The Words The Kwak Family

Farewell Remarks at the Advanced Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy

Chung Hwan Kwak
April 10, 1985
Closing Banquet
Little Angels School
Seoul, Korea

Distinguished conveners, group leaders, participants, ladies and gentlemen,

I wish to thank each of you for your participation in this conference on Unificationism. I hope it has been a stimulating and enlightening experience for you. During this conference you have been introduced to the ideals of Rev. Moon and the Unification movement.

I have known Rev. Moon for nearly thirty years, and I can say without any reservation that, of all the many types of things he does, the most important aspect of his life is his spiritual connection to God. Like most of us gathered here, his first priority in life is being a minister to the world. Every activity he initiates and takes part in is done with the motivation of serving God and humanity. In all my years with Rev. Moon, I never have seen him take a vacation from this intense commitment to God. Even though the American people have often imagined many things about Rev. Moon, the image most deeply engraved in my heart, from my own experience, is the image of him in a prayer position, with tears flowing from his eyes. I have witnessed his spiritual life for many years, and I know him to be a righteous man who literally weeps for the suffering of God, the suffering of the world, and the speedy establishment of peace and the Kingdom of God on this earth. I urge you to study this aspect of his life so that you can come to a deeper understanding of him.

It is the firm conviction of Rev. Moon that the church originally established by Jesus was to be one body united in true love. Unfortunately, however, Christianity has become fragmented, and Christians have found it difficult to work with fellow Christians who are members of other denominations. Such division is a major obstacle to establishing Christ's kingdom of love and justice on earth. We must renounce the persecution and war that divided Christians in the past. How can we achieve God's ideal if we allow ourselves to be divided in heart and action? Obviously, we cannot achieve it unless we are heartistically united, even while retaining our individual differences.

We as religious people must realize that God is beyond denominationalism and doctrinalism. His purpose is, and always has been, to save the entire world, not only a certain religious group or race or nation. Mistakes and tragedies have occurred throughout human history when certain religious, national, or racial groups have considered themselves to be the only ones to receive God's favor. As religious people we cannot help God in the task of salvation when there is fighting and animosity among ourselves.

A genuine tolerance and sincere dialogue must take place if there is to be any hope that the Christian community will fulfill its responsibility to God and the world. As clergy you know the power and love of the living God. You know how this benevolent, parental God can move and influence any human situation. Therefore, since God wants human unity, it is our destiny; it is our responsibility to help God bring this speedily to pass.

Rev. Moon's life has been one of constant hardship: His beloved country, Korea, suffered under severe colonial oppression under the Japanese empire until 1945, and he grew up during the 1920's and 1930's when the Christian church in Korea was undergoing incredible trials due to the imposition of Japan's Shinto religion. As a student in Japan, Rev. Moon participated in the underground movement for the liberation of Korea and was imprisoned and tortured there. As you know, he was imprisoned several times in North Korea, finally nearly facing death in a communist concentration camp. And even in South Korea, because of the malicious rumors spread about him, the government arrested him in 1955 on wild charges. After he had been in prison for three months they found that there had been no basis for an indictment and he was released.

Similarly, false rumors stemming from racial prejudice and religious intolerance were used to convince both judge and jury alike that Rev. Moon should be imprisoned in America, even though the facts of the case demonstrated his innocence.

Having known Rev. Moon for nearly thirty years, I believe it is only because the mission that Christ bestowed upon him is so great that he has suffered so much misunderstanding. His heart during all these trials has remained pure and true, and he has provided myself and many others with a deep understanding of the nature and suffering both of Jesus and humanity throughout history. He has shown us a more profound understanding of God's suffering over His runaway children, and how with all- enduring love God has sought our return to His bosom. We have been called to relieve God's sorrow and bring Him joy. To do this we ought to love each other as Christ has loved us. We want you to know the truth about our movement and its history, and we have invited you here to Korea in order to show you that we have nothing to hide. We want to come to know each other very deeply.

The members of our movement cannot build God's kingdom by themselves, nor can members of any other group alone. It takes a unified effort from all of us to bring about God's vision. As pastors, then, we are responsible to go forth and set the example so that others might follow. It is our task to defend our God against a hostile world. It is our challenge to then embrace that same world at the cost of our lives and personal biases so that all peoples might share in God's Kingdom.

As you can see from what I have just said, Rev. Moon has many things in common with you, because he is a minister like yourselves. Following the example of Jesus, Rev. Moon has never opposed other believers, whatever their religion. Rather, he is a righteous man whose compassion for the world has driven him to spread a vision of global harmony and true peace among all religions and peoples.

Rev. Moon teaches that God's fundamental desire is for the unity of all Christians, as Jesus called for in the seventeenth chapter of John, when he prayed "that they may all be one." Such unity, Rev. Moon believes, can allow God's truth and love to spread throughout the world as the cleansing fire of the last days.

I hope that you will take up this vision as your own, and in your own circles encourage the development of a stronger moral foundation, a more concerted ecumenical effort, and a more outspoken defense of God against atheistic communism. I hope that you will continue to join with us in future events so that we might learn from each other how to better achieve this vision.

In conclusion, what is God's desire for the participants of this conference? First, it is our belief that God is calling us to leave the evil world behind and walk to Canaan together. In this age Canaan is not a physical place, but rather a spiritual state that will be achieved through a transformation of heart initiated by God Himself.

On a practical level, the transformation of heart is to occur through a unification of Christianity. Therefore we ask you to work with us to establish a supra-denominational movement that will maintain the beauty of different denominational personalities but end denominational division. It will be a movement to preserve the beauty of racial and cultural uniqueness but end racial and cultural discord.

We believe that Christianity in America is to be the center of the cultural and spiritual revolution of the last days. Therefore, ecumenically-minded Christian ministers should involve themselves with religious freedom activities to preserve the freedom of God's religious base in America.

Also, the International Conferences for Clergy (ICC) provide seminars that open dialogue between denominations and different faiths. We feel this ongoing dialogue will serve to open the way for the unity of Christian believers. Again we feel that the unity of different denominations is desperately needed to allow Christianity to stand as a central moral force in our society.

Social action is necessary to express God's love for people and to elevate their hearts to the point where they can receive God's truth. Therefore we have been working with the National Council for Church and Social Action (NCCSA). Also, we are initiating the International Clergy United in Shared Action (ICUSA), which will work to unify Christians internationally to serve people's basic needs and provide new inspiration as to how drug abuse, immorality, teenage pregnancy, and other social ills can be overcome.

Finally, we feel that Christianity as a whole is facing a most serious confrontation with atheistic communism. CAUSA is an organization that can provide the ideological weapon to unify Christians towards this end.

We believe that all Christians should be involved in all of these areas of concern. But also each pastor, while supporting all these activities, should become involved as a leader in one or two of the areas that he or she feels called to. We believe this ongoing unification movement of Christians can be the base for a Christian renaissance that can save both America and the world.

During this conference we have shared with you much of the history of Rev. Moon and the Unification movement through testimonies, lectures, and visits to historical sites. After returning to America, please do not hesitate to contact me. In the future let's remain close friends and colleagues.

Until we meet again, may God bless you and guide you in your very important work. Thank you. 

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