Unification News for February 2005
Ministers Are Ready to Teach Divine Principle
by Rev. McCarthy
Saturday, January 15th 2005 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. commemorative breakfast in DC, I had a vision. It was a powerful vision that brought me to tears. It was a most meaningful vision because it was not only spiritual, but actual. In fact, it was unfolding right before my eyes!
I observed three ACLC ministers come to the stage and give the deep, life-giving, traditional content of the Divine Principle. Rev. Arnold Howard of Enon Baptist Church, Rev. Ronald Brown of Christian Love Baptist and our ACLC regional co-chairman, Bishop C. Phillip Johnson It was awesome! Just as important, these three minister presenters were more excited then anyone.
Our Regional Director, Rev. John Paul Hong has been a constant proponent of helping clergy to understand and teach the Divine Principle. We had been working overtime helping to prepare our three Divine Principle clergy lecturers. We wanted to share the basic Creation, Fall, Restoration paradigm at the MLK commemorative event and at the same time link the content with the idea of "the Dream." of Dr. King.
In Baltimore, Rev. Matsui and Lynn Sofinowski had been holding a regular Tuesday night Divine Principle study session with Rev. Howard, Rev. St. George Cross, Rev. Wilkerson, Bishop Bey and many others. Rev. Howard was tapped to give the Principle of Creation at our MLK event.
In Washington, we had been working hands-on with a growing number of clergy that are getting excited about Father's core teaching. Bishop C. Phillip Johnson has been leading the way and is developing a powerful repertoire of Divine Principle content. We selected Bishop Johnson to give the presentation on Jesus and the Second Coming of Christ at the King event. Rev. Ronald Brown was deeply moved by the Fall of Man content and was chosen to give that presentation. It would be his first public presentation of the Divine Principle.
The process of minister education has been moving forward around the strategy of adapting to the education methodology of sermon, Bible study and revival. Many clergy very rarely find themselves in a lecture-giving mode. As a result, ministers were not sure how to incorporate lecture-style study of the Divine Principle into their own educational methods.
To help facilitate that was the reason I wrote The Master Plan. With a more bible-centric method of study, ministers are more able to quickly incorporate the content of the Divine Principle into a sermon and bible study format. The benefit is that they can start to share with their congregations the rich content gleaned through their personal Divine Principle studies. When ministers can give the Divine Principle to others, they experience the power and richness of the content. The light-bulb goes off! They begin to understand its value, which, in turn, motivates clergy to study more.
Another benefit of this process is that ministers begin to understand Father on a much deeper level. They can begin to understand what motivates Father to do all that he is doing. They begin to understand Father, not just as a hero, a great man or even just within the traditional concept of messiah. Instead they begin to understand that Father is the liberator of God. By offering to God a lineage of his very own, True Parents attend God's deepest hope and ideal.
It also opens the door for clergy to understand the historical grief of God and the grief of Jesus. They understand how much Jesus, as God's filial son, longed to offer to God his very own lineage, yet could not. In that understanding, the grieving Lord of Gethsemane becomes known to them in a new and most profound way.
At the January 15th event, our theme focused on understanding the dream and remembering the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. toward realizing the dream. Over 150 clergy and friends were in attendance. The program began with a stirring rendition of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech given by representatives from the group "Women in Ministry." Mrs. Sennie Johnson, wife of Bishop C. Phillip Johnson stirred the crowd with not only the words of Dr. King but also by her bringing the very same spirit of God that was present with Dr. King when he spoke those historical words. For a moment, time stood still.
Rev. Arnold Howard was our first presenter. It was a masterful presentation using the content of the Principle of Creation to shed light on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; affirming that Dr. King's dream was God's original dream of creation. Rev. Howard's full text is viewable online at: www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20050116-074730-8956r
This was a very special address and set a firm foundation for the next two presentations. Here is a brief excerpt:
"For those who still dream, these words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoken at the March on Washington August 28, 1963 reverberate with the power of truth and hope. These words help fuel the Faith that still keeps the dream, our dream alive.
These words are a repeat of the word of the Lord to Abraham concerning his search for a new city, a new community. Not one made by hands of brick and mortar but one which is eternal in the heavens. These words reflect the mind of the Lord as to His Original Intention for all of Humanity. These words resonate with the heart of the Lord and His desire to see it all come to pass. These words reverberate with the Spirit of the Lord, of His Life, His Love and His Longing for a Lineage of His making. . . and I know that my Heavenly Father's heart is broken and torn to shreds, because it is not yet realized." Everyone was deeply moved.
Next was Rev. Ronald Brown of Christian Love Baptist and the presentation of the Fall of Man. In keeping with our theme, we were billing it as "The Dream Lost." Just as Rev. Howard asserted that the origin of the dream was God' ideal of creation, Rev. Brown revealed that the dream was lost by the first human ancestors in the Garden of Eden.
This was Rev. Brown's first public Divine Principle presentation. Rev. Brown was also very excited to challenge himself with incorporating the Powerpoint slides into his presentation. Honestly, I was a little worried. We had spent several hours helping Rev. Brown prepare for his presentation and although I was amazed at how rapidly he was gaining ownership over the content of the Fall of Man, I was just a little concerned that maybe we were pushing him too rapidly to the forefront.
One thing I am quickly learning. Never underestimate the ability of ACLC clergy to quickly grasp the essence of the Divine Principle and start flyin! Rev. Brown was off and running. He was completely at ease and nailing all the major points while making his presentation topical, deep and immensely interesting and inspiring. It was a Home Run!
The table was set for our keynote presenter, Bishop C. Phillip Johnson. Bishop Johnson is the most experienced with the Divine Principle. I was expecting a good presentation. I was not ready for what was about to happen.
When the Divine Principle gets inside a minister. . .it will not leave him alone. It will keep pushing him to higher and higher manifestations. Bishop Johnson had been a marvelous Divine Principle presenter before, but on this Saturday, something unprecedented was unveiled. He took off and flew to unparalleled heights. The rich, life-giving core of Divine Principle flowed out of him like a mighty river. It was a holy wave of God's power.
He confidently walked them through the scripture showing them that to bring the Kingdom in Jesus' day was God's original will. He showed them that the words of the prophets predicted that day for Jerusalem. He beautifully explained how God fulfills his will and the pivotal role of human responsibility and thus the tragic implications of Israel's failure to recognize their King. He opened the door into the inner world of Jesus suffering heart who sorrowfully had to put away Kingdom dreams to take up the cross of sacrifice. The audience was caught-up in breathless silence, literally feeding on every new word that ushered forth from Bishop Johnson. They had never heard anything like this before. Bishop Johnson was not done.
He then lead them to the foot of the cross and revealed that the shed blood of Christ, though the rightful root of our Christian faith, was less preferred and not essential in imputing authority to Christ to forgive sin. Jesus already had that authority on earth! He explained that because Jesus came to the earth to bring the Kingdom 2000 years ago, it only stands to reason to expect him to return to the earth in this age to carry out that original vision. And as if that were not enough, Bishop Johnson then dropped the ultimate Weapon of Mass Inspiration: Jesus has appointed a successor on the earth to carry out that plan and the "new name" rendered in the Book of Revelation is none other than Father Sun Myung Moon! Sensational!
Brothers and sisters, let's be confident that the core teaching of our True Parents can be evangelized and embraced by the great masses. Now is the time for our ACLC ministers in every region to step up to the plate and bring the nation and world to the message of complete salvation as promised by the prophets who declared that Christ would come again, "not to bear sin, but to bring salvation."
I Peter 1:5 affirms that believers will "be shielded in faith until the coming of the salvation that is to be revealed in the last days." That is our job and that is the job of Christian leaders. That is not about "trying to convert them," it is about salvation and the manner in which salvation is revealed. Salvation has always been and will always be revealed through evangelism. Now is the time for the evangelism of the Divine Principle.
Helping ministers to become Divine Principle evangelists takes time and a long-term investment. Each minister has a different path to gaining ownership over the material. Some will take to it like a duck to water, some will stick their toe in and move more slowly. Most important is the hands-on training, guiding and encouragement offered by a skilled mentor (that's you!)
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