Unification News for April 2003
Who is Reverend Sun Myung Moon?
Dr. Chang Shik Yang
Welcoming Remarks at the Special Seminars for Clergy on the Divine Principle
This seminar has been organized by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, in response to the many questions, suggestions and realizations that have been voiced by our closest and most stalwart supporters in America. The purpose of this gathering is not to convert you from one religion or denomination to another. It is to allow each of us to consider more deeply than before, what is the root from which this work has come? What is the vision that inspired our founder to gather clergy from all denominations, to commit incredible manpower and resources to rebuilding the family, reconciling races and breaking down the barriers that divide the peoples of the world? What drives Reverend Sun Myung Moon?
Each of us has been called by God for our own unique mission, and we have spent most our lives following that calling. Some of us have crossed paths with Father Moon only a few months ago. Most of us have known and worked with him for years. But we can all see that he has a special calling, and a mission that has led him to reach out and touch the entire world on a level that few, if any, ever reach.
He began in the simplest of circumstances, the humble son of a farmer in a distant, forgotten land. He grew up amidst severe oppression, under the cruel occupation of a foreign power. In his youth he was a passionate and prayerful Christian. He was a great Sunday school teacher. The Lord called and anointed him at the tender age of sixteen, and during the tragic and miserable days of the Second World War, he prepared himself for his mission with endless tears in prayer.
His ministry challenged conventional and traditional thinking, and threatened established authority. He was arrested by communist authorities who opposed religion, beaten, tortured, and sent to a concentration camp to be broken or to die. Altogether he was imprisoned six times in several countries, including the United States of America. His first church was built from mud and cardboard. His first followers in war-torn Korea laughed when he spoke of a movement that one day would touch every race and nation, and unite people of all faiths.
No matter what the obstacle, he confronted it and overcame it. His work now touches 190 countries, and virtually every realm of human endeavor. Father Moon has founded dozens of papers such as the Washington Times and the UPI wire service in North America, South America, the Middle East, Asia, and so on. Father Moon has established organizations in all aspects of human endeavor, the religions, sciences, education, arts, humanities and athletics.
Father Moon is building an international network of educational institutions, from preschool to graduate school; ocean enterprises, fishing and shipbuilding, sports, soccer teams and a new international Olympics; the World Association of Non Governmental Organizations (WANGO); I could go on and on.
But as one of our ACLC founders has often said, the measure of a man is not just what he has done, but what he has inspired others to do. When we think of the millions of couples around the world who have married beyond race and religion, specifically to heal the world, or the millions of dollars invested in bringing people together beyond these barriers, it is truly remarkable. What everyone comes to recognize, even those who oppose the movement, is the wonderful heart and uncommon dedication of those who have been called to work with Father and Mother Moon. Many of us are in this room today simply because of one or two such remarkable, sincere people.
All of these accomplishments have been achieved not by building on the foundation of an established denomination or existing institution. They were built from nothing, and carried out under severe persecution and opposition. But Father Moon cannot be measured or understood by external accomplishments. I only mention them because all these fruits of the movement arose from Father Moon's deep and special understanding of God's heart and God's will for the world. What did Jesus really ask of him? What is it that Heavenly Father has shown him, and how can we be edified by it?
Father Moon is an extraordinary, unfathomable and mysterious person with a profound relationship with God. In my thirty-three years of following him, I have witnessed so many special moments, shared so much laughter and tears, some of which I hope to share with you during this week. But his deepest insights are embodied in the teaching of Divine Principle, and this will be our topic of study during these few days. There will be time for discussion, and questions and answers, but I recommend that you not worry about theological debates, or who is right or wrong. Father Moon's desire is certainly that you continue in your ministry. But let us simply seek a deeper answer to the question, "Who is Reverend Moon, and what drives him to do what he does?"
Recently, inspirations and revelations have been received from the Spirit World, testifying to the meaning of this ministry and the mission of its founder. These messages have inspired some, and challenged others. But one thing we should understand is that the opening of the heavenly realms is but another sign of the Last Days, together with the wars and rumors of wars, the terrorism, the calamities and natural disasters that we see increasing all around us every day. Acts 2:17 promised, "In the Last Days I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh, your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams."
We are the generation that is living in the time of the Last Days. And as religious leaders we are deeply responsible to help guide the people of God across the troubled waters of this difficult time. For each of us, it is truly a "great and terrible day." We should each carefully consider what God is asking of us. None of us crossed paths with Father Moon by accident. We are gathered here for a reason.
I promise you, as we study together this week, the real, deeper question is not, "who is Reverend Moon and what is his mission," but "who am I, and what is my mission?" It is not simply about the Messiahship of Father Moon, but the Messiahship of each and every one of us. We must not just understand Father and Mother Moon as True Parents, but how can I become a true husband or wife, a true father or mother, and a true son or daughter of God. We must consider what it means, as the scriptures say, to be about the "greater works." What are the things that Jesus promised we would do, that are even greater than what he did?
I look forward to spending these coming days with you in pursuit of the answer to these questions. This retreat is a great place to be for this purpose. We have serious work to do during the next few days. There will be moments for relaxation and enjoyment, but the schedule is a demanding one. Please remember all that Father and Mother Moon have invested in each of us, and let us in turn invest ourselves fully.
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