The Unification Church (Moonies) - Their Teachings in Light of the Bible - Program 3 | John Ankerberg Show

The Unification Church (Moonies) – Their Teachings in Light of the Bible – Program 3

By: The John Ankerberg Show
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By: Rev. Tom McDevitt, Dr. Charles Carpenter, Mr. Thomas Cutts, Dr. Walter Martin, Mr. Jerry Yamamoto; ©1985
Is the Divine Principle actually going to replace the Bible as the book we should follow?

How Do Moonies View the Bible?

Ankerberg: Welcome! Have you ever wondered what the Unification Church is actually teaching; what Mr. Sun Myung Moon has given to his followers? We have representatives of the Unification Church here tonight. Specifically: Rev. Tom McDevitt, a primary spokesman for the church; Dr. Charles Carpenter, a psychotherapist in Atlanta who is not necessarily a part of the church, but is speaking on behalf of the church. Jerry Yamamoto is here, and is an author; and Dr. Walter Martin from the Christian Research Institute.
I’d like to start with a question this week that concerns something that Mr. Moon said. Tom, you helped send out the 300,000 videotapes and booklets. You sent one of those packages to my house, and that’s how this program came about. I thought if you would invite me to investigate, that I would. We’re glad that you’re here tonight. In the Divine Principle I found some interesting things, as well as in The Master Speaks. Here’s something Mr. Moon said that I have a hard time reconciling with the fact of you saying that the Unification Church wants to work with Christianity, because this quote came up. Mr. Moon said, “Until our mission with the Christian church is over, we must quote the Bible and use it to explain the Divine Principle. After we receive the inheritance of the Christian church, we’ll be free to teach without the Bible.” Now, to me that sounds like you are just using the Bible, not because you really believe it but just to get mileage out of it to pull people into the Unification Church.
McDevitt: Let me respond to that, John. I never heard him say that personally. I don’t know where that came from, The Master Speaks…
Ankerberg: I’ll document it for you. The Master Speaks…
McDevitt: What’s the date? Those are all very unofficial, loose translations of Korean into English. I don’t know how many of you speak Korean.
Ankerberg: It’s Master Speaks, March and April, 1965. Master Speaks 7, page one.
McDevitt: Those are not used in any official way within the church. There are very few copies of them. I don’t endorse that statement myself.
Ankerberg: He said it, though.
McDevitt: I don’t necessarily believe that he said it or if it, in other words, that the statement if taken back to Rev. Moon, he would have corrected the translation. The key point is here, when he was a young man, 16, 17, 18 years old, from that time until the time he was 30, he wore out three different Bibles. He loves the Bible. I have been with him in hundreds of situations where he has preached with tears coming out of his eyes, literally, because of his love for Jesus and because of his love for the implementation of the Bible.
The comment that you made, John, about working together with Christians is very important. From the standpoint of the Orthodox Christian thinker, we may not be Christian from that perception. But what’s more important at this point in history is that Christianity and non-Christians—if you would like to define us as non-Christians, that’s up to you, let Jesus and God decide ultimately—we’ve got to work together. The central issue and the central reason why we’ve got to work together is because of the number one problem that God faces today from our viewpoint. That number one problem that faces every one of you is Communism. Why do we have to work together? Because in order for Communism to be stopped, Christianity has to unify.
I’d like to finish with a short quote from one of my favorite authors, Solzhenitsyn. He states here in his speech in London when he received the Templeton Prize in 1983: “What can one say about the lack of unity among various religions if Christianity has itself become so fragmented? In recent years the major Christian churches have taken steps towards reconciliation, but these measures are far too slow. The world is perishing a hundred times more quickly. No one expects the churches to merge or to revise all their doctrines but only to present a common front against atheism. Yet even for such a purpose the steps taken are too slow.”
My view, and the reason why I’ve given 13 years of my life to the Unification movement, which for me is my channel, my ministry to God, to Christ, is that in this day and age we have got to find a solution to Communism and to secular humanism here in the West. It is up to the church to do that. That’s why I follow Rev. Moon, because I see the example that he’s setting. The purpose of the Divine Principle is not to displace Christianity; it’s to help the modern world come to grips with the purpose that God has for us today, and that is the extension of Christianity. We have got to face up to the fact that this nation is the last bastion for freedom in the world.
Dr. Martin is an erudite critic of a number of major religious groups. I pulled out the index to one of his books today just to look at the different religious movements, all of whom have done great work, all of whom do not consider themselves Christian, many of whom are considered by him to be cults. My concern is, when can people like Dr. Martin, with his skills, turn his attention to the greatest enemy of all, which is not another cult or religious group, but Communism? How come you don’t take a stand against Marxist-Leninism?
Ankerberg: Go ahead.
Martin: I was expelled from high school for 48 hours because a Communist teacher took strong exception to my criticisms of Marxism, probably before you were born. I lectured on Marxism with a series of lectures, which are on tape, at least 25 years ago. I have lectured on Communism, dialectical materialism, having taken my Master’s Degree under one of the world’s foremost ex-Communists, Sidney Hook, at New York University. I’m thoroughly conversant with Communism and I spoke on it long before Mr. Moon did, and a lot of other people have, too.
We recognize Communism for what it is. You see, with Communism we don’t have the problem we have with you. With the Communists the flag is up on the pole. It’s “Death to the Christians.” But in the Unification Church, the flag on the pole looks like ours; the language sounds like ours; the quotations appear to be ours; but all the terms have undergone redefinition.
When you talk about the fall of man, you don’t talk about what we mean, you talk about Satan having sexual relations with Eve. When you talk about the Trinity, you redefine the Trinity and change the meaning of the words. So the Father, Son and Holy Spirit become prostituted into a female/male relationship in the end. You deny the deity of Jesus Christ as truly eternal God. You have no respect for the Christian doctrine of redemption fully from all sin. You add Mr. Moon as a Korean export to the United States, born at the time that the Lord of the Second Advent is supposed to come, and you substitute him as the one who is going to complete the plan of salvation begun by Jesus Christ, when on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” It also says in the Scriptures very clearly, “The faith was once for all delivered unto the saints.” [Jude 1:3] Frankly, we don’t need Mr. Moon; we have Jesus Christ. That’s quite sufficient.
McDevitt: That’s fine and dandy, but still…
Martin: And true!
McDevitt: The point is still, Communism has proclaimed “Death to Christianity.” What are you doing about it? What do we have to do…
Martin: I thought I just told you that I’ve been campaigning against it for probably 40 years.
McDevitt: Well, then what’s the biggest enemy in your mind, Dr. Martin, the Unification Church or Communism?
Martin: Satan, whatever form he takes. And the Unification Church is one of them.
McDevitt: Well, if the Unification Church is fighting against Communism, and Communism is the most heinous form of Satanic power on the earth, then how could the Unification Church be fighting against the power of Satan if it’s Satanic? A house divided by…
Ankerberg: I think Jesus answered that question. He said, “Don’t fear those that can kill the body; fear those that can kill eternally.” [Matt. 10:28]
McDevitt: Well, now, anybody who thinks that Communism is something that kills the body typifies the reason why America is about to be taken over.
Martin: It can’t.
McDevitt: Communism is an ideology. It is an ideology that kills the spirit. It is an ideology that uses materialism…
Ankerberg: I’ve got a question for you, too, that might put us back on track. Let’s say that we all agree that Communism is bad. Why should we listen to Mr. Moon’s answer to it? Here’s a question. I’m thinking of the non-Christian, the non-Unification member, non-religious person, listening tonight. You’re saying Mr. Moon has truth. In the beginning of the Divine Principle he claims to have gotten direct revelation from God in talking with Jesus. He’s talked with Buddha. He’s talked with all the great religious leaders and conquered them victoriously, and he has truth.
The question that non-religious people out there might want to have you define is this: How do we know that Rev. Moon is not a man with the following options that might be possible: He could be a man deluded by visions of power and grandeur; or, he could be a fraud, living luxuriously off those foolish enough to follow and support him? I’m sure you’ve heard these things. I don’t want to be cruel, but there are options that people are saying. Or, one deceived by a very clever, evil, supernatural power that the Bible says is Satan. Aren’t these alternative possibilities? And how would you give and marshal evidence to suggest anybody from a non-religious background should believe Mr. Moon is giving us the truth about Communism, Adam and Eve, about Jesus, about the second advent, about sin, about heaven, about the spirit world, any of those topics? Why should we believe Mr. Moon over Jesus Christ or anybody else?
McDevitt: Well, the only way that you could get to the point of believing in Rev. Moon—it’s not Mr. Moon; it’s Rev. Moon, if you would please—the only way you could believe what Rev. Moon is teaching as a revelation, not from his own brain or his own discourse within, but from God, is if you pray, if you study that material, and then you work it in your life and it works and it achieves the results.
What are the results that Rev. Moon is working to achieve in line with God’s providence? The three major problems that God faces: the problem of Communism; the problem of the breakdown of the family or the evilness of adulterous love, the sinfulness of selfish love; and, thirdly, the fragmentation of the Christian church. Jesus never intended, when he sent his twelve disciples out, for each of those twelve disciples to start 70 or 80 different denominations. Our view is taken from our view of God’s providence working today, that Christianity must change. Our heart must repent. We must come together and love one another as Jesus told in the great commandment in John 15. We’ve got to love each other and bind together and practice the gospel of love as a Christian body rather than simply maintain our doctrinal, theological differences. So many different Christian denominations who claim that they are Christians would take issue with Dr. Martin.
Ankerberg: Let’s stick with the question. First of all, of the claims of Sun Myung Moon, why we ought to believe in it, Dr. Martin?
Martin: Well, exactly the point you just made a moment ago, Tom, arguing for Mr. Moon. It is an argument advanced by the Mormon Church, point by point. Family breakdown, the need for the restoration, Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, the Book of Mormon is a revelation of God. Whose authority are we to accept for this? Joseph Smith! How do you find out? Well, you pray about it, just the way you told us to pray about the Divine Principle. You talk to the Mormons, they say the Moonies are a cult.
Ankerberg: And they also say it works.
Martin: Here you have a parallel—if you want your paradigms, there it is—which is identical to what you’ve got. Who’s to tell the truth between the Mormon Church and the Unification Church? Now, the Christian Church says, incidentally, you made reference to my writings and criticism of other people’s religious beliefs. I’m a Professor of Comparative Religions. That’s my job: to analyze other people’s views. To analyze the views does not mean hostility toward the people. I love you for Christ’s sake, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with your theology. And I can be vigorous in disagreement with it. I can disagree with Communism and dialectical materialism as an evil philosophy, but I don’t hate Communists. I want them to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The antagonism the Christian Church has toward the cults, and particularly, I might add, to the Moonies and others in our day, is that you are really not honest when you come out and represent yourself in our homes and in our parking lots and with your literature. You imitate our vocabulary. You deliberately call conferences together to give our people the idea that if we talk long enough about this, we’re going to eventually find out that we all should love each other and we don’t have any disagreements. Well, we can talk from now until purgatory freezes over, and our disagreements are there for everybody to see. They’re going to persist, because Moonies and Mr. Moon are trying to displace Christianity and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Carpenter: Do you believe in purgatory?
Martin: No, it’s just a joke, Doc. You wouldn’t want me to swear on camera, would you?
Ankerberg: I was going to make a point, too. We’ve had the Jehovah’s Witness leaders and the Mormon leaders here, and they also advocated the fact that “it worked.” They called every other religious group words that we can’t repeat now either. But they simply said that they were all wrong. Jehovah’s Witnesses said, “The Christian Church is the whore of Babylon.” The proof that it works is they’ve got 100,000 missionaries out going door to door.
Martin: 400,000, John.
Ankerberg: Excuse me, 400,000. They have 40 million magazines that go out every month. They say, “See!” The Mormon Church says, “We now have five million members worldwide. See!” Now, I hear that same argument here and I’m saying, okay, all these groups are pointing to “fruit” that they say shows that they are the truth. Let’s turn it around. Dr. Martin, let me ask you a hard one. What is the proof that Christianity is true? Does it differ?
Martin: It differs very radically, because Jesus Christ said, “If you don’t believe me for what I say, believe me for the works that I perform. I heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” [Matt. 11:5] He sent the gospel out into the world. He was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, step by step. We have prophetic confirmation, historical confirmation, and most important of all, eyewitness testimony. Peter says, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty [when we heard the voice of God the Father] ‘This is my beloved Son, the one in whom I am well-pleased’.” [2 Pet. 16-17] Our faith is founded on fact, the revelation of God and fact. Mr. Moon’s faith is founded upon what Mr. Moon says he believes is true; the testimony of one person on this subject. And he’s the one that had the interviews with Jesus, and with Muhammad, and Buddha. He’s the one who claims all this.
Carpenter: Oral Roberts saw an 800-foot Jesus.
Martin: 900-foot. We don’t have to, fortunately, apologize for Oral Robert’s theology. We’re just simply saying that Christianity…
McDevitt: And Jimmy Swaggart says he talks to God all the time. Other Christians do have experiences that are considered religious experiences.
Martin: I want to point out that Christianity rests upon the bedrock of fact and history, not upon Mr. Moon. I would not disagree, incidentally—this may come as a shock to you—that Mr. Moon could be a prophet of God, that he could give us an expansion of specific areas of biblical doctrine, that he could have illumination, the gift of prophecy, and so forth. I say it could perfectly well be possible. But the moment that I make a statement like that…
McDevitt: The tape recorder’s going.
Martin: That’s right. I automatically say this: How will I know if Mr. Moon really is a true prophet, whether what he says is accurate? I have to test him by what God has previously told me. If Mr. Moon contradicts what God previously told me, I know he’s a false prophet. He does contradict; the church says he’s a false prophet. You’re welcome to believe in him, but it’s not Christianity.
Ankerberg: Alright, Tom, we had a response from Dr. Martin on the proof concerning Christianity, why we believe Christ is God. Come back on what was said, if you would, please.
McDevitt: Well, how do you “prove” that someone has a legitimate religious experience or not? That’s a totally private thing, and thank goodness we have the First Amendment to protect that for us. How do you “prove” that Moses met God on Mount Sinai? How do you prove that someone like Rev. Moon may or may not have had a godly experience with Jesus when he started his ministry? That’s what we claim. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t born yet, but I believe that because of my personal experience in prayer and in my life of faith.
I think the ultimate point for me is that you prove it by the fruits. In this modern day and age I have to say that, as a Christian, that we Christians have a work to do; that somehow we need a renewal in order to do it. The work is to deal with the problem of Marxist-Leninism, whose desire is to have world dominion; to solve the problem of the family, which is the bedrock of the society; and, thirdly, to renew and revitalize and bring together the church. That’s what I believe the Unification Church exists for.
When Rev. Moon began his work, he did not intend on starting another little church. He wanted to give a movement of renewal to bring a fire, a spirit, a message to mainline Christianity. Jesus Christ came and brought a message to Judaism. Judaism wasn’t able to receive that message. He initiated Christianity.
Ankerberg: Okay. Let me ask, Dr. Carpenter, you’ve been sitting patiently listening to this. As a psychotherapist, you hear a lot of people who have experiences. Wouldn’t you agree that before we talk about what the experience is, we can agree people have experiences, but if a person says, “I have faith in this chair,” they can have that experience. We can say, “Well, fine. You’ve had a wonderful experience,” but their faith is only as valid as the object that it’s placed in?
Carpenter: That’s right. If they sit on a chair and it holds them up their faith is substantial and the chair is.
Ankerberg: And if the legs break, that’s right. If it’s not, then they have a problem.
Carpenter: They still had faith, but the chair wasn’t…
Ankerberg: So we have to test the object, don’t we?
Carpenter: Right.
Ankerberg: What would you say about the object? In other words, what again is the proof, besides the fact we’ve had experiences? Because a person could be deceived, especially if there’s a person called Satan that dresses up as an angel of light. We have to know data at that point.
Carpenter: Well, you’re talking specifically in the Christian vein.
Ankerberg: Yeah, I threw in a theological interpretation at that point, but because we are talking in a theological realm here, we’ve got to say there are other possibilities, so people could be deceived even theologically.
Carpenter: Well, you know, when you get into that kind of minutia, if you’re looking at it from simply a Christian perspective, then we have the tradition that we check out experience against…
Ankerberg: Yeah, it goes back to Christ.
Carpenter: …the whole stream of the Judeo-Christian heritage. Of course, there are times, I’m sure, when it would be very obvious without checking tradition that an individual’s into some kind of a psychosis, out of touch with reality. Then when you move back over into the religious realm—and I’ll use the word “religious”—you really are dealing with something that is very personal, very intra-psychic. I think that gets a little touchy there.
Ankerberg: As a psychotherapist, usually, you would have to define terms and analyze folks and what the symptoms are, and so on. Do you think that you hear a uniting of theology or do you hear a divergence of theology, two completely different trains of thought here on the platform tonight? What do you hear?
Carpenter: There’s a divergent train of thought.
Ankerberg: Where would you say it centers, from your perspective?
Carpenter: The touchstone, I think, is the understanding of Jesus Christ. But I really do think…
Ankerberg: Could I ask you to just enunciate that a little further? I think you’re correct.
Carpenter: I want to say this first. I think that it’s really sad in the earlier program that you mentioned that so many different groups say, “We have this number out there. See!” “We have this number. See!” It’s really sad that we have that kind of divisiveness and separation, regardless of whether we’re talking about Unification or whether we’re talking about Catholics and Protestants or Baptists and Methodists or Presbyterians. There’s really a kind of a sad note in that kind of divisiveness.
I really do think that there should be space in each of us for dialogue and for sitting down and accepting one another. Genuine dialogue brings each party away somehow changed.
Ankerberg: Jerry, you haven’t said something for a long time. What would you say?
Yamamoto: Well, first of all, during this program it’s been said that we should work together against Communism, that we have a common foe here against God. As much as I believe that Communism is atheistic and counter to Christianity, to me the issue and the higher priority isn’t Communism, but the glorification of Jesus Christ and bringing him to the world. So that’s why I will always have to go back to Jesus Christ and who he is. If other people say that he is something different, that he isn’t fully the Savior of my life, then I will have to bring back my arm and not extend fellowship to that person. He says that divisiveness is unfortunate and wrong. I say that divisiveness can be in two different forms. Divisiveness can be bad when you don’t love each other, when you don’t have sympathy and sensitivity toward the other person. But I think divisiveness is good when the Lordship of Jesus Christ, when his God figurehead, when he as the true Savior of mankind, is being neglected or discounted by another group. Then divisiveness is good.
Ankerberg: I appreciate all your comments tonight. Next week we want to get to a real central thing: Who is the Lord of the Second Advent? I hope you folks will join us for that program.

Read Part 4

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