|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
|Sun Myung Moon and his followers claim to be a genuinely Christian organization. A biographical note in an official UC publication, Christianity in Crisis, informs readers that “only a Christian message that can deal with ultimate questions... can bring new hope today. Rev. Sun Myung Moon comes bringing such a message.”|
Sun Myung Moon and his followers claim to be a genuinely Christian organization. A biographical note in an official UC publication, Christianity in Crisis, informs readers that “only a Christian message that can deal with ultimate questions... can bring new hope today. Rev. Sun Myung Moon comes bringing such a message.” Moon himself declares, “The end of the world is at hand, not only for Christians but for all people throughout the world. The new history of God will begin with the arrival of the Lord [i.e., Moon]. Blessed are those who see him and accept him. It is the hope of Christianity to recognize, receive, and accept the Lord of the Second Advent.” UC members collectively view themselves as genuinely Christian; that is, as the true Christians. “‘Christian’ means, in this instance, those of the Christian faith who take part actively in God’s new dispensation [the Unification Church].” “So what are we? Christians in the real sense.”
On the other hand, Moon is clear that the UC and Christianity are mutually exclusive. “The points of difference are complete, not just vague.” “When we say we are different, we mean that we are 180 degrees different from the others, not only 90 percent or 90 degrees different.” Thus, although Moon and his followers claim to be Christian, no doubt to gain converts from Christianity, an examination of their writings, especially the more private publications, clearly reveals otherwise. As we will now discuss, their beliefs and teachings are not simply neutral toward Christianity, but antagonistic.
Almost 20 years ago Moon’s first missionary to the United States, Young Oon Kim (later a professor of systematic theology at Barrytown Seminary) stated that God “is removing His direct guidance from existing churches.” Moon himself declared earlier in 1974, “God is now throwing Christianity away and is now establishing a new religion, and this new religion is the Unification Church.... We have only one way.” The UC is the one and only group on earth fulfilling the mission of Jesus. Moon says that if Christians do not accept the revelations in the Divine Principle as well as the Lord of the Second Advent (Moon), they will be damned.
According to The 120 Day Training Manual, Christianity has failed, and Christians are guilty of having betrayed the Lord of the Second Advent. Therefore, God has abandoned them. “Christians all over the world deserve to decline, because they did not accept me.” “The mission of the Unification Church is to restore the failure of Christianity.... Already the Unification Church has exceeded Christianity. From now on Christianity must obey the Unification Church.” “Salvation in Christianity is not enough,” because complete salvation comes only from within the Unification Church. Indeed, the contrast could not be clearer: everyone must accept and believe in Moon, but “as soon as a person believes in Jesus, Satan can invade his body.” In light of these teachings, it is of great concern to see that in the past so many mainline theologians have supported the Unification Church as a Christian organization. This still remains true today for those who have not examined UC teachings carefully.
At best Moon has had a torturous time with Christianity: he needs it, but he also detests it. Christians must be converted, or his plan of world restoration will be severely hindered. But these very Christians are his greatest enemies.
Major importance in the UC is placed on converting Christians. Since Moon teaches “the unification of world Christianity,” his goal is the uniting, under his authority, of Catholics (“even the Papacy will be ours”) and Protestants, especially evangelicals:
We are responsible to convey this message to the Christians first. 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 will be free to teach without the Bible. Now, however, our primary mission is to witness to the Christian church. When they recognize and accept our movement, the world restoration will be very easy. So go to the Christians. In reality, Christians are quicker to understand the Principle than non-Christians.In our church we have been preparing on two fronts: one was to work to unify Christianity—i.e., the evangelical movement, the Divine Principle movement.
The numerous dialogues with evangelicals over the last several decades were part of this strategy. Moon attempts to reach Christians in a variety of ways. First, like the Mormons, he places full page advertisements in major newspapers, asserting that his movement is Christian. Second, he has his theologians write liberally-oriented propaganda pieces on theology. Third, he sponsors “dialogues” with both conservatives and the ecumenical-liberal and neo-orthodox ends of the theological spectrum. In the latter groups he has found many theologians willing to support him. One asserted, “I believe that it is clearly a Christian group.... More orthodox and more creative in dealing with scripture and the Christian tradition than many other contemporary churches. We should rejoice in their fervor and be glad to learn from them.” A student at a liberal Bible college declared: “I learned more about Christianity in a few minutes than I learned in a whole year of Bible college.” An editorial in the evangelical magazine Moody Monthly made the following observation: “In 1985, some 300,000 pastors and Christian leaders received [UC] materials and videotapes designed to project credibility and build bridges to established churches...”
Obviously, if Unification theology were Christian, as many theologians affirm, one wonders how would they explain the following UC statements in which Christianity is referred to as satanic, the enemy and godless?
We know those who hate the Unification Church most are the Christian people. They
hate us because Satan is in them.
The satanic power is mobilizing Christian churches to come against us.
The more actively we work, the more swiftly the Christian world will collapse in corruption.
God will get rid of things and people who are against Him, His love or His truth. He will not be tolerant of things and people who are not fully His own.
The three greatest enemies of the Unification Church are Communism, Christianityand members of the opposite sex.
A former member mentioned that the basic attitude towards Christianity and Christians is that they are both satanic:
In Unification theology the cross actually becomes synonymous with Satan. I had
been wearing a cross, and no way was I going to continue wearing it. We would comment, as we drove through a city, how ironic that all the churches had crosses on them, because the cross was a symbol of Satan.... A Christian is a person that you don’t like. [Members] have a horror of Christians. They say their Bibles are like rifles and they come in and shoot Bible verses at you without really understanding the heart of the Bible. They say that Christians are the very ones who will crucify thenew messiah. They’re the enemy.
Still, “the enemy” is the very one that must be successfully evangelized for UC goals to succeed. As someone once said, the devil is never an easy taskmaster.
God has abandoned Christianity. One reason Christians are to be converted is because they cause such trouble. Since the beginning, God has not been pleased with Christians. After Jesus failed, God had no choice except “to rely on the Christian people... [but] God was not pleased with them or pleased to see them.” Christianity (and democracy) led to the world’s dominion by Satan. “The Christianity which God has been fostering for 6,000 years [sic] is doomed. Up to the present God has been with Christianity. But in Christianity things are stale-mated.” “The Christian desires only to go to heaven without knowing all these secrets. They can’t be admitted! They are lost. They are not doing the right work, and are only greedy.” “Have Christians ever... attained true liberty from Satan or sin through Jesus? No.”
In light of Moon’s view of Christianity as an enemy that one needs to convert, it is not surprising that one of the ways he rejects the teachings of Christianity is through his symbolic approach to the Bible.