Unification News for June 2003
Rome-Israel Pilgrimage - Rev. George Williams
by Rev. Tim Henning
Saturday, May 31st, the ACLC prayer breakfast in San Diego hosted sixteen ministers for a presentation of the topics "From the Cross to the Crown" and "Testimonies of the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land". Rev. Williams shared his testimony following a 70-slide overview of the trip. He related how the Holy Spirit had led him to make some realizations during the trip.
Rev. Williams reflected on the power and glory of the historical church demonstrated in the art and architecture of the Vatican. What was the power of the Church then? How does it compare with the Church today? The power of the Church is to be love, life changing, world changing love. Paul from his prison conquered Rome through letters of love, testifying to his experience with Christ. America, Rev. Williams said, is the Rome of today. Does the Church have the power to impact America as Rome was impacted?
Christianity of that time was united, "holding all things in common". But there was no easy course. Each of the first six chapters of the book of Acts outlines another persecution. Persecution in martyrdom, in division, in cheating, etc. The way of God's Church is nearly always to bear the brunt of attack and persecution.
Rome destroyed Jerusalem and overran even Masada, but it couldn't destroy the Church. In Qumran the scrolls survived; a testimony to the spirit of commitment of those people to their faith. The level of commitment to the faith of orthodox Jews even today is impressive. Christians today may claim to know more about Jesus, but what of their commitment to the way of faith? Israel is now as ever the chosen people of God. If you doubt that, read the book of Romans. We Christians are also a chosen people--though not descendants of Abraham -- like the Jews, the true Church is of those who are called to be a "peculiar people". Those with a ministry of reconciliation (2Cor.5:19). "Ecclesia" the NT word for the Church means literally to be "called out".
Let us not be part of the secular viewpoint that's quick to pass judgment on religious people. Let us not join the ranks of those persecuting Rev. and Mrs. Moon who stand for peace. Ephesians 4:1-4 calls us to be honoring one another making "every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit." I want to thank Rev. and Mrs. Moon and the leadership of the ACLC for their vision of unity that led to this pilgrimage being such a success. My effort to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" will be standing with the ACLC.
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