Unification News for April and May 2000
Our Path in the New Millennium
Chang Shik Yang
March 25, 2000
San Francisco, California
My dear brothers and sisters…
It is my great joy and honor to be here in San Francisco with you. During the 8 months in which I have been the Continental Director for North America, I have been impressed by the strength and organization of the church, and your leadership in developing Blessing outreach and education. Northern California has always been at the very center of our movement’s development, from the pioneering work of Dr. Young Oon Kim, the foundation built by Mr. Sang Ik Choi, and the explosive growth and many achievements of Dr. and Mrs. Mose Durst. The new church building and ministry center is a great asset, and I am excited to learn more about the "Principled Academy" that is housed here. I am confident that with Rev. Kim’s strong support and wise guidance, and through the consistent and innovative leadership of Rev. Thompson, San Francisco can set an example for the whole of America in developing professional church ministry.
If we look back upon the last 8 months, there are many victories to be proud of. At the Millennial God’s Day with True Parents in New York, 5000 brothers and sisters from the United States joined representatives from 185 nations to usher in a new providential era with our True Parents. Following that, our "America Honors Rev. Sun Myung Moon on his 80th Birthday" celebration restored the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus 2000 years ago through 2 important events. Because the Jewish religious leaders rejected him as a heretic and cult leader, the secular Roman authorities condemned and crucified him without hesitation. This time, however, through the January 22nd banquet at the Washington Hilton, religious leaders of all denominations honored Father’s lifetime of service to God and humanity. Following this, on February 2nd at the American Century Awards on Capitol Hill, more than 120 senators and congressman including Speaker Dennis Hastert, Congressmen Henry Hyde and Danny Davis, and Senators Orrin Hatch and J.C. Watts joined 200 civic and political leaders to present Father with a Lifetime Achievement Award for "Freedom, Faith and Family." In this way religious and political leaders joined together to lift up and honor True Parents in our nation’s capitol, the Rome of today. Through the pilgrimage of 2000 religious leaders and blessing candidates to Korea for Blessing 2000, a new, nationwide ecumenical movement for True Family Values has begun. Paving the way for all of these was the True Family Values Ministry 4th Anniversary Awards Ceremony, here in Chicago, which was attended personally by our True Parents. These special achievements reflect the new era of America’s elder sonship, and will most certainly remain as milestones of America’s providential history.
From this historical point of view, we are participants in the most amazing and incredible time in history. The Book of Revelations speaks of the first to be resurrected in the Last Days, referring to them as "…those who had been redeemed from the earth as the first fruits for God and the Lamb." These "first fruits" are none other than the Blessed Families, able to receive the True Parents in our physical lifetime, and be engrafted into the true olive tree. Did you know that you were actually in the Bible… that it speaks of you? Imagine it… we are the generation that has been the bridge between two providential eras. We attended True Parents as the 2000-year New Testament Era reached its completion, and we have opened a new cosmic age together with Father and Mother.
As we enter this new age, Father and Mother stand as the True Parents of Heaven and Earth… Cosmic True Parents. The foundation for the Kingdom has been laid down absolutely. The challenges we face and the sacrifices we must make are not indemnity for the past, but simply the necessary process of growing our character, developing our movement and building the Kingdom. In the past we may have hesitated to stand up for who we are, but at this moment there is no greater support, no mightier power than the absolute foundation of the Cosmic True Parents, who are the very root and fountainhead of the new age. In them we have authority and power, from them we can inherit everything. Could you ever dream that as a Blessed Couple you would have the authority to share the Blessing, or to pray in your own name?
Think about it… for 2000 years all Christians have prayed in the name of Jesus, who had all authority through his crucifixion and resurrection. And for 40 years Unificationists have offered prayers through the authority of the True Parents, upon the foundation of the Marriage of the Lamb. Meanwhile, Father and Mother have expanded their foundation of victory step-by-step from the individual and family level all the way to the cosmic level. Only by Jesus’ name… only by True Parents’ name, could Heaven completely receive our prayers in the past. But on September 14, 1999 at East Garden in New York, the Cosmic True Parents bequeathed this authority to all Blessed Couples. The stamp of the Blessing itself is honored by Heaven. We pray: "…as a Blessed Couple who has inherited True Parents’ realm of victory through the Blessing." Do you realize who you really are, and what position you are standing in? Do you think Father’s declaration was just PR, or some external method of encouraging us? How deeply do we understand what it means to be the ones "redeemed from the earth, as the first fruits for God and the Lamb?"
When Father gave this new authority for Blessed Couples in prayer, the first one he asked to pray was me. Of course I hesitated, knowing that by myself, I am not qualified to offer such a prayer. But Father encouraged and pushed me to offer it. I came to realize that I can only offer such a prayer with a heart of total responsibility. I cannot hide behind True Parents’ forgiveness and authority. Father explained that to pray in our own name is to accept total responsibility for the fulfillment of that prayer.
Brothers and sisters, when we consider our daily life and personal standard, or even our awareness of who we are, in light of our providential position, we all can recognize that we fall short in many ways. For this reason, I am not here today to bask in the glory of what has been accomplished in recent months. Instead, I ask you to reflect upon what we must do to substantialize the Kingdom which our True Parents have initiated. Let us together refocus on the fundamentals of our faith. Through the expansion of the Blessing, the providential courses, declarations and holy days, and the founding of key federations and organizations, True Parents built the foundation, framework, and basic structure of the Kingdom of God. But the substance of that Kingdom must develop from the midst of us, as Jesus taught. It must spring forth from our faith and character, our families and our community, and through our relationships with the surrounding society.
There is no doubt that providential activities and directions will continue, especially because Father wants to reclaim and reconstruct all that he can before leaving the earth. But we cannot simply measure our growth by successful events. It is not enough to merely offer God our mission or job activities. Who am I becoming in this process? What kind of marriage and family legacy am I building for my lineage? How serious am I to take advantage of this precious opportunity to be on earth in this providential time? And how much am I helping to spread the Kingdom to my church, community, nation and world?
As we continue working to accomplish True Father’s providential directions, what are the fundamentals that we should keep in sharp focus? The first is our own individual growth, maturity and integrity. The most powerful witness is not pamphlets and programs, but character, heart, and true love. In order to establish a condition to receive the Blessing, we each made a Foundation of Faith and a Foundation of Substance, which together make the Foundation to Receive the Messiah. These conditions should bear fruit in our own nature.
Through conditions of Faith we should be the people who have learned to live our life centered completely on the will of God. By overcoming all the difficulties to unite with brothers and sisters we should develop a humble, loving, and round character. The way of faith which we followed in our early spiritual life is not something which we can simply relax and retire from. The essence of both vertical conditions of faith and horizontal conditions of unity is the same Sacrificial True Love. This is the root and core of our tradition: living for the sake of others centering always on the higher purpose.
One phenomenon of these Last Days is that the Spiritual and Physical Worlds become connected through the direct dominion and authority of True Parents. Through our elder brother Dr. Sang Hun Lee, who ascended to the Spirit World ahead of us, we have been given a window through which we can see the reality of that realm. Dr. Lee’s simple message is to testify to all that Father taught us about the Spirit World, and to provide a personal witness to Unificationists that the way we live here directly affects our eternal spiritual life. This is not new. How many times have we studied in Divine Principle about Life Elements, Vitality Elements, and the meaning of our physical life? But how easily we forget, and how much of our precious time on earth has been careless and wasted?
Imagine if we were to show a movie right now, to everyone here. How would you feel if you were the star of that movie, and the story was a record of your everyday life: the private moments when you thought no one was watching; your biggest fights, deepest secrets, and most painful mistakes? Dr. Lee’s message from the spiritual realm was truly God’s grace to our members. Through it we are reminded that we are indeed making such a movie, which will one day be viewed openly. Every moment of our precious time on earth we are shaping our eternal destiny; we are actually building our eternal house, deciding its colors, its atmosphere, its warmth or coldness, every day of our physical life.
A second fundamental is the quality of our Blessing and family life. True Parents want our marriages and families to shine with happiness and radiate God’s love, like beautiful trees bearing delicious fruit, so that everyone will want to climb over the fence to come into our orchard. For some, such true love may take a lifetime to achieve, or even longer. Do not expect the wounds and scars of 6000 years of our ancestors to just melt away. But are you investing yourself totally to build such a true family, or are you just doing your mission and passing the time? Father said that if you fight with your spouse, it might be a chicken fight, a dog fight, or even a bull fight! Any of these is O.K., as long as the result is deep reflection, stronger love and a closer relationship. Even if you struggle to unite, this is a temporary situation, connected to the restoration of our lineage. But Blessing is eternal. No matter what the challenge in husband-wife relationship, you must never ever commit adultery, and never divorce. As long as you are committed, praying, and investing, your faith will bear fruit in your children. And Father mentioned that in the future, he will know the parents by looking at the children.
The foundation of strong individual faith and harmonious family relationships is our personal religious life. Although the Family Federation is ushering in a post-religious era, we are still the people who need to unite our minds and bodies, our words and actions. Unless our mind and body are in harmony centered upon God’s will, how can we trust the voice of our conscience, which can be limited or incorrect? We are still challenged to transcend the nature of 6000 years of fallen human history… its residue still lies within our own nature. How can we embody the standard of absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience, as our True Parents have shown toward God throughout their lives? More than anyone else, Father and Mother have kept the tradition of Hoon Dok Hae every morning at 6:00. This should be the absolute center of our Blessed Family life. Through the study of Father’s word, we can measure and evaluate the quality of our spiritual life. Sunday Service, remains an irreplaceable pillar of our spiritual life… you should never miss it. Whether in our family, or in community life, or with the church as a whole, we must practice true love by sacrifice and service, for as the bible says, "…he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20) We must never lose the tradition of public life. Whether you work for the church, a providential company or any other job, we are all eternal missionaries. Whether we are on earth or in the eternal spirit world, we must work to advance God’s will until the kingdom is built, until the heart of God and True Parents is totally liberated.
While we focus on these fundamental and eternal responsibilities, the salvation of America remains our major mission. If you stand upon the foundation of True Parents’ cosmic victory, the Spirit World will support you absolutely. You should realize that even though we feel unworthy, if you have the authority to offer prayers to Heaven in your own name as a Blessed Couple, then you have the power and authority to defeat and dismantle the remnant of evil dominion on earth. This is the time when we can realize what Jesus promised: "everything you see me do, these things you will do, and more."
But we are not supposed to do it alone. Father gave the best years of his life to save America and Christianity. True Parents invested all their resources and paid indemnity again and again to salvage the 2000-year foundation that Jesus laid. Jesus himself is working with us from the Spirit World, and 2000 clergy, guests and members made a holy commitment at Chung Pyung to work together to build the kingdom in America, spreading it to the world. This Declaration of the Heavenly Kingdom on Earth was signed by all of them, and also by Father and Mother. They realized that True Parents’ work to restore true families is beyond doctrine and denomination. Many of them returned home ready to work with us. From now a kingdom-building movement beyond denomination, centered on True Family Values has begun.
Our True Mother’s upcoming tour should become a genuine interfaith movement for True Family Values. To accomplish this, every church represented at Chung Pyung should be adopted and served not just by a Japanese missionary, but by our own Blessed Couples. Even if we attend their church just once a month, join just one ministry, make just small donations, we can help supportive ministers move their own churches. The most inspired and committed pastors can form local revival teams, which can be joined by like-minded pastors from other cities, to share True Family Values with other clergy. To receive True Parents this time, we must plan together and work together with them. Many pastors feel indebted and respectful toward Father and Mother. They should also feel responsible to welcome them. No one knows how to move churches better than pastors, and no one knows how to move pastors better than other pastors.
We are living in the most miraculous time in history. We are alive on earth with True Parents, and have been blessed by them. Each and every day on earth with Father and Mother is more precious than thousands of years. Let us live them with all of our heart. Strive every day to become a pure, loving, and absolutely God-centered man or woman. From our faith, from our families, and from our life of devotion and love for True Parents, the kingdom will begin, and will be accomplished.
May God bless all of you, and may God Bless America. Thank You.
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