True Parents and Our Responsibility (Part 1)
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
December 27, 1981
Translator: Bo Hi Pak
Only those of us in the Unification Church use the terminology “True Parents.” If we did not have this terminology, we would probably not experience so much persecution. Society rejects the unity you have with True Parents. Of course, if True Parents were not here, there would be no Unification Church and you would not be here either.
If the Unification Church originates with True Parents, where do the True Parents come from? Today we must clearly understand the origin of the term “True Parents.” Who is Reverend Moon? An ordinary definition would be that Reverend Moon is simply a Korean leading a religious movement. Many Westerners reject the notion of a religious leader coming here from the Orient; they feel they don’t need such a thing. This subconscious rejection is truly a problem.
The center of Western civilization is basically Judeo-Christian. Where did Christianity originate? It began with Jesus Christ, who came from the Middle East. Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire wanted nothing to do with Jesus Christ. He was described as an Asian and a Jew, and the Romans certainly didn’t feel any need for such a religious leader. They could not understand that God sent him.
Looking back further, let us consider Moses, who began the Jewish religion. The Jewish faith originated in the Middle East. Jacob’s descendants, the Israelites, were the race upon which the Jewish religion was founded. People seldom realize that God was the true origin of Judaism and Christianity. They usually look at the superficial aspects of religion, without investigating the core. When we compare Judaism, Christianity, and the Unification Church, we find many resemblances. In fact, those who look at them externally may wonder what the differences are.
People seldom realize that God’s dispensation develops step by step. A religion begins on a small base and expands to the largest scale, the universal scale. The religion, which Jacob began, was comparable to a family-level religion. Moses founded a tribal religion. Jesus was the originator of a national-level religion. Now the Unification Church has come as a religion on the worldwide level. God has been building upon the same foundation, but always expanding His work through the birth of each of these religions. Sometimes people say we are boasting by calling the Unification Church the highest level religion. However, the truth is that no matter what we claim, unless God is actively participating in our religion, it will never succeed.
There are several levels of schooling in the American educational system: elementary, middle school, high school, and university. Some students might claim that their elementary school is the best in the country and later, when they go to middle or high school, also feel they are attending the best one. Such students, however, have no frame of reference beyond their own school; they are confined within it. Someone observing the overall scheme of education realizes that no level of schooling is complete in itself, but is merely one step in the process of education.
No one can say that the knowledge he gained in elementary school was unnecessary. Without the training you received there, you would never have learned the alphabet! No matter how far you go in the educational system, you rely upon the learning you gained from all previous levels of schooling. When people begin their education, they embark upon a long process, which for some will culminate in advanced degrees. By the same token, when God began His process of religion for mankind, His desire was to carry that process to the ultimate goal.
Some people might think they don’t need the educational system. They want to enjoy “freedom” on all levels and still reach the university level some day — all on their own terms. But the only point at which a person can enjoy true freedom from the educational process is when he completes the highest level for his field and is ready to embark upon his career. He cannot indulge in random “freedom” in order to reach that highest level of learning; he must work at it.
The Use and Abuse of Freedom
What is freedom? The Western world today is intoxicated by the concept of freedom, but in reality, freedom is abused everywhere. People don’t want to be bothered with the process of gaining true freedom; they want total freedom now. If a nation or society wishes to enjoy true freedom it must be guided by a certain order and rules. A student must obey the regulations of his school in order to enjoy freedom within that school. The freedom of a society must be sacred and authority must guard it.
If a school principal wished to be exempt from all the rules and regulations of the school, he would not be a true representative of authority. If he were to go out and get drunk, forgetting his school responsibilities, the students and teachers under him would never respect him. When freedom is abused and misused, its dignity is lost and disaster is the inevitable result.
Since I am the leader of the Unification Church, can I follow my whims and do anything I wish? Not at all. I must be the first to observe the principles and laws of the Unification Church and God. Only based on such observance can I be a truly free person and maintain authority as a leader. God Himself is guided by the same principle; God created all the laws of the universe, so He must be the first to uphold them. Why do we have rules and laws within the Unification Church? It is because we need a foundation of law and principle in order to consummate freedom.
What figures in history truly fulfilled the meaning of freedom? Only those who lived up to every iota of the law and principle. By laying that kind of groundwork, they could experience true freedom. This applies to the past, present, and future. More than any other being God longs to experience total freedom. With such a desire, He would have to be the first one to observe the laws and principles, which He created — in the past, present, and future.
You must be liberated from any conditions or hooks, which can restrict your freedom. Your life should be clear of any limitations upon your freedom, not only in the present but in the future as well if you are to be a truly free person.
After I have gone to the spirit world, many scholars and authorities will discuss the pros and cons of the philosophy I have taught. Such discussions, however, originate from the limited viewpoints of human beings. The important perspective is God’s. As long as God guides me and sees that my actions conform to universal law, no one will ever be able to accuse or destroy anything I have done.
As one’s level of understanding rises, the regulations, which guided him at an earlier stage, become less important. For example, in a university, the rules, which restrict elementary students, are sometimes disregarded or even totally reversed. As one step in the process is completed, focus shifts to the next one; each level is the foundation for the following one. A student who completes middle school does not return to kindergarten rules; he looks forward to the realm of high school and its rules.
The kindergarten student might protest the actions of a high school student, but that high school student has already fulfilled the requirements of the lower level and is now bound by a higher law. Once you have graduated from a lower level, you are no longer bound by its rules. The person who has risen to the top has already fulfilled all the laws of the lower levels; he is on a higher plateau.
Smoking is forbidden in elementary school, for instance, but when a student goes to the university, there is no prohibition against smoking. Neither is he discouraged from dating; he is invited to proms, parties, and the like. At each level, the laws and regulations vary, and higher levels have the power to embrace lower ones. As you grow, you need each level of rules and regulations in turn, but once you have gone beyond a certain stage, living by the rules of an earlier stage would actually inhibit your growth. Every step along the way is important; you must observe every step.
You may sometimes think, “I want to have total freedom. In fact, I want Father and the Church to follow my desires and my way of life.” Do you think your way is above the Church’s way, or should you follow the Unification Church’s ways and regulations? One of those regulations is to attend 6:00 a.m. Sunday service at Belvedere. You may wonder why we have such a peculiar law. Perhaps you wish we could be a little more “civilized.” This is Christmas weekend; everybody else in the world is resting and enjoying themselves, so you probably want to do the same. We must understand clearly why we observe these rules and regulations.
Freedom, Order, and the Universe
Freedom prospers only upon the strict observance of certain laws. The purpose of freedom is not to destroy order. Young people in America today commonly feel that their parents are old fashioned. They talk a lot about the generation gap. They feel that their parents cannot understand them, so they just push them aside. They also tend to disregard the laws of society. “I am free,” they say, “So I want to do whatever I feel like doing.” However, these are words, which Satan whispers into their ears. Such an attitude is most destructive not only to society and the nation, but also to the person himself.
Some women teachers in the United States have actually been raped by their students. Is this freedom? All kinds of vandalism and destruction to school property have been done in the name of “freedom.” This is most ridiculous and totally offensive to God’s laws and human decency. No one in the Unification Church would ever live like that.
With such abuse of freedom by its citizens, no society or nation can long endure. That is not freedom at all. Anyone who claims such freedom is ignorant of the nature of eternity and the spirit world. The spirit world is a realm of order, discipline, and regulations. That world will reject such a person. Hell in the spirit world is the container for such abusers. There are spaces in hell reserved for those who indulge in such so-called freedom here on earth. This world has many more candidates for hell than for heaven. Is this just my opinion or do you think it is the truth?
The universe, which God created, is characterized by distinct law and order, both vertical and horizontal. There is always upper and lower, right and left, front and rear. If someone’s position is to stand in the rear, he cannot simply say, “I don’t like to stand back here; I want to stand in front.” Somebody has to be in the front and somebody has to be in the rear. There is a certain prescribed order. If someone is designated to stand in front, it is because he has certain qualifications to be there. Likewise, the person in the rear was assigned there for a logical reason, not out of whim. Everybody must strive to gain the highest position possible within the law.
In an elementary school classroom, the shorter children are supposed to sit in front. What if one of the taller boys demanded a front seat, since he is “free”? The only way he could qualify to sit in front would be if he somehow made himself shorter. He must observe this law or regulation because it brings harmony to the whole group. If he sits up front, the smaller boys and girls won’t be able to see the blackboard. Of course, this is simply common sense and most people would see the obvious reason for such a regulation.
Let’s say a certain girl is totally free, running around and disturbing everybody else. She would have to be contained somehow in order to protect the welfare and peace of all the other people around her. If she were allowed to run wild she would destroy the peace of others. This is simple logic. Any society which accepts the abuse of freedom in its midst promotes disorder and will eventually decline. Do you want American society to fall into chaos? Certainly not. Then you must contain the destructive elements that are ruining the health of society. Young people who indulge themselves freely in wild activities are creating their own destiny in the cages of hell.
One day in Washington, D.C., I saw a girl walking around on the street wearing only the bottom of her bikini. She had nothing on top. I’m sure she was thinking, “I’m perfectly free; I’m at liberty to expose myself wherever I desire. So I will wear my topless bikini on the street in broad daylight.” Nobody said anything to her; people were walking by her, trying not to stare. Amazingly, one Oriental man who happened to be Reverend Moon was so disgusted by this that I scolded her and made her feel ashamed. There are two ways to react to such an incident: one person would feel apathetic and say, “I don’t care.” The other person will feel deeply concerned and want to do something to stop it. Which kind of reaction is needed for a healthy society? Certainly the second one. I don’t think that girl will go around in her topless bikini again.
I would like to see all Unification Church members reacting to their surroundings with a strong conscience not being apathetic at all. You must be people who care and who will work to build a healthy society. If a society continues to reject such efforts, it will eventually decline.
The Bible says, “Know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Knowledge and understanding surely result in true freedom. You become a new person when you understand the Principle. You must throw off your old shackles. To become a new person is the true meaning of resurrection. The men and women who observe the divine laws here on earth will enjoy eternal freedom in the spirit world. The person who has observed the law with only 80 percent seriousness will go to a spirit world that is only 80 percent Heaven; 60 percent seriousness will result in 60 percent Heaven. But the person who observes 100 percent of the law will enjoy 100 percent of Heaven’s freedom.
Living the Principle here on earth is not easy, but the more a person strives to live by the Principle, the greater and more abundant the freedom he will enjoy in spirit world. The person, who leads an easy, lazy life here on earth will go to the lower realms in spirit world, or even down to hell. Hell is a necessity because there must be some receptacle for human trash. The law of cause and effect always operates. In the spirit world you reap the effect of whatever you have done here on earth. I would very much like to talk with you about the spirit world, but we are on a different subject today.
The Current State of the U.S.A.
Any group, organization, or society has its own laws or creeds. The person who is the most serious about observing those laws will always be elevated to the leadership of his group. However, the one who merely follows his whims and emotions will never be elevated or revered by any society. There are so many elements within American society that tempt and entice people to abuse their freedoms. Giving in to these temptations will ultimately send people to hell. It is heartbreaking to see an environment, which encourages people to go only to hell, not to Heaven. It is a society, which sells tickets to hell.
The United States can only decline if such abuse of freedom continues. The entire world will contribute to America’s destruction. From the standpoint of God, this is a crisis situation. God’s emergency measure was to send Reverend Moon to America to turn around its moral climate in the other direction. When I first came here ten years ago, I declared that the United States would decline if it continued the way it was going. Everybody here concluded that I was ignorant of America; they considered the United States a great place and thought it would never decline.
U.S.A. is a God-given name. It begins with U, meaning “you” first, instead of “me”; S sounds like “yes”; and A is the first letter of the alphabet. The American people are first-class citizens of the world; they are number-one people. This is not bad, but because they have twisted their position to believe that they can do whatever they feel like, the effect is bad. God wants the American people to be number one in terms of living up to His expectation, in terms of obeying the laws of the Bible and adhering to God’s principles. This is the standard to be number one. If you can say yes to this way, that is great.
The laws of cause and effect states that you will harvest whatever you sow. If you read the speeches I gave ten years ago, you realize that my predictions were correct.
The members of the Unification Church have been commissioned to clean up this American society — using spiritual cleaning powder! When young people enter the Unification Church, they encounter a disciplined training program that allows them to turn their way of life around. Do you want to embrace this training and take on a tougher course than even the Japanese and Koreans — or do you want me to give you an easier way since this is the United States?
I have been criticized many times, even among our members, for doing things the “Korean way.” I tell you, the Korean way is not the heavenly way; therefore, what I am teaching is not the Korean way. I am not even promoting the Oriental way. The heavenly way is much harder and far more difficult than any Korean or Oriental way. Because our way is more difficult, even Korean and Japanese members fall away from the path. Of course, the ratios vary somewhat in the different countries. More people have fallen away in the United States than in Japan, and even fewer have fallen away in Korea. However, the same principle applies. The Korean people have experienced a history of suffering, so they have a built-in enduring power. Thus they are better able to persevere in this course.
In the Last Days, the winners will be those who can persevere and endure. Certainly Korea’s long history of suffering has enabled its people to endure this time better. My entire life has been one of persecution by societies and nations. There is one word that could be used to describe me: tough. Also, I have the power of endurance and perseverance. Even though I face a mountain of opposition day after day, I never dodge it; I always confront it head on. Right now we are facing a mountain of opposition from the U.S. government and from international communism. I will stand firm and fight until we make the breakthrough.
I am sure that whether they accept me or not, the world will eventually realize that Reverend Moon is a man who suffered for God and His cause. I will certainly be known as a man who was never timid about speaking out for God. Regardless of his race, every person will eventually recognize that I am extraordinary in that respect. My determination is to rise from hell into heaven. I may live and fight in hell throughout my entire life on this earth, but I will never give up. This is one reason why the Unification Church and Reverend Moon are controversial. I accept that.
I Did Not Come to Pat People on the Back
I came to stir up debate and ignite a fire. I certainly did not come to pat people on the back. I am a controversy in both worlds. Satan certainly is in an uproar because of me. Even God feels I am quite a controversy at times!
Why has God declared such an emergency? Because I have been fighting so hard and have stirred up Satan and his forces so much, God has to help me out! Do you think God knows me well? Does Satan know me well too? I am well known both in Heaven and hell!
Who is encouraging my actions? Certainly not Satan. God and heavenly people are inspiring me. I have been living in hell, but my supporters are God and heavenly people. When a society gives its greatest opposition to godly people is it closer to Heaven or to hell? By this criterion, American society is closer to a hellish standard.
It is only logical for us to resolve to turn American society around and save it. Do you agree with this? The United States has strongly opposed me, so what do you feel you should do in response? You know that you should turn this negativity into positivity. How many people are in this room today? You are a tiny number compared to the 240 million people in this country and the vast majority of them oppose the things we say and do. So is our course an easy one?
You are receiving training in your daily life to enable you to avoid danger. You women especially must be able to protect yourselves in case someone tries to attack you. You must be able to sense the atmosphere around you and judge when danger is near. Of course, you should not walk alone but have a partner. It would be good to learn karate, too.
This is the final Sunday of 1981. We should prepare to meet 1982.
As a result of God sending the True Parents, you are members of the Unification Church. How do you know that True Parents did not come from Satan? In the Principle you have a dependable yardstick to measure good and evil; understanding it thoroughly will enable you to distinguish clearly whether a person is good or evil.
I have certainly given you many hardships to endure. My only intention in doing so, however, was to enable you to go anywhere and not only survive but be victorious. I want to make each of you part of God’s elite corps of champions, the top one percent. Would you be satisfied somewhere at the bottom of the list?