Marxism vs. the Principle as a Means to Solve Social Problems

By Stephen Stacey

Within the Principle framework, social development is primarily seen to be a product of lineage development. If our children are a bit more wholesome than we, then future development is assured. Many parents in the movement are incredibly proud of the remarkable gifts their children embody. The Divine Principle notes social improvement occurs when development happens inside any of the three blessings.

But social improvement based on lineage improvement takes time.

It takes time for individuals to grow so that they can then enter the world and improve the education system, the health system, the legislative framework, the media, the national infrastructure, the way businesses are run, the products companies can make, medicines, the kind of help charities might provide, and what religious communities may be able to offer to the faithful and others — all as a means to improve social outcomes in the next generation.

For example, it took time to develop the education system in the West. But, eventually, each generation grew up to be slightly more skilled than the last.

As this happened, each successive generation typically became slightly wealthier and more capable of protecting itself from the ravages of life. Through taking this natural pathway, the West slowly but surely developed.

However, some can get impatient with this natural law. They might insist that social development should happen much faster, primarily through state intervention. Sometimes, new technology allows for this to happen. But often there is no way to solve a social problem other than for the whole of society to work together to improve the level of wholesomeness of the children we bring into this world.

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Unconscious First Principles

By John Redmond

Everyone has some blind beliefs about the nature of existence.  They will swear that their ideas are well-reasoned, tempered by experience and fully rational — but they are not.

This is due to the fact we do not cause ourselves to come into being. We can never be fully sure that our suppositions about where we came from and what our purpose might be are correct.  Most people seize on a likely explanation or adopt their family framework and get on with the business of day-to-day living.

The unusual ones search out the larger truths and struggle to understand the patterns that underlie their assumptions. Based on those assumptions, every human, even non-religious ones, “act in faith.”  They make decisions and act as if their concepts are true and blindly hope they are. Even existentialists, proud deniers of doctrine and belief, cling to a first principle of absurdity.

Historically, humans worshipped the sun or nature because of the power those things had over one’s continued existence.  As civilizations developed and the forces of nature were tamed, the elite of most societies sought to develop more sophisticated and well-rounded explanations of how things actually were and then what to do about them. They made ontological assumptions.

Much of the conflict in society today comes from people with opposing ontologies, both conscious and unconscious.

Ontology is the philosophical field revolving around the study of the nature of reality (all that is or exists), and the different entities and categories within reality. All ontologies are hypothetical.  They are a good guess about how things really work and what is behind them.  The way these hypotheses are tested for accuracy is by history.  As generations of humans live based on the assumptions of their ontology, they develop all the other philosophical practices based on those primary assumptions. They also test these for efficacy over time.

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Filial Piety and Resemblance: Challenges from a Historical and Contemporary View

By Rohan Stefan Nandkisore

To be able to breathe the same air as True Parents on earth is something that seems so normal we sometimes forget how precious it actually is and how privileged we are.

Even though we have the truth, we are still ignorant about True Parents and their course. There are historical examples of how filial piety and resemblance was practiced 2,000 years ago and recited in thousands if not millions of churches every day.

What can we learn from historical examples? In the sometimes dramatic encounters mentioned in the gospels, the disciples of Jesus often do not look very noteworthy in their behavior towards the Lord.

Here, I discuss three challenges to filial piety and resemblance: 1) Ideal and reality; 2) From neglecting to negotiating and arranging with this world; and, 3) The theological confusion surrounding Romans 8:30.

Ideal and Reality

The period of history after Jesus’ passing cannot be understood as one harmonious body of Christ. Numerous different Christian groups, plus the Jewish claim of exclusive choice (Christianity was seen as the true Jewish faith by followers in the beginning), formed a religion causing disagreement among believers, as well as nonbelievers, from the very outset. It used to be common practice for different faith groups to live side-by-side, but with the advent of Christianity, a whirlwind of orthodoxy and intolerance arose that had never been witnessed before.

An experience with the Holy Spirit, caused by a scriptural context attributed to Jesus’ own words, could cause a major misinterpretation of the source — and therefore there were sometimes enduring struggles among competing missionaries.

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Heavenly Parent and the God of Dual Characteristics

By Tyler Hendricks

Soon after the ascension of her husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon (for Unificationists, Father Moon), Dr. Hak Ja Han (Mother Moon) said that God is Hanul Bumo, Korean for Heavenly Parent(s). She thus upended 2,000 years of Christian understanding as well as the normative understanding of her own movement.

Some criticized her pronouncement and used it to justify rebellion. None of those people, to my knowledge, provided a meaningful theological basis for the rejection of Heavenly Parent.

Happily, others, including Dr. Ye Jin Moon and Dr. Andrew Wilson, developed meaningful theological reflections on God as Heavenly Parent. In 2013, I published on this blog an inquiry on the subject, and I appreciate the responses to it from both Dr. Moon and Dr. Wilson. Since then, I’ve continued my exploration into the idea of God as Heavenly Parent.

My purpose here is to show that the doctrine of God’s dual characteristics in Exposition of the Divine Principle (henceforth, Exposition) supports Mother Moon’s appellation of God as Heavenly Parent.

The Ontological God and Economic God

I begin with an important distinction. I will be talking about the dual characteristics in terms of the beginning of creation, the God beyond time and space, which I term the ontological God. God in relationship to time and space is the economic God. I derive these terms from the Christian theological categories applied to the Trinity. There is the ontological Trinity, God outside time and space, and the economic Trinity, God in relation to time and space. The subject of this article is Exposition’s teachings on the ontological God, which it calls the causal reality.” (p. 15)

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The COVID-19 Pandemic and America

COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the U.S. by county, June 10, 2020.

By Ronald Brown

In April, as I sat in lockdown in my Queens apartment, blocks from Elmhurst Hospital, ground zero for New York City’s pandemic treatment, I tuned to radio news hourly, religiously followed the BBC, PBS Newshour, network news, virus specials on television, awaited the morning clap of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal on my doorstep, and consumed articles in magazines.

As of mid-June, the daily death toll in the City is now around 20 (down from a peak of as much as 1,200 per day in April), over 120,000 have died nationwide (6,500 in the borough of Queens alone), shutdowns and lockdowns in the City are just beginning to ease, and many fear a coming second wave of infections, likely a result of lifting stay-at-home restrictions too soon.

I am not the ordinary citizen lamenting home imprisonment, teaching on Zoom, not finding the right foods in the supermarket, and receiving news of friends in the hospital, quarantine or morgue. I am a news junkie, but also a professor with a BA and MA in history from Gannon University and the Hebrew University, an MTS in theology from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Geneva.

From my balcony in Queens, I witnessed the racing ambulances on Queens Boulevard, scalpers selling overpriced face masks, my downstairs neighbor coming home late at night from nurse duty, and two elderly neighbors peering through covered windows. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans fought in Washington. With major corporations declaring bankruptcy, unemployment rising close to 16%, pastors and rabbis insisting on their religious freedom to gather their followers, and armed militias unwilling to sacrifice their American freedoms for the common good, I couldn’t help but ponder, “whither America?”

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The Impossibility of God’s Ideal Without Angels

By Kathleen Burton

Why does Divine Principle place little emphasis on the topic of angels, yet our lives, in restoration history in what is now Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, are based on the failure of a human/angelic relationship?

Furthermore, the Principle of Creation gives no guidelines for ideal interactions between the two worlds. True Mother (Mrs. Hak Ja Han) expects Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community to be the harbinger of world peace and God’s ideal, yet the contingency of that reality must manifest not only in our human world but in the angelic one as well.

This is God’s Original Design. We are not meant to have all the answers, yet Heavenly Parent does not usually use divine revelation in these matters. True Father had to work hard to understand the Fall. The same is expected of us. In a post-Foundation Day reality, we must work hard to ask the questions that lead to the “what should have been” in the first human/angelic relationship.

One reality is we do not have an even playing field. First, there are no experts on angels. Second, our Western membership has a great advantage with a Judeo-Christian foundation of over 300 references to angels in the Bible.  Nora Spurgin’s Circles of Angels remains untranslated, hence unavailable especially to our Asian membership.

Here, I examine the Christian tradition’s scholarship on angels as a base from which to work. I then compare it to the base of human growth in Divine Principle. If we were originally created to work together there must be a model. We begin to explore that possibility.

Christian tradition developed “The Celestial Hierarchy” of the angelic world. After my exploratory research, there emerged a relationship between this nine-level hierarchy and the nine levels of human growth from the Principle of Creation. Let’s look at each briefly and then consider this relationship.

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Are UTS Graduates Able to Engage Theologically With Christian Ministers?

By Robert Duffy

In taking online courses offered by Unification Theological Seminary in the past nine months, my amazement at the theological power of the Divine Principle has been renewed.

In the early 1970s, I was a DP lecturer at the International Training Center at the Belvedere Estate, north of New York City, and had the privilege to lecture many of the state leaders and others who went on to become international foreign missionaries in 1975.

At that time, under Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s personal direction, we lectured the DP almost verbatim, but from memory, not from notes, and the most important feature of our lectures was indeed the emotional and intellectual balance in our presentations, much like exists in the DP itself. Passion and logic were close friends in those lectures.

Is UTS turning out theologically-trained pastors and ministers of the Word who are able to engage with their Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic counterparts in an informed and cogent way? Are there any Doctors of Theology or of the History of Christian Thought in our camp who can lead the way in helping to bridge the current chasm between mainstream Christianity and Unificationism? Is there a possibility of reviving the incredible excitement generated in an earlier period when UTS hosted theological conferences that challenged and inspired theological discourse in the time after the “Death of God”?

As I see it, our principal issue as Unificationists with regard to our Christian friends is that we don’t know how to adequately respond to the centrally-held tenets of Christianity:

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The Marriage Has Come: Holy Wedding and Holy Community

By Thomas Selover

Unificationists recognize the Holy Wedding of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han on the 16th day of the 3rd lunar month (3.16)  in 1960 as the long-prophesied Marriage Supper of the Lamb from the Book of Revelation. “Blessed are those invited to celebrate this great event,” proclaims the angel in Rev. 19:9.

This year, 2020, marks the 60th anniversary of True Parents’ Holy Wedding, a time to renew our understanding and celebration. In East Asian life philosophy, a 60-year cycle represents a full completion and a new beginning at a higher level.

At a special gathering to mark the 60th anniversary of True Parents’ Holy Wedding, on May 8, 2020, True Mother announced a new name for our providential endeavors, namely “Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community.” At the same time, she also announced that from now on, our New Year will begin in the Spring. Heavenly Parent’s Day (formerly 1.1) will be celebrated on 3.16 of the heavenly calendar, the anniversary of True Parents’ Holy Wedding.

In the context of world religions, I offer some thoughts on these major announcements.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb: From Persecution to Celebration

In chapter 19 of John’s Revelation, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is prophesied as a momentous event, accompanied by great rejoicing: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:6b-7, RSV).

Yet, as we know, that most holy event happened in the midst of terrible persecution. True Father explains: “Despite the global and cosmic significance of that ceremony, in reality it was held in the presence of a small number of people and amid persecution that was beyond imagination.” (CSG, 1233-34)

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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.

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