The Words of the Wells Family

Marriage and the Family: Fall and Restoration

by Jonathan Wells

"This is the second and last excerpt from a paper presented in the "Marriage and Family" seminar sponsored by the International Religious Foundation in Seoul, August 1991."

Obviously, however, the present world is not the Kingdom of Heaven. Unification theology attributes the disparity between ideal and reality to the fall of our original ancestors, who are called Adam and Eve in the Bible. According to Divine Principle, God gave Adam and Eve a commandment to guide their conduct during a period of growth; if they had succeeded in following that commandment, they would have fulfilled the First Blessing of individual perfection, and been ready for the Second Blessing of marriage and family. In other words, Adam and Eve were born sinless, but were not yet perfect. (DP, 72-75)

As interpreted by Unification theology, the biblical commandment not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil meant that Adam and Eve were to abstain from sexual love until fulfilling the First Blessing. So interpreted, the biblical story recounts how Eve succumbed to temptation by engaging in a spiritual but nevertheless sexual relationship with her archangelic guardian, Lucifer.

Overcome with guilt, Eve then went to Adam who, instead of resisting temptation and guiding her back to her rightful relationship with God, engaged in a premature sexual relationship with her and thereby consummated the fall. The original ideal had been for Adam and Eve (God's children) to have dominion over Lucifer (God's servant). Instead, they submitted to Lucifer's dominion, who thereby became Satan, the usurper of God's place in the four position foundation and thus (according to St. Paul) "the god of this world." (DP, 66-83. See also Wells, "Some Reflections on the Unification Account of the Fall," 63-67.)

Original sin

This perversion of the originally intended four position foundation constitutes "original sin" in Unification theology. In one sense, the descendants of Adam and Eve are the children of Satan, though fallen people are not totally cut off from their Creator but are caught in a "midway position" between God and Satan.

This intolerable situation presents God with a dilemma: it was produced by the misuse of the very free will that enables us potentially to become God's children; by acting unilaterally to solve the problem God would deprive us of that potential and render the purpose of creation forever unattainable; therefore it is up to us to follow God's direction freely; but people with original sin are unable to direct their actions completely in accordance with God's direction. According to Divine Principle, the solution is "indemnity", which implies partial payment: fallen people, though unable to fulfill their responsibility completely, can freely make certain conditional offerings which God then uses as a foundation for restoration.

This does not mean that restoration is made easy! Indemnity usually entails persevering through difficulties and suffering to fulfill the conditions God prescribes. The biblical stories of Cain and Abel, Noah and his family, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and Esau are regarded as a history of restoration by indemnity. On this foundation, God was eventually able to send Moses and Jesus: Moses came to lead his people out of worldly slavery, and Jesus came to lead them (and through them the entire world) out of Satanic slavery. (DP, 83-97, 222-342)

Jesus' mission was (to borrow Irenaeus' word) the recapitulation of Adam: Jesus came as the second Adam to succeed where the first Adam had failed, and to become the True Parent of a restored humanity. In other words, Jesus had a dual responsibility: not only did he have to fulfill the Three Blessings, but he also had to separate the fallen descendants of Adam and Eve from Satan and restore them to God's dominion. Just as Adam and Eve had a choice, however, and chose wrongly, so the people who lived at the time of Jesus misunderstood him and rejected him.

Even the few who really followed him fell into faithlessness at the end and deserted him in his hour of need. So Jesus was prevented both from fulfilling the Second Blessing and from completing the work of restoration which he had begun. Instead, he had to go the way of the cross and thereby lay a foundation for the second coming. (DP, 205-18, 342-371. On Jesus' dual mission to fulfill the original ideal and restore the fallen world, see Jonathan Wells, "Unification Christology," in Frank Flinn [ed.], "Christology: The Center and the Periphery" [New York: Paragon House, 1989], 46-47.)

Second coming

According to Divine Principle, we are now living in the days of the second coming. The book interprets eschatological passages in the Bible to mean that the second coming of the savior will be similar to the first: like Jesus, he will be born fully human, have to grow to perfection, and run the risk of being rejected. He will not, however, be Jesus of Nazareth, but will come with a new name, to complete that which was left unfinished by Jesus' premature death on the cross.

Divine Principle also uses a variety of arguments to persuade the reader that the savior will be born in Korea during the first half of this century. Although the book does not explicitly identify anyone as the second coming of Christ, its introduction contains the following statement: "With the fullness of time, God has sent His messenger to resolve the fundamental questions of life and the universe. his name is Sun Myung Moon." (DP, 16, 113-119, 129-136, 405-536)

Born in 1920 to a family of devout Korean Presbyterians, Sun Myung Moon had a vision at the age of sixteen in which Jesus appeared and commissioned him to complete the work of salvation left unfinished two thousand years earlier. After nine years of study and prayer, Moon began teaching and gathering followers, and in 1954 founded the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (now popularly known as the Unification Church).

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