True Family Values
Joong Hyun Pak and Andrew Wilson
The Book of Revelation, in its vision of the new millennium, describes the qualifications for entry into the New Jerusalem with the following words:
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood. -Rev. 22:14-1
There will be a division among humanity. "Those who wash their robes," means those who keep sexual purity and practice true love. Their families will be blessed with happiness and abundance. Those "outside" of the city do not follow a pure lifestyle. Seeking love in the wrong way, they find nothing but disappointment. Many assuage their longing through alcohol, drugs, visiting prostitutes or having numerous affairs. Others become homosexuals; still others become violent or suicidal. With people unwilling to curb their sexual appetites, AIDS runs rampant. Yet all this is justified by the pernicious ideology of the sexual revolution which celebrates physical love without restraint and rejects God's commandment "you shall not eat the fruit" as if it were a fetter to human happiness. The future of civilization will be bleak indeed unless humankind changes direction.
To partake of the Tree of Life symbolizes fulfilling the God-given purpose of life -- which Adam and Eve did not fulfill when they were blocked from attaining the Tree of Life. From what has been discussed in this book, we can affirm that the purpose of life is nothing less than establishing a true family. Adam and Eve were to partake of the Tree of Life when they reached maturity and received God's blessing of marriage. Their conjugal love would be blessed by God, and the fruit of their union would likewise be blessed. However, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-an act which led them to feel ashamed of the lower parts of their bodies-they were driven out of the Garden and prevented from attaining the Tree of Life. What was the nature of their sin? What do a man and a woman do with the lower parts of their bodies? Their sin was illicit love.
In the last days, all humankind will confront the choice which Adam and Eve faced in the Garden of Eden. Today this great division is already upon us. The great conflict in the world is no longer between democracy and communism. It is between true love and false love, between people seeking to apply true family values and those who live by the false values of self-gratification and sexual liberation. Confusion over family values throws even the churches into chaos. Without a compass, we would surely lose our way.
Yet God does not leave His children in darkness. In the midst of these confusing times, He has sent the light of renewal through the ministry of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. Their ministry has thrived despite untold hardships and persecution because it is blessed by God and Jesus Christ. They have established the first true family, a family according to God's original design, attaining what Adam and Eve were meant to have realized in the Garden of Eden. Now they are teaching the people of the world how to form true families through the true family values ministry.
The Family Pledge, with its clear teaching of true family values, shows the way. Its teaching traces out God's design for the family. It teaches how to attain true love and lasting happiness. Families founded upon true family values can receive God's blessing upon their marriages and fulfill the purpose of life. Furthermore, true families are the missing link between the salvation of individuals and the Kingdom of God. They are the leaven who will bring peace to the world. The Family Pledge is thus the compass to guide us to perfection and the blueprint for establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.
Take time to pray and study this teaching. Practice true family values in your marriage. Teach them to others, especially to youth. Just telling young people to "just say No" to premarital sex is not enough. Nature has given them passions and the exciting prospect of new-found love. They need a vision of the good family to which they can aspire, to make the pain of self-restraint seem worthwhile. We should guide young people on the proper path to preparation for marriage by teaching them the true meaning of love. Meanwhile, as parents, we should set a good example by cultivating true conjugal love and true parental love ourselves. We can also work to transform our society, which is currently hostile to families, into a society that rewards fidelity, sexual purity, and all the true family values. Our churches should become havens for people seeking to practice true family values. Ultimately, when all the world's families become true families, the Kingdom of God will appear in our midst.
Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them. -Rev. 21: 3
God naturally dwells with families who live by true love. The Tree of Life is once again available to us; let us enter the heavenly city and partake of its fruits.
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