moon was an act of God. In this instance, Shaw Divinity School served as a conduit for God. And so, in honoring Rev. Moon, we gave God both glory and honor.
I am persuaded, through the indwelling Holy Spirit within me, that Rev. Moon is authentic; that he is real; that he has been called by God to lead a fallen people at this time. God loves Korea. God loves Japan. God loves America. God loves the world. God loves His children and His creation. God wants to save the world because He loves His world.
I am persuaded that God has called Rev. Moon to provide leadership at this time. In this context, Rev. Moon's role in God's providence is similar to that of Moses in Old Testament history. Rev. Moon can be rightly called the modern- day Moses, and I believe that one day the history of world Christianity will bear it out.
I am pleased to report today that the Unification movement is rapidly gaining in respectability and general acceptance in America, even though resistance is still strong. More and more people, representing almost all of the religious persuasions in America, are softening their anti-Moon rhetoric. More and more Americans are joining with the Unification movement in the fight for economic, racial, religious, and social justice.
The difficulty people have in America with Rev. Moon is not so much due to differences in theology, but is a result of the shock that a yellow person, rather than an American white or a European, was called by God to help save America. Although theological differences are a contributing factor, the problem is due more to racism and national prejudice.
Even so, support for the Unification movement must continue. Rev. Moon must be encouraged. He must be helped. The world must be saved for God. Rev. Moon wants to help God and win the world back for Him. The unity of world Christianity is not only a goal, but a mandate from God. All of us must join forces to help realize this goal.
You are my brothers and sisters. Truly we are one. Let us pray.
Thank you, Lord, for this fellowship, for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the Moses of our day, Reverend Doctor Sun Myung Moon. Help us work for world unity -- not as whites or blacks or browns or yellows, or as Koreans or Americans -- but as the beautiful children of God. God please continue to bless Rev. Moon and the great movement he leads, and we claim a victory for you, God in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Touring a factory at Tongil Industries.
We climbed a steep, winding road to the top of the mountain where Rev. Moon prayed in Pusan, to a place called the Rock of Tears. I was out of breath and sweating when I finally arrived. I stood on the Rock of Tears for a while and rested, then I took a few steps to another rock and sat down and began to meditate. It was not long before I began to experience the presence of God. At the end of the group prayer I felt the urge to go and sit on the Rock of Tears as Rev. Moon had done and pray for the forgiveness of my sins and ask for a closer walk with God. When I entered into deep meditation, the Spirit took me and I saw a bright light around the top of the Rock of Tears. I got up and began to walk down along with the others.
About twenty feet down, a mist seemed to fall over me. I could hardly see, so I stepped aside to allow others descending to pass. I couldn't keep my eyes open. Right away I saw a picture moving before my eyes, as on a movie screen. I saw a man standing with outstretched arms, but he was not standing on anything. I saw multitudes of people of all nationalities coming before him. The man looked compassionate and he was calling the people to come to him. There was another strong man between the man with the outstretched arms and the people that he called his children. He was preventing them from going to the man with the outstretched arms.
I began to weep and pray for the Lord to move the obstacle to allow the people to go home to him. I was under this revelation weeping and praying as I got on the bus and until we were halfway to the restaurant (for about twenty or thirty minutes).
After the first revelation, a second one came showing me how humanity is sliding from God. This time I was shown the Garden of Eden. It was very beautiful and green everywhere. I saw two elevations: one on the right and one on the left. Below the two elevations was a large green expanse looking like a huge green lake. On top of the right elevation were several medium-size trees. A voice spoke to me and said that the Tree of Life was in the midst of those trees.
On the left elevation, I saw people sliding down into the green lake. I began to cry out, "Tree of Life, help! Tree of Life, help!"
We arrived at the restaurant, but I didn't know it. Everyone had left me in the bus. The tour guides thought I was sleeping and they entered the bus and shook me to awaken me. I got up and they led me into the restaurant. When I sat down, the Lord took away my hunger. I got up, left the restaurant, and went and sat opposite the waterfall in front of the restaurant. As I watched the beautiful waterfall I heard a voice say to me, "This waterfall has been here for ages. It is cooling and refreshing. Yet it does not move, nor think, nor speak. Man is different because he can move, think, and speak!' God was showing me that even though He poured His heart into the creation, how much more of His beauty and love He poured into man! And still man does not appreciate Him or obey Him.
On June 29, when I was in my room at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul, I had a dream. I had gotten up at 2:00 a.m. to go to the bathroom. When I returned, I lay down on my back, looking toward heaven with my hands folded in a prayerful way, and I began to meditate. A deep and soothing sleep-trance fell over me. I was taken to the countryside on top of a hill where many people were laboring. It seems that they were clearing a spot to put up a new institution. There were many people on this site. All of a sudden a bright light from the sky shone directly on Rev. Moon, who appeared with a large set of plans in his hands. It was the master plan for the salvation of the world. He was showing the crowd what to do in order to fulfill this master plan. I made out one person, Bishop James Goodwin, in this group. He was guarding Rev. Moon as he demonstrated how to accomplish the master plan. Then the trance ended and I awoke.
My purpose for sharing these revelations is so that you may be inspired to pray to God to touch your life. I prayed not for revelations, not because I wanted to be "Joseph the Dreamer," but for the forgiveness of my sins and for a closer walk with God. May God bless you and strengthen your faith. Amen.