A Response to Andrew Wilson’s Article on the Only Begotten Daughter

By Claude A. Perrottet

This recent article, “Why Does True Mother Call Herself the Only Begotten Daughter?” by Andrew Wilson suggests that True Mother has chosen to lower herself by taking on the title of Only Begotten Daughter in reaction to failure and opposition.

While acknowledging the many insights of this factual article, I submit that True Mother (Mrs. Hak Ja Han) has not lowered herself at all, but promotes this view much in line with her role as the first woman in history to fulfill the purpose of creation. Being humble, at least here, does not mean lowering oneself.

It is undoubtedly true that True Mother had no choice but to engage in a sustained effort to create a foundation for herself, just as Jesus and later True Father had been forced to do. And it is obviously true that True Mother had to start her lonely course under circumstances that were not the ones she or anyone would have hoped for (an understatement).

True Father was entirely victorious, but he was largely deprived of the fruits of his victory, and so were God and humankind. In True Family and our movement at large, fractures had begun to appear even before True Father passed on to spirit world.

I never had any doubts about the status of True Mother before, during, or after True Father’s ascension, and believe I am part of an overwhelming majority on this point. However, when we first heard the expression “Only Begotten Daughter,” several thoughts came to mind.

There was the issue of the meaning of “begotten” which Dr. Wilson addresses at the beginning of his article. Rev. Franco Famularo discusses it in detail in his contribution on “Words Matter: Linguistic, Historical and Theological Issues with the Term ‘Begotten'”; also see Dr. Tyler Hendricks’ “Predestination of the Only-Begotten Daughter.” No doubt, the Unificationist understanding is categorically different from the traditional “begotten, not made” understanding.

Is it really either/or?

True Mother’s decision to refer to herself publicly as the Only Begotten Daughter was a momentous event. The implications went far beyond those one could have expected from a change in terminology. But this decision may have a more fundamental meaning than that of True Mother lowering herself in response to lack of faith.

In her public speeches and autobiography, True Mother routinely refers to herself as both the Only Begotten Daughter and the True Mother of humankind, quite naturally, in the same sentence (e.g., The Mother of Peace, pp. 19 and 34 in the Korean edition). It is not either/or, and neither does Dr. Wilson’s article suggest it is. But the question remains whether True Mother’s recent insistence on her status as the Only Begotten Daughter was merely an effort to compensate for lack of faith within our movement, by lowering herself to the status of daughter, rather than standing as the Mother she actually is.

In fact, True Mother has never ceased to confidently present herself as the True Mother. We have all been aware of her status on this point ever since we realized we had True Parents. Whenever Mother speaks of True Parents, the direct implication is she is True Mother. Following True Father’s passing, True Mother began to be routinely introduced as “True Parents.” For instance, whenever she was about to appear onstage, the emcee would announce that “True Parents are entering the stage,” meaning True Father was accompanying her spiritually, but also that her presence alone meant that True Parents, being one, were present.

Quoting from Dr. Wilson’s article: “Therefore, Mother exited from the position of True Mother [emphasis added] and took up the position of God’s daughter.” This, actually, does sound like either/or, but I don’t see that as being the case.

Accepting True Mother as such has never been the problem. For decades, she has been our Mother and the mother of 14 True Children, True Father’s spouse who allowed him to move from single Messiah to being True Parent. That has never really been questioned. The Mother was lovingly accepted, cherished, admired and valued like True Father was, even by those who would later challenge her status as Only Begotten Daughter and its implications.

Vagueness in our understanding

We Unificationists were never quite clear about the status of True Mother, though we were largely unaware of it. True Mother was True Mother, but what she was beyond that was vague in our minds (or at least mine).

Why have we not been clear on this point? Why have some been a little puzzled or even taken aback when True Mother started introducing herself as the Only Begotten Daughter?

For one, we have simply remained spiritually dull, at least when compared to what our original condition would be. That causes us to always be at risk to miss the next step.

In the early days of our movement, True Mother was the uniquely prepared young woman chosen to be the eternal partner of the Lord of the Second Advent. Gradually, she began to appear side by side with True Father, in pictures and in real life — we have all witnessed that evolution. What True Mother was before meeting True Father also became known (the story of Daemonim’s life course). But it was seen as the story of True Mother’s preparation to become the spouse of True Father, hence True Mother, without the understanding that she had herself come as the Only Begotten Daughter, just like Jesus and Father were born as the Only Begotten Son, based on a providential course of preparation. That question, so to speak, bypassed our minds, as the focus was entirely on what Mother herself calls her “life in attendance to” True Father. Perhaps one could say that True Mother was seen as “Mrs. Only Begotten Son” rather than Only Begotten Daughter — a significant difference.

In the last years of his life, True Father had been gradually passing on the mantle to True Mother, while keeping ultimate authority. In many ways, Father encouraged Mother to be centerstage and he clarified that she was the one, as the Mother of humankind, who had to do it — not just because she was younger than Father. True Father even went to the point where he was, literally, attending True Mother, watching her delivering speeches around the world, regardless of time of day, putting himself in the supporting role. This is not a matter of interpretation — Father clearly explained this was the position he was putting himself in. In various instances, True Father made it clear True Mother had now become in every way his equal. Some of these quotes appear in Dr. Wilson’s article.

One thing remained unclear, and mostly we did not even want to think about it: what would True Mother’s role be after True Father’s passing, beyond maintaining his legacy and further spreading the message?

The messianic nature of the Only Begotten Daughter

By leading us to understand she was “Only Begotten” like Jesus and later True Father, True Mother made us aware of her own messianic preparation and the fact that she had a companion role to that of the Messiah — not just the role of wife and mother, even True Mother. That is, judging from my own experience, where the lack of clarity was and where some were unable to follow. True Mother’s greatness in the past few years is she was able to make an overwhelmingly credible case for that view by her words and, even more so, by her results.

Only Begotten Daughter is the natural counterpart to the well-known Only Begotten Son. It has biblical origins. Using that term in public speeches, notably in front of Christian ministers, is also a way of leading their minds to acknowledge the obvious parallel. It opens the way for them to accept True Mother for who she is. The expression is both shockingly new and very familiar (son–daughter). It presents itself as a natural, though unexpected, extension of something Christians have always known and cherished. It transforms the listener’s understanding of the messianic mission in a way that is more direct and explicit than even the term True Mother.

Since True Mother came in that position 2,000 years after Jesus was unable to find the Only Begotten Daughter, it suggests True Mother came to complete what Jesus had come to do. But, given her appearance in a totally different age, it also suggests that the Only Begotten Son she came to complete the messianic mission with is ultimately True Father, rather than Jesus. People can come to that conclusion quietly, in their own minds and at their own pace.

In Christian and Jewish tradition, the Messiah has always been a masculine figure. To a large extent, and perhaps surprisingly, this has also been the case for Unificationists. I do not see this primarily as a consequence of a collapse of faith that immediately preceded True Father’s ascension. To a significant extent, I see that particular issue as a consequence of unclarity on the true status of True Mother. More precisely, unclarity on the role a woman — original Eve — is meant to play in God’s human family. Paradoxically, this point was clear to True Mother since her early childhood, when her mother and grandmother were eagerly anticipating “the coming of the Only Begotten Son and the Only Begotten Daughter who would save the world” (True Mother’s autobiography, p. 75 of the Korean edition).

This leads me to another point made in Dr. Wilson’s article: “To restore the foundation of faith, True Mother undertook three years of mourning at True Father’s wonjeon. This was a duty which traditionally would be carried out by the eldest son.” I certainly do not wish to second-guess True Parents’ intent in taking unexpected steps. But it seems there is at least another way of looking at this.

It has often been repeated that we no longer live in the Choson era when the queen mother, while highly respected, was sidelined once her husband, the king, had died. As Dr. Wilson often emphasizes, True Mother appeared as the revelation of the original role and position of a woman. Through her three years of intense attendance to True Father after his passing, she sealed her unity with him. As she writes in her letter to Father, “through those conversations [during her daily visits to his grave], your thoughts became my thoughts and my thoughts became yours.” I see this course as essential, not accidental.

True Mother herself explains in her autobiography (p. 28, Korean edition) that she offered these three years of devotion to True Father “as his wife” and “on behalf of all humankind.” Likewise, while touring the world in recent years, proclaiming her role and giving the Blessing, she remarked on occasion she was doing this because we did not have the confidence or will to do it ourselves. She did it as a parent taking responsibility for her children’s shortcomings.

Meaning of the child’s position

When saying True Mother “lowered herself to the child’s position,” it is important to note that this is a position that had never existed before and was understood only vaguely, if at all. It is not a position like that of John the Baptist for which there was a precedent in Jesus and True Father, who had to go this course when the central figure entrusted with it failed.

Throughout biblical times, women of God were in the mother’s position, opening the way for men to be victorious in the son’s position through mother-son cooperation — leading eventually to the only Begotten Son Jesus. Women in the daughter’s position were not part of the picture. The struggles for restoration were over the Cain-Abel positions, involving sons exclusively. Only in recent years have True Parents begun to speak of father-daughter cooperation and countries in the daughter position — a sign that the times have been changing when True Mother began to appear on the world stage.

In short, though women were often key figures, they were so in a largely hidden way, behind the scenes, in a sacrificial position to open the way for sons to make a providential breakthrough. With this backdrop, it was hard to even imagine such a thing as the Only Begotten Daughter coming to earth as a central figure.

Upon consideration, I am not sure that the comparison between True Mother declaring herself to be the Only Begotten Daughter and Jesus “lower[ing] himself to the child’s position to take up the mission of John the Baptist” (Wilson article) really applies. On pp. 224-225 of Exposition of the Divine Principle, it clearly states that, after restoring the Foundation of Faith, Jesus “rose to the position of Messiah and True Parent.” “Messiah” here is the equivalent of Only Begotten Son — not the position of John the Baptist he was eventually forced to take on, which was that of Abel (son) in relation to Cain (the Israelites).

Mrs. Hak Ja Han awards the 4th Sunhak Peace Prize to former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Feb. 5, 2020.

In other words, Jesus should have secured the position which he had come to fulfill as both the Only Begotten Son and, after creating his family, the True Father. Both. When the Foundation of Substance crumbled, he “lowered himself” to the position of child = John the Baptist = Abel, not to the position of child = Only Begotten Son = Messiah. The “Son” of Only Begotten Son means Son of God, not the Abel son of a fallen family in the course of restoration.

Similarly, when True Mother began presenting herself as the Only Begotten Daughter, she did not mean to lower herself to the hypothetical position of an Abel-type daughter in the process of restoration.

She mainly clarified the fact that her generally accepted position as True Mother also meant that she was the Only Begotten Daughter, just like the Messiah (Jesus and True Father) came as the Only Begotten Son of God. She thus removed the vagueness attached to her providential role and value and confidently proclaimed that the providential meaning of True Mother was in every way the full equivalent of that of True Father. She was not simply the Messiah’s wife who became the True Mother by marrying him and following her course of attendance, no matter how special her preparation had been.

I see the proud proclamation of her full identity as a message of hope, opening new horizons and washing away the sense of loss and despair (not the inevitable sadness) that overcame all of us after True Father’s ascension. More than being damage control, it was a revelation.

Progressive revelation

True Father had been speaking (on occasion) about Tribal Messiahship since the early days (e.g., CSG, 155-265, 1965.10.31). Then, he began to speak about it in a focused way once the providential time for its completion had come in the early 1990s.

Similarly, he testified to True Mother on various occasions, but only in his last years on earth did he come to fully reveal the scope of her mission. Had Father, as many expected, lived to become 100 or more, the final transition would have proceeded more smoothly, no doubt.

If we understand that, just like Father, she was God’s only daughter who came with a mission just as crucial to the restoration of things gone wrong through the Fall, we must also realize that acknowledging who she really is came with the same kind of challenge that people first meeting Jesus or True Father faced. We could be prepared and taught about it (mostly by Father himself), but there was to be a residual element we could not be “fed” by Heaven: each of us had to make, if not a leap, at least a small step of faith and confirm to ourselves what we could sense if we were spiritually attuned (see Samuel Radebe’s remarks on spiritual vs. religious, General Assembly of the World Clergy Leadership Conference, Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 5, 2020, beginning at 1:31 of the video). True Mother, after True Father’s passing, was necessarily going to do things in a way we could not fully anticipate. Questions would come up.

In spite of all the miserable events surrounding True Father’s passing, it seems most of us did make that step.

When True Father suddenly passed, I felt an immense sense of regret. The over 7 billion people who had lived on earth at the time of the Lord of the Second Advent would never have a chance to know him. That could not be undone. True Mother was still with us, but based on the understanding of her “merely” being True Mother, the sense that history’s most essential providential time had passed without humankind being able to take full advantage of it had a devastating feel to it.

That is when things began to be clarified under True Mother’s direction. As she later commented, it took us some years to fully comprehend the meaning of this new stage of the Providence centered on True Mother — the only Begotten Daughter of God.♦

Dr. Claude Perrottet is Secretary-General of the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought. He translated An Introduction to the Thought of Sun Myung Moon from Korean to English, and has developed and taught numerous online courses including “Unification Thought in Context” currently offered by UTS. He received his Master of Divinity from UTS (class of 1999) and a Ph.D. in Theology from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. Dr. Perrottet has served as the FFWPU president of Switzerland and Albania. His publications include a book on Kant’s influence on Paul Tillich’s philosophy of religion.

22 thoughts on “A Response to Andrew Wilson’s Article on the Only Begotten Daughter

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  1. Claude Perrottet offers a helpful rejoinder to Andrew Wilson’s article on why True Mother calls herself the Only Begotten Daughter.

    While acknowledging his “many insights,” Claude disagrees with Andrew’s assertion that True Mother lowered herself by taking the position of OBD. Claude is correct, not only for the reasons he lists, but because of a fundamental flaw in Andrew’s argument.

    According to Andrew, after True Father’s passing, “The Parent position was not secure.” Later in his article, Andrew refers to “the crumbling foundation for True Parents” and this is the assumption that drives his argument. I regard this as a dangerous position that strikes at the core, indeed the rock of Unification faith.

    Fortunately, the flaw is not fatal, and Andrew finds a way to affirm faith in True Parents. However, it requires him to engage in theological gymnastics. Claude’s carefully reasoned, grounded approach is preferable to Andrew’s flights of speculation as a mode of Unification apologetics. In hands less faithful or creative than Andrew, assumptions as to True Parent’s position not being secure or their foundation crumbling will lead to divisiveness and division or even efforts to displace one or both of them as we have witnessed.

    1. I disagree that True Father retained ultimate authority. After True Mother’s installation as the leader of the Korean WFWP, True Father clearly commissioned her to carry on his work.

      True Father had spoken, from time to time, of the only begotten daughter. True Mother did not invent the term.

  2. I really appreciate this well-reasoned, clear explanation of True Mother’s position and mission. It resonates with my own faith that Mother is True Parents just as much as Father is. Furthermore, the Only Begotten Daughter is someone who all her life had a personal, profound relationship with God. Those who have separated from our movement and insist on Mother’s position only in relation to her husband fail to acknowledge that girls and women can and do have a relationship with God that is independent of the men in their lives. I recently reread my own notes from a speech TF gave at the one year anniversary of the founding of WFWP (April 10, 1993). These are my own notes so the translation is not exact, but this is some of what I wrote down:

    “In 1992 worldwide bride is found! Through the fall Adam lost control of Eve and four major realms of heart were lost. Mother has restored all four. She is True Mother, Daughter of God, Sister to God’s children and True Wife… Woman Messiah — this is new terminology. Rearmament, the new armament is women’s viewpoint.”

    Mother establishing her authority as Only Begotten Daughter as well as True Mother gives the whole world real hope.

    1. I agree completely. That True Mother’s proclamation supports the proper valuation of women, beginning with her own value, is the point of Dr. Perrottet’s article that I fully support.

  3. I appreciate that Dr. Claude Perrottet would respond to my article, “Why Does True Mother Call Herself the Only Begotten Daughter?” The work of theology benefits from debate and discussion, which can sharpen one’s thinking and reveal flaws in one’s argument.

    In my response, I could simply join the debate on the issues where we disagree. But that would be to overlook the many points on which we do agree. I commend Dr. Perrottet’s analysis of True Mother’s title of only-begotten Daughter as depicting her messianic position in her own right. He correctly clarifies that True Mother’s mission as the original Eve is just as vital as Jesus’ and True Father’s mission for the work of establishing God’s kingdom on earth. Further, I think he is absolutely correct that by calling herself the only-begotten Daughter, she “removed the vagueness attached to her providential role and value and confidently proclaimed that the providential meaning of True Mother was in every way the full equivalent of that of True Father.”

    However, it is well known that True Father had already proclaimed that True Mother was fully his equivalent, with equal status as the True Parent. In 2013, the slogan “True Parents are One” echoed around the church, as leaders bravely rallied around Mother and affirmed her worthiness to lead the movement. Why couldn’t True Mother have clarified her role and mission within the context of being True Mother, without putting forth a new title, “only-begotten Daughter”?

    This was the question that prompted my article. Why did Mother describe herself with a new title, “only-begotten Daughter?” Why did she continually use this term for herself in the years 2016 to 2019? I don’t think that Dr. Perrottet has adequately addressed this question.

    We know that using this term caused a commotion in the church. Not all members took it well. They were comfortable with the title True Mother, which cemented True Mother’s authority within the victories that Father and Mother had won together. This was at a time when True Mother’s support within the movement was being shaken by schisms in America and murmuring among some of the elders in Korea. Some would say that more controversy was the last thing she needed.

    Dr. Perrottet describes her proclamation of the only-begotten Daughter as “a message of hope, opening new horizons washing way the sense of loss and despair.” But that was not the widespread feeling when she first began using this term. That feeling is appropriate today in 2020, when True Mother is completely victorious. But we cannot reckon with True Mother’s actions without fully considering the providential context of those actions. The years after True Father’s Seonghwa were difficult times. Now we can affirm it as a wonderful “revelation,” but at that time it was a “hard saying” that only stoked the fires of controversy.

    He writes that True Mother “never ceased to confidently present herself as the True Mother.” Yet in fact, there was a period when in her public speeches she almost exclusively referred to herself as the only-begotten Daughter. Yes, she was introduced as the True Parent, but her speeches centered on the only-begotten Daughter, so much so that it bothered some members who love True Father. Why would she do that, I asked myself. She’s not an egotistical person; there had to be a providential reason.

    The basis of my analysis is the Divine Principle, which discusses the logic of a central figure lowering himself to rebuild a shaky foundation. True Mother, for whom nothing comes before her responsibility to accomplish God’s Will, knows the Divine Principle better than anyone. If she determined, for reasons of the Principle, that a certain providential mission had to be done, she would not hesitate to do it.

    Would educating members about her messianic value be enough of a reason for True Mother to do something as controversial as putting forth the concept of only-begotten Daughter? Was that her purpose? On the other hand, nothing can stop True Mother from doing whatever is required to fulfill the providence. This is the only reason, I believe, that can adequately explain why True Mother made such a challenging proclamation.

    We should not think that lowering herself was a mark of weakness or a sign of defeat. The great providential figures who lowered themselves were Jesus and Rev. Moon. They understood that in the course of restoration, the road to heaven requires going into hell. Lowering themselves meant trading glory for suffering. Mother had to do likewise. In every case it took great courage and humility. Dr. Perrottet admits as much when he writes, “It is undoubtedly true that True Mother had no choice but to engage in a sustained effort to create a foundation for herself, just as Jesus and later True Father had been forced to do.” But none of them were “forced to do” it; they voluntarily stepped up to carry the burden and pay the price.

    True Mother lowered herself, because just as the position of True Father is higher than that of Lord of the Second Advent, the position of True Mother is higher than only-begotten Daughter. True Father began his mission in 1945 as the Lord of the Second Advent, and his primary goal at that time was to establish the True Parents. True Parents is the position from which salvation could begin. Likewise, when True Mother met True Father, she did so in the position of the only-begotten Daughter, but to fulfill her purpose she had to become True Mother.

    True Mother lowered herself from the position of Mother back down to the position of Daughter, and in that position—the child’s position—she took up the challenge to deal with the Cain-Abel issues that had not been resolved at the time of Foundation Day in 2013. Now in 2020, we see that True Mother was completely victorious as Abel. She fulfilled the providential purpose of lowering herself. She stands confidently as True Parents once again, and thus her autobiography, published in her year of victory, indicates as much.

    Now that the time of travail is over, and with the victory at Foundation Day in 2020, True Mother has gone beyond the position of child and stands firm as the Mother of the Universe, the Mother of Peace. Today we can view her title of only-begotten Daughter from an educational standpoint as giving her messianic mission its due, as Dr. Perrottet does. But I believe that we should never forget the challenging path that proclaiming that title entailed, and why it was done.

    1. Thank you, Dr. Wilson, for your long and detailed reply. Incidentally, this is how I had initially thought of responding to your article. But the reply I was tentatively drafting in my mind became so long (and came so late) that I ended up submitting it as an article.

      Indeed, we agree much more that it might seem. Especially, we agree in our dedication to True Parents. We agree in our love for True Mother and our appreciation of the original role of women. On this point, you have actually done much more than me.

      Therefore, I do not believe that you “diminish” True Mother in any way through your article and comments. Saying this would be a real misunderstanding. In saying that True Mother has been lowering herself, you mean that she is the opposite of arrogant and that her claim to be the Only Begotten Daughter is not puffing herself up but rather a sign of humility and love. You are not the one who means to lower her. To me, that point is clear.

      My key issue with your position is that I do not see that True Mother stepped down from her position, though she certainly always has a heart to serve (like God does) and, in that sense, lowered herself. You write: “Why did she [TM] continually use this term for herself in the years 2016 to 2019?” Then, you state that the mere desire to educate members about her messianic role could not explain her choice to speak of her self as the OBD.

      As I tried to explain in my article, I see this as being precisely her purpose. Right after True Father’s passing, True Mother stepped into her role very strongly. Think of her first visit to New York. She may have waited a little to use the OBD terminology, but she immediately made clear through her demeanor and her actions that she was the OBD, i.e., the full counterpart of the OBS and that she had full authority. This was of course not arrogance, but True Mother taking the principled providential stand that applied, unafraid of the consequence and confident that this would, little by little, lead to a profound shift in consciousness. Using the OBD terminology, as you acknowledge, actually created initial opposition from those who did not easily understand. It was certainly not meant to ease things.

      This explains her continuous use of the term (some might have wrongly perceived it as obsessive): because she was determined to make a point. “True Mother” was a given, but not OBD. During True Father’s lifetime, she had neither the need nor the opportunity to make that point. And once she knew that we understood, she was free to mention it less often, though she keeps using the term. A word count of the frequency of the term over the years might be an interesting task.

      My second key point, though, is I do not see how, based on the Principle, you can say that by claiming to be the OBD True Mother descended to the position of Abel. I know that you mean it as a compliment, but is this really the case? OBD is not the position of John the Baptist. It is the essence of being True Mother, just like being the OBS, for Jesus and True Father, was the essence of being True Father. “Daughter” here means Daughter of God, like Son of God, not the child position in the Providence of Restoration.

      You bring up a number of other points and I would like to answer them, but I also want to keep this as brief as possible. Perhaps I will have another opportunity. You are right: through dialogue we can refine our own thought and identify flaws we hadn’t seen ourselves.

      1. Thank you, Claude, for your kind comments.

        Your last point gives me pause. Yes, my thinking is based on the idea that “Daughter” is a providential position and “Parent” is a providential position. Hence the lowering, on the model of the central figures in the Moses and Jesus chapter of Exposition of the Divine Principle. But what is “the essence” of Father, or of Mother? From the standpoint of Christian theology, being the only-begotten Son is a description of Jesus (or Father’s) essence as divine. I don’t believe that is the view of the Principle; rather I firmly stand with those who say that Jesus, and Father, are human beings: they are as Adam. As Adam was born the son of God without any connection to sin, so was Jesus, and by extension Father. So perhaps this essence refers to the fact that they are born without original sin, and hence not fallen. If that is the sense you mean, then you are correct.

        However, the complete essence of God is revealed in True Parents, not in the Son or the Daughter, because God has dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity. Also, the higher essence of God’s love is parental love, and True Parents come to represent God. So in these senses, True Father as father and True Mother as mother are more completely the essence of what God created them to become, i.e., their purpose of creation, rather than their sinless birth. So from the standpoint of qualification, their identity as only-begotten Son and Daughter is the essence of who they are, but from the standpoint of purpose, it is their identity as True Parents that is the essence of who they are.

        From the viewpoint of heart, as True Parent, Mother simply wants to stand in the position of Heavenly Mother’s representative to give the love of a parent, treating all humankind as her children. I believe that this is who she truly is, and what motivates her from the bottom of her heart. Yet during the period of strife before 2020, when she had to strengthen the movement’s foundation, she was not completely free to give that parental love as Mother. She had to lower herself to deal with strife in a role like that of Abel and win over Cain. That’s not the original love that a mother wants to give. So I believe that like Jesus before her, she went a course where she stood in two positions: as Parent and as child. She gritted her teeth and bravely took on that course. Now, thank God, she has overcome it all and can stand as Mother for all eternity.

        1. Dear Andrew,

          It really comes down to the understanding of Only Begotten Daughter (or Son).

          Even before becoming True Parent through a process, Jesus was God’s son (no original sin, as you suggest). He was not Abel, which is a “fallen position,” though an honorable one. Before Jesus could become True Parent, he needed John the Baptist’s support and, when he did not receive it, he had to step down to the position of John (Abel), which was lower that his actual position as Only Begotten Son, let alone the position of True Parent he was expected to reach. OBS is essentially not lower than TP, in that both are totally within God’s realm. OBS is at the beginning of the process, while TP is the culmination of it — in that sense the latter is higher. But going down to the position of John the Baptist is something else altogether – something Jesus had to do because John did not help him secure the position of TP.

          True Parents have secured their position long ago and I do not quite agree that this position was shaken, much less that it was crumbling, at the time of Father’s Seong Hwa. It was secure, which allowed Mother to stand strongly and with dignity, regardless of the chaos that, indeed, seemed to engulf everything at that time.

          What was not secure is God’s desire to save all humankind at the coming of True Parents. That was God’s agony, and True Parents’ agony. For that, and not to secure True Parent’s position, True Mother was willing to take upon herself a difficult task she should ideally have been spared (we should have done it). But that does not mean that she stepped down to the (restoration time) child’s position. And even if she had, she would then not have called herself the Only Begotten Daughter, which is not the position equivalent to Abel. What I do agree on, is that by speaking repeatedly, insistingly, of her identity as the OBD, she went back to basics to clearly explain who she was, something we should have understood all along by ourselves.

  4. Dr. Perrottet,

    I must confess that through the Applied Unificationism Blog my knowledge of the DP is becoming deeper, thanks to all of the brothers/sisters sharing their understanding with all of us. Personally, I find this sharing really precious, it is a blessing from HP for the international community.

    My understanding is that when TP established God’s Day on Jan. 1, 1968, both of them became the full expression of HP. So, according to the DP’s three blessings it should have been that moment that TF became the OBS and TM beaome OBD. Isn’t the establishment of True God’s Day the most important achievement done by TP? And all others are the result of this unique day that will be recorded in history?

    1. Migliore,

      In my understanding, True Father was already the only begotten Son and True Mother was already the only begotten Daughter before God’s Day, in fact even before the Holy Wedding in 1960. At the Holy Wedding, both of them ascended to the position of True Parents. However, True Mother still had to complete her individual course to perfection, the First Blessing, which she completed on God’s Day, January 1, 1968. Then, as you say, at that point “both of them became the full expression of Heavenly Parent.”

      Realizing the Three Blessings is a process. True Parents began fulfilling the Second Blessing as a couple following the Holy Wedding, then as a family in 1961 with the birth of their daughter Ye Jin Nim, and then in the course of raising their children and raising up all humankind as their children of their lineage through successive Blessings, beginning with the 36 Couples. True Parents began fulfilling the Third Blessing with activities in nature, on the water, fishing, building boats, etc.

      But as to picking out one unique core day among all the milestones in this process, I will follow True Mother, who just announced that the anniversary of the Holy Wedding is the eternal celebration to celebrate that special unique day, March 16, 1960, when True Parents were inaugurated.

  5. If only Dr. Wilson would admit that as UTS faculty with substantial theological credentials he somehow feels obligated to take on a defensive role against all detractors of the True Mother as Only Begotten Daughter position. In such a defensive role, Dr. Wilson has used the kind of diminishing language that Dr. Perrottet so rightly points out. If what he says is so obviously true, then why is he defending it all the time?

  6. Thank you to Dr. Perrottet for taking the time to articulate the value of both “only begotten daughter” and “True Mother.” I agree with him, that the former is not a “lowering” at all.

    While Dr.Wilson says he doesn’t want to obscure the positive assertion that Dr. Perrottet offers, I think his further points are both defensive and further obscuring the message. He seems to forget that being a “daughter or son of God” is not just a “child’s position” but one which humans have as long as they live on earth. We are always finite beings, not as infinite and present in all beings and creation as our Heavenly Father and Mother God are. As adults, we continue to be “daughters and sons” of God. Interestingly, in one of True Father’s Belvedere speeches of the 1970’s, he even says that all of us “should become ‘only begotten sons’ and ‘only begotten daughters” of God.” By using the verb, become, he is implying that this is a process of maturation to become one in this position.

    Additionally, in the 1992 ICUS presentation, True Father proclaimed the era of the “Double Messiah” and that the “House of Unification” would be ushered in by the “Mother,” and, as Dr. Rubenstein reiterated in his closing plenary address. This was over 20 years before 2013. As I have mentioned many times, in a Sept. 2007 East Garden talk (which I attended), True Father gave the revelation that “Adam and Eve were born as twins, like two peas in a pod…both equidistant from the Godhead, both as two pillars of creation….having the substantial pure bodies of God, both purely perceiving the principles of creation and equal in value [and position].”

    Therefore, although some did not take this message to heart as to the implications for the “Double Messiah,” some of us did. This proclamation, as well as the “Pacific Era of Women in Leadership” proclamation since 2006 (Peace Speech) already gave True Mother acknowledgement and shared authority. I surmise that just as some male leaders left out the 1992 inclusion of the “Double Messiah” –that more men were taken back by the “Only Begotten Daughter” terminology itself; although some correctly saw the need to clarify an apologetics for the newness of this title for our Christian pastors and contacts. Many women are well aware of the painful indemnity course of our True Mother, who represents all women of humanity. And the term “lowering” just replicates that continued indemnity and devaluing of True Mother and women altogether.

    So, the term “lowering,” as Dr. Mickler also rightly points out, is an error and an obfuscation which can lead to further confusion, as well as misunderstanding what being even a “daughter or son of God” actually means.

    1. Donna, just to be clear, the “child’s position” refers to the terminology in the Divine Principle, where in restoring the foundation of substance, two beings in the child’s position (i.e., Cain and Abel) have to make the foundation for the parents’ position (i.e., True Parents). Of course we are all eternally children of God, and this is a noble and glorious position, as you say. But in terms of the Principle of Restoration, True Parents stand as Parents on the foundation of Cain-Abel Unity. The Parents should be able to rest secure in that position, knowing that their children are united. We all know that this was not the case in the years just before and after True Father’s seonghwa. Therefore, True Mother had to deal with restoring that foundation.

      Lowering herself to the position of a child, when she is already True Mother, in order to fill up an incomplete foundation is not something negative or denying of her value as True Mother, which she always remains. It would be like saying that Jesus going to the cross to pay the price for our disbelief reduced his value as the Son of God. It does not. Rather, it is an act of greatness.

  7. Andrew:

    As Sally reiterated, True Mother is both True Parent and the “Only Begotten Daughter” at the same time. Your argument still misses the point. The basic premises are wrong. True Mother did not leave her position as True Parent to share more about how her journey becoming the “Only Begotten Daughter,” as she describes in her autobiography (her life story of her upbringing and becoming who she was in order to meet True Father), gives a deeper understanding to True Parents’ legacy and her keeping that torch lit even while her husband has passed. And, she did not “lower” herself. Nothing can change the effect of using this terminology to defend a false premise.

    Rhetorical persuasion can become sophistry when woven around false or incorrect premises. Steve was also spot-on in his observations.

  8. True Mother’s proclamation of “The Only Begotten Daughter of God” had sparked several “hot discussions” in the Unification community and had even induced severe criticism from the H2 group.

    Indeed the term “The Only Begotten Daughter of God” is absent in the Bible and in Christian theology, because it is a Completed Testament age terminology. But it is also vague in DP and in Father’s speeches. Perhaps these are the reasons prompting True Mother to come forward to clarify Herself.

    I concur with Dr. Perrottet that our traditional understanding of True Mother’s identity has been vague. She wants to tell us that she is not an ordinary woman who happened to marry True Father and then was trained up by him to become the True Mother of humankind. She wants to tell us that her qualification for becoming True Mother was her lineage of original Eve, just like True Father’s. Her proclamation is of outmost important for her ministry.

    During Jesus’s lifetime, the Holy Spirit only dwelled in Jesus’s body and she played a supportive role to him. At the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended and dwelled in all Christians bodies. She became the chief commander of the Church.

    By the same token, during Father’s lifetime, True Mother (the substantial Holy Spirit) stood beside him, playing a supportive role to True Father. At this time of Unification pentecost, True Mother assumes the role of the chief commander of our church.

    Knowing her as a True Mother of humankind is not as fundamental as knowing her as a “Only Begotten Daughter of God”, because the term “True Mother” only describes her mission while the term “Only Begotten Daughter of God” describes Her qualification. She wants us to trust her, support her as much as we did to True Father so that she will fulfill Her mission.

  9. True Mother’s proclamation has stirred up much heated debate, signifying that many of us have not bestowed equal honor to her as much as we did to True Father. Perhaps this is because our traditional concept of messiah is dominated by a masculine being.

    True Mother wants to tell us that at this Completed Testament era, her mission, her origin, her value, are the same as True Father’s.

    The term “True Mother” describes her external mission. The term “Only Begotten Daughter of God” describes her internal qualification. Combining these external and internal aspects, she wants to tell us that she deserves our trust and support as we gave to True Father.

  10. In my view, Mr. Kwang boils it down to the essential point: The term “True Mother” describes her mission. The term “Only Begotten Daughter of God” describes her internal qualification.

    I would add if you attribute “external or mission,” the most essential point is heart and forgiveness, especially when it comes to the works of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Rohan,

      True Mother, together with True Father, gives rebirth to mankind. That’s their Messianic mission. However, since no ordinary people are qualified to take up that mission due to their fallen lineage, therefore, first and foremost, True Father and True Mother must be the “Only Begotten Son and Daughter of God” in order to be qualified as the Messiahs.

      I agree that as a Messiah, she needs to possess the attributes of “heart” and “forgiveness.”

  11. This is my first time to visit this site, I just happened upon it! I am so enjoying everyone’s thoughts, expertise and dialogue. I definitely do not expect my writing to be published in this journal. However I would be grateful to have even one scholar send me their comment/understanding.

    I would like to share some thoughts I have on the subject of The Only Begotten Daughter and get one of your responses. It has to do with Original Sin. When I was quite young, an elder Korean woman asked us if we thought True Father was born with or without original sin. At first I just assumed that True Father was born without original sin, but because the question was put to us, I had to pray about this a lot. I eventually believed that True Father was born with original sin, otherwise we had no connection to be restored (?). Also, I always felt cheated that because Eve’s teacher, Lucifer, was jealous of God’s children, and thought if he had a relationship with Eve, then he would be so loved by God too.

    I cried many hours in prayer about this point. In those tearful prayers I felt it obvious that Lucifer had more knowledge than Eve, and I can imagine she naively trusted him. I felt angry at God, because in my lifetime men were the rapists of women! Ever since the Original fall, it has been women who have suffered under the hand of men. I felt deeply cheated by a loving God.

    It was not until I read True Mother’s biography that I felt like it all connected for me and I accepted my pain as a result of the history of restoration. The story of Father’s childhood is completely different from True Mother’s. True Father had many siblings, and it seems like True Father’s childhood was close to any child born into a good family. Reading True Mother’s Anthology I felt like I finally understood how three generations of women lived a pure and celibate life , each having only one daughter. And the seriousness of True Mother’s mother to be very strict with True Mother, made her course much more burdened than True Father’s (while he was young, at least). Understanding more deeply about True Mother’s very hard life, and her deep understanding of her own course, has had a deep effect on my heart! Knowing a little more about True Mother’s course as the Only Begotten Daughter of God from her own words has finally helped me.to accept my own course, walking it with much less complaining!

    Thank you to anyone who has read this. I am inspired to write here, because I want to know if my own overall understanding is correct? I would be grateful for any response.

  12. Linda,

    Permit me to share a few points based on my understanding (forgive me if I am incorrect).

    First, “original sin” is a Christian concept. It is not based on the Principle. The Principle speaks of the process of restoring the Fall and then bringing Lucifer to surrender voluntarily. Lucifer won’t surrender as long has he has a condition to attach himself to human beings and accuse God saying, “they are mine.”

    So the first of those conditions is lineage, because all humankind is born from Satan’s lineage due to the Fall. Jesus’ ancestors, notably Tamar but also Ruth, Bathsheba, Rahab, and Mary, went through a process of reversing the Fall, which required them to leave a male archangel-figure and unite with a man on God’s side. These conditions in Jesus’ lineage established God’s lineage into which Jesus could born. This is what Christians call having no original sin and being the only-begotten Son, although their explanation is fantastical. Father inherited that condition from Jesus, I believe, when he received his call. So from that time on, he was as much God’s only-begotten son as Jesus was.

    But this was only his individual foundation; it could not be passed on. Therefore, the next condition was to establish the True Family, inaugurating God’s lineage that can be passed on to their descendants. The multiplication of Blessed Families throughout the world is what caused Satan to lose his base among humankind, and this led him to recognize that he could no longer accuse God. Also, True Parents gave Satan so much love, at the risk of their lives, that Satan’s heart was moved, and he surrendered voluntarily in 1999. From that point on, there is no longer any lineage that he desires to claim — only the remnants of the past (human beings who were defiled in the past and need to be cleansed through the Blessing).

    Father could stand in the position to establish the True Family because Satan could not accuse him; his lineage was pure, inherited from Jesus. Now we know that three generations of Mother’s ancestors went through their own course to purify her lineage so that she could stand in the position of the Bride at the Holy Wedding — as the Only Begotten Daughter. I also believe that Father made additional conditions for her sake, through certain representative women, to cleanse her from the accusations against fallen Eve, although no one likes to talk about them.

    For Unificationists, the real point at which Satan loses his hold on humankind is the Holy Wedding in 1960, the Marriage of the Lamb in the Bible, because the establishment of the True Family was the true beginning point of a lineage without original sin that could multiply in the world and hence the beginning of a world without the Fall. That is why True Mother rightly is lifting up that day in the Unification calendar.

    1. Dr. Wilson,

      I sincerely thank you for your response. I was a devout Christian before I joined True Parents. Understanding that the Messiah was on the earth, was the biggest thing that ever happened to me. I lived in NYC for the first 10 years of my church life, meeting True Parents very often. I may have left the impression that I was out of step with True Father. Actually I cried with gratitude for the Second Coming of Christ every time I sat at his feet. Like most members, I loved True Father first. Thank you for correcting and reminding me of the incredible foundation laid for the coming of our True Father.

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