Unification Sermons and Talks
by Reverends Kaufmannn
The Unification Church
A Portrait by Dr. Frank Kaufmannn
Executive Director, Inter Religious Federation for World Peace
The Unification Church is best understood in the context of the larger work of Reverend Moon and Mrs. Moon. In addition to heading the Unification Church, Reverend Moon and Mrs. Moon have founded and support dozens of initiatives for world peace in all spheres of human endeavor. Of special note are the Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace, The International Federation for World Peace and the Women's Federation for World Peace. These are surrounded by a constellation of cultural, educational, relief, and humanitarian projects. Two important elements must be considered in order to develop an accurate grasp of the Unification Church: (1) the teachings which guide the Unification community, namely the Divine Principle; and (2) the status of Reverend and Mrs. Moon.
Reverend Moon was born in what is now North Korea, January 6, 1920, during the period of brutal Japanese occupation. The fifth of eight children, Sun Myung Moon came from a family well respected for its great hospitality and who were referred to as "those who could live without law," a Korean phrase indicating people who were capable of guiding themselves by conscience alone. Reverend Moon's religious foundations combined the ancient traditions of Korea with the message of Christian missionaries. According to Reverend Moon, Jesus appeared to him while deep in prayer on a Korean mountainside, on Easter Sunday, 1936. Jesus asked him to complete the responsibility left unfinished since the origin of humankind. From that point the life of Sun Myung Moon changed dramatically. For nine years Sun Myung Moon researched the Bible, the natural world and the spiritual world to produce what is known today as the Divine Principle.
The Divine Principle is divided into three sections -- Creation, Fall and Restoration. It teaches that God's original ideal is expressed in "the three great blessings" found in the Genesis account of human origins. To "be fruitful" is understood as the commission for each person to perfect his or her unique individuality by uniting mind and body and being in full union with God. These perfected individuals, man and woman, were to "multiply," forming families born of the unconditional love of a husband for his wife, of a wife for her husband. It is taught that the original human couple were thus to become "True Parents." This ever-expanding family should "have dominion," namely establish a perfect ecological relationship with the natural universe. This ideal was not achieved by the first human ancestors, who instead violated God's commandment "not to eat the forbidden fruit," by engaging in physical love without receiving God's blessing to do so. This act of disobedience, in which the Archangel Lucifer participated, created the personage of Satan and bound the first human ancestors with him. Satan participates in human affairs through the perpetuation of impure love and lineage.
Salvation providence reveals God's work to re-create the conditions for: 1) the fulfillment of the original three great blessings, and 2) to liberate the descendants of Adam and Eve from their bondage to Satan. This task constitutes the mission of the Messiah, who by the fulfillment of his own responsibility obeys the commandment and fulfills the purpose of creation. Thus Jesus came both as "Adam" and as the Savior to fulfill the three blessings and to liberate all of humankind. The faithlessness of those around Jesus led to his crucifixion, thus preventing him from his opportunity to fulfill the three great blessings. The divine love of Jesus, however, preserved the mission of Savior, allowing Jesus to provide spiritual salvation to those who believe in him and follow his teachings. Jesus promised the "second coming of Christ," knowing that the original will of God, the three blessings, remained unfulfilled despite his own ministry. It is this original mission that Jesus asked Sun Myung Moon to fulfill in 1936.
In the 20th century Sun Myung Moon came as the return of Christ (at the end of WWII, in 1945), but, like Jesus, he was rejected. When this failure occurred, Reverend Moon was forced to establish a religious community which could carry out the mission of Christianity and serve as the Bride of Christ. This community became known as the Unification Church, founded in 1954. In 1960 Reverend Moon married Hak Ja Han Moon, thus fulfilling for the first time in human history the original mission of True Parents. Unification Church members and members of other religions have their marriages "blessed" by Reverend and Mrs. Moon, whereby they inherit the potential to themselves become true parents.
The mission of the True Parents and Savior is to all people in all religions. The Unification "Church" does not desire to be an enduring religious body. Long before the Unification Church appeared each world religion was already instructed to await and receive the one who will end evil history and restore an unbroken relationship between God and all humanity. The Unification Church exists to teach the Divine Principle and support the effort of the True Parents freely to give the blessing.
The Unification Tradition
The Unification tradition is unversalistic, yet its worship life and outward form of spiritual practice are recognizably of a Christian character, and most resemble those of Protestantism out of which it grew. Thus Unificationists participate in communal worship services consisting of hymns, prayers, testimonies, a scripture reading, and a sermon. The minister does not wear any distinctive vestments. Hymns are sung, often with fervor to invoke the spirit of God. Prayers, which are almost always extemporaneous, may be said in unison -- with each person praying aloud in his own words. Intense and heartfelt prayer creates a receptivity to God's Word, which is often the centerpiece of the service. The sermon is often a lesson from the Bible, or it may be an exposition of Divine Principle or the teachings of Reverend Moon which comprise the distinctive doctrine of the church.
At the heart of Unification spirituality is dedication to relieve the suffering heart of God. God, who is the Father/Mother of all humanity, is continually grieved over human suffering and humanity's estrangement from God's overflowing love.
"The world is fast becoming one global village. The survival and prosperity of all are dependent on a spirit of cooperation. The human race must recognize itself as one family of man." [Sun Myung Moon (printed in The Healing of the World, published 1993 by the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity]
"History is calling for reconciliation, compassion, love, service and sacrifice. Today's problems cannot be solved by the logic of power . . . our present problems can only be solved by the logic of love." [Hak Ja Han Moon, President of the Women's Federation for World Peace (printed in The Healing of the World, published 1993 by HSA-UWC]
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