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Introduction to the teaching of Father Sun Myung Moon
 

Introduction to the teaching of Father Sun Myung Moon

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    Introduction to the teaching of Father Sun Myung Moon Introduction to the teaching of Father Sun Myung Moon Document Transcript

    • An Introduction to Life and Teaching of Sun Myung MoonContents1. Truth that Gives Life2. Man and the Universe: A Mirror of God3.The Cause of Human Conflict4.The Hidden Dimension of History1. Truth that Gives LifeA Critical Moment in HistoryThe 20th century had been the most intense period humankind has ever known. On theone hand, our century has witnessed the first footsteps on the moon, the birth of therobot and the development of nuclear power. The arrival of the computer and the massmedia enables us to access a wealth of data and gain information on worldwide eventsalmost instantaneously. We can now produce a vast array of consumer goods andservices.On the other hand, millions of people still live in abject poverty, struggling each day tofind the basic necessities of life. In addition, rapid industrial expansion during thiscentury has caused immeasurable damage to our environment, and the devastationcaused by two world wars and the many other regional and international conflicts hasbeen unprecedented.The question we have to ask ourselves as we enter the new millennium is: Have we asindividuals, despite the technological progress and other external developments, becomebetter and happier people? Have we become more loving, caring and responsibleindividuals? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Technology has not improved the socialwell-being of our families and communities. Even though our knowledge of the physicalworld has increased, our knowledge of lifes spiritual dimension has changed little. Thehatred that separates people, nations and races is the same as it has always been.Where can we look for hope? Government institutions certainly do not have the answersnor can we expect them to. Nor will the ultimate solution be found in a scientificresearch institute or laboratory. The established religious institutions, for all their vigorand long-standing dedication, have been unable to prevent this crisis from developing.They will be hard-pressed to reverse it.The Problems Are Not NewA deeper analysis of the problems in our society reveals that they are not new. In fact,the failures of our modern lifestyles are the result of a deeper origin, which can betraced back to the beginnings of humankind.There is a contradiction in human beings that is as old as history: we all strive for joyand happiness in life yet continue to indulge in attitudes and behaviors that lead tounhappiness or utter misery for ourselves and others. Why is it that human beings havealways longed for peace, and yet have caused so much conflict and suffering? Are loveand hatred, good and evil destined to coexist, as some believe, so that lasting peace andharmony can never be achieved?
    • These and many other difficult questions touch on the very essence of our being and theorigin of our existence. We need a deeper understanding of the most fundamentalquestions of life. We also need a true and absolute standard of love and goodness toovercome the scourge of evil and selfishness that has plagued humanity throughouthistory.Such answers can come only from God, yet God always works through chosenindividuals on earth. Following pages explores the ways God has worked through oneindividual, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, to bring humanity back to our original home,a world of peace, happiness and freedom.Who is Reverend Moon?Nearly everyone has read or heard something about the founder of the UnificationChurch, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Some media reports have portrayed Rev. Moon assomeone who is primarily a businessman or politician. Others have recognized him to bean extraordinarily dedicated religious leader. Who is Rev. Moon? Our answer begins withan account of his upbringing, an encounter he had with Jesus on a Korean mountainside.Sun Myung Moon was born on January 6, 1920 into a family of farmers that had tilledthe land for centuries. As a boy he studied at a Confucianist school and was fascinatedby the natural world. Around 1930, his parents became fervent Christian-Presbyterians,and the young Mr. Moon became a Sunday School teacher. At that time, Japan ruledKorea and only allowed the Shinto religion to be practiced. The intolerance of themilitant Imperial Japanese was only a small part of the contempt they held for theKoreans, a race they believed to be inferior. The Korean people were subjected to 40years of humiliation and cruelty as part of Japans Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.As a member of an oppressed race, he learned to hate injustice, whether among his ownpeople or at the hands of the Japanese rulers.Jesus Christ AppearsOn Easter morning in 1935, Jesus appeared to the 16-years-old Moon as he was prayingin the Korean mountains. In that vision, Jesus asked him to continue the work that hebegun on earth nearly 2,000 years before. Jesus asked him to complete the task ofestablishing Gods Kingdom on earth and bringing His peace to humankind.The young Korean was stunned by this encounter, and especially by the request thathad been made of him, and at first he refused. However, after deep reflection,meditation and prayer, he finally pledged his life to that overwhelming mission.After personally accepting Jesus call, the young man set out to discover its verymeaning. If Jesus called him to complete his mission, it meant that Jesus mission wasincomplete. Was not salvation through the cross all that man needs? What was it thatJesus had left undone on earth? If sin is not completely solved, then what is the actualroot of sin? Why must it be solved on earth?Sun Myung Moon studied the Bible and many other religious teachings in order tounravel these mysteries of life and human history. During this time, he went into everdeeper communion with God and entered the vast battlefield of the spirit and flesh.Through denying his personal desires he overcame temptations of knowledge, wealth
    • and physical pleasure, He came to understand Gods own suffering and His longing to bereunited with His children, as well as the difficult steps that humankind would have totake in order to return to God and establish true peace on earth.By 1945, he had organized the teaching which cane to be known as the Divine (orUnification) Principle. The Divine Principle, the fundamental teaching of Rev. Moon andthe Unification Church, is outlined in the following pages.2. Man and the Universe: A Mirror of GodHarmony, precision and order are characteristic of the vast cosmos. For millions of years,the cycles of life, nature and the universe have repeated themselves with remarkableconsistency. It cannot be that this marvelous universe was formed as the result of anaccident. Everything which exists, even the smallest particle or cell, has some meaningand purpose. For example, every part of the human body has a distinct, individualfunction and interacts with other parts to achieve the higher purpose of sustaining life.There must be an origin of universal purpose and design, a first cause, which gavepurpose to everything and maintains harmony in the universe. We call this first cause,God.How can we know anything about the first cause if it is invisible and intangible, andtherefore not accessible to the probing of science? According to the scriptures of manyreligions, we can understand Gods character by examining His handiwork, the worldaround us."Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power anddeity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." Romans 1:20"The power of spiritual forces in the universe-how active It is everywhere! Invisible tothe eyes and impalpable to the senses, it is inherent in all things." Confucius, Doctrine ofthe Mean 16Indeed, just as an artists personality is revealed in his or her paintings and a personscharacter is revealed in his or her behavior, so too Gods own personality is reflected inthe things which God created. This follows from the inter-relationship between causeand effect. Could a chaotic cause create a harmonious universe? Could a heartless Godcreate a world which has great beauty in it? This would defy all logic. Therefore, we canlearn about the cause, God, by studying the effect, the creation.The Parenthood of GodWhat universal attributes can be found in the created world? For one thing, all entitieshave the attributes of male and female or, in the mineral realm, of positive and negative.We see men and women, male and female animals, staminate and pistillate plant lifeexemplifying this pair system. The world is made in such a way that everything existsand multiplies through the reciprocal relationship between male and female, positive andnegative. What does this tell us about God? It tells us that God, who is the cause,embodies not only the essence of masculine nature in His divine personality, but theessence of feminine nature as well.
    • There is a second duality which all created entities share: everything has an internalcharacter as well as an external form. We see that on every level of existence,consciousness, reason and law shape the behavior of energy. In particular, humanbeings have a body that consists of cells, and a unique human mind, which enables us tothink and feel in a distinctly human way.Since everything God created has an internal character and external form, He Himselfmust have internal and external aspects. The external aspect of God is prime energy,which is the cause of all physical energy in the universe and thus is the cause of allmatter. God has used prime energy to create, develop and sustain the cosmos. Thedesign and purpose inherent in the creation manifest the internal aspect of God.To understand the internal aspect of God, we must look at ourselves, since we, as Godschildren, resemble Him the most.The main attributes of the human character are emotion, intellect and will. We value thebeauty of nature; we are delighted at the arrival of a newborn baby; we like to expressour own creativity. We aspire to become knowledgeable and wise. Our conscience urgesus to do good and reject evil; all parents want their children to be better thanthemselves. We have the capacity for selfless love and the impulse to pursue truth andgoodness.From where could these common qualities and aspirations have come if not from ourCreator? God is the source of the values we all cherish: love, truth, beauty andgoodness. Thus, Gods power is always guided by reason and lawfulness, above all bylove. Heart is the essence of Gods being. Heart is the impulse to love, and it seeks anobject to love. God feels joy when He can give and receive love with His beloved. Godloves each one of us individually, and rejoices when we return His love and multiply it byloving others.The Purpose of Life: Perfection of LoveAccording to the Bible, God gave the first humans three blessings: "Be fruitful andmultiply... and have dominion" (Gen. 1:28). The first blessing, to be fruitful, gives us theprivilege and responsibility to participate in the creation of our own character.A tree is fruitful when it becomes mature and bears fruit. Similarly, a "fruitful" individualis someone who is spiritually, intellectually and emotionally mature and bears the fruit oflove, wisdom and goodness. Such an individual personifies Gods own nature and heart,and naturally lives and acts in accordance with Gods will."I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is whobears much fruit." John 15:5Although humanity has fallen into spiritual mediocrity, God has never given up on us.With His help and through our own effort we will eventually achieve our full potential andexperience the boundless joy and happiness for which all men and women have longedthroughout history.
    • The second blessing of God to the first humans was to multiply. This was to be done onthe foundation of individual maturity. God wanted Adam and Eve (our first ancestors) tomultiply, not only descendants, but also goodness and love. He never intended for us tomultiply selfishness and corruption. This means God wants to see a true, spirituallymature man marry a true, spiritually mature woman and the two together raise sinlesschildren. Through their parents, the children are to experience God as a reality, andgrow up to become mature (perfected) men and women.In a true family, Gods love blossoms on all levels: from parents to their children(parental love), between husband and wife (conjugal love), from the children towardstheir parents (filial love), and among the children (brotherly and sisterly love). Eachmember lives for the others and the whole family lives for other families in the society.Thus from a true family a harmonious and peaceful society, nation and world can begenerated.We can recognize that the strength of society lies in the strength of its families. If wecannot build healthy families, we cannot build a healthy society. If a society denies thesanctity of the traditional family - its basic unit - and becomes increasingly beset bydivorce, free sex and homosexuality, that society will inevitably decline. This is becausethe prime victims of permissiveness and dysfunctional families are the children, and theyare the ones who will decide the future of our communities, nations and world.The third blessing, to "have dominion," is fulfilled naturally by mature, God-centeredindividuals interacting with nature. God created a wonderful environment for us to live inso that we could enjoy life to the fullest. The beauty of nature is a telling expression ofGods boundless love for humankind. However, God intended our interaction with thecreation to be based upon love and appreciation, and not upon selfishness, neglect andexploitation. We will solve environmental problems when we free ourselves fromselfishness and our societies from corruption.How Does Spiritual Growth Come About?The fact that it took billions of years for the entire cosmos to be created indicates that atime period is necessary for everything to come into existence. A flowering plant startsas a seed and reaches its completion when it has grown to its full size and producedflowers and seeds for the next generation. Humans also need a certain time period inwhich to grow physically and spiritually. But unlike the rest of creation, we must takesome responsibility for our own growth. We are meant to become co-creators with God,through the part we play in creating ourselves."First the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear." Mark 4:28Just as the physical world is the environment for our physical self, the spiritual world isthe environment for our spiritual self. But whereas our sojourn on this earth istemporary, our life in the spirit world is eternal. Existing in both the physical and spiritworlds, each of us consists of both a spiritual self and a physical self. The spiritual self isin the subject position and gives purpose and direction to the physical self.
    • The physical self is composed of a physical body (made up of cells) and a physical mind(which manifests itself, for example, in the desire for food and sleep). In the same way,a persons spiritual self has both a spiritual body and a spiritual mind. As the spiritualform is identical with that of the physical body, people can be recognized by theirspiritual appearance. This explains why some people who have contact with the spiritworld are able to identify friends and relatives who are deceased."This world is like a vestibule before the world to come; prepare yourself in the vestibulethat you may enter the hall." Mishnah, Abot 4:21The spiritual mind is the core of a persons being, containing heart, emotion, intellectand will. Through the spiritual mind God is able to communicate with us, inspire us andguide us in our growth. Spiritual growth is not automatic; the spiritual self needs thephysical self for its growth. The physical self is the womb for the spirit. Each time aperson acts in accordance with Gods will and the principles of love and service, the spiritreceives vitality from the body, experiences true joy and is able to receive more of Godslove and truth and thus grow. Then, when the spiritual self has fully matured andachieved the purpose of life, its attachment to the body is no longer necessary. It cancontinue to live freely and eternally in the spiritual world after physical death.3. The Cause of Human ConflictGod is a being of infinite love, goodness and power, yet evil exists. Reverend Moonstruggled for many years to discover the cause of evil. If we look at ourselves, it isapparent that we contain two conflicting desires: one which tells us to lift other peopleup and care for them, and one which tells us to take care of our own comforts first,regardless of everyone else. Where does this conflict come from? Did God, after creatinga beautiful and ecologically balanced system of life, somehow err and design His highestcreation with an inherent contradiction, like a cup with a hole in it? Of course not."If there were, in the heavens or in the earth, other gods beside God, there would havebeen confusion in both!" Quran 21.21There is no record of events that explains how evil came into this world. The Bible tellsof Adam and Eve committing the first sin. But the story is shrouded in symbolism, andlacks clarity as to precisely what Adam and Eve did. Certainly, the sin of the first humanancestors had awesome consequences, as all their descendants have been affected by it.Reverend Moon discovered how the first human ancestors lost their relationship withGod and how, consequently, their descendants were separated from God.The Misuse of LoveAs told in the Bible there was a Garden of Eden, and in the center of the garden therewere two trees: a tree of life and a tree of knowledge bearing a forbidden fruit. In thisgarden lived Adam and Eve. God gave them a commandment: do not eat the fruit of thetree of knowledge, or you will die that day. Then a serpent appeared and tempted Eveinto eating the fruit despite Gods order, and Eve, in turn, shared the fruit with Adam. Atthat point the man and woman felt fear and guilt, and they covered their lower partsand hid from God. He then blocked their way to the tree of life and sent them out of thegarden.
    • After Adam and Eve sinned, they suddenly covered the sexual parts of their bodies inshame (Gen. 3:7). Why did they cover their sexual parts? If Adam and Eve had sinnedwith their mouths by eating a literal fruit, they would have covered their mouths inshame. The Bible, in Job 31:33, says: "I have concealed my transgressions like Adam byhiding my iniquity in my bosom." These verses indicate that the sin of Adam and Eve -eating the fruit - was committed with their sexual parts. This means that it involved asexual act.Who participated in this sexual act? A serpent spoke to Eve and tricked her. Was theserpent a real snake or is it a symbol of something else? Having intelligence and theability to communicate with humans, it must have been a spiritual creature, not ananimal. It is traditionally understood that the serpent was the archangel Lucifer, who fellfrom heaven and became Satan (Jude 6-7; Isa. 14:12). Reverend Moon elucidated thatthe original sin was first, an unprincipled act of love between Lucifer and Eve, andsecond, a premature act of love between Eve and Adam.Humanitys Inherent DiseaseThrough the fall, Adam and Eve, the first human ancestors, lost their purity and acquiredan inclination toward selfishness which they passed on like a hereditary disease to theirchildren. The consequences were tragic: Abel could not share Gods blessing with hiselder brother, and Cains jealousy led to the first murder in human history. This was thebeginning of a cycle of hatred and violence that has continued to this day.The original fall of man was actually the distortion and destruction of true love. True lovefor the sake of others was meant to be the very center of human life and the essence ofthe kingdom of Heaven on earth. Instead, selfish love has become the way of human lifeand has created a kingdom of hell on earth. Sexual relations were to be the mostbeautiful and holy expression of the eternal love between a husband and wife. Sadlymany people think that love is sex and thereby reduce both to a purely physical act.Whereas sexuality can be truly fulfilled only through the sacred relationship of marriage,today love has been so distorted that sex has become a casual recreation. Because ofthe misuse of sexual intimacy, celibacy has been practiced in various religions as ameans to come closer to God.The degradation of sexuality has always been a tragic phenomenon in human society,but the problem has perhaps never been so acute as in our modern age. Today, whileparents, teachers and religious leaders may strive to instill the value of sexualabstinence in young people, they have to contend with the formidable influence of thecommercial entertainment industry, which often relies on sexual themes and images inorder to sell its wares.4. The Hidden Dimension of HistoryThe mystery of why God did not intervene to prevent the fall is connected with theprinciple of human freedom. God has given humankind the gift of freedom so that wecan respond to Him in love. Freedom brings with it responsibility. God gave humanbeings a portion of responsibility which is ours alone to fulfill.
    • Some people think that God controls human history. But, in fact, progress in humanhistory is dependent upon us fulfilling our portion of responsibility. Gods grace is foreverbeckoning; Gods heart longs to save all His children. But as it is we who fell away fromGod, there is a certain foundation which is ours alone to lay. The record of the Biblereveals that history has purpose and direction. The purpose driving history is to reversethe sin of the original family, and thus create the foundation to receive the Messiah. Thegoal of history is to purify human love, making possible Gods ideal world of joy. To dothis, God sends the Messiah, who is to solve the sin of the original family and establishthe model of true love. Careful preparation is needed if the Messiah is to find a receptiveenvironment in which to accomplish his task. The direction of history is to prepare afoundation for the Messiah. We call this hidden dimension of history "the providence ofrestoration."The Providence of RestorationGod wanted to send the Messiah in Adams family. To lay a foundation, He had Adamstwo sons, Cain and Abel, make offerings (as a foundation of faith in God). He desiredthat Cain respect and love his younger brother Abel. This would restore the proper orderof love which was lost when the archangel Lucifer, the elder, came through the fall todominate Adam, the younger. Cain and Abel would have established a substantialfoundation of love in their family. Their foundation could then have been extended toEve and eventually to Adam. But in what was the first murder in human history, Cainkilled Abel, imitating Lucifers destruction of Adam.It was many generations before God again found a righteous man whose family could beentrusted with the task of reversing the failure in Adams family. This man was Noah. Heestablished a foundation of faith by obeying Gods order to build the ark. However,Noahs second son, Ham, instead of being loyal to his exemplary father, showed ajudgmental attitude and a feeling of shame towards him. Because of this disunity, Godsprovidence to send the Messiah was again postponed.After 400 years, God called Abraham to separate from his fallen environment, the city ofUr, and become a wanderer in the wilderness. Abraham demonstrated absolute faith byobeying Gods order to sacrifice his son Isaac. Isaac himself reversed the failure of Hamby completely uniting with his father and willingly offering his life as a sacrifice.Jacob, Isaacs younger son, worked with his mother, Rebekah, and achievedreconciliation with his elder brother Esau, even though the latter had sworn to kill him.With this victory, God renamed Jacob "Israel" and raised the chosen people from Jacobslineage. By bringing an end to the resentment of Esau (who, as the elder, was in theposition of Cain), Jacob set the pattern for the subjugation of Satan and the restorationof Gods dominion of love. God thereby chose the descendants of Jacob, who came toconstitute a lineage embodying, to a relative degree, the heavenly tradition of self-sacrifice and life for the sake of others.God then began His dispensation to establish the national foundation for the Messiah.God guided the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He gave themthe law and sent numerous prophets to guide them. He revealed to Israel that one dayHe would send the Messiah who would inaugurate a new age of peace and justice. Israelbegan to long for the Messiah to come.
    • Preparation to Receive the MessiahJesus Christ came upon the 2,000 year Israelite history to establish the kingdom ofHeaven on earth. Furthermore, God had carefully prepared for the worldwide expansionof Jesus ministry. Prior to Jesus, the great empire of Rome was established, with anextensive network of trade routes. The Roman Empire expanded far and wide, touchingmost other advanced civilizations.God also prepared the world internally for the coming of the Messiah. In India, GautamaBuddha rejected worldly comfort and sought the true way of life. From his example andteaching developed Buddhism, which became one of the most influential religions in theOrient. At the same time in China, Confucius appeared, teaching a highly developedethical humanism. Concurrently, in Greece, the great classical philosophers Socrates,Plato and Aristotle strove to establish a standard of human ethics.In these and other ways, God set the stage for the establishment of His kingdom onearth, about which Jesus so often spoke. Beginning with Israel, Gods kingdom couldhave spread throughout the world. Jesus was to resolve on earth the sin of man andcreate ideal families in which Gods love could dwell. Through such families Jesus couldhave established a world of true love. The three blessings promised in the Garden ofEden would have been realized. Gods purpose has never changed.However, prophets also foretold that without the Israelites faith, the Messiah would beforced to endure suffering and misery (Isa. 53). To prevent this outcome, God sent Johnthe Baptist, who came to "make straight the way for the Lord." John lived an ascetic,exemplary lifestyle and was respected throughout Israel. John testified to Jesus at theJordan River. However, he failed to follow Jesus, and later even doubted that Jesus wasthe Messiah (Matt. 11, John 1). Jesus plea from the beginning of his ministry was forpeople to "believe in him whom God had sent.""And when he saw the city he wept over it, saying, "Would that even today you knewthe things that make for peace! But they are hid from your eyes."" Luke 19:41-42Jesus did everything he could to convince the people that he was the son of God.Nevertheless, they refused to believe in him. Of course, if the people had understoodwho Jesus was, they never would have persecuted or rejected him. As the apostle Paulsaid, "None of the rulers of this age understood this [the importance of Jesus]; for ifthey had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory" (1 Cor. 2:8). ReverendMoons discovery of this biblical truth came with hours of tears. No one has wept morefor the suffering of Jesus Christ.Spiritual Salvation through the CrossWhen it became clear that the people would not accept him as the Messiah, Jesus knewthere was no other way left to bring salvation than by sacrificing his life on the cross.Even unto death, he loved and forgave the people who had rejected him. In thisextraordinary act of sacrificial love, Jesus unleashed Gods power of resurrection.Ascending to the right hand of God, he created a realm of spiritual salvation for all whofollow him.
    • Jesus life and his supreme sacrifice are a testimony to the power of true, sacrificial love.Until Jesus came, the popular belief was that injustice should be punished or avenged inkind an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Jesus showed, however, that God is not aGod of vengeance, but that He is our parent who loves His children despite their sins.Yet humankind must still await the Lord of the Second Advent, who comes to eliminatesin altogether and finally establish Gods kingdom on the earth.Christs Return and the Achievement of Lasting World PeaceFollowing Jesus death and resurrection, God began to work through the Christians asthe second Israel, to prepare for the second coming of the Messiah. For the next fourcenturies, Christians suffered, as had the Israelites in Egypt. Many were boiled in oil, fedto lions or burned alive. Despite this severe persecution, the Christians did not abandontheir faith. On the contrary, their faith deepened and they became dedicated believerscommitted to spreading Jesus teachings.For 2,000 years Christianity went through a historical course parallel to the 2,000 yearhistory of biblical Israel. Today the cycle is complete and Christian history has reachedits consummation. But Christian civilization is now collapsing. Why? Many Christiansbelieve that the present time is the time of the second coming of Christ, when God willact decisively once again. Will the second coming be on the clouds? Clearly not.Because Adam and Eve did not fulfill Gods ideal, and because Jesus was prevented frombringing Gods kingdom on earth (as a result of being rejected by his contemporaries),the Messiah will come again as the physical third Adam to complete Jesus task. Sincethe Messiah is to be the example of perfected individuality- thereby fulfilling the firstblessing - he must be born on earth, as were Adam and Jesus. To fulfill the secondblessing, he must marry, and establish an ideal family with his bride. He must also, in apractical way, guide humanity in overcoming the conflicts between nations, races,religions and cultures, finally bringing about a world of lasting peace.The third Adam will come to speak clearly and plainly of the truth, liberating all menfrom suffering and ignorance and realizing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Hisfundamental motivation, however, is to liberate the suffering heart of God.The Divine Principle teaches that the Lord of the Second Advent was born around 1920in Korea. But as with Jesus 2,000 years ago, he can expect to meet persecution andmisunderstanding. In fact, Jesus himself warned of this when he asked: "When the Sonof man comes, will he find faith on earth?"