The Unification Church (Moonies) - Their Teachings in Light of the Bible - Program 4 | John Ankerberg Show

The Unification Church (Moonies) – Their Teachings in Light of the Bible – Program 4

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
According to Moonies, Jesus is not coming back as Lord of the Second Advent. So who are they looking for?

Lord of the Second Advent

Ankerberg: Welcome to our program tonight. We’re talking with representatives of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, as well as representatives of Orthodox Christianity. Tonight is a very important program. I’d like to start off by reading something from the book of Galatians. Paul says, “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preach to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again. If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.” [Gal. 1:7-9]
Now, gentlemen, with that in mind, let me just tell the folks who’s here tonight. Dr. Charles Carpenter is a psychotherapist in Atlanta. He is not a member of the Unification Church but is speaking concerning that movement. Mr. Tom McDevitt is a primary spokesman for the Unification Church, and we’re glad you’re here tonight, Tom. And then Jerry Yamamoto is an author of some books on the Unification Church; and Dr. Walter Martin of the Christian Research Institute, and Distinguished Professor of Comparative Religions for the Simon Greenleaf School of Law.
The question I would like to start with tonight comes to you, Tom. We’re going to talk about “Who is Lord of the Second Advent: who is the new Messiah?” First of all, the Unification Church, and specifically Rev. Moon, says Jesus Christ is not coming back to earth as Lord of the Second Advent. That is news to Christians. Why do you hold that it is not Jesus Christ?
McDevitt: Well, if you examine what Rev. Moon teaches in the Divine Principle in full, he doesn’t say it that way. What we teach is that Jesus Christ will come again as he prophesies in the New Testament, and as all of Christianity has waited for; but he will not come through his literal coming on the clouds, but that meaning of him coming on the clouds has a symbolic meaning.
Ankerberg: It’s not even Jesus, though. Here’s a book that you fellows sent to me, and you sent it to 300,000 ministers. I’m reading right out of here. Rev Moon says, “The question is, who is going to accomplish God’s will on the physical level?”
McDevitt: Exactly.
Ankerberg: “It is natural that the Lord at the Second Coming who will come representing Jesus [not Jesus, but representing Jesus], should accomplish that mission, just as Jesus came as the Messiah representing Adam. Jesus was the second Adam and the Lord of the Second Advent will be the third Adam.” So, obviously, it’s somebody other than Jesus.
McDevitt: That’s true. In other words, the identity of the Lord of the Second Advent is different than the identity of Jesus, but…
Ankerberg: Do you realize there’s a contradiction between that and what Christians believe, and have always held, and what Scripture teaches at that point?
McDevitt: I realize in the way that most people in the western world think, it appears to be a contradiction. In my heart and in my experience…
Ankerberg: That’s not a contradiction in reality?
McDevitt: No. Let me explain. In other words, just the same way that John the Baptist was said to be the return of Elijah prophesied in Malachi 4:5, he was not the literal person of Elijah but he came to fulfill the role of Elijah. Our view is that Jesus came to fulfill the original role that Adam should have accomplished but failed. Jesus came, fulfilled that role on the spiritual level. He wanted to accomplish it on the complete physical level but couldn’t because of the faithlessness of the people of his time. The third Adam, or the Second Coming of Christ, will occur as a person comes in the extension of that Messianic mission. I realize that may be new. From your standpoint it might be heretical. But the key point here is, “How will Christ come?”
Ankerberg: Well, let’s crystallize. I agree with what you’re saying. Let’s take it from…
McDevitt: You agree with what I’m saying?
Ankerberg: I agree that what you are saying represents Unification thought. Let’s crystallize what it is and compare it with Christianity. Here’s a statement from your seminary, from your 120-day Training Manual, page 53: “We are members of the Unification Church, and the Unification Church is different from the usual church. What’s different? In the Christian Church they have no Lord of the Second Advent. It’s only the Unification Church that has the Lord of the Second Advent. The Messiah is here and solution of sin can be had. We will be given forgiveness of sin and new life. Sinless marriage, sinless children, sinless family, sinless nation, and sinless world. How great it is!”
McDevitt: Amen.
Ankerberg: There’s a differentiation between what you are saying and what Christians are saying. That’s the first thing. Now the question is: Why have you given up on Jesus being the Messiah, since he pointblank said that he was?
McDevitt: Again, let’s go back to our whole frame of reference. We have not given up on Jesus as the Messiah. In my mind and heart right now as I talk to you, John, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is also working in a new providential way through the man that I’m following on earth as my pastor, who is Rev. Moon. Now, I believe that Rev. Moon has been appointed in a very special way that perhaps only God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and history will really tell.
Ankerberg: So he’s representing Jesus, is what you’re saying.
McDevitt: He’s representing the Messianic role or the mission of the Messiah on earth. Now, let’s go back to another very critical problem.
Ankerberg: I understand what you just said. To take the differentiation again, what if Jesus himself says he’s got a problem with anybody else representing him? What do we do with Jesus’ own statement?
McDevitt: Well, Jesus himself said that “there will be many coming doing greater works than I.” In other words, his desire is for us as priests—as we said last week, I think it was, that all Christians are priests—all Christians are to carry the cross.
Ankerberg: Alright, let me ask Jerry for a statement. You wrote a whole book right along that area. Give us a succinct statement here. Maybe you can help us out.
Yamamoto: Jesus Christ, according to Rev. Moon, came down in 1936 and asked Rev. Moon to fulfill the mission he left incomplete, right?
McDevitt: Essentially.
Yamamoto: And that mission was for the Messiah to redeem man physically. Throughout his teachings in the Divine Principle, certain things must be accomplished in order for this particular person to be the Messiah. Now, if we look at the life of Rev. Moon, we will find that many of these requirements have been and are being fulfilled. First of all, it’s taught that Rev. Moon underwent spiritual warfare with Satan for nine years. During this time he was visited by various holy people in the past, such as Confucius, Buddha, etc. They imparted to him new revelations and also how to subjugate Satan. He did accomplish that task of defeating Satan and thereby perfecting himself. The second accomplishment was this: that he was to marry and have sinless children: twelve. He has thirteen now. He was to accomplish that within a 21-year period. He has done that. Various things that are set out as guidelines or qualifications of who the Messiah is are being fulfilled by Rev. Moon, according to his own teachings. So the natural conclusion that would come out is that the Messiah is Rev. Moon, right?
McDevitt: Yes.
Yamamoto: Okay. So what you’re saying is that Jesus Christ is one Messiah and Rev. Moon is another Messiah.
McDevitt: We’re almost saying that, but, again, we’ve got to deal with the fact that the western mind, the linear mind, sees one or the other. It’s not an either/or, it’s a both/and. Go back to the mission of Elijah. How did Jesus Christ say that John the Baptist was Elijah returned? He was not the person Elijah. Elijah didn’t reincarnate. That’s a very fixed example in the Scripture.
Martin: That’s a misquote, though.
McDevitt: No, it’s not a misquote.
Martin: Sure. In Luke 1 the explanation of who John the Baptist was is given: the child shall come “in the spirit and the power of Elijah.” [Luke 1:17]
McDevitt: Exactly.
Martin: Alright. Coming “in the spirit and power of Elijah” doesn’t make him Elijah. Whereas when Mr. Moon talks, now, he’s talking about being Messiah.
McDevitt: No, no. Precisely as you are leading. In the book of Malachi it is prophesied that Elijah will come back. And Jesus is asked, and it’s in Matthew 17:10, “Is he Elijah?” And Jesus tells his people that John the Baptist is Elijah who is to come. Why did Jesus say that John was Elijah when in fact he was coming in the spirit and power of Elijah? Jesus meant that John has the mission of Elijah.
In that sense, please understand, my dear Christian friends, that when I say in my heart Rev. Moon occupies a Messianic position in this day, I have a whole different idea than a traditional Christian thinker would have about how the Messiah will come and what the Messiah will do. But it doesn’t discount Jesus Christ. Nothing can take away from what Jesus Christ did in history.
Yamamoto: I differ with you. I think that what you’re saying does discount what Jesus Christ has done. I spent seven years with the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, studied many different cults and new religious movements. I studied Hinduism and Buddhism at Harvard. I find that there are very few people who will say anything bad about Jesus Christ. Many of them will say they love him, they admire his teachings, they even believe in his teachings, they see him as “a god” or “a Messiah” or “a Lord.” Very few people will say anything bad about Jesus. You’re saying that you love Jesus; you see him as your Lord and Savior, and yet there is another Messiah. That discounts what Jesus himself said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6]
McDevitt: Is it not possible that Jesus worked through a pastor when he gave his Sunday sermon?
Yamamoto: We’re talking about salvation.
McDevitt: Let me finish. Yeah, I know. Is it not possible that Jesus worked through a religious leader like Dr. Martin Luther King? John Wesley? Is it not possible that Jesus worked through someone like Rev. Moon?
Ankerberg: What does he work through Martin Luther King? I understand what you’re saying, but is it the same thing that we’re talking about when you say Jesus…
McDevitt: In other words, what I’m leading you to is to think in a certain vein, to think in a different way than you’re thinking.
Ankerberg: Weren’t those men just communicating some ideas?
McDevitt: Precisely. And in my estimation…
Ankerberg: Okay, is that the same thing as giving salvation?
McDevitt: Well, what I’m challenging here is the Orthodox concept of how Jesus will come back and what the purpose of the Second Advent will be.
Yamamoto: No.
McDevitt: That’s the difference. That’s the divergence here. That’s where, as we talked about last week, we’ve got to be able to love and care for each other to the extent that we can understand each other; because there’s still a world out there with racism, with immorality, with Communism, with the injustice that exists, that would not exist if Christians would carry the cross that Jesus asked us to carry.
Yamamoto: But Tom, we do love you. We do care for you. I’m sure you love us as well. We do see many things that need to be corrected in this world. But what we’re talking about is who is Jesus Christ.
McDevitt: But we may have different theological views of Jesus Christ.
Ankerberg: Which is important, isn’t it?
McDevitt: It’s important, but should those different theological views separate us in heart and in spirit?
Ankerberg: Dr. Martin?
Martin: I just want to point out that what you’re doing is not challenging Orthodox Christianity. You are challenging the person of the Lord Jesus himself, because Jesus Christ specifically said in Matthew 24, “Many shall come in my name saying ‘I am the anointed.’ There shall arise false christs and false prophets. Behold, I have you told you before. When they say to you, ‘Behold, he is in the desert place,’ do not go there. ‘Behold, he is in prison [secret chambers],’ do not believe it.” [Matt. 24:23-26] Alright, now, you’re saying that’s who he is: Moon is the extension of Jesus Christ. And Christ said, “He’s not.”
McDevitt: Give me a little bit of break here. I mean, I’m sharing with you the most intimate, personal element of my life of faith. It’s something that I’ve been living for over the last 12 years. I dearly love Jesus; I love Rev. Moon; I see Jesus working through Rev. Moon. It’s a different view. It’s a different perspective.
Martin: It’s a different gospel.
McDevitt: It’s a new view of the gospel.
Martin: It’s a totally different gospel.
McDevitt: No, no, no. I don’t find a contradiction.
Ankerberg: I want you to think about this. If I say to my wife, “Darlene, I love you. You’re it!”, but I also love Cheryl over here, Darlene has a problem with me!
Martin: You’ve got a problem.
Ankerberg: I’ve got a problem, too! We’re talking about who is the Lord of the Second Advent, and how this affects Jesus. Because the Lord of the Second Advent in the Unification Church is not Jesus; it’s another Messiah. I think most of the followers of the Unification Church and Sun Myung Moon would say that the Lord of the Second Advent is Sun Myung Moon. This statement goes along with it—Sun Myung Moon made this statement himself—in 1960, he married Hak Ja Han, and proclaimed it “The marriage of the Lamb,” in reference to the apostle John’s vision in Revelation. For people who aren’t familiar with that verse, it states, “Let us rejoice and exalt and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.” [Rev. 19:7] My question is, isn’t Rev. Moon committing sacrilege by calling his marriage to one woman in 1960 the “marriage of the Lamb?” That’s completely different than what Orthodox Christianity holds, wouldn’t you think, Tom?
McDevitt: Well, if there is a remote possibility that Rev. Moon’s marriage has a special place in history, then it would be his responsibility before God to convey to the world in the most understandable terms—which is a very difficult topic—that he has a special mission to fulfill. Now, I realize the context here is the idea that the kingdom of God is coming on the earth, that this is the last days, and it’s about to occur. That the channel by which it’s going to occur is going to be through the creation of what is called “true families,” and that the Messiah’s role in the latter days is going to be to establish that model of a true family. I realize that’s all new, and I only pray that you be prayerful and thoughtful before you decide whether it’s in or out of what’s true.
Ankerberg: I appreciate you being so intimate and caring about what you’re saying. We respect your beliefs. Dr. Martin, can you gently respond to that?
McDevitt: Thank you, Dr. Martin.
Ankerberg: I know that’s a little rugged, but try it.
McDevitt: We’re becoming friends. This night itself is history.
Martin: Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. [John 1:29] His marriage feast is with the Church, which is his body, which is totally removed from the concept of Mr. Moon marrying the lady in 1960. Totally removed from it. Secondly, the Lord Jesus Christ, according to biblical theology, will return and he will return personally and visibly. The apostle Paul says, “The Lord Jesus himself shall return out of heaven with the shout of the archangel, the trump of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”[1 Thess. 4:16] Not Mr. Moon, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, since we are dealing with Christ as the Redeemer, and the marriage in Revelation talks about Christ and the Church, there is no possibility that you can in any way put Mr. Moon in Revelation. Mr. Moon is definitely not “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”
McDevitt: One issue that we haven’t talked about in the entire series here is the most important issue, which TV interviewers rarely get into in the Divine Principle thought, and that is, the beginning of the whole book deals with the principle of creation. In the principle of creation, the single most important element of our theology, long before we even deal with the ministry of Jesus and the Second Advent, is the original purpose of God’s creation. The original purpose of God’s creation was not that mankind be created and fall, but the original purpose was that Adam and Eve obey the commandment and achieve the ideal of love on earth as a true family. If they had done that, they would be sinless man and woman. They would have been a Christ-like family. How could we deny that? If they didn’t sin, they wouldn’t have evil within them. That point of the original purpose of creation is largely overlooked by Orthodox Christian thinkers when they’re trying to wrestle with what the Unification Church stands for.
Ankerberg: The first reason it’s overlooked is, it’s completely new divine revelation, if you want.
McDevitt: Oh, turn the tape recorders on.
Ankerberg: Well, let’s not even say “divine.” I’m using that in a nice way at this point to show respect, because I don’t think that it jibes with God’s Word at that point. I don’t believe that the fall is actually Eve having a sexual relationship with Lucifer—Satan—and then seducing Adam; therefore, having the spiritual and physical fall come about by their sexual intercourse.
McDevitt: That might be a little tough to digest, but another way to look at the fall is to…
Martin: Choke on it.
McDevitt: Well, the other way to look at it is there is no example of an ideal family in history. In other words, the very essence of God’s manifestation of life to mankind is his love. The highest level of that love is in the family where parents create children. The parent and child relationship is where the highest sacramental bond can occur in the human community.
Ankerberg: Yes, but isn’t the problem the fact that Christians believe that not having the four-fold position of God at the top, and man and his wife being married under God and having sinless children is not what separated us from God? Christianity completely disagrees with that concept. We’re all for families, and we’re all for them being underneath the Lord God, but their being underneath the Lord God comes about completely differently than what Unification theology is teaching. So where do we go from there?
McDevitt: The concept of the family in traditional Christian thought is different than that in Unification thought. The point that we’ve got to deal with here as Christian thinkers, or as religious thinkers, is what happened at the fall? What was the problem? And we can’t deal with what the problem was unless we understand what the ideal should have been. That’s what I feel. People have got to think and pray and study what Rev. Moon is teaching, because it’s powerful, it’s important, and it’s true.
Ankerberg: Yes, I think that you’re absolutely convinced that Rev. Moon’s rendition of the fall is true. That’s what I think is in question. Is it true? Secondly, the remedy to the fall is completely different than Orthodox Christianity. For example, let me ask you a question off of one of his own quotes. “There’s no sin that Father [Moon] cannot forgive.” This is not his quote; this is a teaching coming out of the 120-Day Manual.
McDevitt: The 120-day Manual, which is not an official publication of the church.
Ankerberg: But you teach it to your missionaries and everybody that comes through at the seminary.
McDevitt: That is one evangelist in the Unification Church sharing a sermon. Make that distinction. That’s not Rev. Moon.
Ankerberg: Let’s just finish it up. You don’t deny that “While you were committing sin, Father was shedding blood to cleanse my sin. Because he shed blood, he was qualified to give life to me.” Do you deny that statement?
McDevitt: What do you mean by that statement?
Ankerberg: Namely, that Moon was shedding his blood to free people from their sins.
McDevitt: What that meant was that during the time when Rev. Moon began his mission, he went through a tremendous amount of persecution, three years of that in a North Korean prison camp. To us that internment in that prison camp had a very special meaning. When someone says they “shed their blood,” it doesn’t necessarily refer to a physical shedding of blood, but it has to do with an attitude of life, that the whole purpose of life is to live like God, like Jesus, which is selfless. The essence of the fall is selfish love. Therefore, the return to that question of the fall, in answer to Rev. Moon’s mission, in my heart and mind Rev. Moon is showing an example. You can call him the Messiah or not; that’s immaterial. The key question is that he’s showing an example of selfless love in the individual family, national and world level. That is something we’ve got to look at.
Ankerberg: Dr. Martin, come back after this. Page 16, The Master Speaks “On Prayer and the Spirit World,” Moon himself said: “I have paid a great amount of indemnity, and because of this I have the right to forgive another’s sin.” Dr. Martin, concerning the fact that you’ve got these things from Moon—forgiving sin, his blood being shed, the marriage supper of the lamb—all of these things that are taking Christian words, it seems like they’re being taken out of context, which becomes what we started the program with, what Paul said was “another gospel.” [2 Cor. 11:4] What would you say concerning these things of forgiving sin and paying a great amount of indemnity? Is he taking Jesus Christ’s place?
Martin: Well, yes, very definitely. Because Jesus Christ made one sacrifice for sin forever and sat down at the right hand of God, and that finished it. [Heb. 10:12] What you’re seeing here is a direct violation of logical thought: “A” cannot be “non-A.” You learn that basically in logic. What we’re getting here is a redefinition of terminology, so that “A” ends up “non-A” every time. It’s pointed out: Mr. Moon denies the Trinity; Mr. Moon denies the deity of Jesus Christ; Mr. Moon denies salvation only by grace for man as a whole entity, that is, the spirit as well as the body in the resurrection; Mr. Moon denies the fall classically and substitutes for it Eve having sex with Lucifer before he became Satan; he denies the Second Advent and makes himself the Lord of the Second Advent.
Now, what we’re getting is typical cultic changing of terms, the scaling of the language barriers, as I said in The Kingdom of the Cults, in which, unless you understand what the words mean, you’ll never be able to carry on a dialogue or understand what Tom is talking about, because his vocabulary is totally removed from the vocabulary of Christianity. Therefore, when he says that Christianity gave birth to the Unification Church or the Unification Church is an extension of Christianity, it can’t be an extension of Christianity, because it’s another gospel and denies Christianity.
Ankerberg: Tom?
McDevitt: That’s one way to look at it. The other way to look at it is that the Unification Church is amplifying those terms, that we have to grow into a new view of what those terms mean.
Ankerberg: Okay. I’m anxious to see what the audience here would have in terms of questions. If you’ll join us, we’re going to start with questions from the audience to this group of men next week.

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