Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 38 In God We Trust
New York, New York
July 8, 1979
In this stirring sermon, Dr. Bo Hi Pak expresses his deep love for America and reiterates both the serious shortcomings and the providential importance of America.
Last Sunday I preached on the topic "Abraham, Father of Faith." Every Thursday night our program director for Sunday service comes to me and asks me what my sermon topic is. Last Sunday I felt I had not quite finished describing Abraham, so I said, what about "Abraham, Father of Faith, Part II"? We had the movie "Rocky IL" Why not "Abraham, Part II"? Then this brother asked, "May I make a suggestion? We just celebrated July 4th, the 203rd birthday of our nation. Maybe `In God We Trust' would be a good topic." Well, that was a very wonderful recommendation, but I didn't want to change so abruptly. I had already decided to talk again about Abraham. I left for Washington for an important meeting, but during the night, a very powerful inspiration came to me that I must speak about America. That brother was right.
Since my title this morning doesn't come from me, if something does not go too well, I have somebody to blame. But at the same time, if there is some inspiring quality in this sermon, the credit should go to him, too, not to me. I am trying my best to honor this brother this morning.
I first came to America in 1952 as a soldier. At the time I was a first lieutenant in the Korean Army, and my country was engaged in a desperate battle during the Korean War. I had been brought up in a very humble way in the Korean countryside. I entered the Korean Military Academy of the Republic of Korea, comparable to West Point here, at the age of 21, and I thought I would be a military leader. But just 25 days after entering the academy, on June 25, 1950, the Korean War broke out. My school was located at what is now the border between North and South Korea. That day, without knowing our destination, we were called to an emergency assembly and put on a truck heading north. That was my last day in the Military Academy.
From that day on, we were engaged in battle. In 1952 I was selected as one of 150 Korean officers to come to America for more advanced military training. At that time, I did not speak even one word of English. In fact, none of the Korean officers who had been selected spoke English, so we were accompanied by a group of interpreters. Just as our Hispanic brothers and sisters are listening to my sermon today through an interpreter, I was trained for six months at Fort Benning, Georgia, through an interpreter. By then I was already commissioned as a lieutenant and was leading a company in the Korean War.
Farther Than the Moon
Of course, I had heard about America, but in my imagination America was a far-away country, even farther than the moon. I thought there was no conceivable way I would ever visit here. As a Korean boy growing up in the countryside, not educated in any special way, speaking no English, how could I harbor any hope of coming to a country like America? Furthermore, everything I read in newspapers or magazines showed the beautiful, fantastic side of America. To me, America was a distant country, almost like heaven.
Then all of a sudden I had an opportunity to come to America. From where? From a foxhole at the frontline of the battlefield. I was in combat uniform. One day they gave me a brand-new uniform and said, wear this, you are going to America. I just couldn't believe this was happening to me. So I came out of the foxhole and shaved for the first time six months. I went to Seoul, but I found no capital city any more. The ravages of war had totally demolished the city. We went to Inchon Harbor, which was made famous by the MacArthur landing operation. There President Syngman Rhee, the beloved first president of the Republic of Korea, came in person to this very humble dock. He shook the hand of every Korean officer and asked us to be good soldiers. He said, learn as much as you can and come back and win this deadly war. It was an inspiring and deeply touching moment: the president of the Republic of Korea shaking hands with these 150 officers and telling them they are the hope of this country, you come back soon and win the battle.
We did not come by plane. I came to America by military ship. It took about 15 days. We were part of a large contingent of American soldiers returning from the Korean battlefield. Entering the San Francisco Bay and then seeing the Golden Gate Bridge was something like coming to a fairyland. The beauty of America was unbelievable. San Francisco was like heaven, a beautiful white city with the red Golden Gate Bridge. Everybody came on deck. The moment the boat passed under the bridge all the GIs threw their hats in the air and cheered, in tears, for their homecoming. As a Korean officer who had witnessed so many desperate battles going on in the homeland, it was an absolutely beautiful thing to behold. I truly envied the American soldiers who had a beautiful country to come back to.
Well, I cannot go on like this or the sermon may last three hours. Do you know what made the greatest impression on me? Now, after being here so many years, I am numb about the American phenomena. But coming from a foxhole, landing in San Francisco, was truly an amazing experience. The thing that was most incredible was the flood of automobiles. I thought the whole country was covered by automobiles. The second incredible thing to hit my eyes were the beautiful women drivers. Seeing beautiful, blonde young ladies sitting behind the wheel and driving was so amazing. Now, even my wife drives and in the Orient there are many women drivers. But in those days, it was virtually unthinkable. The only automobiles I saw in Korea were jeeps and trucks. Only fierce-looking men drove.
Another thing. I didn't even know what Coca Cola was. I thought it was like candy. I was introduced to the Coca Cola machine, and it only cost a nickel but I put a quarter in and -- boom -- the Coke came out. Then clink, clink, it gave me change. It did all the mathematics by itself and gave change. I was just amazed.
To make a long story short, I was so moved by the nation of America and seeing that God had made this nation great. At that time, I was searching for some kind of religion. I was not even Christian. I hadn't met Reverend Moon yet. But I wanted to become a Christian. I wanted to become part of these great people. I was baptized in the Church of Christ in Columbus, Georgia, a small town outside Fort Benning. I decided to be a good Christian.
The only break from our military training was the Fourth of July. It was only a three-day vacation, but the military doesn't give week-long vacations. This was the only vacation before I was to go back to the battlefield. Maybe death was waiting for me. I knew this was my first and last chance to see America. How could I come to this country again? I wanted to see this great nation's capital, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Three days was enough; you can fly there and back. But a military officer from Korea didn't have that kind of money.
So five brave officers got together, and we each put in $50 and hired a taxi. When we got in the taxi, the driver asked where we would like to go. We all said, Washington, D.C. You have never seen such a startled taxi driver. What did you say? Washington, D.C. Since we cannot speak much English, we just showed him the money. We had enough money. He was a good-looking taxi driver. Brave, too-he accepted the offer.
It took 16 hours to get to Washington. Even this brave driver began to doze, and the taxi was swaying this way and that way. Boy, all five officers were looking at each other and saying, well, the American highway is much more dangerous than the Korean battlefield. We would rather die in the battlefield. So we decided to take turns keeping the driver awake. He was a good smoker, thank God. So we kept lighting cigarettes, and he kept smoking cigarettes. We couldn't talk to him, we didn't speak the same language, so we had give and take only by cigarette. At the drug store, we stopped to get lots of coffee and cigarettes. But without accident we made it to Washington.
A Great Miracle
I don't remember everywhere we visited, but two things stand out. One is walking to the Washington Monument. I even have a nice picture taken there. Finally, I made it. This was going to be my last visit to Washington. You see how ironic, in a way, how miraculous that is. That man who in 1952 didn't speak even one word of English, in 1976 stood at the Washington Monument with the prophet of Korea, Reverend Sun Myung Moon, translating to 300,000 people. I tell you, this in itself is a great miracle of our time.
The other place I remember visiting was Capitol Hill. I am sure I went into the House and Senate chambers, but the one thing I cannot forget was the guide leading us into the small dark room they call the prayer room. There were only a few chairs. The stained glass window showed George Washington on his knees at Valley Forge asking divine guidance. The guide explained that this is the place where the great leaders of this nation, the senators and congressmen, come when they have a vital decision to make, regardless of their faith. They come and pray. The guide also explained that every meeting in Congress is opened by prayer and that the president of the United States is sworn into office by placing his hand on a Bible.
Those things struck me so hard. I felt I was an eyewitness to the greatness of America. Yes, today Reverend Moon has come to this country to make the purpose of this nation so clear. At Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, and Washington Monument, he showed that this nation has a special purpose in the sight of God. Even the discovery of America is amazing. All the old world of Europe and the rest of the world was known for over 5,000 years. But until several centuries ago, this great land of America was a hidden secret, hiding until such time as God wanted His people to immigrate here from the whole world. America is known today as a melting pot. But what is the heat for this melting pot? As Reverend Moon has so clearly stated, the heat of the melting pot was God. The Christian spirit melted a nation and made it great. God clearly has a culminating purpose for this nation.
I truly became a lover of America. I went back to Korea and I met Reverend Moon. Then I discovered the meaning of America as a chosen nation of God for the consummation of teaching about God on earth. America is a melting pot for this reason. God ultimately wants to have every nation, the entire world, to be a melting pot. All people, regardless of race or nationality, are supposed to live under one God as one family. There must be some example, and God put this nation of America together to make the external example.
Externally speaking, America is truly the form of the kingdom of heaven on earth. To me, the United States of America is actually the United States of God. America externally is the U.S.A., but internally it is the U.S.G. God really wanted to see this nation, which is prepared externally, one day turn around to God. Then the kingdom of heaven would become a reality here on earth. It is so clear that America is prepared for that.
This morning my teaching aid for the sermon is American money. I have coins and dollars because I want to testify that every penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar bill has the beautiful motto "In God We Trust." That expresses the founding spirit of America. The American forefathers came to this land, planted here by God. This God-trusting nation and democracy can only flourish upon that foundation, strengthened and inspired by the Christian spirit.
I tell you, American democracy would not work in any other land. Many Asian nations have failed in democracy. Many South American nations have not done it, neither have many European nations. Do you know why? Democracy itself will not work until democracy can blossom upon the foundation of the Christian spirit. Upon Christian brotherhood alone can democracy work.
But today America's democracy is in trouble. Why? Because America's Christian spirit is fading away. This nation is becoming very self-centered. If this nation continues in that direction, America will be in more and more trouble in the days to come.
America Needs the Will to Win
This great America needs help. It needs a solution. What kind of problems does America have? Of course, you know better than I do. Just look at the difference between America in 1952 during the Korean War, when I first came here, and after the Vietnam War. This was the first war in which America was defeated. In 203 years of America history, the first war you lost was in Vietnam. But it was not because of lack of soldiers or money or weapons. Do you know that at the close of the Vietnam War the American Army had to abandon, along with the Vietnamese, about $5 billion worth of equipment, military gear and weapons? Why, then, did we have to retreat? We had no clear purpose and no will power to win. This was the first war in which America was not united in will and purpose. The American young people, soldiers, and government could not see clearly our purpose to be there.
Communism is like a crazy dog. I sometimes give this example: When a barking dog is trying to bite you, what is your best defense? If you try to run away from the dog, no matter how fast you run, the dog is faster. The dog will get more excited and triumphant. The best defense against this crazy, barking dog is to turn around and face the dog, eyeball to eyeball, and yell at him. That dog will put his tail down and run away. You think that running away from communism will keep you safe, but America will never win the race against communism this way.
God has chosen America and made it the mightiest power on earth. If we are awakened to our true purpose, if we turn our eyes from the selfish point of view to the survival of the world, if we fight in the name of God, we will win the war against communism. When I first came to America, I wrote "My Tribute to America." I said in those days that the war against communism is not an American war. If you think you are winning for the sake of the American people, the chances are you will lose. Communism is actually a declaration of war against God. The ultimate confrontation is between a God-denying ideology and a God-accepting ideology. Khrushchev clearly stated the communist goal: "We shall bury you." Not just America would lose, but the real loser would be God. If America loses, on that day God has no instrument here on earth.
America today is summoned, like David against Goliath, to be a strong defender and fighter for freedom, to make God's kingdom flourish. That is why 200 years ago God founded what would become the mightiest nation on earth. What makes America mighty is its spiritual purpose, and this is what America is losing today. America is losing its basic purpose.
Here are some statistics about what is happening in America. I know you don't want to hear all of it, so I will only read a few examples. These are the results of the abuse of freedom and great confusion and chaos without God. Two million children are abused by their own parents each year; 5,000 children die from parental abuse or neglect each year; 700 children were murdered by their own parents in one year; in New York City there are more than 5,000 professional prostitutes and many more thousands of girls who are part-time. In 1977, 235,000 children were born out of wedlock. One out of two marriages are not successful. Each year there are 15,000 drug abuse-related deaths. About 35,000 suicides are reported each year, but there could be as many as 100,000 suicide attempts. Someone is murdered approximately every 27 minutes, raped every eight minutes, robbed every 78 seconds, and assaulted every minute. More than 10 million serious crimes are committed each year in the United States. There is a $1.5 billion sex industry in Times Square alone. Students assault 70,000 teachers each year, and some are murdered. More than five million young Americans have venereal disease. Some time ago Time magazine reported that a VD epidemic was second only to the common cold.
Four Major Problems
We have a problem. We have to solve the problem. But we have to know the cause of the problem. This ugliness is not just in America but all over the world. It is more severe in America because there is so much more freedom here. The problems have four major causes: (1) dishonesty, (2) impurity, (3) jealousy, and (4) greed. None of these come from our God-given nature. All four of these come from Satan.
We know through the Divine Principle that Satan is none other than the fallen archangel, Lucifer. The archangel approached Eve. He told her a direct lie to win her. He was a liar. Jesus said the devil was a liar from the beginning. Lies and dishonesty come from Satan. The reason Lucifer approached Eve was jealousy. Lucifer was jealous of Adam's position. Furthermore, Lucifer's motivation to approach Eve was impure, illicit love. Finally, Lucifer approached Eve because of his greediness, his self-centeredness. He didn't care about God's dispensation. He wanted to make himself as high as God.
So all the problems in the world and in America today come from satanic invasion. How can we win this battle without God? Today America is trying so many ways to solve the problem without God. It will not work. America has many religions, many churches. But that is not enough. What we need here in America today is to make God's truth a way of life. There are many preachers in America. Billy Graham's sermons are beautiful words of God. A few weeks ago Oral Roberts came to Madison Square Garden. There are many others. But what America needs today is not preachers. What America needs today is a prophet.
What is the difference between preachers and prophets? Preachers inspire you with the word of God so you can be closer to God and understand the truth. The prophet has another role. The prophet is a channel between God and man to bring His new message to people. In other words, preachers expound on the Bible; a prophet writes the Bible.
At this particular juncture of history, God summoned Reverend Moon to come to America. The New York Times and the Washington Post say that he is a preacher or evangelist. Wrong. He has come to this land as a prophet.
What has Reverend Moon done for you and me? What is he doing for America? How can you sum up in one word the accomplishment of Reverend Moon? I say it this way. What Reverend Moon has done for you and me, and will do for millions of Americans and the rest of the world, is make God real in our hearts. Yes, Reverend Moon brought God to your heart. Without any hesitation, I say to you, without Reverend Moon making God real in my heart, I have absolutely no qualification to stand at this pulpit and speak to you. There are tens of thousands of people who can be more eloquent than I am. I was once asked to be a preacher; I declined simply because God was not real to me then. I could not be an unreal preacher. I could not be a hypocrite. But one thing is sure, Reverend Moon ignited me with God. He ignited you, I know it. So will he ignite millions of Americans.
Once God's truth is ignited in your heart, the true solution emerges. That we call a revolution without bullets, without fire. We call it a quiet revolution. But Reverend Moon is not the inventor of the quiet revolution. Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ ignited the quiet revolution. John 3:12 says, "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" We can see that 2,000 years ago Jesus could not preach too much because good people were not ready to accept all that he could say. At the same time, Jesus said in John 3:3, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Born again. It is a religious way of saying "revolution." Born again is a revolution. We are not talking revolution of the economy, the government, the nation, any of that kind of revolution. Revolution in Cuba, revolution in Russia. The quiet revolution Jesus Christ brought to us was the revolution of heart. This revolution has been alive for 2,000 years, carried by many torchbearers. All kinds of people have carried the torch of Jesus Christ and made Christianity a worldwide religion.
But I tell you, that race has not been finished. We must finish the race. The marathon must come to the final goal. On the final day, Reverend Moon will receive the baton of Jesus Christ and finish it. We don't have to talk about how he will do it, he is already doing it. He is already doing it for me and doing it for you. All we have to do is become another prophet. Another Reverend Moon. Go out and do the work. Expand the work. That will bring God back to America. I am still a Korean citizen. Reverend Moon is still a Korean citizen. But God doesn't care where the birth certificate is from.
Do you know to whom America belongs? Ask the flowers, where would you like to belong? The flower will say, I would like to belong to the person who loves me most. America, this great land of America, this truly marvelous land, doesn't care what is written on the birth certificate. America cares about who loves America. How can you love America until you truly know about America's mission? You cannot truly love America until you love God. Then you love America. That is real love. In this respect, Reverend Moon to me is the first citizen of the United States. He truly loves America. I want to become a citizen in that spiritual sense. I want to love this country. So do you.
No Freedom Without God
We sang "The Star Spangled Banner" the other day at the Unification Theological Seminary graduation. I really read the words for the first time. It says, let this be our motto, In God We Trust, and the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave. You will never be truly free without God. When you try to be free without God, you are actually putting yourself in greater bondage. If you only trust in mortal strength, mortal wisdom, you cannot truly be a brave soul. When you completely trust God and His power, you can be brave. It is your job, yours and mine together, since we have the truth, since the trumpet call has been ringing. Let us become a soldier of true freedom because we know God. Let us become true brave soldiers because we trust not our power, but His power.
My dear brothers and sisters, America cannot afford to become another Roman Empire. Neither you nor God can afford it. God is definitely doing two things. First, He summoned Reverend Moon to this country, and second, He raised the young people of America-that is you-to rally around the new quiet revolution. I tell you that is our only hope. We do have hope. Let us ignite this hope and become a torchbearer. Move forward. Truly bring America to be one nation under God. And as Reverend Moon said in Washington, D.C., make this one nation under God become one nation, one world, under God. Let us pray.
Prayer by Bo Hi Pak:
Loving Heavenly Father, thank You very much for this day. For this service. Father, we are truly united in one heart. Our dear brothers and sisters are dedicating themselves to You and Your cause. Father, we want You to be real in every heart in America. Thank You, Father. We are so inadequate and not qualified in many ways, but we want to serve You because You are so real in our hearts. Father, bless everyone in this congregation and those who could not make it today. Father, be with them all the way. All these things we pray in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.
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