The Mission Butterfly of Early Christianity and the Nature of Unificationism

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By Rohan Stefan Nandkisore

EditorLooking at history, we see that the rise of democratic societies — some of which even base their constitutions on the ideology of Jesus Christ — has brought about freedom on a scale never before experienced. Yet, we also witness an erosion of those highly treasured values.

Countless people, mainly Christians, died to attain these values that we take for granted today; this includes underground missionaries of the Unification Church in the former Soviet Union and East European countries, whose sacrificial missions sometimes led to imprisonment and even death, and was referred to as “mission butterfly.”

We need to revitalize these virtues as expressed in Reverend Moon’s peace messages in order to not lose them. As a journalist, I discovered interesting aspects of early Christianity that offer valuable lessons from the past.

There is a basilica in Fulda, Germany, which contains the relics of Boniface, given the honorable title “Bishop of the Germans.” I was wondering for a long time how come a missionary from Wessex (England) Christianized the German lands in the 7th century? Geographically, Britain is much further from Rome and the Mediterranean than Germany.

The answer to this riddle dates back to the times of Emperor Augustus, 9 A.D., during the childhood of Jesus. Augustus mourning “Varus, Varus, give back my legions” is still remembered today. Arminius, a Cherusk, caused the annihilation of three Roman legions in the Teutoburger forest. Subsequently, the Romans withdrew from large areas of German lands and never returned. As a result, it did not become Christianized, but Britain did after it came under the control of the Roman Empire at least until the Hadrian fortress fell.

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Lessons of Illness and Death

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by William Selig

WS CU cropIn my capacity as chaplain in an inner-city hospital, I deal with end-of-life situations as frequently as two or three times a day. My faith as a Unificationist accepts death as normal and part of God’s plan. I know that if God is in our life, then He must also be in our death, and this gives me a sense of comfort and the strength to offer spiritual support to the patient, family and staff.

When I enter the room and see the patient lying on the bed, the family is generally gathered around or standing outside in the hallway or hurriedly on their way to the hospital. The air is thick with emotion. My heart never fails to be moved by the sincerity and tears. I am deeply touched by the weeping and what I call “quiet tears” where I know the family’s feelings are building up inside and ready to overflow.

I try to provide a compassionate presence even if the patient is unresponsive. I always assume their spirit self or inner being is awake and appreciative of companionship.

When a person knows that death is imminent, what happens next really depends on their values and beliefs. Faith and spirituality often become very important even if he or she hasn’t set foot in a house of worship for years. Many appreciate hearing sacred words and prayer. Most often people request Psalm 23. It is known to everyone and provides a comfortable assurance that Heavenly Parent is in the room.

Besides the patient, I offer spiritual support to the family and loved ones through companionship, prayers, and a listening heart. Essentially the chaplain is a reminder that life has a spiritual dimension. I try to help them deal with the situation and find some sense of spiritual peace.

I’m always been inspired by how God opens the hearts of the families. Although I am a total stranger, I am immediately welcomed into the center of an emotionally intimate situation, certainly not as an individual, but rather as what the chaplain represents. The family wants to feel the presence of God. They want the assurance that God is in charge and that he’s there, even when things aren’t going according to their own wishes or expected plan.

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The Sanctuary Church Schismatics

Front View of SC

By Michael Mickler

Mickler full-sizeThe Sanctuary Church (SC), with branches in the U.S. and overseas, is best understood as a schismatic movement. Followers of schismatic movements are known as schismatics. A schismatic is a person who creates or incites schism in an organization or who is a member of a splinter group.

SC, formally the “World Peace and Unification Sanctuary,” claims that the wider Unification movement has deviated from the teachings and practice of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and that its purpose is to preserve and propagate his teaching.

The SC schism was several years in the making.

In 2013, SC Pastor Hyung Jin Moon, then International President of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU, a.k.a. the Unification Church), refused the request of his mother, Hak Ja Han Moon, to take up duties under her in Korea. Instead, he relocated to the “wilderness” of Newfoundland, Pennsylvania, where he began an independent ministry. He was supported by his elder brother, Kook Jin Moon, who relocated Kahr Arms, which he heads, to nearby Pike County. Together, they purchased a church facility in 2014 and began the SC ministry.

Initially, SC uplifted gifts of grace and the Holy Spirit. Later, a “wilderness” mentality took hold and sermons turned apocalyptic. Hyung Jin Moon castigated “predatory elites” and “postmodern” thinking, gave credence to “truther” claims about the Twin Tower attacks, and emphasized prophetic speculation about Shmita year cycles and Blood Moon Tetrads. Then, in a series of sermons, beginning January 18, 2015, he broke decisively with FFWPU.

His epiphany was that the “predatory system of control… in the world at large” also was occurring in FFWPU. Based on this understanding, he directed Unification Church members to resign from FFWPU organizations. In a subsequent “Declaration of Heaven,” he announced the removal of all current leaders of the Unification Movement, declaring they had “no authority.” He called on members to take over church boards and elect replacements.

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Race, Student Motivation, and the Achievement Gap

elementary-classroom

By Gordon Anderson

GordonIn many policy discussions about the “achievement gap” between whites and minorities in public schools, racism and insufficient public funding of schools are frequently given as the primary reason for the gap. But is blaming race or schools getting to the heart of the achievement gaps that exist today? Or, are social factors related to the motivation and preparation of students more important than either of these policy-driven reasons?

Most public schools are not consciously racist

While some individuals employed by public schools may be racist, and some subconscious racial practices may still exist, racist laws related to segregation and civil rights are largely a thing of the past. Further, the increased diversity and intermarriage in urban American melting pots has tempered old racial stereotypes. Especially, government laws and inner-city school policies have consciously strived to eliminate racism from schools over the last 50 years, and often extra programs are funded to help failing students catch up to others.

Yet, newspapers continue to report that inner-city public schools experience greater delinquency and lower performance among racial minorities. And, for at least the last 30 years, legislators have tried to address the achievement gap by earmarking extra funding for public schools in inner cities. However, performance disparities have not improved; if anything, the “achievement gap” is widening. Are minorities failing because of their race, or are other reasons like socialization of children more important?

Government statistical practices promote racial stereotypes

Social scientists can study whether race, or racism, is the strongest correlate to student failure or whether there are other factors. Because of the tragic history of slavery in the United States, statistics are often promoted racially. When schools report to governments on student achievement, they are asked to do so by race. So charts based on statistics from departments of education get generated like this:

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