Guidance for Heavenly Tradition Vol. 3
by Rev. Young Whi Kim
August 12, 1984
Tradition & Our Way of Life
This morning I'd like to speak about tradition and how it relates to our way of life. God created man to reach perfection by receiving His words as well as angelic guidance about how to live and behave, i.e. what principles he should live according to. God should have taught these things to man directly and then by receiving additional guidance from the angels man could have led a principled life. But because of the fall man couldn't receive any words or direction from God. We know this from the Divine Principle. God's desire is to give man His words again, but as He doesn't have a physical body He needs someone to speak on His behalf. This is the idea behind sending the Messiah. The Messiah's mission is to give man God's truth and help him live according to it. God also wants to restore the angels so they can help man lead a proper life.
In Jesus, God wanted to give man a substantial model of true life. Because man has been completely separated from God for so many tens of thousands of years he cannot understand the true meaning of God's word without a living example. Fallen man needs a substantial model to follow. By observing the model's life we can adopt his lifestyle. This is the purpose of sending the Messiah to fallen man. But as we know, Jesus couldn't give God's words as completely as he desired. Even though he knew God's words, he couldn't express all that he knew because of the people's disbelief. And he couldn't lead the life he wanted to because he died without marrying. The Bible teaches us that Jesus was God's son of filial piety, who sacrificed his life for God, his father. Man could only see the example of a perfect individual, a true son of God. We know some things about him, but there are many things we don't know about his life and his heart. He couldn't establish a model of marital or family life because he didn't become a husband and father, he didn't have a wife and children. Without God's family Jesus couldn't establish God's nation. As a result Christians, who believe in Jesus as their lord and savior, do not have a model of marital life and their lives became chaotic as a result. Christianity became a religion of individual salvation, but not family or national salvation.
We can see how important it is to have a Messiah who has a family and tribe or nation. Without such a Messiah mankind cannot learn about true family or national life. There are more than a billion Christians on earth, but when we examine their lives, they aren't what God expects. We can clearly see that their family life isn't ideal. Despite their belief in Jesus many families are broken. They believe in God but their families are often unstable. No two Christian families are the same because they don't have any standard or model to follow. And Christian nations are constantly fighting amongst themselves, they don't have any example to follow. Jesus couldn't fully speak God's truth, thus each nation follows its own way of thinking, not based on God's ideal or nation. Until we have a Messiah who can show an example of family life and life with his tribe and nation we cannot have true peaceful families or true ideal nations on earth. Thus we can see that the mission of the Messiah is to set the example of true life on all levels. This is the Messiah's responsibility. We say that we have True Parents and True Family, that we are forming the true tribe and want to establish the true nation. We know where we are. God's desire is to establish the true family, tribe and nation and upon this foundation establish His Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
The West has learned Jesus' teachings, but Western life has become too individualistic, overlooking the essential principles of life. They concentrate on the details while missing the basics. Examine your social structure and laws, everything is very detailed but you lack the root, the main principles of human life. The details are very well developed, but the essentials are missing. God has been preparing to establish His ideal world on earth. Therefore He has had to work in a special way to restore the roots of human life, the main principles of man's life. The West, where Christianity developed, should have concentrated on the spiritual aspect of life. But through the influence of Hellenism they concentrated on the physical aspect of life instead and as a result it is more developed than the spiritual aspect.
Even though Christianity didn't arrive in the Orient until one or two centuries ago the Orient is more spiritual than the West. God worked through Oriental philosophy and ethics to put more emphasis on spiritual things. God prepared the circumstances for the consummation of His providence by giving certain teachings to certain people. Confucius taught ethics, how man should lead his life. His teachings spread from China to Korea and Japan. Korea also received a unique teaching from its founder Tangun. His teaching is called hongikingan which means "man's life should benefit all of humanity". Koreans learned Confucian ethics based on the spirit of hongikingan. They are called the three principles and the five precepts of ethics. They have always been the essential core of human life in Korea and were the absolute standard for human behavior. I would like to explain these three principles and five precepts to you this morning.
The three principles are: First, a king must serve his subjects, a central figure must serve his people. Second, parents must serve their children. And third, a husband must serve his wife. These are the three principles of ethics and are considered of foremost importance. They regulate the relationships between a central figure and his subjects, parents and children and husband and wife. Even though Koreans observed these principles they couldn't understand their true meaning. The purpose of the first principle wasn't just to serve each other, but by serving each other to establish the Kingdom of Heaven, God's nation on earth. They couldn't understand that though, because the goal was missing. They emphasized having the proper relationship but didn't know the goal, or purpose. The purpose of the principle that parents serve their children was to help them establish an ideal family. By having an original relationship between parents and children, that is by serving and loving each other, they should have established ideal families of God. Again they emphasized the relationship without knowing its goal: the ideal family. The third principle of a husband serving and loving his wife was to promote the establishment of ideal couples. By having a loving relationship between husband and wife people should have established ideal couples. But the idea of the ideal couple was missing. They emphasized the relationship without explaining the ultimate goal. This can only be done by the Divine Principle. When we understand the Principle we can see the reason these principles of ethics were given.
The five precepts of ethics are as follows: 1. There are certain duties and obligations between a king (central figure) and his subjects. 2. Friendship should exist between parents and children. 3. The roles of husband and wife differ. 4. There should be order based on precedence among elder and younger. 5. There should be trust among friends.
The points which are unclear in the three principles are illuminated by the five precepts. The principles emphasize service in the relationship of a king to his people, while the precepts state that a king and his people have certain duties and obligations to one another. The king must fulfill his duty to his people and the people have a certain obligation to serve their king.
In the Orient we stress that parents are subject and children object, so children must obey their parents. This is stressed very strongly. But the five precepts state that parents and children should be like friends. The principles state that the parents are subject and the children object -- above and below in a vertical relationship, but the five precepts state that parents and children should be friends, i.e. a horizontal relationship. If the vertical aspect is overemphasized the children cannot learn from their parents. It is much easier to learn from a friend.
The relationship between man and wife is also clarified. A husband must serve his wife and vice versa. In the West they now claim that husband and wife are one so they are also equal. But the five precepts clearly state that there is a difference between man and wife. They may be one in heart, but there is a dear difference in their roles. Even though they are one in love, they still aren't the same. The principles stress their oneness and equal value while the five precepts stress the difference in their roles.
Besides this the five precepts say that older people are like parents in a society and younger people like children. Therefore the fourth precept states that there should be an order of precedence among older and younger people. The elderly should take priority in social life. They should be considered first. Sometimes though the little ones should be first and the elders last. Can you understand this order? This is stressed very strongly. And in conclusion there should always be trust among friends, otherwise they cannot be called real friends. These are the things which are emphasized most in Korean life and is the model which is closest to God's ideal of life. Because they didn't have a substantial model like Jesus, God gave these principles and precepts of ethics to the Korean people in order to lead them toward His ideal which was to come in the future.
Our Father could come to Korea on this foundation. There are many other nations on earth, so why did our Father come to Korea? Christianity arrived only recently. Of course now the Christian faith is quite strong in Korea, but that's not the only reason Father could come. Father could come on the foundation of the three principles and five precepts of ethics which form the tradition of Korean life. Due to the influence of Western thought these principles and precepts aren't emphasized as much as they were before. But thirty or forty years ago you were considered an animal if you denied them. One had to observe these principles and precepts in order to be considered human. This thought was very strong in Korea. When we understand Divine Principle we can clearly understand why God gave such ethical principles to the Korean people.
In Korea we emphasize the trunk, not the details as in the West. The West doesn't have these principles, but emphasizes etiquette and refined behavior. In order to form a perfect life These two must be combined, but you must understand that the trunk is essential. In Korea we have a saying that if there are too many restrictions, regulations and laws the nation will perish. There should be more freedom in man's life. When there are fewer regulations each individual can fully exploit his capabilities and establish a better life. Why do you have so many regulations and detailed rules? Because you cannot trust each other; people try to take advantage of others, trick one another and do many sneaky things. If we could trust others we wouldn't need lawyers all the time, we could do without them. In Korea the legal system isn't so complicated. In special circumstances, e.g. a court case, we employ lawyers, but ordinarily we don't need them. In America, on the other hand, virtually everything must be done through a lawyer, otherwise you can end up in trouble. That is not ideal though.
Japan also has traditions which can serve as an example to other people and nations. The bushido code stresses one's duty to one's lord. In Japanese it's called giri. There are also many examples of people sacrificing everything to pursue and take vengeance on an enemy who had killed their master or parents. This is called katakiuchi and means vengeance. This tradition also stresses ninjo which means humane or humanitarian feelings, i.e. to help the weak and oppressed and to destroy evil. This was the essential teaching of Japanese life in the past.
We can learn many things from this. It clarifies what we must do: we must be faithful, dutiful sons and daughters of God and avenge our first ancestors, who were killed by Satan. God lost His children, so we must avenge and console the heart of our lord and parent God. For our ancestors' sake we must destroy our enemy and vindicate them. This is actually what we are doing. We want to avenge God and Jesus and vindicate our True Parent's. We must restore everything our enemy Satan has destroyed. This is our duty and mission. This is clearly demonstrated in Japanese tradition. In Korea the basic principles of life are taught, while in Japan they emphasize restoration more. Each nation has its own tradition to teach other people and nations. In the Last Days our True Parents will unify them and establish one ideal lifestyle.
In True Parents we have a model to follow for each level of our life. Jesus could have been a true model for all people, but unfortunately he couldn't establish a family, tribe and nation. This is why we need a new Messiah. This is what the Messiah must do on earth. Now we can see a model family and tribe, but we still need a nation. The tribe cannot fulfill its role completely until we have an ideal nation because it cannot make its own laws and regulations, but must live under those of fallen nations. So the tribe cannot embody God's ideal until we erect His ideal nation, it is the same for the family. Of course we can have the ideal within our families, but each family will still be influenced by and must observe the laws of the nation. So we can see how important it is to have an ideal nation. Until then even the True Family cannot set a complete example of true life. We are in the process of establishing a nation; to do this we need people. The three elements of a nation are sovereignty, people and land.
We need help from the spirit world, so we must pray. We must also follow God's words. Just as Adam and Eve needed God's words and angelic assistance, we need God's words and the help of the spirit world, which is in the angelic position. Man severed the relationship and not God, so we are the ones who must restore it. God wants to give man His words, but He cannot if we aren't ready to receive them. Man must fulfill his portion of responsibility, then God can give him something. We must understand man's portion of responsibility.
Our Father is in prison, so the first thing we must do is constantly think of him and pray for his safety. This is the first thing we should do in our prayer. We cannot help him physically, but we can support him spiritually. So we should always give him our spiritual support. I received a letter recently from an American sister who receives messages from the spirit world. She wrote that we must pray deeply for our True Parents' safety because Father cannot ask for help. Of course he has the power to control the angelic world, but this is the Children's Age and he has given his authority to his children. So even though he has power he cannot use it for his sake. His children must use the authority he has given them to mobilize the angelic world. So as his children we must ask the angelic world to support and protect our Father. This is our responsibility. We must do this, Father himself cannot. This is what she wrote in her letter. I know everyone is praying for Father, but I'd like to stress that we pray for his protection even more.
Let's pray together now:
Our loving Heavenly Father, we came before you again this morning to offer our pledge and renew our determination. Father, you have taught us many things through different people. Your desire is to have ideal children on earth and through them to establish ideal families, ideal nations and finally your Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We must change many customs we followed in the past, otherwise we cannot lead an ideal life. Most important are the relationships between God & man, parents & children and husband & wife. These are essential relationships for mankind. When we establish proper relationships in these three categories we can lead a life based on your true tradition and establish your Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We really want to become your children of filial piety and have ideal relationships with our parents, our children and our spouses.
Father, we reflected upon these things this morning and are truly grateful that you have shown us such things. Our True Father is trying to teach us many lessons, the most important among them being that we must become sons and daughters of filial piety and husbands and wives of fidelity. Once we establish ideal couples we can give birth to ideal children and through them establish your ideal nation on earth. We realize that our relationship to you, the parent-child relationship and the conjugal relationship between man and wife are the most important things in our lives.
Our True Father is in prison. We ask that you protect him and always be with him so that his heart can be consoled and he can have power and energy to give great inspiration to all mankind. We also ask that we can become one with him and accomplish our missions as he desires. Father, we have many missions to fulfill. We must build your nation on this earth. To do this we need many people, your nation cannot exist without them. We are reaching out to many priests and ministers now. We cannot bring your truth to the people without them. Father, we ask you to be with our members when they go out to preach your truth, work with the people and open their hearts so they can receive your truth from our members. By working with you and the people we can establish true peace, true happiness and a true ideal lifestyle on earth.
We pray all this in the name of our True Parents. Amen.
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