Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity
By Rick Branch
Founder: Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Founding Date: 1954
Scripture: Divine Principle
Official Publications: The Unification News is a monthly newspaper. They also publish a monthly magazine called Insight. While not an official publication of the Unification Church, the Church does own and operate the Washington Times, located in Washington, D.C. Today's World is a monthly magazine.
Organizational Structure: Rev. Moon is the international leader for the Unification Church.
Unique Terms: Moon is sometimes referred to as Lord of the Second Advent by his followers. The Lord of the Second Advent is a person who will fulfill Jesus' mission. Followers are often called Moonies.
Other Names: Commonly called the Unification Church.
Born in North Korea in 1920, Moon claims 16 years later to have seen a vision of Jesus in 1936 on Easter morning. In this vision Jesus told Moon either "to restore God's perfect kingdom" or that Moon would be "the completer of man's salvation by being the Second Coming of Christ" (Sun Myung Moon and The Unification Church, James Bjornstad, p. 9) There seems to be some discrepancy on the actual message. Regardless of the precise wording, this first vision would be followed by communications with "Moses, Buddha, and others" (The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions, Keith Crim, editor, p. 775).
In 1946, Moon established his first church, the Broad Sea Church. He also studied with "Paik Moon Kim, a self-proclaimed messiah" (Encyclopedia of American Religions, Gordon Melton, Vol. 2, p. 226). Some of Kim's teachings, along with "The strong element of messianism found in Korean religion was borrowed by Moon, who cited the Chung Kam Nok, a cult text from the fifteenth or sixteenth century, to support the claim that the messiah will come from Korea" (The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions, p. 776).
The church name was changed in 1954 to the Unification Church. Moon would move to America in 1959 where he established his international headquarters. In 1965 one of the most interesting events in Moon's life took place. He had a sitting with famed Spirit Medium Arthur Ford. At this seance, Moon was given information by Fletcher, Ford's spirit guide, concerning his destiny as a spiritual leader. Present at this Occultic ceremony were Ford, Moon, Bo Hi Pak (a leader in the Unification Church), as well as Miss Kim, Moon's interpreter.
After Ford had gone into a trance, Pak asked, "Could you ask him in connection with the New Age, more specifically, the mission of Our Leader here today?" Fletcher answered, "He is one of those who will be the human instrument through whom the World Teacher will be able to speak. ... The Jesus of Galilee will not return it is not necessary. The Christ who manifested through him is the Eternal he will manifest again. ...But the important thing to remember is that when God wants to make a revelation he has to choose a human instrument.... Sun Myung Moon is the one I have been talking about. I have been speaking for a group of people here. This group seems to surround him. And the power that flows through him, the intelligence, is not just one it is a great group of people. And they seem all to draw their inspiration and their knowledge from One Source and then they seem to pour it symbolically into a pool and in some strange symbolical way that pool becomes Sun Myung Moon."
Fletcher having mentioned revelation, was then asked by Pak, "You are speaking of New Revelation; that means you are speaking of you refer to the Divine Principle brought by Sun Myung Moon?" Fletcher answered, "That's part of it, yes, but even Sun Myung Moon has not exhausted the possibilities of the Divine Mind. He is, and as long as he lives will continue to be, a channel for revelation" (Unknown But Known, pp. 131-139). Because of Moons' many encounters with the spirit realm, his doctrines are extremely anti-Christian.
In 1972, the Unification Church purchased "an $85,000 estate near Tarrytown, New York, as a center for training. The church purchased an additional $620,000 estate as a residence for the Reverend Moon, who had acquired a permanent resident visa" (Encyclopedia of American Religions, p. 226). The Unification Church is one of the wealthiest cults in America today.
The Unification Church has been linked to a variety of associated organizations. Some of these include The American Freedom Coalition, Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP), CAUSA USA, American Leadership Conferences, American Constitution Committee, National Committee Against Religions Bigotry and Racism, Conservative Action Foundation, National Council for Church and Social Action, The Washington Times Corporation, World Media Association, U.S. Property Development Corporation, Atlanta Video, Happy World Inc., as well as numerous others (Washington Post, 15 October 1989).
TRINITY: Young Oon Kim, professor of systematic theology at the Unification Theological Seminary, stated, "Unification theology starts with the fact of polarity as the main clue for understanding the essential nature of God. Hence it is not primarily interested in defending the trinitarian doctrine of the fourth century creeds" (Unification Theology, p. 53).
GOD THE FATHER: "Unification theology asserts that God has both masculine and feminine qualities based on the universal fact of polarity... In the nineteenth century, belief in the Father-Mother God aroused a great amount of criticism. When Ann Lee, Founder of the Shakers, and Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, taught that God has both masculine and feminine qualities, they were often denounced as heretics."
Having said this, Kim goes on to cite similarities between the Unification Church theology of God the Father and the deity concept of I Ching, Confucianism, Taoism and even the Hindu worship of a Mother Goddess. He then writes, "Thus, God must exist in polarity. That is, He must possess within Himself the dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity which are perfectly expressed and fully harmonized in His nature. The doctrine of divine polarity taught by Unification theology should be seen not as an eccentric novelty but rather as a reaffirmation of a valid theological insight" (Ibid., p. 56).
GOD THE SON: As with all non-Christian groups, the Unification Church denies the full deity of Jesus. The Divine Principle explains, "In like manner, Jesus, being one body with God, may be called a second God (image of God), but he can by no means be God Himself" (p. 211). They explain that Jesus real purpose in coming to earth was to establish God's kingdom. This would be done by marrying a perfect woman and having perfect children. However, due to a mistake, Jesus was crucified before this could be accomplished. Thus, he is able to provide only partial salvation. Full salvation would be left to the next Adam or the Lord of the Second Advent.
These ideas are explained in the Unification book, Outline of The Principle: Level 4 when it states, "Death on the cross was not the mission that God had originally intended for Jesus, his Son....Understanding the question of salvation in this light, we can see that Jesus' crucifixion was a secondary course of salvation and provided only spiritual salvation. ...There is no one who has been cleansed of original sin. It is for this reason that the Messiah must appear again on earth, to liquidate our sins completely and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, fulfilling God's Purpose for the Creation" (pp. 81,83).
GOD THE HOLY GHOST: According to Kim "In Unification theology the main point is that the Holy Spirit is not a separate entity, a being different from God the Father. The Holy Spirit simply refers to God's redemptive activity." Further, the Holy Spirit, "...appears feminine, masculine and impersonal. ...Like God Himself, the Spirit is invisible and incorporeal - a bright light or a field of magnetic energy" (Unification Theology, pp. 201-202)
MAN'S DESTINY: According to Moons' theology, man's ultimate destiny is to be married and have a perfect family. This cannot currently be accomplished because Jesus failed to bring about full salvation. However, as Bjornstad observed, "A New Age dawned in 1960: `At that time, the marriage of the lamb prophesied in the 19th chapter of Revelation took place. Thus, the Lord of the Second Advent and His Bride became the True Parents of mankind.' (1960 happens to be the year in which Rev. Moon married his wife Hak-Ja Han). This messiah will establish the perfect family, the task that Jesus never fulfilled. Other perfect families will be formed, which will produce a perfect society that will spread to the entire world" (The Moon Is Not The Son, pp. 62-63).
Through Rev. Moon's mass marriage ceremonies, part of this destiny is being accomplished. These marriages have been announced in publications like the Wall Street Journal, simply because of their size. "More that 25,000 couples from 120 countries will be joined in holy matrimony tomorrow by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church. This wedding will beat the previous record, also held by the Rev. Moon, set in 1988 when 6,516 couples from 83 countries got married in a church-owned barley-cola bottling plant near Seoul" (24 August 1992, p. A-1).
1) Moon recently announced that he is the Lord of the Second Advent. "Father announced the previous evening to the international world-level festival participants that he and Mother are the `Savior, the Lord of the Second Advent, the Messiah'" (Today's World, September 1992, pp. 20-21).
2) The Divine Principle is the major theological work of the Unification Church. However, even it is not the complete truth. "The Divine Principle revealed in this book is only part of the new truth. ...as time goes on, deeper parts of the truth will be continually revealed" (p. 16).
3) In the early years, Rev. Moon was jailed for "adultery and promiscuity." This may have stemmed from his alleged doctrine of salvation through sex. According to Rev. Won II Chei, a Presbyterian pastor in Seoul, Korea. "If we believe those who have gone into this group and come out, they say that one has to receive Sun Myung Moon's blood to receive salvation. That blood is ordinarily received by three periods of sexual intercourse" (Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church, p. 11)
1) The Trinity is biblical, not one that was brought into existence in the fourth century. One God (Isaiah 44:6-8, 45:22, 1 Corinthians 8:4). Father is God (Philippians 2:11, 2 Peter 1:17), Son is God (John 1:1, 10:32, Rev. 1:8), Holy Spirit is God and personal (John 16:13-14, Acts 5:3-4, 13:2).
2) Jesus did not fail in His mission. The crucifixion was not a mistake (John 17:4, 18:37, 19:30, Hebrews 12:2).
3) Salvation is to found only in Jesus, not in another messiah or Lord of the Second Advent (Matthew 7:15, Mark 13:22, Acts 4:12, 1 John 5:11-12).
1) Patterns In The Cults. This cassette tape and documentation guide lists six major cults practicing in America today including the Unification Church. It provides a brief overview of some of the Unification Church's major doctrines as well as being a very effective explanation of how the cults all share common characteristics. $8.
2) Handbook of Today's Religions. Josh McDowell and Don Stewart. This book contains a chapter on the Unification Church in which its history and doctrines are discussed as well as providing a brief biblical refutation. Also section on cults, Occult and world religions. Hard back, 567 pages $20.
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