Orthodox -- Unification Dialogue -- Constantine N. Tsirpanlis Editor 1981


Dr. Matczak: Let me ask you to explain again this Cain-Abel situation.

Franz Feige: I made it simple; it would take too much time to explain it deeply. The problem was that Lucifer dominated Eve and Adam. Originally Adam should have subjugated Lucifer. Lucifer was to serve Adam -- he was created as a servant for man. But satan dominated man and God lost the dominion over man. In order to restore that, God later set up the same pattern -- one in the position of Lucifer-Cain, and one in the position of Adam-Abel.

Abel is the younger brother, so it seems that he's the one to submit to Cain. But Abel has the opportunity to restore the position of Adam by subjugating Cain through love. This helps to restore the dominion of God over man; it serves as a foundation for the Messiah to come on the earth. By restoring God's dominion, God can again create a perfect man, which is the Messiah.

Dr. Matczak: We could say that Adam was the head of the human race. The sins of Adam came to all people through him. Cain and Abel -- they are sons of Adam -- how can they restore anything in the human situation?

Franz Feige: The original nature of man is not completely crushed. There's a good nature and an evil nature in man. Through that act of Abel subjugating Cain with love, a condition toward removing fallen nature would have been made. Cain being older wanted to receive the blessing, just as Lucifer wanted to get the blessing. Had Abel been able to love Cain enough, then Cain could have humbled himself to Abel, thus moving toward God's side.

Dr. Matczak: But all of them are children of Adam, so that they already have the sin of Adam -- original sin is in them.

Franz Feige: Yes, actually Cain and Abel had original sin, and their cooperation with God could not fully restore man. It could, however, serve as a condition for God to work, for God to bring a perfect man on the earth, such as Jesus. There must be many good conditions set up for Jesus to be conceived without original sin.

Dr. Matczak: But it seems you are saying that the conditions they made -- if they sinned or didn't sin -- formed a condition for God to intervene. Yet God intervenes at any time, whether there is good or not, according to the will of God.

Dr. Tsirpanlis: No, I disagree with you, Dr. Matczak -- you said that God can intervene at any time. No, because in that case God would abolish the freedom of will, and the preparation, of which you are such a great advocate -- so God cannot interfere at any time. He is not imperfect, but He waited until man could present to Him a satisfactory response -- which was Mary's total obedience to God's thought and will. That is to say, conformity of man's will and purpose with God's will and purpose.

No, in the case of Cain, or in the case of Isaac and Jacob in Israel, there was no such response, until the person of Mary, who is the peak of Old Testament holiness. Of course Mary responded positively and she became the appropriate response of the human race to God's hope. What I mean by this is that the Old Testament is the preparation for the restoration, to fulfill the indemnity. Mary is the transition point. This is in absolute agreement with Catholic theology -- this also agrees with the Unification concept of the Old Testament era as the preparation. Even Christianity has paid indemnity and still pays indemnity for 2,000 years, and the kingdom of God is not yet on earth. What's going on! Now, the point is that the kingdom of God will come on earth -- will materialize -- not when Jesus will come again from the clouds, but when man, by his own free will, will cooperate with God's plan of salvation, and be divinized, like Jesus. We can find a very close similarity between the concept of divinization in the mystic soteriology of Eastern Patristic theology and the Unification doctrine of salvation as restoration; both are, so to speak, divinization or theosis, a peak, an inaugurated eschatology, but not the end, because the kingdom of God on earth will not be the end. It will be the beginning, without end! (Applause)

According to Gregory of Nyssa, who was never condemned as a heretic by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the kingdom of God is like a royal palace, a luxurious royal palace of highly complicated structure. Each room is more splendid than the other -- this royal palace is without end. The soul who goes to one room is anxious and desirous constantly to see more. He goes to another room and feels quite happy, but still thinks something is missing, and so on and so on. So the rooms are never perfect, each room is splendid. Which is the most splendid room in the kingdom of God? There is no perfectly splendid room.

Dr. Matczak: One point, one point. What you said I agree with, except that the problem for me lies somewhere else: namely, that Cain and Abel had original sin. How then could they work in such a way as to produce restoration -- this is the problem? Because for restoration, a person without original sin is needed. This is the point. I think that the only solution is if we accept what Unification presents -- history as restoration -- how God is working throughout history.

Franz Feige: Let me mention something concerning the atonement theory. I think Divine Principle, through a deep understanding of the nature of man and the nature of the fall, sheds new light upon the atonement theory. The question is whether Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to satisfy God, to change His grief or His hurt. It was not enough. God wants to see man become victorious and living as Adam and Eve should have been living originally, subjugating satan totally. Jesus would have restored God's grief if He had asserted the true identity, the true nature of man as dominator over creation and the angelic world. Now, what did Jesus do? He subjugated satan on the individual level by remaining faithful to God even though he had to die on the cross. But God really wants to see man become victorious over satan on earth like Adam should have been originally. So death cannot bring complete satisfaction to God's heart. It was not enough satisfaction from that point of view -- death alone cannot satisfy God. Yes, Jesus showed complete loyalty to God, but He did not completely subjugate satan on earth because he could not establish God's kingdom on earth. Only this can bring about the true satisfaction of God, or better, the complete restoration of God's heart.

Dr. Matczak: I think that this explanation is not the Unification explanation. At least not Unification as it is in Divine Principle... it is your private opinion, I think, because Divine Principle clearly states that it does not diminish the value of the cross. The value of the cross was the spiritual salvation. Why do we not have an earthly kingdom on the earth -- why? Because Jesus was crucified, so that there was not complete restoration -- not due to the fact that the cross was not sufficient -- it would be completely against Divine Principle -- the earth was not restored because man, being free, prevented Jesus from the restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. I think this is the right explanation which you have in the sources, not otherwise.

Franz Feige: Well, I agree with you, too. I think it's the same argument from different angles.

Dr. Cavarnos: I would like to ask about man's 5% contribution. The thing has been mentioned -- that there is a 5%, but it has not been explained. Does it have any relationship to the Orthodox practices that I mentioned -- to physical and mental 'work'? What exactly is man's 5% contribution to the process of his salvation in Unification thought?

Franz Feige: This is another aspect of salvation. Indeed, fasting, praying, etc., to purify oneself and to grow spiritually is a part of man's 5%. Through that man can grow. But it is not enough to reach perfection. Perfection will come by accepting the Messiah as one's parent, being reborn through the Messiah, and growing in following Him to perfection. But fasting and all the means of divinization belong to man's portion of responsibility. I think the Orthodox view gives a very good understanding of how man can grow spiritually.

Dr. Matczak: Since I was involved in this matter, I will answer too. I think that Unification does not specify exactly what this responsibility consists of. It takes a very wise approach by saying that responsibility consists simply in the fulfillment of God's will for each man. This fulfillment of the will of God is different for Esau and for Abraham. It's different for various people, so it depends on each individual person, and Unification very wisely does not enter into explicit explanations, which consist in this and this and this, because it depends on each individual man. The general idea is that man has to fulfill the will of God. Unification very wisely points out that this fulfillment of the will of God, even if it is only 5%, is an extremely great effort for man psychologically. He has to make a really great sacrifice in order to fulfill the will of God. Therefore, we did not have this fulfillment of the will of God in many instances, even among the patriarchs, Jacob and Esau and other people, especially selected by God to fulfill His will. Man must do his 5%, yet there is still God Himself who initiates action to restore the purpose of creation in each individual man and in mankind as a whole.

Franz Feige: I agree with you. I think the view of Divine Principle is that every man has a different responsibility -- a different way of coming to God. Eventually your individual path will be determined by your relationship with the Messiah and God.

Dr. Tsirpanlis: But I don't agree with Dr. Matczak (Laughter) when he said that the death of Jesus excludes the resurrection of the body -- something like this? What did you say? (Laughter). That the death of Jesus was simply spiritual restoration? I could not understand your statement concerning the death of Jesus, the cross.

Dr. Matczak: ... Because the complete salvation was prevented by man, not prevented by Jesus...

Dr. Tsirpanlis: Yes, but the point is that Jesus died in order to restore the entire human being...

Dr. Matczak: It doesn't matter...

Dr. Tsirpanlis: To recreate the body -- to restore the body also -- to restore the body, not only the soul. Because man, before the fall was created soul and body, and as a psychosomatic existence we cannot exclude the body from the resurrection of all the dead. Now what kind of body? Do you follow me? What kind of body will exist after the resurrection? It is a question -- nobody knows, not even Saint Paul in 1 Cor. 15:38-42. He does not specify this, he says "glorified body" according to the sinlessness-sinfulness of each body. But don't forget, man was created, therefore -- he was created only as a spirit? No, but with a body. But what kind of body? What kind of body did man have in the pre-fallen condition? It is unknown. Biologically the same, I think, but spiritually not the same -- so that the post-fallen body is weaker, is more corrupted than the pre-fallen body.

Dr. Matczak: We are not having a symposium now about the Catholic position and the Orthodox position -- we are speaking about the Unification position. If you ask me what I think the Catholic position is, this will be a different story -- then I will explain we are agreed that the Crucifixion was also the cause of the resurrection of the body.

Patricia Gleason: We have a ten minute break before we come back to a very different topic. (Applause) 

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