The Words of Sun Myung Moon from 1989
Given at the graduation ceremony read by President David S. C. Kim
On this happy and joyous occasion of the Unification Theological Seminary's 13th graduation exercise, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to 40 new graduates. At the same time, the administration, faculty and staff of UTS, who have helped these graduates complete their academic program, deserve to be congratulated.
Furthermore, I am pleased to receive a report from your beloved President, Dr. David S.C. Kim, that 22 of last year's graduates officially received the diploma for the Master's degree in Religious Education. These MRE degrees were conferred by the New York State Board of Regents and the President of New York State University on March 17, 1989.
You are greatly honored to receive this kind of prestigious Master's degree from the Empire State of New York. Therefore, my third "congratulations" goes to the 22 MRE degree recipients who are the Unification Theological Seminary's first degree holders.
I recognize this event as a sign of the Seminary's continuous advancement as a new age educational institution. I acknowledge the UTS Board of Trustees, the faculty, the administration, the staff, and the students for their steady effort and progress. I, the Founder of this Seminary, deeply appreciate this progress made under difficult circumstances.
May I call attention especially to the significance of this year in which you are graduating. On this happy occasion I would like to directly address you graduates regarding the urgent need for the revival of American Christianity, as part of God's dispensation and the need for a global revival of world Christianity based on the revival of America. Who is responsible for these revivals? It is your mission, as graduates, to be responsible for the future destiny of America and the world.
The land of America was richly blessed by God so it could develop rapidly. This phenomenon did not just happen by chance. In the course of God's providence the nation of America was chosen for the sole purpose of restoring this troubled world to God's side. This nation was founded on the Christian ideal; therefore, America inherits the position of the second Israel from Christianity.
God's plan was to let America become a world-power, and then lead the free world of theistic countries in confronting atheistic communism. Thus, centering on America as His chosen nation, God hoped to restore the free nations to the "ideal" according to His original will.
However, the people of America, not knowing God's providence, went in the wrong direction, especially after 1945 and the victory of World War II. They did not fulfill their heavenly responsibility for restoration to God's side. Thus, since that time, America and the free nations have lost the ideal, bringing about the moral corruption of their young people. Such moral corruption can be seen by the existence of free sex, drug and alcohol abuse and homosexuality, not only in America, but throughout the world.
In addition, they have been plunged into a worldwide confrontation with the rising evil force of communistic power, which has now taken more than half of this world in their global conquest. Now America is at the crossroads of "life and death" and is on the verge of complete collapse. If America fails, God will have to raise up a third Israel to restore this failure and to save America and the world.
Therefore, we must work hard to revive America from a dangerous coma and the condition of "near death." Since the "heavenly doctor" has not yet pronounced America and the free nations dead, there is some hope.
How can we revive America from its present dying condition? That is the question. First, the nation of America and the American people must return to the ideals of God: to serve God, to believe in God, to pay awesome reverence to God, and to worship God. Second, they must recognize God as their Heavenly Father and all of humankind as their brothers and sisters. Based on Judeo-Christian faith, morality, ethics and values, they have to repent for their past failures and reject the present secular, satanic values. The most urgent thing we need to do is to revive the people of America and return to the Judeo-Christian value system.
Originally, Christianity was never intended to become individualistic, but it has developed into secular humanism and extreme individualism, abandoning the original values of the family and community. The family structure and the societal system have been separated to the detriment of both. We need to bring them back together based on the original Judeo-Christian ideal that this nation's Founding Fathers envisioned in the Constitution and fought for with their lives in the War of Independence.
If the people of America return to God and revive their original values, then the free nations will automatically be revived and the rest of the world will be restored. With a high standard of value the free nations can easily influence the communist nations, where changes are already taking place. Russia, China and the Eastern satellite countries are now waging a battle to gain a democratic system, and a "pro- democracy movement" is taking place throughout the world.
I have much hope for the near future; a global revival and restoration is within our reach under God's providential scheme and timetable. Then, all peoples of the world will know God as their Heavenly Father and will understand His dispensation and His will. So, it is up to the people of America whether or not the world can be revived and restored to God, fulfilling the ideal world on earth which God had originally planned.
So, where do we begin? First of all, the revival of Christianity must come in America. Then, we must arrest the spread of worldwide communism and expose their global conquest strategy. Furthermore, we must stop the moral decay of the young generation in the world, and tackle the worldwide "mafia gang" operation that adds to the destruction of our youth. Finally, we need to mobilize the over 400 Christian denominations to protect their young generation as future leaders through interfaith and ecumenical action. Instead of fighting with each other over doctrinal differences and denominational insistence, they must form a united front, fighting social evils in the community and the world.
I have established the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy (ICC) for the purpose of giving direction to American ministers to help America. You graduates can teach other Christian ministers about the infinite existence of the spiritual world of heart and love as a reality in our life of faith. Let your colleagues, Christian ministers, rediscover this religious sphere.
We cannot sit back and watch the nation of America and the world perish. We must stop it now! Revive them; restore them to the original ideal and condition! When you go out to your mission you will immediately engage in a war between good and evil. With the help of your fellow alumni, I believe that you shall win over this war and bring victory to God.
I am even more convinced that you shall bring total victory in your mission because in 1988 I began the "Tribal Messiah System." This system is your opportunity to restore this nation by becoming a messiah to your own family. By creating God-centered tribes, each of our movement's more than 20,000 Blessed families can become tribal chieftains and messianic families. The extended family structures established by these core families will develop into community and societal structures that can turn America around to fulfill its providential mission for the world.
Once America is revived, the other free nations will follow, and once the free nations are revived, atheistic communism will turn around and begin to move towards God's direction. In this way, America and the world can be restored based on the Tribal Messiah System. The Tribal Messiah Concept is God's thought and system. It is God's providence for America and the world. Thus, the construction of the Kingdom of Heaven starts through this Tribal Messiah System. In this way, we can re-structure the original Judeo- Christian values so they can be revived.
Tribal Messiah thought, or ministry, is practiced by me in my own daily life of faith, and has been proven as a valid system. In this way, I have made God's thought and system my own. I have created this supra-national "Historical Tradition" so that you may accomplish your mission in America and the world. I am the incarnation of Heavenly Father's thought, the Tribal Messiah Concept. You can learn-this concept by studying me; this is your challenge.
I pray that Heavenly Father's love, grace, mercy and protection be upon you in your future mission, and I hope that you can bring great and total victory in the "Revival of America and the World." One more time, my sincere congratulations to you graduates who will inherit God's Kingdom on earth.
A final ensemble performance by students inspires the audience.
At the thirteenth commencement of the Unification Theological Seminary on June 30, there were thirty graduates from the two-year Religious Education Program and ten from the three-year Divinity Program.
Founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 1974, the seminary admitted its first class of 50 students in 1975. It was granted a provisional charter from the State of New York in November of 1986. At that time its programs were registered as master's level programs. The students who entered the seminary that term, i.e. in the Fall of 1986, were the first to complete their studies in the newly recognized Master of Religious Education program. However, until the seminary receives its absolute charter, the degrees are granted jointly by the seminary and the State.
Rev. Baughman was the M.C. at the Commencement Ceremony and the Invocation was given by Dr. Shawn Byrne.
After the conferring of the degrees, seminary president David S.C. Kim encouraged students to practice "Unification Optimism."
"Live for the sake of others and spread God's word," he said. "This will not be easy. There will be a high degree of ups and downs after graduation, but just remember this day as a day of joy in your life."
Today's graduates face a big responsibility in the modern world because it is "crying out for the word of God," said graduate David Fraser Harris. He told the graduates that it is not money, knowledge or material items that are the key to happiness. "Always remember that Rev. Moon taught that God is the essence of true love and happiness," he said.
"I recognize this event as a sign of the Seminary's continuous advancement as a new age educational institution," said Father in an address to the students read by Dr. Kim.
Father said Americans went in the wrong direction morally after World War II. This country was established to restore the world to God's side. However, America and other free nations have lost this ideal. He cited examples of moral corruption such as promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse and homosexuality. He encouraged graduates to "work hard to revive America from a dangerous coma and the condition of near death."
Robert P. Anson, Jr. (Indiana)
Alex M. Basabe (Philippines)
Pierre Beauregard (Canada)
Bruce Biddle (Ohio)
Alison Byer (England)
Catherine Cappelli (Australia)
James O. Carron (Maine)
Charles Damon Catlett (Washington, D.C.)
Gregory Bruce Davis (Illinois)
Marshall D. De Souza (England)
David A. Fraser Harris (Scotland)
Paula Fujiwara (California)
Catherine Gueissaz (Switzerland)
Samuel C. L. Harley (Canada)
Takeo Honda (Japan)
Yasuhiro Ida (Japan)
Shuji Kajita (Japan)
Marilyn Kerins Angelucci (Rhode Island)
Jin Kun Kim (Korea)
Robyn Ledesma (New Zealand)
Onsongo N. Machini (Kenya)
Robert Maynard (Vermont)
Kenneth Nakamura (Hawaii)
Celeste M. Simms (Pennsylvania)
Myra Stanecki (California)
Steve M. Tamayo (Wyoming)
Nelson R. Toapanta (California)
Donald M. Trubshaw (England)
Reiko Wills (Japan)
Abdoulaye Wone (Mauritania)
Michael Allen Brazil (California)
Peer Martin Brunnschweiler (Michigan)
Stephen Child (Texas)
Andre W. Jenkins (Pennsylvania)
Genevieve Lataillade (New York)
David C. Mackenzie (Scotland)
Carol Ottosson (Minnesota)
Junichiro Owaki (Japan)
Jane Pridgeon (England)
Clifford W. Yank (California)
President David S. C. Kim presents degrees to the graduates.
Congratulatory Remarks given at the Unification Theological Seminary Graduation
I have to confess something to you before I continue. Can you guess what it is? Actually, I had a great deal of trouble thinking of what to say to you. You, who have heard me speak each morning for the last two or three years, must surely be tired of hearing me by now. However, today will be my last address to you, so please bear with me.
Our Seminary, founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, is rapidly becoming more and more international in flavor and emphasis as our recruiting policy and procedure expands to include other nations. This year, over twenty-seven nations have sent students and our doors are now even open to communist China. Why this trend?
The nations of the world are becoming dependent upon each other as they realize they can no longer remain independent and continue to survive. Also, cross-cultural contact is more frequent than before and both inter-religious and intra-religious dialogue is becoming commonplace. Even Marxist/Christian and Christian/Buddhist dialogue is more and more popular. The two conflicting ideological camps of communism and democracy are trying to find common grounds for coexistence, prosperity and global welfare. This was never imagined possible just one decade ago. It is truly interesting to observe today's world affairs.
According to our church's teaching, this is God's providential plan as prophesied in the Bible -- the Last Days. This means, according to Unification Principle, that this is the time of the new Messiah's appearance. You graduates are qualified to understand and teach the contents of Unification Principle, especially in the area of interfaith work and world ecumenism. Even our faculty reflects this ecumenism as they represent Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Confucianism, Judaism, Greek Orthodoxy and so on. They have shown you how great variation can coexist and work together for the good without destroying each other while promoting the higher goal of worldwide well-being. They have been doing this here for the last fourteen years, since our inauguration in 1975.
Therefore, be optimistic and positive, even in pessimistic and negative situations. Based on this belief, I coined the phrase "Unification Optimism" as a term for the new age. Live for the sake of others, spread the word of God and propagate God's true love, even to your formidable enemies. By doing so, evil will naturally surrender to God's side. Thus, permanent peace, order, joy and happiness will be realized on earth. This is the "Kingdom of Heaven on earth" which Jesus referred to when he said, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."
Today, we all celebrate your success and accomplishment in academic as well as spiritual maturity. Your future path and mission are not necessarily static and easy, but will sometimes be cyclical, mobile and tough. In other words, there will be a high degree of ups and downs in the course of your life after graduation. Please remember this day of joy, happiness, power and spirit as you are bouncing up and leaping forward from this launching pad. Continuously and steadily advancing your work and mission, you are following in the footsteps shown to us by our Father as model followers of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. By doing this, you can positively and constructively influence this sick and troubled world and have great impact on its restoration to God's side.
We are proud of you all because you are the ambassadors of Heavenly Father and the special envoys of Reverend Moon and the Unification movement worldwide. You must also feel proud of yourselves. You deserve to be recognized and highly congratulated. May God bless you forever and, again, my congratulations to you.
David Frazier Harris
President Kim, distinguished faculty, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen. My task this morning is to represent our 13th graduating class of 40 graduates, first of all in thanking you for what you have done for us. Some of you -- our parents -- raised us.
Some of you -- our friends -- encouraged us in our life of faith. Others -- our faculty -- guided us through the paths of learning at this seminary. Still others -- our brothers and sisters -- literally fed and housed us by your support for this precious place where we have been privileged to study. We are acutely aware that mere words cannot sufficiently express our gratitude to you all. And we cannot forget that the education we have received here has not been just for ourselves but for the sake of God and His work in restoring this world. As I speak, I find myself turning to the words of one of the early Holy Songs written by Rev. Moon:
"How can I return the blessing Though in all my life I will try? I can never stop feeling how unworthy am I."
If we look back over the past two or three years, we have been living in a rapidly changing world with democratic elections in South Korea, and the first signs of a turn to democracy in Poland, Hungary, the Soviet Union and even China. Each of us, too, has had the opportunity to change and grow in special ways -- in our many different fields of study (philosophy, psychology, church history, world religions), in field education projects (RYS) and campus clubs (Soul of Russia), in our daily life of serving one another and in our prayers here in this chapel and outside on the grounds. For me, perhaps the greatest lesson has been to get to know those to whom we owe a special "thank you." I am referring to those without whom a building like this would not be standing: the pillars of the Christian faith, the saints, the disciples of Jesus and great prophets of ancient Israel. I sincerely feel that while I have been here these have become my friends and I want to take them with me!
As I look forward to the months and years ahead, I think I am quite representative of our class if I say I shake a little. We have grown in confidence and in understanding. Indeed we feel a special bond between us. For the first time a student of the second generation of our movement has graduated from this seminary. Yet all this leads also to heightened expectations of responsibility to a world which is crying out for the word and the love of God. We are called to a ministry transcending denominations, faiths and nations, to a ministry which reaches beyond the church to all fields of life -- business, education, charitable work and ecological concerns. And it is here that we will have to prove -- in our lives -- the words of thanks that we give with our lips today.
As we leave Barrytown, we leave with knowledge in our pockets. Our founder and inspiration, Rev. Moon, is fond of reminding us that the essence of God is neither money, nor power, nor knowledge, but it is true love. As Paul tells us in First Corinthians, without love we are nothing. But there is another side to this coin. Because of man's fall, our God became a God of loneliness and suffering, betrayed by His children. So it was the most religious people who touched God in that misery. Hence the loneliness and poverty of the prophets and the saints. But surely God should not have to suffer like this forever, surrendering His own creation to a secular world.
Somehow, someday, someone has to reclaim everything, including knowledge, for God. With faith and knowledge our lives can be bricks in the building of God's Kingdom. In this way we can give our thanks, not only to all of you, but to God.
On behalf of the graduates, I would like to thank you all and pray for God's blessing on each and every one of you.