Unification News for June 2003
Ambassadors for Peace and Americaís Role in the World
by Rev. Dr. Chang Shik Yang
This is from an address given to the IIFWP seminar held at the Washington Hilton, Washington D.C. on June 22, 2003.
World peace and the renewal of America and all nations is the fundamental goal of the IIFWP and the co-sponsors of this conference. This has been the lifelong mission of our Founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. He sees America as the central nation to lead all the nations of the world toward peace. Throughout his entire life he has devoted himself to the objective of achieving lasting peace. His strategy has been straightforward and unchanging.
First, world peace begins with personal transformation of individuals who are renewed in their personal relationship with God. Second, world peace has its foundation in the family where the most basic personal and public virtues are learned. The family is the school of love and morality. Third, peace will only emerge as people learn to live for the sake of others, overcoming selfishness and practicing the ideal of true love. Fourth, the barriers that divide people must be overcome, that is, barriers created by race, nationality, religion, language and culture.
This can only be accomplished through the teaching of Jesus that one must "love your enemy". Father Moon has lived by this principle all of his life. God has prepared religious leaders and people of faith to break through these barriers. These basic principles lie at the heart of the IIFWP vision, guide its worldwide programs, and shape its approach to our current crisis. Ambassadors for Peace are central to the accomplishment of such a vision.
Father Moon envisions two basic groups as being crucial to provide leadership for the nation -- the religious leaders and secondly people of faith -- men, women and youth who are called by God to work in the area of politics, academia, media, business, non-governmental community and social service fields. Religious leaders and faith based professional leaders make up the Ambassadors for Peace.
The religious leaders here are represented in great part by the American Clergy Leadership Conference. Archbishop George Augustus Stallings and Pastor T. L. Barrett Jr. and ACLC clergy have been leading a most historic movement of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders. These Clergy together with IIFWP and its affiliated organizations have been tearing down the walls between denominations and religions. They have joined with leaders of other faiths to spark a worldwide Interreligious and International Blessing of Marriage movement in which marriages are blessed by True Parents. Last year 144,000 clergy participated in the blessing expanding throughout the year to millions of clergy and international leaders of all faiths.
President Wahid, the former President of Indonesia who is also a religious leader blessed over 100,000 couples with IIFWP. These blessed couples are pledging to become True husband and wife, based on a covenant with God that there will be no divorce or infidelity. The movement of the Blessing is for all Ambassadors for Peace of all faiths and has become one of the most solid foundations upon which religious leaders can stand together in harmony. Through the common ground of marriage and family unbreakable bonds have formed between Christian, Moslem, and Jewish leaders as well leaders of all the faiths of the world.
Their recent Pilgrimage to Israel sponsored IIFWP and ACLC opened the door to begin the healing process of the ancient division between Christianity and Judaism. In this effort an explosion is occurring in which the Christian churches are removing their crosses as it is an impenetrable barrier to the reconciliation process between Christians and Jews. Theologians at a recent conference at Georgetown University entitled "The Cross Reconsidered: Historical Perspectives" reexamined the cross and are now discussing what would have happened if Jesusí family, disciples and the larger body of chosen people had believed in him. This discussion is causing people to "Step Out Of The Box" which is required if we are to come together. Dr. Cain Hope Felder, professor on New Testament Literature and theologian from Howard Divinity School predicts removing this barrier to Jewish Christian unity is going to spark a revolution greater than the reformation!!
Interestingly it was this historic and controversial stand by the ACLC Clergy that attracted the Jewish leaders to the Pilgrimage conference. Rabbis who normally donít meet with Christians were touched by the courage and sincerity of these leaders who set the cross aside to remove the barriers with their elder brothers. Together all repented for the fact that we have not achieved the Kingdom that God is seeking. We could agree that Jesus was misunderstood and that due to that the Kingdom did not come at that time. Father Moonís work through IIFWP inspired repentance in such a way that the Christian, Moslem and Jewish family could come together for the historic Jerusalem Declaration. Many wept at the moment of the signing and though violence continues to break out in Israel our religious leaders feel hope that peace will be realized through this reconciliation process.
Many of you are Ambassadors for Peace standing as leaders from the professional fields. Though you are not religious leaders, you are equally important because you are people of faith who have been called by God to work as legislators, civic leaders, youth and community leaders who are committed to uplifting the ideals of strong families. The honoring of Parents through the National Parents Day Coalition is but one example of the work you are doing. Ethics based work that you infuse into all professions is critical to causing a cultural shift in the direction of America and the World. Your efforts to inspire family values based legislation, media, economic development and community renewal are the foundations for a prosperous and successful society because it is based on faith in God. Now you have come together to inspire the world.
3000 outstanding leaders from the United States have been appointed by Rev. and Mrs. Moon, our True Parents as Ambassadors for Peace. 200 are here tonight for this historic conference. 30,000 Ambassadors for Peace have been established world wide. However, though your mission is in some ways similar to that of the Ambassadors of the world, your appointment is not as an Ambassador or representative of a nation, religion or people but rather as representatives of God and True Parents. Thus, Ambassadors for Peace are Godís Ambassadors to the world.
This commission originated in the Bible. In I Corinthians 5:20 St. Paul wrote, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God".
A central theme of IIFWP is that the key to peace is linked to the relationship between America and the UN. America, to be secure, must cooperate with the nations of the world. Recently Father Moon gave a special message for the Ambassadors for Peace concerning the international dimension of their mission:
In order to realize the ideal of a world of peace in a fundamental and comprehensive manner, I once again advocate that the United Nations establish an assembly consisting of representatives from all religions. At that time, the representatives must implement the central ideal that their founders sought to realize, and they must do it with wisdom, exemplifying in their personalities a true love that can serve as a model for everyone. I hope that many leaders will take this matter seriously and continue to strive to establish an assembly of global religious and spiritual leaders within the UN.
I have worked without ceasing my entire life for the sake of realizing the one nation in Heaven and on earth that is the will of the true love of God. I did not teach concepts alone, but I led the way and provided the example.
On that worldwide foundation, I established the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, and appointed Ambassadors for Peace throughout the world. That was in order to cultivate leaders who will realize the world of peace and harmony by eliminating the boundaries that cause conflict and struggle and by serving as living examples of altruistic true love. In addition, I am building "Peace Embassies" in every nation of the world as bases for our peace movement and our service movement, and as educational centers to teach and accomplish the vision and wisdom that our IIFWP advocates."
Ladies and Gentleman this is the essence of our mission. We are to bring the proper balance and cooperation between the worldís religious and political leaders. This is the path that will lead to peace. America must set the example for the world. On this occasion we go forth to the halls of Congress to bring a message of hope and vision for the elected officials of our nation. We not only bring a message, but also a commitment that from this day forward we want to work together with our elected officials to realize the vision of God for America and the World. A vision of faith, family and freedom for all.
We bring a message that encourages the understanding that Godís hand of providence is guiding this nation and that America must become a light unto the world. The Ambassadors For Peace are Godís representatives to reveal this course and guide this nation accordingly.
God chose certain individuals to stand at the pivotal moments in history. In this light George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were chosen. The Ambassadors for Peace should see themselves in this light, as forefathers not only of a new nation but also of a new world.
Ambassadors For Peace! Now is the Time! The time has come to end the hatred, religious conflict, violence and bloodshed. Now is the time to end the history of broken families and broken hearts!! Now is the time!! From the Sun kissed shores of California. Now Is The Time. From the snow capped Rockies to the wheat fields of Kansas, Now is the Time. From New York Harbor to Stone Mountain in Georgia Now is the Time!! From Sea of Galilee to the Gaza Strip. Now is the Time. From the East Bank of the Jordan to the Western Wailing Wall Ė Now Is The Time to realize a world of peace.
The Scriptures sayÖ. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."(II Chronicle 7:14)
Our task is great, but Father and Mother Moon deeply trust you and believe that God has touched your lives in a special way. You have the power and the authority to bring Godís hope to America and the World.
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