The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2012

Hyung Jin Moon answers member's questions

October 5, 2012
Minneapolis, MN

Hyung Jin nim and Yeon Ah nim took the new district leaders and others around the East Garden property as snow fell.

Question: I'm sure a significant portion of our young people can be recovered if we can show them two things: transparency and involvement. I just want to hear with my own ears something I know you've stated in other places -- that we will conduct a full, transparent, third-party audit of the American churches finances, the results of which will be placed online for any member to inspect. The other thing is that we will build a culture of consultation, that we members will be empowered to send our leaders to you, rather than you sending your leaders to us. I think if we can accomplish those two things, we will go a long way to reassuring the new generation that this is a place where they can do business.

Also, although we have lost In Jin nim, my daughter is very eager that much of the work that In Jin nim did, especially as regards the second generation, be retained.

Yes, absolutely. We are going to be doing a third-party audit -- we are already starting that process. We have one accountant and one lawyer who will be leading it. There will be auditing done not only for businesses but for the church as well.

And I want to mention that in terms of In Jin nuna, we haven't lost her; she's a part of our community. She has done incredible things. We have to understand that we hate the sin, but we love the sinner, because everybody has sin. So I never say that In Jin nuna is lost. I want to clarify that, because she did all the things a mature person should do. When True Mother told her to step down, she stepped down from all her roles. She didn't try to split the church or take any of the assets. I'm grateful to her for that. As our sister, we love her. We want to keep as many of the great things she did as possible. Because of the nature of the situation, we want to analyze and reflect on some of those things. There is a real issue of temptation. For example, in ballroom dancing, some types of dance are more appropriate for couples to be doing; intimate types of dances are wonderful for couples, but for people preparing for the blessing, we have to see whether sensual types of dances are appropriate. There are some issues, and I've talked to Ariana about them. We have to be aware of the nature of temptation. One sister in Washington said very strongly, "Satan is real!" [Laughter] She was on holy fire. But it's true. Satan can invade anybody. It is very important to look at honestly and also to understand the power of temptation.

Regarding having members consulted -- absolutely. In the Korean church and Japanese church, we've started election processes among tithing members, those who are supporting the communities. [Applause] Of course it's applicable here; we're going to do that.

We've found wonderful experiences and results of having the members choose, because they know the people better than we do. In the past, you would go up the ranks depending on who you knew. I don't know about the American church, but it was like that in Korea. Who you knew got people up the line [to leadership positions]. That, of course, leads to a lot of corruption. We changed that. At the same time, ministers would be promoted based on merit, on how many criteria they could fulfill -- blessing candidates, how much their church grew, etc. Especially the core members, those who support the community, know that these are big jobs. You've got to choose the person who can actually do the job, sacrifice, and be responsible and moral. Even though we do not know these people personally, we found that good quality people have come up using that system.

Elected district leaders wash New York church members' feet during the district leaders' ordination ceremony.

Question: I saw that women, sisters, were not publicly represented when I went to the Seonghwa Ceremony. The representatives were just Korean men -- not couples -- just the men. I'm concerned about our public image. We work with women from many places that have difficult circumstances. I think we need to be represented by women more often publicly, and thereby recognize women's value. I'm concerned about our image for the public and for our second generation, so they can see we can be more than just housewives.

This, of course, was a big issue in Korea. We began the women's evangelical organization; we had woman leaders there that we put at the same level as ministers. Because we had given the women in their evangelical organization the same level as the church ministers (who had been used to ordering women around), we got so many complaints. We made real female leadership equal to the clergy in the church.

In Korea, the church had been very patriarchal, male- dominated. But especially in the churches over which we had responsibility, the clergy were critical. Many times we had to be strong with the ministers, saying, hey, don't disrespect those women! They actually do more work than you guys.

Female leadership is actually central to any thriving church. If you look at the ten largest Christian churches in Korea, their small group leaders especially are almost all women. So the people who are actually spreading God's word are women.

If you were in our church in Korea, you would see their strong public presence.

My name was on the Seonghwa Ceremony Committee, but in reality True Mother decides who speaks and who doesn't. And, of course, she's a woman.

True Mother trained for fifty years under True Father. That's not easy. I did a year and a half and it's really not easy. Since Father is the Lord of the Second Advent, it is so intense -- a spiritual nuclear bomb. He had so much power. But Mother trained for fifty years. Nobody else on the planet has done that. The beauty of elections is that women can also be elected. This is what's nice about that kind of system. It doesn't create a bias either way, but is based on merit and on who can do the job.

Candidates who had been elected by tithing American members congratulate one another on the day they were officially invested with authority as district leaders.

Question: True Mother expressed the desire to create centers that are alive with life, filled with spirit and similar to the church centers when President Eu was lecturing. I'm wondering how we can do that when for a couple of decades we've instead had mobilizations and that type of thing. How can we create a spirit in the churches where we can reach other people, can bring new members, and also break down divisions?

In terms of creating lively churches, I don't believe in a big federal government, and I also don't believe in a big central church. We have downsized a lot in Korea, because it's simply unnecessary to have that fat of a government (church structure). It's much better to empower the local areas and allow them to have a lot more control. So that's what the election processes are for; it's to allow the local congregations to actually get involved for the first time in choosing leadership. So it's not we that are selecting who will be the leaders, the members will be choosing them. Of course, we'll remind you guys of the criteria; this can't be a popularity contest but must be based on a person's ability and moral standing. Of course, True Mother has emphasized constant Divine Principle, teaching Divine Principle twenty-four hours a day; that's central.

In terms of creating the vibrant churches of the past, I don't think we can replicate them because (honestly speaking) that was the 1960s, the hippie age, a special, unusual age. You don't have people searching like that now. However, there are similarities, things that people are desperately concerned about, such as the weakening of America, and many places, such as the Middle East and Asia getting into very intense conflicts....

It's not easy, and it is a different age, but I think we can do it if we understand how powerful our theology is and how exciting its implications are.

Yeon Ah nim presents certificates of appointment to new district leaders.

Question: If we take 40,000 dedicated members who are absolutely united with our True Parents and with truth and goodness, what do you foresee developing in the next five or ten years?

That's a very difficult question. Anything is possible. I honestly don't feel we have too much time, because, as you see, the situation in the Middle East is just collapsing so fast.... Father prophesied in 2007 that conflicts are going to happen in nations. China and Japan, and also Korea and Japan are fighting over tiny islands. I'm sitting there, thinking, what are you doing? Do you want World War III to break out? But that's actually the state of the world....

I think that America is the key providential nation at this time and hour. There is no way we're going to turn this situation around without America.

We are not 40,000-strong in America. Our membership maybe 1,500 to 3,000 core members.... But who knows what a small group of people can do if they're focused, and if they can understand how crucial their mission is. So that's the most important thing, that 5 percent responsibility....

Finally there's a religion in the world that can actually create the ideal nation where God teaches morality, but he doesn't use government to legislate it. He allows freedom in the hearts of people. He gives that gift to people. Yes, some people do make mistakes in that process, but also awesome goodness is possible when you give freedom to the people.... I think that small groups of people can do great things. I believe that we're the ones to do it if we can understand the power of the Principle, and that we can change the world. I honestly do. [Applause]

The original house on the East Garden estate, which was the True Family's residence from 1973 until a new residence was built in the early 1980s.

Question [A Japanese woman]: When I travel to Japan, second-generation members whose parents have spent their lives making donations to the church ask me if the second-generation members have to make donations now that True Father has gone to the spirit world. Many of them are now paying off their parents' debts, so they are sincerely wondering if they still have to donate.

Ever since we started our ministry we've been visiting Japanese families. Everybody knows that they have been the saints of the movement. They have supported the entire church worldwide. When we started working with the Korean church, we made the clear statement that we were not going to be subsidized from Japan anymore.

So, that's the first thing we did, we said, "No more subsidies from Japan." We are going to focus on being self-sustaining. And that's what we did. We had to be very strong, and we were. We were grateful that the Korean members did step up and they did take ownership for that.

We don't think it is fair that one nation's members bear the burden of the entire church. Every nation has to be responsible for itself. Every nation must be able to take care of itself and then provide for missions elsewhere. It is so unfair for one nation to sacrifice everything for another nation for thirty-plus years, to pay for everything, whether it was the Washington Times at $70 to 100 million per year... Think about that, if you members in America had to pay just for the Washington Times, $100 million per year, could you do that? Would you do that? Our Japanese members have been doing this.

Also, you may or may not know, but when Father was here, he sent Kook Jin hyung to Japan when the Japanese church was about to collapse and the government was intruding everywhere. As you know, they almost shut us down in Japan. So, amid the human rights issue and creating more transparency in Japan, while Father was still here, Kook Jin hyung started paying down the debt in Japan, which is large. That wasn't happening at all before. It was such a heart-wrenching situation. And he's continuing to pay down the debt. Members don't know that, but it is so important. It's never been done before. Everybody was just quiet about it, and nobody was doing anything, but the situation was getting ready to explode. This is why it was so important that someone in the True Family tell True Parents -- always with respect, always with love -- when something needs their help (as in the case of Japan, with the members so stressed for so long from paying so much to Korea, while in Korea the members were not taking ownership). I understand how many young people, in the second generation, were harmed by that.

I don't think many people understand that there are already many things that we've been doing -- especially Kook Jin hyung -- to save that situation in Japan. He was going there at the risk of going to prison. The police were around the Japanese headquarters. They were invading our churches. They had ten thousand police officers focused on us. They arrested some of our directors. Japanese members know how serious the situation was. Kook Jin nim was going there at the risk of going to prison. He didn't have to do that; he could have just played it safe but instead he did go. He went in and he showed leadership and he fought for the members there. He fought for human rights when everybody was against us there. Many members said, "Oh, he can't do that, he can't challenge the government..." and so forth.

It may be true that Japan had to pay some type of indemnity, but Father's now in the spirit world. Of course if the Japanese church could have been investing in the churches there, it would have been great.

It is absolutely the responsibility of all continents and churches to be self-sufficient, self-supporting. And we've got to get away completely from the culture of receiving subsidies; it's just a bad culture. Receiving subsidies is no good. It doesn't build ownership; it doesn't build a sense of owning the movement. Having members' tithing, that's plenty! To sustain the church, it is enough. It's the same in Korea.

I am grateful to the Korean members for accepting this idea, and they have regrouped because of that. By this year, we will have remodeled more than eighty churches. Awesome new buildings, in a modern style with "Unification Church" written -- emblazoned! -- on them. Symbol shining bright! No more shyness; we're proud. But we had to make it clear, and everybody had to step up to the plate and go to bat. I'm really grateful our Korean members did that.

When we are self-sufficient we become prouder, more confident. We start to believe in ourselves more and know that we can do this. We can help other missions around the world. That develops a sense of pride, and a sense of ownership, and a sense of transparency, and it's easier to be confident to bring people into the church. The Freedom Society is all about a smaller "archangel," where Adam and Eve have fewer regulations imposed on them and have more personal responsibility. That's what God did in the Garden of Eden. So, if we look at that (Freedom Society) as the ideal of Cheon II Guk, our church must also follow that example and not be this fat "federal government."

In Korea, when we gave the local churches freedom, we had all sorts of incredible programs come up from the field! We look at things theologically and if there needs to be some feedback, we give it. If the program is working well, we can spread it to other places. For example, in Changwon they were implementing small groups. We brought the church minister from Changwon up to Seoul to teach about making small groups. He did an awesome job. When we allow that kind of creativity to emerge, the headquarters can see which methods in the field are working and then help spread those practices instead of dictating programs to the churches in order to solve their problems. That doesn't work.

Question: At Father's Seonghwa Ceremony, when Dr. Bo Hi Pak prayed, everyone sobbed. I ask who in the world apart from Father can draw that type of crowd? Everyone made a relationship with Father that we can never give up. Our young people don't understand this relationship. We've done many things to bring members to the church. But I think we have to help them feel who Father is to them. Then they will be strong for eternity, so they can't be blown by the wind or what happens to others. Belief has to be unchanging, and peaceful.

You believed in God before you joined the movement, correct? [Yes.] The fact that you believed in God is important. Some people assume that we believe in God. Many of us didn't. We doubted that He actually exists. This is the difference between someone who was raised within a religion and someone entering from a different religion.

I was agnostic; I didn't think that God could exist. There were so many questions: Why, if there is a good God, should there be so much suffering? How can you believe in the medieval God in the scriptures?

Religions' "wacky" aspects are reinforced in school with classes on evolution and the like. Basically, if you believe in God, you're "not intellectual, not thinking critically." It's constant. It's bombardment at every single level. You spend about eight hours a day at school, and if you're getting that bombardment for eight to ten hours a day, every day, you can see that kind of impact in churches.

Our young people sometimes doubt even the fundamental existence of God. Thus, True Parents don't mean anything; the Principle doesn't mean anything; Jesus doesn't mean anything, Abraham, Moses, etc. -- they mean nothing to us. Until I challenged and dealt with the issue of God's existence, the Principle made no sense. All the conditions, the providence of restoration, mean nothing if there is no God. Do you see what I mean? Many in the first generation take for granted that second-generation members believe in God.

In our program in Korea, one thing that struck me was the work of William Lane Craig. He has a brilliant mind. He has PhD in philosophy and is an evangelical preacher. He debates the top atheists in the world, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins -- top scholars and atheists. You can watch him on YouTube. He is so good. He has an organization called Reasonable Faith. The Christians are so much more advanced on this. Now they are at the level where they are able to show some sort of evidence of God's existence, and they do it rationally.

This man is on the forefront of debating whether or not it's more rational to believe in atheism or theism. We want to invite him to some of our programs. He's open-minded. He accepted an invitation from the Mormons, so he's not like a standard evangelical who would say no.

We implemented this kind of program in Korea for our young kids in CARP. It was so much fun, because the young kids would start wrestling with each other logically about why the theistic worldview would be more tenable than and atheistic worldview. By doing that, they learned how to debate. We had them debate Chinese atheists at Sun Moon University. We want to bring this kind of program there. [Applause]

Personally, I could not even look at the Principle honestly until I wrestled with the question of "Is there a God?" I know you're looking at me as wacky, but when you are born and grow up in the tradition, it's not as if you are born with belief in God. You have to also understand that we are constantly bombarded with a mockery of theism.

I definitely want to bring these programs to America. The level of theistic philosophy that combats atheistic philosophy is now so high. It's so enormous; many volumes exist on just one argument. Not everybody is crazy about reading it all, but you ought to at least understand the basic arguments, the common rebuttals and how to respond to those rebuttals. It's kind of reminiscent of what we did with VOC, how we debated communism on campuses.

When we did this in Korea, we found that the young people gained a lot more control of their faith, first of all in their belief in God, which helps them understand the Principle much better. We actually went into the logic of God's existence, that He's eternal, personal, incorporeal, and so on, and why monotheism is much more tenable a concept than polytheism. We have those resources right here in America. In Korea we have to translate everything, which is so hard, because the language is so different.

In American philosophy, you have to be very careful with wording, you have to know what kind of nuances come from every word. Asian languages are totally different. One Chinese character can mean fifty things, and that does not help in philosophy. It's too flexible. It makes it very hard to get a razor-sharp perspective on philosophy. Whereas in the West, the whole discipline of getting down to the wording is critical. Each word is essential, each proposition, each phrase that you use. You have to be very careful with language. When you start looking into it, you realize how nuanced it is.

My study of Buddhism didn't help me here. My study of the Bible did not help me here. It was the study of theism verses atheism, the debates -- this is what helped me. This is what helped me to believe in God, strongly and with conviction. Once you have that, it's much easier to understand the Principle, the providence of restoration and providential figures. You can grasp the value of Christ, and the value of everything else in the Principle. Definitely, we want to use those programs and have young people wrestle with them, because that is so much fun, it's so mind-expanding.

A Word on Foundation Day

There's going to be a wedding. That marriage is also the union of the spiritual and physical worlds. Does it signal a physical change in reality? I don't know. I think there will be a new history that arises out of that condition of the spiritual world and the physical world uniting and God finally obtaining His perfected bride. So I think there will be a new history that arises from that, but we have our 5 percent portion of responsibility, of course. It also depends on how we go forth and proclaim True Parents and change the world. 

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