Unification News for November 1999
Divine Principle Volume 3 Part 11
One doctrine bearing the scars of centuries of debate and controversy within the Christian faith is that of the Trinity. Although Trinitarian speculations were hardly at the center of Jesus' message, the Christian Church of the fourth and fifth centuries found such concerns to be crucial.
Church councils were held at Nicea in 305 A.D. and Chalcedon in 451 A.D. to define how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were the same Being and yet different. To explain it, the Church Fathers borrowed complicated concepts from Greek philosophy and beat down all objections to them. Today, Church historians recognize that the political maneuvering occurring at such councils would far out do most any Machiavellian scheming at a modern-day political convention. It is quite a remarkable narrative.
Let us look at the Trinity from the point of view of the Principle. It is commonly recognized that if the Fall of man had not occurred, God would not have needed Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the salvation of man. If Adam and Eve had perfected themselves as God's son and daughter, each becoming an embodiment of God's character, they would have been "...perfect as (their) Heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt. 5:48) and they would have attained the ideal of union with God in heart. (Jn. 14:20)
As God's true son and daughter, Adam and Eve could also have become true husband and wife, centered on God. If they had achieved all this, becoming the True Parents of humankind, together with God they would have formed the original Trinity, a Trinity centered on God's love and ideal.
However, because of the Fall, Adam and Eve became the false parents of man. We may say they formed a Trinity but it was centered on Satan. As a result, since God is still determined to fulfill the purpose of the creation, He called Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the second Adam and second Eve. Together with God they form a spiritual Trinity in the place of Adam and Eve.
As we have suggested, in establishing the spiritual Trinity centered on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit accomplished only the mission of the spiritual True Parents. For this reason, the Second Coming became necessary.
The purpose of the Lord of the Second Coming is thus to marry and establish the Trinity both spiritually and physically. Reflecting this fact, the Book of Revelation intimates a divine marriage at the close of the age. This is the Marriage of the Lamb, the marriage of True Adam and True Eve, and event which Divine Principle promises will hold great hope for all humanity.
"Let us rejoice and exult and give (God) the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready...(Rev. 19.7)
Although it has the support of much of modern scholarship, the Divine Principle assertion that Jesus' primary intention was other than the crucifixion departs from much traditional belief. Certainly for some, the Divine Principle revelation will be seen as heresy.
Nevertheless, one need not look far to realize that new understanding is needed. There is widespread agreement that if Christianity is to remain relevant to the modern world it must reinterpret its message in the light of intellectual, cultural and political changes going on all about us.
When in the 1960s certain theologians like Thomas J. Altizer of Emory University shocked everybody by announcing that "God is dead," they meant in part that the old theology had become completely irrelevant for modern man. Certainly the spiritual illness' of contemporary society--divorce, crime, drug abuse and the like--are hardly being adequately addressed by conventional teaching.
Nor have the assertions of traditional Christian thought been sufficient to avoid the rise of such pernicious secular religions as fascism and communism. Something different, something new, is required if the void is to be filled and Christian religion is to make a positive contribution toward a new, progressive civilization.
A well-known representation of Christ within the Roman Catholic faith depicts the "sacred heart of Jesus." The image shows him with his heart exposed, penetrated by an arrow and bleeding. It suggests that out of his love for humanity Jesus is bleeding, bleeding for the sin of man, bleeding for the pain of the world. He had come to relieve that pain, to lead the world back to God, but he was tragically rejected. His heart, and God's heart, will bleed until the time when the wheel of history leads mankind to full salvation in a restored Kingdom of God on earth.
Before such a day could ever be realized, of course, some people anticipate the "end of the world." Certainly a number of prophetic utterances in both Old and New Testaments indicate such an event will occur. We hear of the "sun being darkened," of the "stars falling from heaven," and of "a new heaven and a new earth." What do they mean? Are they relevant to us today?
Also, it has been said by many that we are now living in a new age in history. It is an age of vast change, of global interdependence, of cultural convergence. It is an age when man can truly reach to the stars, or destroy himself with the weapons of his own making. It is an age when the most dire prophecies of the bible could come to pass, or its brightest promises fulfilled. Which will it be?
The next section of the Home Study Course, Consummation of Human History, examines the meaning of the Biblical prophecy in light of God's ultimate goals in history, and looks at our modern age in terms of God's historical providence. Ultimately, Divine Principle promises a bright future for humanity.
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