Unification Sermons and Talks

by Reverend Chung Hwan Kwak

The Family Era and the Family Pledge

Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak
May 8, 1994

Headquarters Church Seoul, Korea

Last week, we celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. There are many people who have been in our Church for twenty, thirty or forty years. We must all be thankful that we can be here, and that we can be alive to celebrate this fortieth anniversary without our having had to go the way of martyrdom.

When Jesus was on earth, his followers could only be with him for three years. After three years, Jesus' disciples had to go the way of martyrdom. That is how strongly Satan was working against God's foundation. This has been the history of indemnity, and the process of restoration.

But True Parents wisely understood the intricate processes of the principle of restoration through indemnity. That is why we can be alive at this time, serving God and advancing the providence. On the first of May, True Father created the "Family Pledge." On the following day, May 2, at 8:45 a.m., at a meeting for the international leaders of our Church, he announced the "Family Pledge."

When we pledge something, it means we will practice it by being a loyal servant, and accomplish it by bringing results. "My Pledge" was a personal pledge. We were supposed to be living according to "My Pledge," and were meant to be people who embodied it. But we did not fulfill that.

According to the principle of restoration, God cannot use a person again after they fail their mission. In order that someone's failure to fulfill their mission can be restored, an extended time period is given. With these extended time periods, additional indemnity conditions are necessary.

From the point of view of Principle, we are not qualified to recite the higher level "Family Pledge," because we did not fulfill "My Pledge." But the True Parents gave us the "Family Pledge" unconditionally because they love us so much.

We did not accomplish "My Pledge" ourselves, but True Parents did accomplish it. True Parents are the embodiment of "My Pledge," and they are living the "Family Pledge" in reality. These conditions established the foundation for the creation of the "Family Pledge." With unconditional love, True Parents have given us the "Family Pledge" so that we may recite it.

Therefore, when we recite the "Family Pledge" we must think about two things. First, since we have received this "Family Pledge," we are deeply indebted. We must always think that we need to repent, and that we are not actually worthy of such a blessing. We should do our utmost to accomplish the "Family Pledge."

Second, we can recite the "Family Pledge" solely because of the grace of True Parents. We must repent and be grateful. We know we do not deserve the honor of receiving this Pledge, yet it was given to us. No matter what may happen, we must always live according to the "Family Pledge."

Father, just before his recent departure to the United States, said that this "Family Pledge" is the final standard for our lives and for our actions. Do not think of anything else; the "Family Pledge" is the standard we must live by.

Pray for public purposes

As he announced the "Family Pledge," Father said that from now on, God does not want to listen to prayers that are only for our own personal situations, our children's situations, or regarding our personal finance. This is not the time for these kinds of prayers, as they will not reach God. From now on we must pray from a different standpoint.

How should we pray? Pray for public purposes. Pray that we may fulfill our public responsibilities. Even if a person prays for a public purpose such as a nation, a province, an organization or a company, it is not easy to connect to God's will. But we are now very fortunate because the "Family Pledge" has given us the public standard. From now on the "Family Pledge" is the "prayer of prayers." There is no better prayer than reciting the "Family Pledge." So before you begin your prayers, first say the "Family Pledge." At public gatherings, in our homes, at prayer meetings, on the first of the month, at Sunday Pledge time, and on important holidays, we should always recite the "Family Pledge."

Why are Unification Church prayers on a higher level? It because people in the world at large do not understand God's way, His heart, or His situation. They do not even know who they are themselves. They only pray to get things from God. At least Unification Church members pray centered on God's providence, and try to focus on God's heart and situation. We are in a different position in relation to God, and our prayers are on a different level. After we recite all seven pledge points there is nothing left to say. The standard of our life, our determination, and our commitment are all condensed in this "Family Pledge."

Let's memorize the new pledge

Let us be grateful to True Parents for permitting us to recite the "Family Pledge." True Parents have accomplished the entire content of the "Family Pledge," which is the reason they could bequeath it to us. Therefore, we should, at the very least, memorize it.

When we reflect on God's providence as a whole, we see that True Parents accomplished a victory through a forty-year course of restoration through indemnity. This was a victory of separation from Satan through the number forty. Knowing this, we can understand that Father passed through the individual level course, the family level course, the race and national level courses, and the world level course.

No matter how urgent it may be for True Father to save the world, he cannot do so without first saving the nation. He cannot save the nation without a foundation of the family. And the family cannot be saved without the individual foundation. True Father has lived his life according to such a principled viewpoint.

As you all know, it was long ago that True Father began his ministry. In hanging up that first church sign, he proclaimed in front of both God and Satan that he would demolish Satan and set up all of the indemnity conditions necessary to accomplish God's will on this earth.

Why did the True Parents not have their Holy Wedding until 1960? Prior to 1960, True Father had to accomplish his own victorious individual level course so that he could continue on to the family level course. True Father had to fight alone on this earth against millions of evil spirits, but we need only to become one with True Parents, obeying them absolutely. Through this condition, we can inherit everything from the True Parents.

Who among of us here today received the Blessing after having accomplished everything on the individual level? We all received the Blessing as indebted people who have promised to fulfill. True Parents gave the "Family Pledge" to us so that we can have a way to repay our debts. Even though we have received the Blessing, we have not achieved perfection on the individual level. However, by centering on and by living the "Family Pledge," we can achieve the standard of "My Pledge" and go forward to perfect the family. Through the grace of God and True Parents we have this blessing.

Because of True Parents' victory, the Family Era could come, and with arrival of the Family Era everything is centered around the family. By speaking of Tribal Messiahship and Home Church, Father has been preparing us for the advent of the Family Era. Recently he has been speaking about the Four Great Realms of Heart and the Three Great Kingships. All of these things are connected to the perfection of the family. Father has enabled us to have truly clear goals and rules for our families.

The internal meaning of the Family Pledge

All seven points start with the words "Our family, centered on true love, . . ." The focus is no longer on the individual but on the family. I asked Father about those who have not yet received the Blessing. Father said that those members not yet blessed, and even those who are not members, can receive the benefits of reciting this Pledge. They are making a pledge for their own future. These people should be praying to God asking Him to give them the Blessing in the future.

The focal point of each of the seven points is "centered on true love." From now on, our lives should be lived centering on true love. With God and True Parents as our root, we have to pledge and act with true love. Division came about because of false love. Unity can only come about through true love. Ideally, we should be saying this pledge only after each of us has achieved unity between our mind and body, unity between husband and wife, and unity between parents and children.

In point number one, it says our family "pledges to . . . establish . . . " The fifth point says that our family "pledges to strive daily for greater development" In the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh points it says our family will perfect or fully realize the contents of the "Family Pledge." From this point of view, the Family Pledge is the ultimate content, and completing it is our ultimate goal. Therefore, the "Family Pledge" is the standard for our everyday life, and the basis for our actions.

Father has given us the "Family Pledge" because the time is right, but only after he had victoriously completed his forty year indemnity course. During his course, he had to restore all historical resentment so that we would have an easier and smoother way to follow. Father is permitting us to inherit everything.

Before leaving for America this time, Father said that there is no longer an indemnity course for the Unification Church. From now on, there is no more indemnity to pay. Our prayer and hard work will bring results right away, before our very eyes. Father said we will see the results reflected in our children. Many of us prayed and worked hard, but we did not know when the results were going to come. That was because we were on a course of indemnity. We had to pay indemnity, and because of that, we could not see clearly.

That is why history has been so difficult. People never knew when something had been accomplished or when the result would come. The hardships of the religious way of life have never been easy to endure. Imagine that you were spiritually open and could see how your children would benefit from your work, and how your life in the spiritual world would be. I'm sure that would make your life of faith would be easier. It is to our great benefit that we will now see the fruits of our efforts before our very eyes, and the quality of our devotion will be reflected in our children. What an amazing blessing this is!

Point number one says "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and in Heaven, the original ideal of creation, by restoring the original homeland."

From a global perspective, the whole world is our homeland. However, before we can deal with the world level, we must first establish the Kingdom of Heaven on the family level by going to our hometowns. We have to accomplish our Tribal Messiahship responsibility and live according to this pledge, conscious of our hometowns and tribes. Instead of saying that we will complete the original ideal of creation, we are pledging ourselves to create and build it. This is because we are not perfecting something that is now incomplete; instead, we are creating something new.

Point number two says that our family pledges to become "a central family that represents the cosmos." I asked Father whether "central family" and "family that represents the cosmos" were not the same thing. Father strongly emphasized that these were very different. The term "family that represents the cosmos" means to vertically represent the highest point. The term "central family" means to horizontally represent the central point of a circle. Therefore the term "family that represents the cosmos" always means the highest family or Number One family. The term "central family" refers to those families who take responsibility for all people.

In point number two, it also says that "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to perfect the way of filial sons and daughters in the family, patriots in the nation, saints in the world, and holy sons and daughters in the cosmos . . ."

How unbelievably big and high this concept is! No single person has understood the concept of true love; only our True Parents have understood it. As blessed families, we must all become saints.

What is the difference between saints and holy sons? Saints are those who serve mankind with true love, and holy sons are those who live for God's will and the tradition of Heavenly Kingship centering on True Parents. Therefore a true citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven is a holy son.

What is the Realm of the Royal Family?

In point number three, it says "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to perfect the Four Great Realms of Heart, the Three Great Kingships, and the Realm of the Royal Family."

After three generations of blessed families, we will be able to perfect the Four Great Realms of Heart: the realms of children's heart, brother and sister's heart, husband and wife's heart, and parents' heart.

After accomplishing the Four Great Realms of Heart through three generations, the grandparents' position represents God, past history and the vertical ancestors. This is the kingship representing the vertical ancestors. The parents represent the present and all of mankind. The children represent future kings, queens, and princes and princesses.

Our families must place great importance on the Royal Family. The Kingdom of Heaven on earth and in Heaven is the world in which the Royal Family, God's children, live on the basis of the Four Great Realms of Heart and Three Great Kingships.

If Adam and Eve had not fallen, Adam would have become God's son and Eve would have become God's daughter. All the children born from them would have become part of God's lineage, as well as direct descendants of God's Royal Tribe. These Royal Tribe members would have become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Even if we are blessed, and create blessed families, we are not part of God's Royal Tribe unless we are connected to the True Parents' family by marriage. Moreover, even though we might fulfill the Four Great Realms of Heart and Three Great Kingships, we are still not on the same level as the True Family. Every blessed family's highest goal should be to marry into the True Parents' tribe. That is why we should seek to become `heartistically' one with the True Parents and live according to the True Parents' tradition. This will create a condition for your descendants to become candidates to become part of the True Parents' tribe.

Let us look at the ideal of Tribal Messiahship. When people follow a person who is connected heartistically to the True Parents and to the True Children, and also believe in the Messiah, they can be pulled into the same realm. When Tribal Messiahs go to their hometowns to work, their ancestors will be liberated and the land will be liberated, allowing God to dwell there. This is the way the world can change into the heavenly realm. We, as blessed families, must make ourselves a part of the Royal Family through our obedience to True Parents' word, and by establishing a connection with them.

Point number four says, "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to fully realize the world of freedom, peace, and happiness by creating one great family on the cosmic level, which is God's ideal of creation." Point one contains God's original ideal. Point four contains the more horizontal implication of God's original ideal of creation. The pledge to build "one great family on the cosmic level" means that we are all one great family of brothers and sisters: God's original ideal of creation. Based on the ideal of true love, all mankind will become one family.

Point number five has a different meaning. It says "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to strive daily for greater development . . ." Father emphasizes the word "daily". The fifth point emphasizes that we should continually focus on the contents of the Family Pledge in our daily life. We have to pledge to further develop ourselves everyday, the purpose in our minds being to bring about the unification of the spiritual and physical worlds. This requires our continuous investment.

Point number six says, "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to become an ideal family that multiplies God's blessings to our surroundings, by being the family that represents God and True Parents that can mobilize heavenly fortune." This means that we should be the ones to carry out God's and True Parents' plan of action. Originally, we were supposed to conduct ourselves in a manner similar to God and True Parents. This point says that our families should be doing things in the way that God and True Parents do them. With these kinds of actions we can mobilize heavenly destiny. What an incredible idea this is! It means that, as blessed families, we can bring freedom, peace and complete happiness to our surroundings by practicing these pledge points. This is the position of each of our families.

Point number seven says, "Our family, centered on true love, pledges to fully realize a world of shimjung culture that is connected to the original blood lineage."

Following True Father's successful and victorious fulfillment of his forty-year course of restoration through indemnity, True Parents have brought us into an age in which it is no longer necessary for us pay indemnity. At the celebration marking the fortieth anniversary of the founding of our church, Father gave us the direction that the future world must take; the world must become a world of shimjung culture.

From now on, world renowned scientists and scholars will research in depth True Parents' vision of shimjung culture. Most especially in our church, we should carry out research to help us completely understand the shimjung culture from the Divine Principle point of view, so that we can bring it to fruition. We should continuously emphasize this topic in our sermons and lectures. Father has made it clear that the world of shimjung culture is connected to the original blood lineage. In the future, mankind will not want a world where people live solely to please their physical bodies, or a world merely having all kinds of modern equipment and technology.

In 1983, Father spoke to world representatives of the Professors World Peace Academy, telling them that they must become the front runners in the building of a new world culture. The future world is a world of culture. What kind of a world of culture? The world of shimjung culture. Shimjung is the motivation and root of true love. In other words, a world of shimjung culture is the same as a world of true love culture. The term true love which we speak of here is not just the phrase "true love" we commonly use, but, rather, true love that is connected to the original blood lineage, which connects it directly to the ideal of the Blessing.

The future world is a world of culture centering around True Family and the blessed families connected with them. In other words, this world is completely centered on True Parents. It has nothing to do with Satan's lineage. From now on, the entire providence will continue centering on the family level.

Father directed us to reorganize the families, because this is the era of the course when no indemnity needs to be paid. Father directed us to reorganize the blessed families, assessing them according to what degree they live in accordance with the standard of the Blessing code. Starting with the most senior blessed families, to the most recently blessed, this reorganizing process should categorize families into four levels, based on their standard of family principles, family tradition, and their present lifestyle. If some families belong to "D" level, they should strive to reach "C" level. If a family is on "C" level, it should work hard to become "B" level. And the "B" level families should strive to become "A" level. For this to happen, all families should help each other. Therefore, re-education for blessed families is needed.

In order for the True Parents and Completed Testament Era to come, this re-organization is needed. For this, Father, through his grace, has assigned us Reverend Won Pil Kim as the central figure for the re-education of blessed families. Also, Reverend Young Whi Kim was given the responsibility to create a detailed program and lectures dealing with family education. The past presidents of the church should assist them. Unification Church members mistakenly think that they have graduated just because they know the Divine Principle. When we look at the Family Pledge, it is clear to us to see how far away we are from graduation. So, how grateful we should be that we no longer need to go the path of indemnity. Unlike Christians, who lead lives of blind faith, we can see the results of our actions. In our homes, our families should follow the traditions that Father has taught us. We should put up True Parents' picture; we should display the church flag. At mealtimes we should always serve True Parents' portion first. We should do Pledge service, and we should hold family meetings to read aloud Father's speeches.

The tribe that has a family tree

Every day we should read Father's speeches with our children. We must make it a daily activity. Also we should sing holy songs and pray together. It is more meaningful to recite the Family Pledge than some insignificant personal prayer. These must become part of our everyday life as blessed families.

Father said that one of the important reasons why Korea was chosen as the chosen nation is because Korea has a family tree: it has kept track of its lineage. In the West, the tracing of one's family tree does not go back so far. Korean people have kept their family trees as their treasure. Father said that Unification Church family trees must be kept even more precisely and carefully than outside peoples' family trees. We must be able to clearly see what kind of families our children marry into. As the first generation, we are the ancestors of this family tree. Now the first generation are the ancestors. So every family should create a family tree and record important things there. To have a family tree is the glory and pride of that family.

So do not let your children choose their university studies carelessly. Father said that it is wrong for blessed couples to choose their children's school on the basis of how much money, or how good a job, the children can later receive.

Most especially, what should the second generation do before the first generation? What is the most valuable thing? No matter what you become --a politician or businessman--all these things are nothing but external administrative roles. Since the highest position will go to those who educate others about heavenly law and God's way, in order to do that you must study theology. Most especially, the blessed children should be educated through the seminary. Those who enter any school other than the seminary which Father established may regret it in the end.

The importance of the Blessed Family Department

Even if you receive a doctorate degree in computers, or are a renowned economist, these are just external positions. From God's point of view, there is no comparison in value. We should think seriously about the course our children should take in their education and missions so that these can be determined in accordance with God's will.

In the secular world, a family tree will record such things as the names of husbands and wives, children's names, and each person's status and accomplishments. What will be recorded in eternal heavenly family trees?

The wisest families educate their children within the will of God. The root of happiness is contained within the family. In the future, churches as we know them will not exist, because they are, in fact, all Cain-type organizations. One organization will remain forever; it is the Abel-type Tribal Messiahship family organization.

The most important department in our church is the Blessed Family Department, because it is responsible for the education and overall welfare of blessed families. From now on, those who are most successful in the Tribal Messiah mission will become the regional leaders.

Symbolically speaking, the Tribal Messiahship system resembles the human nervous system. Recently, it seems as though there is no order in our church because we can see positions being changed, with younger families being moved into top positions, and so on. Actually, this is the discipline established by Heaven and we cannot simply ignore it. This system is being set up by Father according to God's will, in order to indemnify the whole of human history and to implement God's eternal ideals. At the present time, some people are ignoring these changes, and even strongly resisting them. Such resistance will surely be the source of great regret in the future. To what degree the older blessed families will take responsibility to become exemplary families is an individual question; it will not alter the eternal order. Again, as in the case when a body dies when commands from the brain cease, we cannot survive if we deny the fundamental spiritual order.

From this point of view, the future disappearance of the church structure does not mean that the heavenly order itself will vanish. In fact, as time goes on, the heavenly order will be increasingly reflected on the earth. In the future, the facts about the True Parents' tradition, their name, their everyday life and their precious words, will be transmitted through this structure.

Walk with confidence

From now on, we should have confidence because the True Parents have laid a foundation for us, and we no longer need to pay indemnity. Now, the only thing necessary for us to do is to march forward, having the heavenly tradition in our possession. Moreover, we should stand in the position of God and True Parents, and we should be their representatives, becoming their central families. There are no higher ideals for us to dream of; Father has already given them to us to fulfill. We are the most fortunate people in the world. How grateful we should be and how humble. Our attitude should be one of feeling unworthy, yet grateful. Not only have True parents given us this new direction in order for us to live properly in the family era, but we should also memorize this precious Family Pledge and consider it as our heavenly guiding light.

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