33. Answering the worldview of pseudo-messianic biblical counterfeits -- MOONIES
The Unification Church is a good example of this category. The Unification Church was founded by Sun Myung Moon. He was born in February 1920 in a small village in Korea. He had parents who were Presbyterian. His birth name was Mun Yong-myeong, but he changed his name to imply the English words "sun" and "moon". At age 16 Moon claimed that on Easter Sunday on a mountaintop he had a vision. In this vision, Jesus appeared to him and commissioned him to carry out the task on Earth that Jesus failed to accomplish, namely establish God’s kingdom on Earth, and bring peace to the world. “Our group is of a higher dimension than the established churches,” wrote Moon, “and naturally there’s a vast difference between what we are and what the Christian people are. The Christianity that God has been fostering for 6000 years is doomed. Up till the present, God has been with Christianity, but in Christianity things have stalemated” (The Master Speaks).
He also claimed to be “the foremost one in the whole world”, and he said that “out of all the Saints sent by God I think I am the most [sic] successful one.” He also claimed “I have talked with many, many masters, including Jesus, and questions of life in the universe. They have subjected themselves to me in terms of wisdom. After winning the victory, they surrendered” (Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions and the Occult, p. 214). According to Moon, God cannot be happy and complete without the reciprocal love of His children; He needs human beings in order to experience joy through receiving love from His children. God’s original plan was that all men and women were to be sons and daughters of God just as Jesus was God's son. If Adam and Eve had not fallen, “all men and women would have been of the same perfection as Jesus” (Moon, The Divine Principle).
Let’s learn a bit more about the teachings of Sun Myung Moon in his own words.
- “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 Christians, we will be free to teach without the Bible” (Master Speaks, March/April, 1965, p. 1).“The Bible is not the truth itself, but a textbook teaching the truth. It must not be regarded as absolute in every detail” (Divine Principle p. 9).“The five billion people in the world are all bound by the portion of responsibility left unfulfilled by Adam and Eve and the ocean of resentment that has given God continuous anguish. The innumerable ancestors who passed on to the spirit world are also all caught there. How can God, who has to watch all this, restore the original standard before the Fall? This is the reason why God is a God to be pitied” (Cheon Seong Gyeong, Sun Myung Moon. Book Eight, Sin and Restoration Through Indemnity).“God is now throwing Christianity away and is now establishing a new religion, and this new religion is the Unification Church” (Time, Sept. 30, 1974, p. 68).The Holy Spirit “appears feminine, masculine and impersonal … like God himself is invisible and incorporeal - a bright light or a field of magnetic energy” (Unification Theology, p. 201-202).“The Holy Spirit is a female Spirit, this is because she came as the True Mother, that is, the second Eve ... She is also the spiritual wife of Jesus” (Divine Principle, p. 215).“God too grieves for his lost children and lost world, and has had to struggle incessantly to restore them to himself” (The Cornerstone, Vol. 1, No 7, p. 3).“God was working in America to raise up Billy Graham as the 2nd coming of John the Baptist. He was an obscure young man who would become the most seen Christian in the history of the world. Billy Graham does not know why he became so famous. It is because God was working to make him famous, not to witness for the first messiah, but for the 2nd and last messiah” (Jon Quinn, 1920: The Birth of a Messiah, p. 17).“God had chosen Billy Graham to be the 2nd coming of John the Baptist. Sadly he never heard of Sun Myung Moon after WWII and became the most famous Christian leader in the world. And like John the Baptist, he failed to see the humble messiah when he did hear about him many years later” (Jon Quinn, 1920: The Birth of a Messiah, p. 20)“The mission of the Savior is to liberate God and punish Satan. Who will get rid of this despicable ringleader who has continuously accused humanity? God cannot do it; only the Messiah, the Savior can” (Cheon Seong Gyeong, Selections from the Speeches of True Parents).
Moon said many other things, which illustrate the absurdity of his belief system, but let us go with the most foundational issue: Why should we believe and follow Moon?
According to Moon, we must follow him because Jesus appeared to him and commissioned him to finish the work He failed to finish. Jesus was supposed to find a second Eve and have children with her, thereby restoring God’s kingdom. One must ask Moon why we should even listen to Jesus since in his view he was a failure - after all Jesus who sent Moon was wrong and didn’t really follow God’s will. How then does he carry any authority?
One should also wonder about God in Moon’s theology. His is a god that failed with Adam and Eve, with Jesus and the second Eve, and now after Moon’s death in September 2012 and the subsequent split in his church, it seems his god has failed yet again. The god Moon thinks should be pitied isn’t a god worthy of being worshipped at all. In Moon’s theology, ultimately Moon is greater than his god, because Moon is the one who was supposed to liberate him. I guess now we must wait for the fourth Adam and fourth Eve.
Of course we can see that Moon’s claims are unverified and arbitrary. What if we say to Moon’s followers: “well Jesus appeared to me and told me Moon has failed by mingling with political elites and Jesus sent me to be the fourth Adam after Moon’s failure.” Of course a Moonie would ask me what proof I have for my claim. Well I have the same proofs Moon had for his i.e. nothing. A Moonie would then accuse me of making this stuff up as I go along, to which the obvious answer would be: “And what makes you think Moon wasn’t making it up as he went along?” If Moon is allowed to be arbitrary so am I, but if a Moonie is going to accept Moon’s claim with no evidence and wants evidence from me, then he is being inconsistent, and again if he is allowed to do that, so am I.
Thus a Moonie, claiming to be wise, becomes a fool (as Paul describes in Romans 1:22), dancing between arbitrariness and inconsistence all day long. We have seen just a few examples of how Moon made the strangest of claims and when it failed, or didn’t work, he made even a stranger one. He is just another example of those “who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18).