Articles From the October 1994 Unification News
by Tyler Hendricks
Geneological research is very popular now. Twenty years ago very few Americans were interested in their ancestors in a serious way. Today the situation is different. Two years ago my parents were contacted by a man who introduced himself as their distant relative; a man whose name--Joel Hutto--they had never heard.
They were skeptical at first, but he won their confidence by displaying great knowledge of our family, at least of our ancestors. He knew when my great-grandparents had moved to California, and who had married whom, and the names of their children and where they had lived and why they had died. He knew where my parents were born and more about my father's family than my father knows. A common base was made, based upon blood kinship.
Early this summer I received an invitation from Joel Hutto to attend the first ever Hendricks family reunion. He pulled together about 80 distant relatives, descendants of Robert and Mary Hendricks who came from Virginia in the early 1700s, were married in what is now Alabama before the American revolution, and not much more than that is known.
At that reunion there was an instant comaraderie. When my family arrived, Joel came out to greet us, grinned a sheepish grin, as if to say, "Well, this is who I am, I hope you're not disappointed." Blood is thicker than water.
Everywhere in America, family reunions and geneological research are growing at a fast pace. People are searching for community; searching for their roots and place in history. One of our earliest American blessed brothers, Wesley Samuels, is working on a family reunion to include some 1,000 people.
Americans are saying, slow down, enough of this atomization, enough of this fragmentation. Blood ties; blood lineage. Families looking for their tribes. Why is this happening now? Spiritually, it is the Completed Testament Age. Horizontally, more and more people are realizing that you lose more than you gain by individualism. The few holdouts are getting more powerful, many holding high government positions, and at the same time more and more zany, based upon the premise of radical individualism. To wit, I quote from a current tome entitled The Sacrament of Abortion:
"When the Artemis myth manifests itself in our lives, it can be recognized by a sense of no longer belonging to a group, a couple, or a family; it represents a movement away from . . . fusion with others, the most extreme example of fusion being the connection between a mother and her young children. . . . Our culture needs new rituals as well as laws to restore to abortion its sacred dimension." (Ginette Paris, The Sacrament of Abortion:, quoted by Jeffrey Burke Satinover, in "Jungians and Gnostics", First Things, October, 1994, p. 48.)
The contemporary understanding of "freedom", enshrined by our courts working out the logic of the Constitution in the midst of complex social questions and a prohibition against reference to religion, is one of rather recent vintage. It favors the ability to choose as the highest value (in distinction to the matter of what it is one chooses). It favors privacy over public life. The individual is, for himself, the standard against which all things are measured. By "the individual," we mean any particular human being, not an abstract entity. Justice is defined as that which is fair to me in light of my particular circumstances. Each is autonomous, a world unto themselves. Do your own thing, in other words, and get off my case (or: "get off my cloud," as the Rolling Stones, arch-angels of our worst nature, sang thirty years ago).
In the words of Alan L. Mittleman, of the Muhlenberg College Religion Deparment, "The theme of autonomy has been of defining significance for modernity. . . . Despite all of the modern talk of loneliness and alientation, the modern soul shrinks from attachments that are not of its own choosing. The modern soul, as Edward Shils put it, has a dread of metaphysical encumbrances. . . ." ("The Modern Jewish Condition", Alan L. Mittleman, First Things, October 1994, p. 30).
Apparently, many of us are growing tired of this separation from each other. Millions escape the separation through sports, where crowds mount unified cheers and groans following the fortunes of their team. Others utilize intoxicants and become party animals of various species and classes. These attempts at community life evidently fall short, as do the efforts made by party animals of the political species. Schools also fail in this aspect. Perhaps the final bastion of community is one's religion and family. Unfortunately, the popular notion of freedom is defined as freedom from religion and family. But is this notion valid?
I was edified in reading an explanation of the root of the English word, freedom. "The primary etymological sense of the term "free" is `dear, beloved.' The root comes from the Old High German `fri,' which stems from the Indo-European root `prijos' (dear, beloved) and is related to the Sanskrit `priyas' (dear) and `priya' (wife, daughter). Likewise, there is a connection with the Old English `frigu' (love) and `freon' (friend). The German and Celtic meaning, `not in bondage or subject to control from outside,' comes from calling `dear' (fri) those members of a household connected by ties of kindred with the family head. A free person is as a friend or beloved, one joined to another in mutual benevolence and intimacy." ("Liberty Is a Lady", Gregory R. Beabout, First Things, op.cit., p. 19, emphasis added)
The same author, Gregory Beabout, explains the meaning of the word liberty (Latin liberi = children; Greek root eneuvepoc = free, belonging to the people, of legal descent. The Indo-European base word is leudhero [people, family, nation] which comes from leudh = to grow.) "Thus," he concludes, "those who have ties as a family, who are part of our people, who have grown from us, are free. Lady Libertas personifies the freedom of being a part of the family. . . . the true source of freedom is love, the love that a devoted spouse has for one's beloved." (op. cit., p. 21)
The Family And Religion
If true freedom is found in the family, then the true religon will be the one which most exalts and supports the family. Unfortunately, there is no religion which accomplishes this. Of course, the conservative branches of the great faiths do support family life, but none of them relate family life to the ontological order of things, to the way that God planned this world to function. Unification theology, the Divine Principle, however, does so. But to work out the meaning of the family, we must begin with the meaning of men and women.
One fundamental insight of Unificationist thinking is that there are important distinctions between masculinity and femininity which are rooted in God, and that the creation is an interaction of masculine and feminine characteristics. Christians have never taken this distinction seriously, for, as Paul said, in Christ there is neither male nor female. Paul of course was speaking of the value of personhood per se. Paul also came out of a tradition which tended to view birth and life on earth as a result of the fall, or of the necessities placed upon us by our gross materiality which is far removed from the spirit of God.
Many Christians, even the Pope, is recognizing that this lacuna in Christian thought must be ended today. Touchstone magazine (summer 1994) published a series of articles on the corrosive influence of feminism in the Christian churches. The authors call for "a developed doctrine of sexuality--the dogmatic meaning of man and woman in creation and in the salvific plan of God." ("Behold, the Woman", Nancy M. Cross, Touchstone, summer 1994, p. 18). It is of great interest to Unificationist theologians that Cross, a freelance writer, mother of twelve and grandmother of twenty-six living in Minnesota, would observe that "There are some interesting parallels between the present contention about the meaning and role of man and woman and the emergence of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in the fourth century."
Cross then discusses the consubstantiality of God and Christ, to argue (vs. Arianism) that subject and object (as she puts it, "authority and response to authority") can be of one substance. In the fourth century, this argument related to God and Christ; Cross applies it to man and woman. I sincerely applaud her reflection, and want to add my own.
The Unificationist paradigm of the Trinity, that masculine and feminine are constitutive of the Godhead, must move to the foreground of Christian theological thinking. Without it, there is no ontological grounding to say anything about womanhood other than that it is some afterthought to the creation of manhood. If the ground of reality is personalized in toto as masculine, there is no place for the feminine to find rootage. From a gender point of view, Christianity is unitarian.
The counter to this is sexism (which is actually the more accurate name for radical feminism) which denies any significant distinction between masculine and feminine. Unificationism places femininity on an equal par with masculinity within God. As distinct aspects of the original image of God, they constitute with God the ground of the Trinity. Incarnated in the creation, they manifested in Adam and Eve, who fell and lost God's Word. The masculinity of God was manifested in the second Adam, Jesus Christ, and God's femininity in the Holy Spirit, the second Eve, albeit only without physical incarnation.
Women In History
The providential history recorded in the Bible narrates the actions of many women. Through the Unificationist understanding of God, and of the role of Adam and Eve, we can clarify the role of women in God's providence. In fact, this was a major theme in the speech, "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age", delivered throughout the world over the last two years by Rev. and Mrs. Moon and their children.
Only by understanding the role of women in the Hebrew scriptures can we discover how Jesus was born as the sinless Messiah. Without this theological explanation, faith, tradition and the critically suspect "fulfillment of prophecy" argument are all Christians have in order to justify the Christ-claim for Jesus of Nazareth. Faith claims will not convince the world today, and if it has nothing else by which to discuss Jesus' messianic stature, Christianity will fail in its mission to receive the second coming and serve as the foundation for God's Kingdom on the earth. It will be Unificationists who, after all, will be the ones who can vindicate Jesus and protect his messianic status.
I spent several years attending theologian's conferences under the sponsorship of New ERA and the International Religious Foundation. Often we Unification academics found ourselves defending the classic theological statements and faith in God and Jesus from attacks by scholars from mainstream schools of religion! I realized then that only Unification theology could maintain intact a reasonable God and argument for the historical providence in the face of modernity.
Christians Are Ready For Principle
Christians are ready for a new view of the Trinity as a grounding for man-woman relationship. As Beabout writes, it is "difficult to feel better than others by realizing that our culture is dying. Just about everyone sees the clouds by now, and there's very little satisfaction in secretly glimpsing the obvious." (p. 20) Not everyone is happy about the impending collapse of Christian civilization, nor is everyone giving up the ship. From whence do we find hope? It is from those who believe in family and religion.
In the same issue of Touchstone, Helen Hull Hitchcock, Director of Women for Faith and Family and editor of its newsletter, Voices, sets forth words which will ring true to the heart of any Unificationist:
"The places in which small victories will accumulate into ultimate triumph over the forces of anti-Christianity are not to be found in the academies or ecclesiastical offices of the churches that have been besieged and overrun by feminists and their allies. They are found in the home, the family, and the relationship of mother and child. These places have been dismissed by feminists as degrading arenas of servitude (but) the women who embrace the challenge of family and faith stand in positions of greater power than any prelate or feminist ideologue. . . .
"Our work must begin with the internal evangelization of the family-- the source of life and the cradle of faith. We must--and can--begin to rebuild Christ's Church from within the very heart of the `Domestic Church'--in every Christian's home." ("Entrusted to Woman", Helen Hull Hitchcock, Touchstone, summer 1994, p. 25)
Although from the viewpoint of man's portion of responsibility, the existence of the Jewish and Christian polities can be viewed as results of failure, they can also be viewed as stages of the human course of development toward a unified polity, summarized as God's Kingdom on earth. We who recognize the ideal of True Parents must not fail our responsibility in this hour. We have the theological definition of the original and providential meaning of man and woman. We have the historical foundation for the restoration of true marriage and family life. But a new idea cannot service a society until it reaches a certain level of development--a level which we are struggling now to realize.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents