The Unification Church (Moonies) - Their Teachings in Light of the Bible - Program 5 | John Ankerberg Show

The Unification Church (Moonies) – Their Teachings in Light of the Bible – Program 5

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 Rev. Moon, we should no longer pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Who should we be praying to?

To Whom Should We Pray?

Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re talking about the beliefs of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Unification Church. We have their representatives here tonight. First, Thomas Cutts, the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Unification Church, and Rev Tom McDevitt, a primary spokesman for the Unification Church. If you received one of the 300,000 packets with videotapes and book in it, Tom helped head that up. Then Jerry Yamamoto, an author concerning the Unification Church, and Dr. Walter Martin, the Director of the Christian Research Institute. We’re going to have questions from the audience. Let me just give one to start us off. In The Master Speaks, Rev. Moon said, “As Christians we prayed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Now we should pray in the name of the true parents.” Dr. Martin, how does that strike you?
Martin: It strikes me as a direct contradiction to the Lord Jesus, who told us to ask of the Father in his name and he would give it to us, [John 16:23] and told us that we should ask him. But nowhere is there the faintest suggestion that somebody else is going to come along later on through whom we are to pray. “God has spoken,” says the Epistle to the Hebrews, “in these last days in his Son.” [Heb. 1:2] That’s the final word of God to man: Jesus Christ.
Ankerberg: Tom, do you think that is an affront to Christians that are listening in at that point, to say it that pointblank?
McDevitt: I’m definitely sure in my experience that it feels like an affront, that many Christians have difficulty with how we pray. But, at the same time, there is the great possibility that Jesus’ ideal was to achieve this ideal family, and that’s what we mean by the true parents. The concept of true parents, which is new terminology, is the most profound center of the whole Unification theology. It’s what Adam and Eve should have achieved. It’s what Jesus achieved. It’s what we believe Rev. Moon is on his way to achieve.
Ankerberg: Let me ask you this. You keep quoting Jesus. Where did he say that, or how do you know that he actually meant that?
McDevitt: What I mean by that is that the concept of true parents is the ideal of God’s creation for man.
Ankerberg: Where did Jesus say that?
McDevitt: Well, Jesus as the Son of God was the masculine expression of God.
Ankerberg: But did he ever say it?
McDevitt: Of course he didn’t use the word; that’s why I said it’s new terminology.
Ankerberg: How do we know that? Don’t we only know it via Rev. Moon?
McDevitt: Of course. In that sense, in a very real way, John, for millions of people around the world, Rev. Moon is a prophetic speaker through whom Jesus is speaking. Jesus is helping us to understand. Didn’t Jesus say in John 16:12, “I have many things to say but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
Ankerberg: Walter, before we have a question, what about that verse?
Martin: But, listen, you have already said that Jesus failed.
McDevitt: No, we did not. We did not say that.
Martin: Mr. Moon says that Jesus did not accomplish the goal. In fact, Mr. Moon has taught, and your church teaches, that Jesus’ death was a reluctant death, when the Scripture says, quoting Jesus, “To this end was I born; for this cause I came into the world.” [John 18:37] And, therefore, we’re not talking about the same Jesus. You have another Jesus, a different Spirit, another gospel. We’re talking about an entirely different thing. You are representing a cult. We are representing the Church, which has been here for 1,900 years. There’s a difference between the Church and the cults. That’s all there is to it.
Ankerberg: Let’s ask a question here from the audience and see how their perspective is.
Audience: Has Sun Myung Moon himself declared to the Unification Church that he himself is the Messiah?
McDevitt: Yes, in the sense that he said one time when he was asked, “Are you the Messiah?” he said, “Yes, I am, and so are you, and so should everybody be.” In other words, our mission in life—according to Matthew 5:48, “Do you not know that you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father” —is to be perfect. All people are to be perfected in the love of God. In that sense, I believe that Rev. Moon’s ministry is very special. I know it’s difficult to say that he’s the Messiah, because that doesn’t communicate. We’ve got to spend time communicating what we mean by the Messiah. In that sense, Rev. Moon has been very open in how he feels about his mission. But he has never said, and he never will say, he came to take over the mission of Jesus or that he has replaced Jesus.
Ankerberg: Let me quote you on that. Here’s Rev. Moon. Just have it right here. Page 14, The Master Speaks “On Prayer and the Spirit World,” from that book that you sent me, “I have inherited the mission and the work and succeed Jesus in this work. I am fulfilling what Jesus left undone.”
McDevitt: Okay, that does not mean that Rev. Moon is cancelling Jesus. Can’t you see?
Martin: No, I can’t see!
McDevitt: It doesn’t mean that Rev. Moon is cancelling Jesus. You’re locked on to a concept of Jesus. Rev. Moon, in my estimation—and again, it’s the most intimate part of my faith, so give me a little room to believe it in your heart—but the point here is that the mission of Jesus extends to all people. Jesus was the model that all people should emulate. And in that way he can be the Messiah.
Ankerberg: Jerry?
Yamamoto: Here we have a situation, I think, as Dr. Martin mentioned before, where terms are being changed on us. Take the word “Messiah,” for example, where Rev. Moon says, “We’re all Messiahs. You’re a Messiah.” Well, in our Christian belief, there is only one Messiah, Jesus Christ. Now then, the term that is very important to the Unification Church is the “Lord of the Second Advent.” There is only one Lord of the Second Advent. The question really should be, does Rev. Moon say that he is the Lord of the Second Advent? Now, if he says that he is the Lord of the Second Advent, that means that he is just not only a servant of Jesus Christ who is fulfilling different things that Jesus left unaccomplished,…
McDevitt: But the extension of his mission.
Yamamoto: …but he is also taking a particular role that is exalted high in heaven. The thing that you are doing in the Unification Church is not only exalting a particular person to Lord of the Second Advent, to the same level as Jesus Christ, but you are also bringing the exaltation of Jesus Christ down to a lower level, saying he is not equal with God himself. By doing that, that is a direct contradiction to everything that I believe in the Christian faith.
Ankerberg: Not only that, but I think that Rev. Moon, when a question was asked to him in Master Speaks, “What happens when the restoration takes place? What will the place of Jesus be?”, he said, “He would be a Son of God.” And somebody said, “The Son of the Father, namely the true God, or the Son of the Master, namely Rev. Moon?” And Rev. Moon’s answer was, “It makes no difference; it’s the same.” Now, it would seem at that point that we have a great conflict inside of Orthodox Christianity with Jesus taking…
McDevitt: I’ve got to cut you off here. You have quoted Master Speaks tonight on a number of occasions and all those quotes come from ancient transcripts that were translated loosely in spontaneous talks, that were never brought back to Rev. Moon for his approval the way that the later manuscripts were done. You can’t do that. Nowhere in the Divine Principle does he say that.
Ankerberg: Let me ask you a question, because I must be off base at this point. That is, in talking to people that have left the movement and talking to people that are in the movement, it seems to me that they were given The Master Speaks and were asked to read that religiously, in the sense that they held it in high honor.
McDevitt: The particular document you’re talking about that was floated around by a lot of the anti-religious movements that tried to do the Unification Church in was done in 1965. It was an evening fellowship that was loosely translated by someone who wasn’t so proficient…
Ankerberg: This is a quote from ‘73.
McDevitt: From ‘65.
Ankerberg: 1973.
McDevitt: This latter one you were talking about.
Ankerberg: No, I’m talking about the last one is 1973, Master Speaks.
McDevitt: So, the quote you just read…
Ankerberg: Yeah.
McDevitt: …in which you said that there is no difference between Jesus being the Son of God and the Son of true parents.
Ankerberg: No, that’s another one. What I’m talking about is where he was asked a question by somebody that was in the class with him. “What place will Jesus have when the restoration comes?” He said, “He’ll be the Son of the Father.” And at that point somebody said, “He’ll be the Son of God in the sense of the Great God, or the Son of the Master, namely Rev. Moon?” And Rev. Moon’s answer was, “It would be the same. It does not make any difference.”
McDevitt: You’ll have to show me the quote, because I don’t believe that myself.
Ankerberg: Okay, I have it here with me, but I’m simply saying…
McDevitt: Let me answer the way a traditional Unificationist would answer the question. Jesus’ position will never change in human history. He came as the only begotten Son of God. He accomplished his mission of sacrificing his life for our salvation and resurrecting from the dead. He stands absolutely and eternally as the Savior. What he did can never be changed. He’s in the spiritual world now. What Rev. Moon represents in my faith is an extension of that mission. I know it’s difficult to digest, so you’ve got to have prayer about it. Jesus is working with Rev. Moon to finish that ideal of creation. The position and value of Jesus do not change.
Ankerberg: I really appreciate your sharing that with us. I just have to come back sincerely and say to you that I hope that you would please understand that when Christians are talking about Jesus and saying what he said, “It is finished,” on the cross, [John 19:30] that that encompasses not just spiritual salvation, but in the end what Jesus did at the cross encompasses physical and spiritual salvation, “the whole shot.” And he’s not asking help from Rev. Moon.
McDevitt: Well, now, let’s clarify terms here. What we’re talking about is the actual building of the kingdom of heaven on earth. Let me conclude with a statement by Martin Luther King. This is from his sermon on “How a Christian Should View Communism:” “In spite of the noble affirmations of Christianity, the Church has often lagged in its concern for social justice and too often has been content to mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. It has often been so absorbed in a future good over yonder, the pie in the sky, the kingdom out there, that it forgets the present evils and responsibilities down here. Yet the church is challenged to make the gospel of Jesus Christ relevant within the social situation.”
Ankerberg: So, we need to ask you a question if you’re doing that. Are you sure that you know what Christians are saying, then, when we talk about God instituting salvation for this earth, and what he has done and what the final plan is going to be, according to the Bible?
McDevitt: I think I understand what traditional Christians think. What I’m saying here…
Ankerberg: Would you tell us? Tell what you think. Put it in a nutshell what Christians are saying. I’d like to hear if you do know.
McDevitt: What Christians are saying about Jesus’ mission?
Ankerberg: Yes. What did Jesus accomplish that will also be fulfilled when he comes back?
McDevitt: Christians think that Jesus fulfilled the mission of saving mankind by dying on the cross.
Ankerberg: And how far did that reach?
McDevitt: Traditionally Christians think that it reached the total end, that that is the end.
Ankerberg: What is the total end?
McDevitt: That we have been fully saved by Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection.
Ankerberg: What will happen when he comes back again?
McDevitt: When he comes back again, we’ll join with him, going into the air with him, being with him and living in the kingdom of God.
Yamamoto: The impression that I’m getting from what you are saying is that Rev. Moon is accomplishing the things that are left unfulfilled here on earth for us. It’s an extension ministry that’s carrying on the work of Jesus Christ. But, from everything that I’ve read and from talking to people in the Unification Church, that’s different from that impression, in that Rev. Moon is not only setting up the kingdom of heaven here on earth, but he is also paving the way for us to become divine spirits in heaven. So, he is not only doing work here on earth, but he is doing work in the spirit realm as well. He also says that all the spirits who have died before realize that he is the Messiah and, therefore, are helping the Unification Church. In other words, people who are in the Unification Church working on what is called “indemnity,” so that they can fully be saved, the spirit realm is helping each one of them. As they complete their particular task in saving themselves, they are also helping people in the spirit realm as well.
This to me is much more than just “Rev. Moon is here on earth helping to bring about a better world in the United States and throughout with regard to religions and science, etc.” But he is also involved in the spirit realm as well. Now, if Rev. Moon is doing both the earthly and the spiritual realm, then he is doing everything I can see that is possible. In other words, Jesus only brought people to a certain spiritual level, but Rev. Moon is bringing them to a higher level. It’s not only just a matter of fulfilling a ministry but it’s also displacing Jesus Christ and doing even more.
Cutts: And we find in Romans, though, even Paul himself cries out, “Oh, wretched man that I am.” [Rom. 7:24] He is saved and he’s even had a spiritual experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus and yet he is still crying out, “I have this division in my body. I do what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I should do.” [Rom. 7:15] Then we also find in Romans, he’s saying, “Look, all creation is groaning and is in travail. We ourselves who have the fruits of the Spirit also await the redemption of our bodies.” [Rom 8:22-23]
Yamamoto: You didn’t complete the sentence.
Ankerberg: Thomas, we always have to put things in context.
Yamamoto: Paul said, “Oh, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body?” Then he said, “Thanks be to God” who has given me the Holy Spirit. [Rom. 7:24-25] And in chapter 8, which follows chapter 7…
Cutts: Is he completed? Does he actually have that undoing of the wretchedness?
Yamamoto: Let me finish. In chapter 7 he is talking about the division within his body and soul and struggling with the carnal man. But in chapter 8 he goes on to say what the remedy is: that God has given us the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us, transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. That is the answer.
Cutts: Do you think Paul, as that writer at that time, is rid of that conflict within his heart between the disunity of his mind and body?
Yamamoto: The process of sanctification goes on and on.
McDevitt: For how long? What’s the goal? Let’s bring the process of sanctification…
Cutts: Salvation is complete. I thought it was finished.
Martin: Salvation is complete on the cross and sealed by the resurrection. That’s absolutely true.
Cutts: I guess we have to define what you mean by salvation…
Martin: I will.
Cutts: …because for me salvation means that we are living in the kingdom of God on earth.
Martin: No, there’s a spiritual rebirth through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “If any man be in Christ, he’s a new creation. The old things are passed away, all things have become new.” [2 Cor. 5:17] Now, the completion of our redemption takes place in the resurrection of the body. When we are like him; we shall see him as he is. It doesn’t come about by marriage. It doesn’t come about by sinless family.
Cutts: I think there’s a lot of questions about how Christ is coming again, and how that is going to be fulfilled.
Martin: Can I finish my statement? It doesn’t come about the way Mr. Moon says.
Cutts: How do you know?
Martin: It comes about through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our resurrection when we are like him when he returns as the Lord of the Second Advent: the Lord Jesus Christ.
Cutts: So how do you have complete salvation now, though? That’s what my confusion is.
Martin: Because the Scripture says, “It is by grace you have been saved through faith. Not by yourselves, it’s the gift of God.” [Eph. 2:8] In the Unification Church you teach that salvation doesn’t come by grace alone through faith in the Lord Jesus. In fact, you specifically…
Cutts: You’re getting off the track, off the question I have. No, no. You’re taking the question I have about completion…
McDevitt: Let’s take up the question of indemnity. Indemnity is important. We’ll talk about that.
Martin: I know you know where I’m going.
McDevitt: Of course I do.
Martin: Because indemnity…
McDevitt: And your view on it is incorrect. But let’s go back to the original point.
Martin: Can I finish the quote? Let me finish the quote.
McDevitt: The original point we’re talking about is of salvation, the goal of salvation. The completeness of salvation, now.
Martin: Salvation, now, according to Christ, is an accomplished fact by what he did on the cross. It is bestowed upon us by faith through grace.
McDevitt: Agreed.
Martin: Salvation is the redemption of the soul, point one. Salvation is the promise through the Holy Spirit of the redemption of the body in resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ. Now, what the Unification Church says…
McDevitt: Now, before you go into indemnity, the key point here is, will there be a kingdom of heaven on earth?
Martin: Yes.
McDevitt: Will there be a kingdom here, and does Christianity have a role in building that kingdom? Is there something that we’re supposed to do here in practicing our faith? We don’t deny that faith is the vertical foundation of salvation; but that practice of faith in reality, that practice of selfless love in reality is what we have to do now to establish that kingdom. We feel, as you probably know, that we’re in a new dispensational era where the building of that kingdom is the business that we have to be about.
Martin: But you can’t build the kingdom without the right King. You can’t have redemption without the Savior of biblical theology. You cannot have Mr. Moon as the savior; you cannot have the kingdom without the Lord Jesus.
Ankerberg: We have a question from the audience.
Audience: Tom, since I want to go to heaven, according to the Unification Church what would have to happen in my life? If I were dying, just had a minute, tell me what would have to happen in my life.
McDevitt: Well, ultimately when you talk about going to heaven, I think you talk about a concept that is different than the way the Unification would talk about heaven. In other words, our belief is that Jesus is now working in a new way where his kingdom is actually about to be established here on the earth. Therefore, what you do that minute before you pass into the spiritual world will not ultimately affect whether the Kingdom of God is built on the earth. In other words, we are talking about two different ideas.
Martin: But he’s dying! What are you going to tell him?
McDevitt: I understand very well that if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, on the verge of your death, if you do that, you will attain the foundation of faith, through which you will gain spiritual salvation. But again, please understand, when you talk about being saved, I’m looking at that as a Unificationist, and I’m saying that’s the spiritual element of salvation. Still, the kingdom of God has to be built here upon the earth. That’s God’s original purpose for creating the human race. It’s got to be accomplished.
Ankerberg: Let me quote Mr. Moon right in here, because I hear him saying something different. In God’s Warning to the World, that little red book again, page 41: “In reality, Jesus couldn’t care less about religion,” Rev. Moon says. “What he cared about was a God-centered kingdom, and that kingdom cannot be built by religion. That kingdom will be built by the family. Jesus came to build the first true family so that he could bring God down to a real home. There is no other way to build the kingdom of God here on earth.” So, what are you telling this man?
McDevitt: Precisely. In other words, what Rev. Moon mentioned in that sermon was that the kingdom of heaven will not be built by a denomination. It will not be built by a religious organization. The kingdom of heaven will be built by the process of ideal families being established here on earth.
Ankerberg: What if he doesn’t have time to establish a family?
McDevitt: Right. What about all the other people in history who haven’t been able to establish a family?
Ankerberg: Well, that’s the question. According to Rev. Moon, they can’t make it.
McDevitt: Well, no. According to…
Ankerberg: Rev. Moon said in one of the books that you can’t get to heaven unless—here’s going back to one of those quotes in The Master Speaks again—unless you have a family.
McDevitt: Yes, that’s correct
Ankerberg: What happened to all the single people?
McDevitt: Just as when Jesus told Peter that the keys of the kingdom were here on earth. “What is bound on earth will be bound in heaven; loosed on earth, loosed in heaven.” [Matt. 16:19] Our view of that is, that means that God’s original purpose of creation has to be achieved here on earth. That’s the big picture. That’s what Jesus came ultimately to achieve.
Ankerberg: Didn’t Moon also say that there would be no kingdom of heaven and that Jesus, in fact, is not there? He’s sitting in paradise with the disciples. And nobody’s going to get into the kingdom of heaven until we have established the kingdom of heaven on earth?
McDevitt: That’s the logical extension.
Ankerberg: Dr. Martin, what do you think about that?
Martin: Well, it’s not biblical theology, because biblical theology says that when Jesus Christ returns, he will be “King of kings and Lord of lords,” [Rev. 19:16] and “the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.” [Rev. 11:15] Now, Mr. Moon as Lord of the Second Advent cannot fulfill that prophecy. He cannot come as the Scripture says. He is not God. He is not Redeemer. Christ is God. This is the big point.
McDevitt: You’ve got to keep your heart open, Dr. Martin, that perhaps Jesus is working with Rev. Moon in a unique way.
Martin: He can’t work with a false prophet.
Ankerberg: Okay, Jerry?
Yamamoto: Let me ask this question: Marriage is an important sacrament within the Unification Church.
McDevitt: It’s the center of the salvation process in a completed testament age. You have such good terminology. You should get it down exactly.
Yamamoto: It’s the center…
McDevitt: It’s the center of the salvation process of the completed testament era or age. It’s the main channel of building the kingdom.
Yamamoto: Now, going back to the previous question that was asked before about the person. If he doesn’t have a family, he can’t be saved.
McDevitt: No, no, no.
Yamamoto: Let me finish. However, in the spirit realm he can come back and help the Unification Church and thereby bring about that type of salvation.
McDevitt: Not only help the Unification Church, but that people in the spiritual world—I know to some of you it might seem like I’m talking nonsense now—but people who are in the spiritual world do have a relationship with the earth.
Martin: You’re talking spiritism now!
Yamamoto: Let me ask this question, then. Jesus Christ himself did not complete the salvation of humanity because he didn’t marry. I’m talking about the physical, okay?
McDevitt: Wrong. Jesus didn’t complete the process of salvation because the foundation of people that were prepared to receive him rejected him. That’s the reason.
Yamamoto: We’re saying the same thing. Jesus didn’t accomplish physical salvation for humanity because he did not marry and have a family.
McDevitt: But the reason he couldn’t marry is because he was not able to establish that earthly base, simply because the people were faithless. That’s the cause, because that’s what the Christian world resists.
Yamamoto: What I want to get to is this, since Jesus Christ has not married and he is in the spirit realm, does he need a spiritual spouse, or does he need a wife, in order to himself become a divine spirit?
McDevitt: I don’t know.
Yamamoto: Is there a wife?
McDevitt: You’ll have to ask Jesus that one.
Martin: We don’t have to. He already told us.
McDevitt: Jesus told us?
Martin: He already told us. He already told us that he is the “King of kings and the Lord of lords.” [Rev. 19:16] He has already told us he is the only Savior. [Acts 4:12] He’s already told us he is the First and the Last, and apart from him there isn’t anybody else. [Isa. 44:6] He’s already told us.
McDevitt: I think that kind of question is ultimately up to God. If God the Father wants to give Jesus a mate, it’s up to God. That’s something I don’t understand.
Yamamoto: Okay. Let me ask this. Does Jesus Christ have a wife in the Unification Church today?
McDevitt: Not that I know of.
Yamamoto: Okay. Would you say that everyone in the Unification Church would deny that?
McDevitt: You’d have to ask everybody in the Unification Church.
Yamamoto: Well, I have asked that, and there are some people in the Unification Church who say that Jesus Christ presently has a wife in Korea.
Martin: Have you heard about that?
McDevitt: It sounds wild. I’ve heard about it.
Ankerberg: Let’s hold it. We’re out of time, guys, for this week. We’ll pick it up next week. We’ll talk about: Did Jesus know that God was looking forward to him having his only begotten daughter? That came out of this book, God’s Warning to the World, page 38, that you sent to all the ministers. We’ll pick it up. Please join us. I think it will be an interesting program

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