The Words of the Takami Family
Dear Rev. Kazuo Takami,
At point number three you wrote: "Mr. Beutl also quoted the mission statement of a local Lovin' Life Ministry that he currently belongs to: 'Empower individuals to live by their conscience, make true families which live in service to others and to build a God-centered global community.'
Next, he severely criticizes the mission statement and says, 'It is a very nice motto but should we not make it a reality by listening to our conscience very sincerely? If this is done then it is impossible to reject initiatives by fellow Unificationists based on narrow-minded concepts and limited understanding, or even the arrogance that I know better and I do not need to listen to my brother or sister.'"
Instead of commenting on this point myself, I would like to share with you what one of the main lecturers on the European level has to say about your evaluation, as he also read it in the internet community I mentioned previously: "I am sure Mr. Takami is a very nice person but I find it odd for the church hierarchy to respond in such a way. It reveals quite a degree of insecurity. But at least he tried to engage with Nikolaus even if it was only to silence him or persuade his congregation to ignore him. It would be nice though if he, or indeed anyone, could come up with a scriptural basis for the church's structure and the role of leaders.
In 1985 when I was engaged in legal work for the church I read every speech that Father gave that was published in English up until that time. One of my conclusions was that there was no connection between what Father taught and what I experienced in terms of church organization. On the contrary, Father's teaching about Cain and Abel etc. was diametrically opposed to the church teaching on that subject.
So I think Mr. Takami is sincerely mistaken. Not only in his analysis of Nikolaus' ideas but also by treating his congregation as children by telling them what to think. I wonder what he would do if a member of his congregation invited Nikolaus round for dinner and a prayer evening. Shun them? Maybe he thinks the prophets should be excised from the Bible. Pesky fellows railing against hypocrisy and not doing as they were told.
How far we have drifted away from what we were trying to achieve. As Pogo said, 'We have met the enemy and he is us.'"
Are we ready to face the fact that we are our own worst enemy – our fallen nature, if we allow it to come through in our behavior?
Rev. Kazuo Takami, it is not only this highly qualified professional educator who has substantially contributed to developing educational materials which are also used by our members here in America, officially approved and appreciated, who is convinced that you are mistaken in your view of your brother Nikolaus, but there are so many other leaders and members of our church who can see that you have presented a wrong view of my attitude and conviction.
As an honest and sincere person, you could have at least sent your letter about my supposed mindset and motivation to me to correct possible errors and any misinterpretations of my understanding of God's Will before you sent your evaluation to your members. How can we complain about Christian leaders telling their members lies about us without checking with us first whether or not it is true when we do the same to our own members as you have clearly done in respect to your brother.
Dear Rev. Kazuo Takami, I strongly suggest that you send a letter of apology for misjudging your brother to your members otherwise you will have no foundation whatsoever to stand credibly as Co-Chairman of ACLC Midwest, because members of the American Clergy Leadership Conference are bound to find out what you have done to your brother who has come to your region to shed his tears and sweat and heart-blood for your members, praying fervently for them…
In your letter to the members of your district you write about me: "This morning in his email to church members, he puts a nice, supportive reference to In Jin Nim's ministries in his introduction – 'I prepared the attached reflections in my desire to support achieving the goals which In Jin Nim has set for her mission in America...' To me, this is a great contradiction. On the one hand, he says he wants to support In Jin Nim, but on the other hand, he even goes against the local Lovin' Life Ministries."
Dear brother Kazuo, where in my letters did I state that I am against Lovin Life Ministries? I did not miss any of the sermons offered in New York or other places which were made available via the internet, so I am among the most active European listeners to the LLM sermons offered via this medium, whereby I listened to several sermons more than once, like your own speech which you gave a few weeks ago.
At this occasion I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for everything you have shared from your heart in that sermon, for all I could learn from you. Thank you very much, my brother, for investing your heart to reach out to our members!
Now, I am doing the same, from the bottom of my heart. So when there is something wrong with me, please let me know. You are aware that I stayed in one of your centers for four days and did not cause any trouble. I spent my time wisely with spiritual work from morning to evening as your general affairs right hand brother can easily testify.
What you have done is making a claim based on your own opinion which is the opposite of what I have stated, namely, that I came to America in my desire to support the goals which In Jin Nim wants to achieve in line with God's Will. By your stating that I even go against the local Lovin' Life Ministries you are declaring me to be a liar, who is out to deceive people while in reality there is no evidence whatsoever that I have been going against the Lovin Life Ministry in your city.
Dear District Pastor, Rev. Kazuo Takami, do you realize what a grave issue it is to misuse your position and to portray your brother as a liar to the members who trust you and think that you must have researched the issue before you made such a public statement? What you have done is nothing less than character assassination which is severely punished by the law, especially when dealing with public figures.
Rev. Takami, in your letter you write, "Today, I inquired with the national HQ and other leaders about him. I have come to know that several weeks ago he caused some troubles in Las Vegas and the LA area with church leadership."
This statement is a complete lie. For whom did I cause troubles? I neither met the church nor the regional leader of Las Vegas. I only attended the prayer breakfast for ministers and it is well known that I did not cause any problems there.
In LA I was invited by the family whose mother was entrusted by the regional leader to take care of Blessed families – who lives in the house beside our church headquarters. As I arrived in the evening and left Los Angeles the next morning, there was only the chance to say hello to the local Pastor who was sent there more recently.
It was this Blessed mother who was entrusted with the mission of caring for Blessed families instead of the pastor who is too busy to fulfill this important task, who wrote to me after I had left the city: "Nicolas, thank you, for your amazing investment over many years and in so many countries of the world. Together and in our own unique way we can move forward and build the foundation of True Love in our families, and communities. Was nice to meet you, come visit us again when you are here in L A. God bless you,…"
Such a comment by a close assistant to the local pastor does not sound like someone talking about a troublemaker. You don't ask a person who causes problems to come back to your city! So the situation is very clear: Either this long-time member and mother of Blessed children who was entrusted with the task of taking care of our members is completely spaced out and did not recognize after sharing with me for hours that I am off or leaders in the Headquarters were lying to Rev. Kazuo Takami about me, which is a very grave issue when lies are being spread from the national headquarters to regional leaders.
My dear brother, you told your members about me: "Also, he has an intention to travel around to major cities in the US promoting his idea. It looks strange to me because he does not believe in any leaders or organization, just God, True Parents, and each believer only. It seems that he is trying to organize something by traveling around."
You are spreading your imaginings to your members, causing them to distrust me based on these allegations which are clearly lies. Will you take responsibility for your actions and clarify the facts about your brother Nikolaus in front of your members?
What is "my idea" which I am promoting as you say? It is nothing less than that we all should take our Father's words to heart and live up to the standard he is teaching us.
When you read through the more than 7000 pages of the 21 volumes of the book Sunshine in the Heart (www.sunshine-in-the-heart.com username: sunshine password: welcome) which I wrote during the past 8 years and shared with thousands of brothers and sisters around the world, you will find out that they are full of quotations from Father's words. I am promoting nothing else than the teaching of our True Parents.
Several of your members came up to me during my time in Chicago to thank me for sharing my daily reflections with them. Not everybody takes the time to read the whole content but this is of course no problem. Just as one sister told me after the prayer breakfast that she is so grateful for my sharing, whereby she reads mainly the excerpts of Father's speeches I am offering for deeper reflection, which are very helpful for her.
It is not only ordinary members who are very grateful for my letters but also well-known leaders like Rev. Michal Jenkins who sent me a note of gratitude for my reflections. Will you change now your attitude towards me after you found out that even the National Chairman of ACLC wrote to me to thank me for the content I am sharing with many brothers and sisters?
Actually, I do not want you to change your view of your brother Nikolaus because of what others have said about me, but that you go into deep prayer to find out how our Heavenly Father feels about the one whom you criticized in your letter to your members.
I am not concerned about people's opinions about my efforts but for me only counts God's standpoint, how He sees my work. I experience His support and guidance daily. Our Heavenly Parent is the source of my strength as well as the heart-to-heart relationships which I am building as I reach out to our brothers and sisters.
Dear Rev. Kazuo Takami, about me personally you wrote: "I met him at our ACLC prayer breakfast last Tuesday. He looked very kind and gentle, but his email this morning made me feel so sad. I appreciate his tremendous amount of work researching True Parents' word. There are many good points in the beginning but unfortunately his conclusion contains serious mistakes that I cannot overlook."
Why do I look very kind and gentle? One of the lecturers of the Los Angeles community commented about me to one of his friends: "Nikolaus looks like a saint." Why would I make such an impression on leaders or members of our church who get to know me personally? Do you really think that there is no internal cause for such observations when True Father himself referred to me as "the brother with the shining face" to which the National Messiahs who attended the fishing workshop in Olimpo, Paraguay, at that time can testify?
I understand that, as District Pastor, you felt the need "to communicate with brothers and sisters about Mr. Beutl's points, which may lead some of us in the wrong direction." But why not tell them the truth about your brother which is clearly confirmed in many ways instead of spreading false allegations?
Through sending that letter out to your members as their regional director you are accountable for your action and in a position to deal with it responsibly because otherwise you are automatically convicted of deceiving your members as the facts I am talking about in this letter are well proven while you have suspicion, assumptions, misinterpretations and even clear lies in your side of the story which you told your members about me.
Rev. Kazuo Takami, thank you for recognizing the "tremendous amount of work researching True Parents' word" which stand behind my reflections, as I have been studying all of Father's speeches that have been translated into English and many also in Korean.
You stated about my reflection letter: "There are many good points in the beginning but unfortunately his conclusion contains serious mistakes that I cannot overlook."
So what are the wrong conclusions you are talking about? Please let me know what I wrote which is not in line with the teaching of our True Parents. Unless you can come up with facts which back up your claims you are automatically convicted of spreading lies about your brother who has been working in this country as a National Messiah who came to serve his brothers and sisters in America.
In gratitude for your taking responsibility for the statements you made about me,
Your brother Nikolaus