By Michael Mickler
Unificationists would do well to review accounts of Christianity’s rise, particularly the role of inter-marriage in its penetration of the Roman Empire.
One astute analysis is that of Rodney Stark, an eminent American sociologist of religion, who distinguishes between “primary” and “secondary” conversions in his Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries (1997) and The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion (2011).
According to Stark, “In primary conversion, the convert takes an active role in his or her own conversion.” Secondary conversion, he says, “is more passive and involves a somewhat more reluctant acceptance of a faith on the basis of attachments to a primary convert.” Agreeing to “go along” with one’s spouse’s faith is an example of this.
Based upon this distinction, Stark argues that exogamous marriage (with pagans) and secondary conversions were “crucial to the rise of Christianity.”
By Ye-Jin Moon
Note: This is an adaptation of a more detailed paper written for “The Unification Movement” course (LTR 5151) at UTS. Ye-Jin Moon consented to have an abridged version published on the AU Blog.
On January 7, 2013, True Mother made a truly momentous and historical announcement that from that date forward we in the Unification Movement (UM) should be addressing God not just as Heavenly Father, but as “Heavenly Parent,” which necessarily implies that God is equally Heavenly Father as well as Heavenly Mother.
In the UM, it had been customary to address God in the masculine as Heavenly Father, mainly because of the influence coming from the Old and New Testament Ages when God was regularly viewed in the masculine. However, if we are now living in Cheon Il Guk or “God’s Homeland,” the very first issue we need to address is who God is or why God is the Heavenly Parent of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother (HP of HF/HM).
By Kathy Winings
(This is an excerpt from the full 2011 article published in the Journal of Unification Studies)
The cornerstone of the Divine Principle is its emphasis on the original ideal of God and the subsequent ontological understanding of men and women. The first chapter outlines the basic principle that guided the creation and interrelatedness of all life forms with God and provides a clear description of our ultimate purpose of life as God originally intended. An important component of that principle concerns the description of human beings as having a spiritual body and a physical body. Divine Principle further explains the process of growth and development for human beings as envisioned by God and describes how and in what way these two “bodies” interconnect.
By John Redmond
There is an old movie called The Poseidon Adventure, where a passenger ship has an accident and capsizes. The passengers are all freaked out and although there is trapped air to breathe for a while, everything is upside down and all the passengers have different ideas about the best way out though multiple, dark, inverted passageways. Groups of them argue and head off in different directions, most coming to a cold and lonely end.
Feel a shiver?
Our organization is heading off in many directions. Some want to build churches along the Christian “praise church” model, with home churches becoming traditional churches becoming megachurches. Others produce banquet events, seeking to publicize aspects of Unification values. Still others have gone to the business world seeking to make a foundation for a future time when the money will be spent well.