Unofficial Notes from
International Conferences for Clergy Questions And Answers
ICC - Questions And Answers - Religious And Christian Unity
QUESTION: 1. In a few sentences, what is the purpose of the Unification Church.
ANSWER: In one sentence: Unite Christianity around the awareness and willingness to fulfill it's global responsibility, stem the rise of communism until it is no longer viewed as a viable solution for the world problems and reverse the trend of declining morality by centering on an absolute God centered standard of values.
QUESTION: 2. Does Unification believe that all denominations will be in the Kingdom of Heaven?
ANSWER: 2Peter 3:9 teaches us that God is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God wants all peoples to gain access to His Kingdom, however, each person must fulfill his or her own responsibility for that to take place (John 3:16).
QUESTION: 3. According to what I heard you say about denominations, you seem to indicate that there are many denominations. But I say there is only one denomination according to Acts 2:38. If any man does not obey Acts 2:30, how can he enter the Kingdom? Please explain!
ANSWER: Every Bible in every denomination has that verse and everyone feels that they are obeying it, and yet.....To bring real unification, we need a central movement anointed by Jesus.
QUESTION: 4. What is your attitude towards other denominations and religions?
ANSWER: We believe that all denominations are object to God's Blessing and that absolute doctrinal purity is not the condition that God needs to be able to work with man or a religious body. God looks for certain virtues, that are to be the fruit of doctrines. God looks to the virtues and not the doctrine. As a result, there are situations where a particular denomination may have a higher clearer doctrine, but in living half-heartedly, would produce virtues of less quality then another denomination with a lesser, more unclear doctrine, that was being applied more diligently. A good example would be to compare Japanese society, which is less that 1% Christian, with the American society, which is overwhelmingly Christian. It is why Jesus stresses in Matt. 7:23-27, not only doctrine, but also application. For us, with regard to the basis of relationship with other denominations and religions, we look for those eternal virtues at the basis of our relationship and not doctrinal harmony in jot and tittle.
QUESTION: 5. Why do you use the term "denomination"? Why the adoption or teaching of this term when Ephesians chapter 4:3,4 declares "one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism?"
ANSWER: We do not teach that there should be denominations. We teach that Jesus never wanted many denominations amongst the believers, as He prayed in the 17th chapter of John "...may be all be one as God and Christ are one."
QUESTION: 6. If there is not just one denomination that is right, is the Unification Church and the Divine Principle 100% right?
ANSWER: Doctrinal correctness in every jot and tittle is not the condition for salvation. The condition for salvation is relationship with the word made flesh! However, doctrinal schisms have divided the body in violation to Jesus' prayer that we be one as God and Christ are one. The Divine Principle does not come as another doctrine that really is the "correct" one, to be lorded over all those other "reprobate" doctrines....the Divine Principle is a revelation from Jesus which is a loving attempt to resolve the doctrinal schisms that divide all of us. All in all, doctrines will be validated by the life and not through debate.
QUESTION: 7. I noticed Unification Church believes a person can be:
A Buddhist and a Unificationist A Confusionist and a Unifiactionist A Moslem and a Unificationist Anything and a Unificationist
Can a person be a Baal worshipper and a Unificationist?
ANSWER: The purpose of religion is that all should come to Christ. God had worked in many religions to make the ground more fertile for the saving message of Christ's love. Not every tradition that calls itself religion can be and object to God's purpose. Remember, God was able to lead such non-Christian movements as Judaism and lead non-Christian wise men to the baby Jesus. The God I read about so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.
QUESTION: 8. I am confused. All action here centers on harmony among the Christian community. However, discussion with the worlds largest full Gospel Church reveal that Dr. Cho is totally against Rev. Moon's teachings. What is Rev. Moon's reaction to this?
ANSWER: Probably, the world's largest synagogue at the time of Jesus was likewise 4 square set against the Lord. Rev. Moon has no enemies, only people who don't understand him think Rev. Moon is their enemy.
QUESTION: 9. A statement was made that the most important Church in the world is the family. Where is Christ in the center of the Church, the Universe and in the relationship of the family. My understanding of the Church is we are to be the "called out ones". What Church are you referring to?
ANSWER: The unified body of believers that Jesus prayed for in John 17:20. No single denomination, alone, can fulfill this purpose and prayer.
QUESTION: 10. How do other religions have a right to go to Heaven?
ANSWER: Other religions do not have the right to go to Heaven, but God is working through other religions (not all "religions") so that they can be led to the one from whom that qualification can is bequeathed: Christ Jesus. Just as there was a God-centered dispensation through the "non-Christian" religion of Judaism and just as God led such "non-Christian" figures such as the wise men to the baby Jesus. God is carrying out dispensations in other religions to make the soil more fertile and receptive to the saving message of Christ's love. Our duty as soldiers of the Lord is not to judge them but to embrace them just as Jesus overlooked our dirty sin and took us in.
QUESTION: 11. Do you see other religions as lesser or equal to Christianity. If lesser, do you see them as lesser forms of Christianity? How will all God's children be brought together and what role will Christ play in that?
ANSWER: Other religions (but not everything titled religion) are not lesser forms of Christianity. It would be more correct to say some are lesser forms of Judaism. By that I mean that all religion can only be fulfilled by the link to Christ. All religions inspired by God are meant to serve as a base for Christ's coming.
QUESTION: 12. Is there ever a justifiable situation to question or expose another religion, as Jesus exposed the Sadducees, Pharisees, Scribes, Priests, Levites, Samaritans etc?
ANSWER: Jesus judgement of Judaism was not meant to be an affront to the tradition of Judaism. We see that Jesus deeply respected the Jewish tradition and followed many Jewish customs. Jesus judged the Jews with regard to the fulfillment or failure of their contemporary responsibility to obey and receive the Son of Man. It was in that acceptance that their tradition would be fulfilled. Also Jesus never judged anyone He was unwilling to go to the cross for. Our failure is that we many times engage (almost with glee) in the judgement of other religions (or even the completely non-religious) without having demonstrated the willingness to go to the cross.
QUESTION: 13. How do you justify the Principle of one God with believe in Buddha, Allah, etc.?
ANSWER: That God has inspired other religions does not mean that other religions have perfect truth. God inspired the creation of Judaism and even Judaism did not have the perfect truth. All religions are inadequate until the are fulfilled by the saving message of Christ's love. God's purpose is to ever increase and elevate the spiritual awareness of man until man can reach a plane to be able to understand the Divine Love that Christ represents.
QUESTION: 14. If all major religions are God inspired, how do you reconcile mutually exclusive concepts of God/deity like Hindu-monism (all is God) and Christian/Judaic/Islamic monotheism?
ANSWER: We are not trying to reconcile all religious dogma, nor are we saying that all religious dogma is correct. Not everything that calls itself a religion is God-inspired, but neither is God working solely within the confines of a particular Christian denomination. The purpose of God-inspired religion is to make the soil more fertile for the saving message of Christ's love as in the case of Judaism. However, no religion can find fulfillment without Christ. Our mission as Christians is not to condemn other religions because they don't have Christ, our mission is to bring that missing component to the religions of the world, religions that God inspired to be a foundation that would find it's consummation in that component.
QUESTION: 15. Unificationism seems to embrace "non-Christians" religions by calling them also the "Children of God". Is it really true that non-Christian religions are acceptable to God? In what sense are they the children of God?
ANSWER: They are children of God not in the sense of salvation, but in the sense of being objects of salvation, of candidates for salvation. We believe this because God so loved the world that He gave His Son and also because Peter states that God is not willing that anyone should perish but all should come to salvation (2Peter 3:9). We are not saying, however, that any religion can provide salvation without Christ. Christ is the only channel for salvation and all the worlds religions must be fulfilled by that single channel. God is in fact working in many religions to prepare people for the saving message of Christ's love. Look how God used the "un-Christian" religion of Judaism, and how God led the wise men, who were Zoroastrianists, to the baby of Jesus.
QUESTION: 16. How does the Unification Church view polytheistic, pantheistic and agnostic religions or believe systems, and if these ideas (religions) are one? Please explain how.
ANSWER: Not everything that calls itself "religion" is religion. Some call Baal worship a religion. However, God can work outside the confines of Christian doctrines. Remember, some of the first people who attended the baby Jesus were not Jew or Christian, they were "wise men" from the East, probably Zoroastrians, who consulted the stars. One thing is clear, no religion can be complete but that it come to Christ.
QUESTION: 17. If Judeo-Christian religion is the central spine of religion, where is Buddhism, Islam etc. in relation to that?
ANSWER: Had Jesus been received in Israel, his next providential goal would have been to unite the Eastern Religious Cultural Sphere under the thought of the culture of Jesus. Upon establishing that foundation, His next providential goal would be to unite the Eastern Cultural Sphere with the Roman Empire centering on Jesus. God's ultimate providential goal is not perfect religion but rather, the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in the Spirit World.
QUESTION: 18. You said that all religions are going to heaven, but how can believers of other religions fulfill the requirements for salvation and citizenship in the Kingdom without Christ?
ANSWER: Perhaps you did not understand the point....The purpose of religion is to make a foundation for the saving message of Christ's love. No religion can be fulfilled without that element. God has worked in other religions (not everything which proclaims to be a religion) to accomplish that purpose (foundation for Christ). God used the non-Christian religion of Judaism for that purpose. God lead the non-Christian wise men is another example. That God is able to use other religions does not mean, however, that those religions can save just as good as Jesus can. All religion is meaningless, unless it can be fulfilled by the link to Christ.
QUESTION: 19. What is the difference between religion and salvation?
ANSWER: Religion is a system of beliefs that may or may not have been inspired by God. The purpose of true religion is to make a foundation for Christ. It involves "salvaging" the descendants of the dead Adam to the living Adam, that is rebirth. This, of course, requires our belief.
QUESTION: 20. How can you say that Islam has a very high regard for Jesus when they believe that He was a liar. I am referring to the fact that Islam does not believe that Jesus is God of which Jesus said He was. You cannot have high esteem of someone and call him a liar at the same time.
ANSWER: Islamic people do not call Jesus a liar. Islamic people do not fully understand Jesus. They can understand Him, if Christians would show the love of Christ for Islamic people. Unfortunately, in history, the people of Islam were treated very brutally by Christians who were angered, as you appear to be, by the delusion that the Moslems were calling their Jesus a liar. Notice that Jesus, lovingly, went to the cross even for those who called Him worse things than a liar.
QUESTION: 21. You said with your own words that we should put the words of the Bible into practice. Why do so many so-called-Christians and you teach that we should embrace them all, take Jesus with them to the bars and dance floors, to drink and party with harlots, who do not have any modesty or godliness. Is that Christianity? Are we to expect that kind of conduct to enter into heaven? Maybe the Unification Church can agree to walk hand in hand, but I do not want to be identified with that so-called-Christianity!
ANSWER: I think if you were to know Unification Church members, you would find the highest moral standard as is absolutely necessary for a religious person and especially for anyone who seeks to model their life after Christ. I just wonder, are you ready to go to the cross for all those reprobates you intend for all Christians to shun. Jesus never judged anyone He wasn't also ready to go to the cross for...
"....and it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:11-13).
QUESTION: 22. Unification looks at all religions as being from the one God. Their messages are different but they are basically of the same flow. God has inspired these messages and messengers all leading to Christ. The mind of God, the spine of Christ and the ribs are various religions. How can all ribs be the various religions when all don't recognize Christ as the Son of God, such as Buddhists, Moslems etc.
ANSWER: Not everything that calls itself a religion is inspired by God. No religion can fulfill itself without the figure of Christ in the center. The mission of Christians is to reach out in love to other religions and to lovingly, as servants, bring the saving message of Christ. Mostly, we prefer to shun them reprobates to hell with glee! Which is not what Jesus wants from us.
QUESTION: 23. How does one become a Christian according to your theology? Do non-Christian religions such as Buddhism have salvation?
ANSWER: One becomes a Christian through rebirth. The channel of that regeneration is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Salvation is accomplished through Christ alone. God is working in other religions, the sole intent of which is to make a foundation for the saving message of Christ's love.
QUESTION: 24. How would Unification Church explain the difference and value between spiritual unity and "convoy mentality"?
ANSWER: Rev. Moon's concept of unity is certainly more than "convoy mentality", just as spiritual unity should be more that just euphemism for "general tolerance". Oneness, as God and Christ are one, I believe, is the standard we have been given. How will such a unity come about? According to Rev. Moon's thinking, it will not come about by someone convincing everybody else that he is right by out shouting the rest. Rev. Moon believes that unity will come about when God calls a central movement for unification. The purpose of that movement will be to become an offering. That movement must begin in the worst, most outcast position, most misunderstood and wrongly accused position. It must go a terrible course of suffering and persecution without regret or resentment all the while carrying the love Jesus showed from the cross, even giving up it's position to the very ones who caused their suffering, to be driven like an oxen by them. If a central movement can go this course victoriously, God will raise up that movement as the central pole of unification. This, for the world, was to be Christianity and this is why Christian history began in this way. Has this purpose been fulfilled yet? Can we, in view of the world situation, merely wait for our reward thinking we have completed the course? Truest spiritual unity will come about when all Christians can share in the common victory of the fulfillment of Christian global responsibility.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents