Unification News for March 1999
A Call to Christians
This was written as an explanation of our community to the Christian community.
Jesus is the Son of God. We honor His supreme example of sacrificial love. And we trust Him to reconcile us with God, our Heavenly Father.
Jesus prayed for all believers: that they may be one as He and the Father are one. Yet Christianity has been and continues to be divided. Historically, Christians have fought wars and shed blood (in very un-Christ-like ways) over what it means to be truly Christian. The true measure of being Christian is how well we love God and love one another. The animosity persisting today between various groups of Christians reflects our failure to keep Jesus commandment of love.
Following Jesus Christ means more than lip service to a set of beliefs or membership in a particular organization. Over-concern for dogma or ecclesiastical authority hinders the practice of genuine Christian love.
God desires that we love one another as He has loved us. In this context, we are all in desperate and continuous need of Gods grace. For who among us has loved perfectly?
Arrogance, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, self-righteousness and every form of impurity damage our relationships with one another and ultimately with God. We need humility, repentance, and healing that only the Spirit of God can bring.
Each human being is unique and infinitely valuable to God. He created us in His image, male and female. Each person has the capacity to uniquely reciprocate and multiply Gods love. Let us therefore appreciate one another and forgive each others shortcomings as God forgives us.
Let our unity be a unity of love. Not just in word, but in practice. Let us reach beyond differences of doctrine and organization. With humility and repentance let us seek first the love of God in all that we do. Let us melt the barriers of race, culture, ignorance and fear which have so long separated us. And may the light of our love so shine to the people of the world that they will glorify our Father in Heaven.
Who is a Good Christian?
The highest aspiration of Christians is to be one as Jesus and the Father are one. To have the Spirit of God, who is love, fully dwelling and moving in us. To be the children of God who love as God loves.
Who is deserving of our love? We should love not only those close to us, our brothers and sisters in Christ; we should love even our enemies. Just as Christ loved us while we were yet sinners.
The ability to love God and love Gods children is not defined by doctrine nor constrained by church walls. The Spirit of God moves as He wills, touching our innermost hearts, healing us, transforming us, making us anew. We bear the fruits of the Spirit as we move in harmony with Him. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Monophysite, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovahs Witness, Christian Scientist, etc. It matters not what labels we ascribe. All who display the fruits of the love of God are the children of God.
Rev. Moons teaching differs from normally accepted Christian doctrine. Numerous Christian leaders over the years have ostracized Rev. Moon, calling him a charlatan or heretic. When I joined Rev. Moons church years ago as a young Christian, I was concerned and cautious because of such accusations. However, I followed the urgings of the Holy Spirit which I felt deep in my heart. I closely observed Rev. Moon and his movement. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." (Mt. 7:16) My conclusion is that Rev. Moon is a genuine man of God. Moreover, the world has not seen such a man of God walking the face of the earth since the days of Jesus.
Throughout his life, Rev. Moon has sought to convey Gods love, Gods blessing, and Gods truth to all people. He has practiced and fostered in others, the sacrificial way of life for the sake of Gods will. Rev. Moon has initiated and sustained numerous organizations and projects which encourage understanding and harmony among the peoples, races, religions, cultures, governments and educators of the world. All centering in the love of God. And Rev. Moon has blessed the marriages of millions of couples worldwide: that they be rooted in the original love, life and lineage of God.
The Family and the Blessing of Holy Marriage
God is love. The very purpose for which God created us is the fulfillment of true love and joy. God, our ultimate Parent and the Source of all true love, created us in families. The family is the school of love. In the family we learn parental love, childrens love, conjugal love, and love between brothers and sisters.
However, humankind lost true, God-centered love when our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God. Their love became corrupted, sin crept into the first family, and all humankind has suffered the consequences of separation from God. We need the grace of Gods forgiveness. And ultimately we must restore true relationships of love with God and with each other.
Rev. Moons core mission is to transmit Gods blessing of holy marriage to the people of the world for the restoration of true love in God-centered families. The Blessing revolves around four points:
1. Affirming God as the source of love and the center of the true family.
2. Eternal love and fidelity between husband and wife.
3. Raising children in the will of God by teaching chastity before marriage.
4. Loving all people of the world as Gods children and encouraging them to follow the ideal of true love in true families.
Rev. Moon does not ask people to change their religion or church affiliation in order to receive this blessing. God has mandated it for all people. It is for their benefit, and for the sake of all future generations. People need only concur with the commitments to true relationships. Everyone should seek to become true children to God, true parents to our children, true husbands and wives to our spouses, and true brothers and sisters to all people. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Mt. 5:6)
Rev. Moons Theology
What a tragic irony that the foremost advocate of peace, understanding and Godly love should be so misunderstood and mistreated by his own people, the Christians!
Although often misunderstood and ill-treated, Rev. Moon has never sought revenge on those who have treated him unjustly. Satan has attacked even from within his own family. Rev. Moon desires only repentance and restoration to God-centered relationships.
In this short paper I hope to dispel some of the ignorance, fear and misunderstanding which have kept Christians from the special message and blessing which God is bringing through Rev. and Mrs. Moon.
I try to touch areas of concern while retaining a sense of the cohesiveness of Rev. Moons thought. Major sources are Exposition of Divine Principle, and True Love and True Family, available from HSA Publications, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 (www.hsabooks.com) 212-997-9050 ext 250.
The core of Rev. Moons message is that God is our loving Parent. Love is paramount. The practice of true love outshines any theology.
Truth itself is unique, eternal, immutable and absolute. Scriptures are not the truth itself, but an expression of truth. The Bible is a compilation of books written by men who were inspired of God. They reveal the central providence of God, and guide us to Christ who is "the way, the truth and the life." Jesus Christ, in the flesh, is himself the incarnation of truth.
Truth can be found everywhere, even as God is omnipresent. But most profoundly, we experience truth deep within our hearts. Truth resonates with our original mind (conscience) which is made in the image of God. Blemished with sin and impurity, fallen humanity has difficulty following the original mind. But God says His word is close: in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. (De. 30:14)
Rev. Moon has been criticized for not following the Nicene Creed regarding the Holy Trinity. Yet, the Nicene Creed is not the Word of God . It is a human interpretation that attempts to reconcile various passages of Scripture with an understanding of reality rooted in Greek philosophy. It uses terminology not found in the Bible, describing God as being three Persons yet one Substance. ("Substance" in the philosophical sense might be better rendered in todays English as "Essence").
Rev. Moon draws from Eastern wisdom as well as Western thought. In Oriental thought, relationship underlies existence itself. Rev. Moon describes the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in terms of relationship. Their unity is the Oneness of perfect love.
I think Rev. Moons approach is consistent with the Bible. It is unfortunate that many proponents of Trinitarian doctrine uphold theirs as the only correct teaching. Human attempts to define God vanish in the light of His all-encompassing love.
Purpose of Creation
Gods purpose in creating is to experience joy in loving relationships. Joy is not experienced alone. Love requires a partner. God created us as His children so that we could share His most profound love. We are to return joy to God. This is understood through Gods three great blessings given in Genesis 1:28. We are to grow as mature individuals in the love of God (be fruitful). We are to multiply and fill the earth with loving families. And we are to care for the rest of Gods creation with His love. All aspects of Rev. Moons theology are seen in the light of fulfilling Gods purpose of creation.
Human beings are Gods most precious creation. He grants us freedom so that we are able to freely respond to His love. Freedom entails responsibility. True love cannot be forced.
God is absolute. He is in ultimate control of everything. Yet, in His process of creating, He has chosen to share responsibility with humankind. This is what qualifies us above the rest of creation to be His children. During our growth toward perfection, God gives us His love, guidance and direction. But He does not interfere with our freedom and responsibility.
God has absolutely predestined the fulfillment of His purpose of creation. But exactly how it is carried out depends upon our response to God.
God created us in His image, male and female. Sexual love is a most profound expression of Gods nature. Sexual love transmits life and lineage. It must be used responsibly. Only by husband and wife in the bonds of heavenly marriage.
God guided Adam and Eve as they were growing. He commanded them to not eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit symbolized sexual love. Love is the most powerful force. In essence, God was warning Adam and Eve not to misuse their love. To use their love properly, in accord with Gods direction, was Adam and Eves portion of responsibility. But Eve listened to the temptation of the serpent (an angelic being) and ate the fruit. She gave some to Adam who also ate. This caused them to be cast out of the Garden of Eden, separated from God (spiritual death), and unable to fulfill the purpose of creation. Satan, the fallen angel, has acted as the false father of humankind, "the god of this world."
God granted humankind freedom and responsibility. In Gods providential history, there are thus two possibilities for human beings: to accomplish Gods will, or to fail to do Gods will. God thus gives two lines of prophecy regarding the future: blessing and curse. For example, Adam and Eve could either obey Gods commandment to not eat of the fruit and live. Or they could disobey and die.
The Old Testament gives two kinds of prophecies about the coming of the Messiah. As a victorious king of kings. Or as a suffering servant. These prophecies are not about two separate advents, but about the two possibilities that the Lord might be welcomed or rejected. "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John." (Mt. 11:13)
God, being in ultimate control, deals with the result of human actions. He sets up the conditions necessary for human beings to restore their failures, and thus constantly works toward the fulfillment of His purpose of creation.
Salvation , is synonymous with restoration, resurrection and recreation. All are different aspects of the same process: bringing fallen humankind back to the point of fulfilling the purpose of creation. In this sense, the Unification view of salvation is akin to both salvation and sanctification within established Christian teachings.
"Messiah" means Gods anointed one. Begotten of God through Mary, Jesus came as the new Adam to fulfill what the first Adam had failed. Jesus, as a man, completed his individual responsibility, growing to perfect oneness in the love of God. As God incarnate, he shouldered the responsibility to bring all humanity back to God. To accomplish this, Jesus needed to restore a woman in the position of Eve, marry, and establish an ideal family centering in the love of God. Then all fallen humanity would have been able to engraft with Jesus family for rebirth both spiritually and physically. (Physically in the sense that it would take place during life on earth.)
However, Jesus was never able to find a bride. Satan invaded the people around him. John the Baptist initially testified to Jesus, but latter doubted him and failed to serve him. A close disciple, Judas Iscariot, betrayed him. Jesus consequently had to go the way of the cross to accomplish at least spiritual salvation.
Killing Jesus on the cross was Satans victory. But the power of Jesus sacrificial love and absolute obedience overcame the power of death and Jesus was resurrected. The resurrected Jesus, together with the Holy Spirit in the position of his bride, grant spiritual rebirth to those who believe in and follow Jesus.
The Second Coming
New Testament Prophecies about the return of Christ parallel the Old Testament prophecies concerning the first coming. Many are couched in symbolism. Some are not easily recognized as applying to the Messiah. There are prophecies about victory and prophecies about suffering.
To complete the purpose of creation, Christ must come in the flesh and build Gods kingdom on earth. As prophesied in Revelation 12, the returning Lord will be born on earth. Christians should consider the possibility that the Lord will appear as a different person with a new name, coming in the spirit and power of Jesus; just as John the Baptist fulfilled the return of Elijah. And that the marriage supper of the Lamb is more than mystical symbolism for the unity of Christ and the Church. It is the Lords substantial marriage.
Many Unificationists believe Rev. Moon to be the returning Lord. What really counts, however, is Gods point of view. If you dont believe my testimony, observe the works. And pray to God for guidance.
Whatever you decide, continue to practice the sacrificial love of Jesus and keep him at the center of your life. He is our Rock and the source of our salvation. Even if our views on Gods truth remain different, we will ultimately be united in the love of God.
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