Unification News for October 1998
What’s Going On?
Rev. Jim Stephens-Bloomington, IL 61704
This opinion piece was first published in Bloomington’s The Pantagraph, under the title "From the Pulpit" in the "Beliefs and Values" section.
Princess Diana. People couldn't get enough of it. Further back it was the O. J. Simpson trial. We studied every minute detail. It took over daytime television. There was the bombing in Oklahoma City, the cult in Waco, Texas, and children murdering their classmates and teachers. Several years ago there was the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas fascination. There have been numerous natural disasters: hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. Disaster movies are everywhere: twisters, volcanoes, invasions from outer space, and comets destroying civilization.
What's going on here? Could this be the "last days" described in symbolic terms in the Bible? How come these particular things "captivated the nation"? What is the effect that they are having on the "national psyche"? And why?
In the Bible we see that God sends warnings to His children through symbolism and prophetic messages. Could it be that the captivation that we experience with a movie like the Titanic is because there is a message there that God is trying to send over? We are fascinated beyond ourselves by a strange force we don't understand. Perhaps the people in the creative arts are picking up on a theme from God.
The Bible talks about "the sun and the moon will be darkened and the stars will fall from heaven." In Gen. 37:9-10 it shows the sun, moon and stars symbolize the father, mother and brothers. Who are your father, mother and brothers in our society whose lights will go out and who will fall down?
Like the unsinkable Titanic, the whole world around us used to be unsinkable and worthy of our absolute faith. Nothing could happen. The future was glorious. Everything was going to be all right. On the Titanic that's what they were thinking too. It was unsinkable. But against all common sense, it turned out that it was sinkable. We, too, go blissfully about our daily lives assuming that our world is unsinkable.
Yet somehow don't you have a nagging feeling in your subconscious that it could all fall apart tomorrow? Are we as Americans beginning to feel that the end may be near for our great nation? Is this message of impending doom the one that God is trying to send you?
Science and technology were once infallible gods leading us into a glorious, unsinkable future. But now fast approaching is the Year 2000 Computer Bug, just two missing digits that some say threaten to bring down banks, financial markets, Social Security, the IRS, our local utilities and who knows what else. It will be at least a big expensive inconvenience and maybe a total devastation of our whole existence, depending on who you talk to.
Our political system was the most perfect system of government ever devised in human history. We thought it was unsinkable. You're probably wondering now if it will survive our current leaders.
The American system of justice and equality for all was the envy of the world. It could never sink, right? We could always depend on it, right? Is that what you think now after watching the O. J. Simpson trial?
How about your workplace? Ever since Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas there has been tension in the air wherever men and women are working together. Say the wrong thing and your career could be ruined in minutes.
Many people are looking for a "messiah" figure and worship at the altar of various celebrities expecting them to lead the way to true happiness.
Where can you go to be safe? Is there any big city or small town that could not be touched by some disaster tomorrow? Tornadoes, floods, bombs, and children murdering other children at school.
Our schools used to be safe. Not any more. We parents now have to fear for our children's safety. We also have to fear for their minds and futures. We recently learned that American kids rank 19th in Math and 16th in Science out of 41 countries, not counting Asian countries. And it's not going up.
In the back of your mind you are probably thinking, "I don't have to worry. It'll happen to somebody else, not me. I'll be OK." Well, you're probably right. It'll probably happen to someone else. But remember to buy insurance anyway.
Right now Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, wife of our founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, is on a very prophetic worldwide speaking tour for the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. The basic point she is telling everyone is to pray and study truth for an hour every morning. It doesn't matter so much what your faith and religion are, just study it. Or choose some form of faith, truth and inspiration to study.
It's well documented that faith alone, above everything else, provides you with a lifeboat in sinking situations.
Mrs. Moon is also encouraging (actually admonishing) people to study the words of her husband. She believes, as I do, that he is a prophet sent from God with a message for us. His message explains what God is doing in the world and what God wants us to do. It also explains what is going to happen. You can choose not to believe this message but you owe it to yourself to find out what it is. Write me at P. O. Box 1802, Bloomington, IL, 61702.
Don't go down with the ship!
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