The Words of Hyung Jin Moon
On September 24, Hyung-jin nim made time to speak with us about the development of his ministry and in particular the building of a Temple in Korea. Hyung-jin nim touched on some of the work already underway to restructure our movement, outlining the broader vision for infusing the hearts of members old and new with the hope and liberation that True Parents' victories have won for the world. We present here the main content of what he shared.
Father gave us the goal of making a church for twenty thousand members, which would be a substantial base. People in the local community would see people flowing in and out of a Unification Church building. It would have a total congregation of twenty-thousand, but there would be different services, just as at the Headquarters Church, where we have four thousand registered members now. We have two thousand two hundred coming every Sunday. By official standards, that qualifies as a small mega-church. But our purpose is not to build a mega-church.
Then on August 17, Father gave us a new goal of two hundred and ten thousand. That's a huge difference! I almost feel as if twenty-thousand is done, you know! Two hundred and ten thousand-this will be the third temple of God. It is described in the second part of the Principle, in the section on Moses' course. That's the first place we went to look. We wanted to see what the difference was between an indemnity period and a settlement era. How does that look in the providential picture? And what were the responsibilities the providential central figures had to fulfill, from a providential perspective, particularly a Principle perspective?
In Moses' course, we see he was creating an indemnity condition through the wilderness period. Then the providence moved to Joshua, who defeated the kings of Canaan and so forth. Before then, however, the Israelites had to make the Tabernacle, which contained the Ten Commandments. So they were in direct communion with God's direction. But because, as you know, they [sometimes] fell faithless, they had to have a direct object of faith on the earth that God could use even if only one Israelite remained faithful. God would then work through him to save the rest of the Israelites. We see this clearly in Divine Principle.
Once Joshua was to enter Canaan, he was supposed to build God's temple. This was preparation for the national sovereignty of the Messiah to come. We know that if they had not fallen into secularity after they entered Canaan, they would have substantiated the national course for the Messiah to come. They were basically the second generation. The people who were in the wilderness [the first generation] were unable to come into Canaan.
However, they did not build the temple; they did not create the center. We know they fell into faithlessness, and the providence was extended another two thousand years until the coming of Jesus Christ. King Solomon built the first temple of God in 957 BC. It was destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians and rebuilt by Cyrus II of Persia towards the end of that century. This temple was also later destroyed-by the Romans in the first century.
Father explained that the temple with two hundred and ten thousand members will not be a church. It will be the two-thousand-year perfection stage third temple of God on earth. It will usher in the New Jerusalem as well. The perfection stage temple will not be waiting for the Messiah, it will be serving the Messiah. That's a huge difference from the first and second (formation and growth) stages, which were trying to lay the foundation for the Messiah to come. This will serve the Messiah. It is very providential -- the third Adam, the third temple, the third Israel will all be connected with this temple.
This will be a temple through which all the work we have been doing in our outreach, for example to religious and government leaders, will come to fruition. It will be the place where we can substantiate the vision Father has given us. We will not only carry out inter-religious dialogue but also substantiate inter-religious unity under the Peace King. This is the vision that we have been talking about over the past twenty years, but I did not know how it would come to pass.
Dialogue is a very important step, but as we know, it stops at the dialogue or education level. There is no entrance into the Unification Family; members of other traditions do not generally become part of our family. We only see very rare cases of that.
Father has asked us to build a temple for two hundred and ten thousand here in Korea, and that will be a global project; all the churches will mobilize for that. It will be the first time we will be investing in a church community, and it will have direct benefits for the membership. It is the first time in our history we will be investing in the church itself.
The church community is where we will be able to bring people, educate people, raise our children, and train our next level of ministers to work around the world and so on. It will be the place where we do inter-religious work, where we gather for worship and return glory to True Parents.
If you look at the chapter on Resurrection in Divine Principle, there is a mission that the Messiah must come and fulfill -- to unite all religions and all peoples. Such a history will come to pass centering on this world-level temple.
In the process of working on the temple project, I have had some experiences of the spirit world moving. A little while ago I met my older brother Young-jin in a dream. He approached me and strongly admonished me to look up the chapter on Resurrection. And then Shin-joon appeared and asked me, "Daddy! Can you tell about resurrection?" He was educating me.
Half waking, half sleeping, I might have forgotten the message heard in the dream. But as I was about to fall asleep again -- I still had an hour or so before it was time to get up -- I heard a thunderous noise from the spirit world. It was the voices of thousands of people crying out in one voice, "Resurrection! Look at the chapter on Resurrection!" Rising, I opened the book at the chapter on Resurrection. According to its pages, the good spirit world works through people on earth. For example, Christians in the spirit world work through Christians on earth, Catholics with Catholics, Buddhists with Buddhists and Moslems with Moslems, and they bring them to attend the Messiah. The chapter also says that there is only one central person fulfilling the role of the Second Coming of the great teachers in all faiths. Everyone will come to serve and attend that person. This is the position being fulfilled by the True Parents.
We will be holding services in many different styles. We will have Buddhist-style Unificationist services, Catholic-style Unificationist services, Protestant Christian-style and Islamic-style Unificationist services. I am developing these now, and we will be moving into this very soon. In that temple, the worship services will probably be as big as in the Yoido Full Gospel Church, so ten thousand people may be at one service. One service would be the Protestant-style Unificationist service, where it is very Christian, very "CCM," like in our English language service now. We will have a Catholic-style Unificationist service, with a ceremony using wine and holy water. We will be starting that from October here in the Headquarters Church. It will be taking over one of our services. But it will be a very holy service. People from the Catholic tradition will feel at home. We will have Gregorian chanting.
It will be a totally different type of worship experience. After that, we are already creating the Buddhist -- or Asian-style service, which will incorporate Asian elements.
In the temple, we will have a Christian-style service for ten thousand, a Catholic-style service for ten thousand, a Buddhist-style service for ten thousand-all these would be centered on True Parents. All of the people at the services will be tithing members who attend services and are connected to small groups. We have never seen this kind of church organization, this kind of Unification Family. The world has not seen the kind of religious organization that is able to have all the religions represented and connected to a common center.
My sermons will be consistent throughout the different services. It would be impossible for me to create ten different services a week! The sermons will be consistent, although the style of the services and the ceremonial aspect of the services will be quite different in feeling and in tradition. But the readings for Hoon Dok Hae, the content that we read, will all come from True Father. In my sermons, as you know, I always try to use many simple examples to show True Parents' lifestyle so that people can honor them in their hearts.
In the future, we would also like to establish an Islamic-style service. We will have Islamic Unificationists coming on pilgrimages here; we will have Buddhist Unificationists from Japan and China, for example, coming to service here, we will have Protestant Unificationists and Catholic Unificationists.
There are huge religious communities here in Korea. In our home-group exercises, we are not just going to be witnessing to Christians. Because we'll have services according to different traditions, we will be able to witness to people from the Buddhist tradition, for example, and show them that True Father is the Maitreya in their tradition. That's actually what the Principle says we have to do. It clearly is not happening only by continuing inter-religious dialogue. That is not enough. That might bring them to the level of Ambassadors for Peace but not to the level that they become a member -- and thus attend True Parents and contribute to the church community. So, that's the step we have to take.
Now that I am in the ministry I do five services every weekend -- basically six services a week -- and sometimes on top of that we have services for our middle and high schoolers, so sometimes seven services. Only when I started having this experience of doing multiple services did I realize -- my goodness! -- the inter-religious vision can come true. It can come to life.
Because I'm conversant with Buddhism and with Christianity, it's not a problem to move into these different religious cultural realms and show their connection to Father. I feel comfortable doing that.
I can visualize the level of impact that we will have on Seoul and on the nation as a whole when we have a temple for two hundred and ten thousand smack in the middle of the city. It will have a huge impact. I mean, two hundred and ten thousand Unificationists gathering every Sunday (and Saturday) for worship, and thousands of them are Catholic Unificationists, thousands of them are Protestant, thousands of them are Buddhist. There are Islamic Unificationists. People will witness just a phenomenal event!
There will be no other church organization like this in the world. Christian churches cannot do this. Buddhist temples can't do it. Only our tradition is going to be able to do it, because even at this early stage we have a big network with the other religious traditions. Personally, I hold a title of responsibility [in our church], but I'm flexible; for me, it's not a problem doing these worship services in these styles.
That's why it will be the world peace temple. It's not firmly decided but basically it's the World Peace and Unity (or Unification) Temple, something like that. Basically were calling it the temple.
It's going to be the center of the world peace movement because we're also going to bring Jerusalem here. As soon as the place is designated (I've already told Father about this twice) we're going to Jerusalem. We're going to pray in Jerusalem. We're going to do a ritual there that will move the providence of Jerusalem to Korea. So we will bring the soil, the land of Jerusalem, in a sacred chalice from the Holy Land and actually make the transfer into the third Israel. We will also be traveling to the birthplaces of the founders of the great religions -- to where, for example, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius were born -- and bringing those sacred lands, that providence (spiritually), and the land (physically, in chalices) into the new world peace temple.
It's going to be mainly a church-style organization. Everything around it, the World Mission Department, the Korean Church Headquarters, everything will go under that. Everything will be in that organization, whether or not the offices are there physically, they will be there in that organizational structure. At least the main persons of responsibility will be operating in that organization.
The peace temple of course will have worship space but not only worship space. We also want to allow people to live a blessed life, to have not only spiritual salvation but also physical salvation. (That's the whole power of the coming of True Parents; Jesus Christ could only give people spiritual victory, but True Parents can give physical victory) Also, with the resurrection, we can see now that our Unificationist families can be blessed even physically. So the temple will also be a community center, with an activity center, an education center, cafes, a library -- the kind of things we have at the Headquarters Church on a small scale. There will also be a world peace garden, which will circumscribe the temple.
We're hoping to hold festivals so we can invite large numbers of people from Seoul and everywhere. Through the world peace garden, a path will go around the temple, which you can circumambulate, walking through gardens in different styles -- a Japanese garden, an English garden, an American, Korean, Chinese, Greek, Roman -- gardens of whatever style. All the gardens will be connected by a stream that continuously runs through them. That stream will represent True Parents' life, love and lineage flowing through every single nation. It will require a huge piece of land, and we're already negotiating for that.
We'll invite all the religious leaders to come to plant seeds in their respective gardens. Japanese monks will come and plant seeds in the Japanese garden. Catholic priests will come from Italy to plant things in the Italian garden. Imams will come to plant seeds in an Arabian garden.
It will be somewhere that we can actually open to the public, in some sense, in that we can invite people to come to pray for world peace. We can create that environment. But we will not just have it be a public center; we will continually witness very strongly, and we will continue to bring people into an understanding of True Parents' role.
We're changing our focus; from basing the providence on events, we're shifting to a providence of building organizations -- communal organizations. We want to provide benefit to our community, now
In the age of indemnity, we never invested in building strong, self-sufficient churches. We don't have a single church in Korea that is self-sufficient, except for the Headquarters Church. Many other churches worldwide are unable to be self-sufficient. For example, the church in America receives funds from Japan in order to survive. That burden cannot continue forever. So moving into independence and self-sufficiency, the providence is moving away from big events, which take up a huge amount of resources. It is investing those resources back into the community, so that we actually build communities, build groups and invest in facilities and in educational curricula. We are investing back into our faith. We are investing into witnessing. The focus is definitely on witnessing.
Home groups are the key. They are central to creating not only the twenty-thousand-member organization but the temple sanctuary as well. They are the key, also, to creating smaller Unificationist peace sanctuaries all across the world. We will also be greatly expanding the role of women in the church leadership structure, in keeping with it being the women's era. Women have a vital role to play in church growth. We will begin women's committees and groups that will have a nurturing influence. We cannot build a temple of two hundred and ten thousand people just with men! Already, two major woman leaders, one Korean, one Japanese, have been assigned to work with this initiative.
We will not stop with Korea. We will have other teams coming into Korea, learning the models, learning how it can be financially possible, learning our whole system -- everything we do from decision chains, to transparency of funding, so that all members can see, to basic management and small-group processes. We will be able to share all this with other churches and start building other types of communities.
The small groups are absolutely for witnessing. We are calling them home groups. Home groups will be the place where people can really advance in their faith and go from being someone who is just receiving from the community to someone who is giving back -- not only participating in the worship services but taking on a leadership role. I know that leadership is tough -- not everyone feels he or she is a leader. In a home group, however, it is so simple. It is almost like popping in a video and following the exercises. The exercises are meant to develop our faith as well as to be the tools that help us share our faith. The home groups are the ground on which we will share our faith.
Home groups can be based on an activity, but that will not be their central purpose. We will not have clubs where Unificationists just gather to hang out; that is not the purpose of small groups. The central purpose is sharing our faith. We want to move from being just receivers or beneficiaries of the church to being participators and givers to our church, people who build our community, build our organization and invest in our children and those under us, and so on. Tithing ten percent, and such, that's when you become a giver. Going beyond being a giver and becoming a sharer-of-your-faith happens when someone invests in the church community, tithes, does service, but on top of that is willing to share the faith -- with a team, a home group, that they create together and invite people to join. The problem before was that the Cain-type world is so big; we would invite a lot of people to events and there were few members to educate and care for them.
In the last ten years, we have spent a lot of money but have little result to show, in terms of membership. In Korea, we have had, over the last ten years, declining membership and declining tithing. When Father saw the reality, he was quite upset and made a huge leadership change this year, as you know. He has given to us as our central focus not the education of the Ambassadors for Peace, not just workshops or events. Instead, we are going to focus on witnessing, on expanding our membership.
Father has given us this primary focus, and even just looking at it rationally, we believe it is the best way.