Cognitive Dissonance and the Human Fall

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By Gordon L. Anderson

GordonI find it increasingly difficult to talk about the human fall in a secular culture by using scriptural justifications. The Divine Principle is a book written in the language and culture of Judeo-Christian thought, but the language of our current culture is more shaped by universities than by churches. I have found audiences show greater understanding of concepts like the Fall when using terms from social psychology.

Reaction and integrity

My basic position is that reaction is a characteristic of the growth stage and integrity is characteristic of the perfection stage or maturity. Adam and Eve were given a commandment “not to eat of the fruit” when they were children because they did not live in a state of integrity, and were subject to impulsive reactions. Adam and Eve fell at the top of the growth stage through such a reaction and disobeyed the commandment. If they had reached integrity they would understand the consequence of their actions and would not have acted blindly. Obeying the commandment would have kept them on course so they could each grow to maturity and be in a position to raise children from integrity before consummating their marriage.

Cognitive dissonance

The concept of “cognitive dissonance” can help us understand the motivation for the human Fall. Cognitive dissonance is when we expect one thing based on our beliefs and understandings, but experience something else. Cognitive dissonance causes frustration and is uncomfortable.

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Scripture, Authority and Lineage in Unificationism

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By Jack LaValley

Jack LaValleyRecent events in our movement provide us the opportunity to review mainstream Unification teachings. Not to do so is tantamount to reneging on our responsibility to “usher in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.”

In this article, I examine the role of sacred texts and spiritual authority, then tackle change of blood lineage theology. Addressing these two areas will enable us to more quickly reach our desired destination. Our destiny is to be in a living relationship with the living God, as explained to us by Rev. Sun Myung Moon in his historic speech, “God’s Hope for Man.”

Sacred scriptures and spiritual authority

According to Rev. Moon, “The Bible is…not the truth itself, but rather is a textbook teaching the truth (Divine Principle, p. 105; cf. DP, pp. 7, 104).”  He did not accept the doctrine of verbal inerrancy of the Bible as taught by fundamentalists and some evangelical churches. He approached the Bible as an authoritative text not to be taken literally in all matters, and open to interpretation. We ought to adopt the same approach regarding any sacred texts sanctioned by our religious authorities.

Prior to his death on Sept. 2, 2012 (Sept. 3, Seoul time), Rev. Moon compiled his “last words I will give to humankind” into eight textbooks which he believed reveal the essence of his teachings, and he admonished his followers that by studying these texts the will of God will be realized on the earth.  Since Moon’s passing, his surviving widow, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon — known by devoted followers as Mother Moon — guided in 2013 the publication of a new three-volume set of holy scriptures, and church officials now encourage followers to study those texts to gain a correct view of God’s will.

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