The Atonement, Man and Death in the Unification Church
|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
|The biblical view of the atonement is rejected by Sun Myung Moon when he teaches that God never intended Jesus to die on the Cross.|
The Atonement, Man and Death in the Unification Church
The biblical view of the atonement is rejected by Sun Myung Moon when he teaches that God never intended Jesus to die on the Cross. This is repeated endlessly in UC theology:
Do not believe in the Christ on the cross…. The cross is the symbol of Satan’s victory.
Today’s Christianity believes in the crucifixion of Jesus. But that’s not the way it should be. Nothing like salvation can come from the cross…. By the crucifixion, everything was denied and lost.
This is not biblical teaching. Paul stated, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). He said this because it was the atonement of Jesus that propitiated God’s wrath and provided salvation (Rom. 3:21-28). “In him we have redemption through his blood” (Eph. 1:7, cf., 1 John 2:2). Moon rejects this, as the following statements declare emphatically:
A vast number of Christians throughout the 2,000 years of Christian history have been confident that they have been completely saved by the blood of Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, in reality, not one individual… has… [been saved].
We must know that the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross was not the original intended will of God…. There was no redemption; there was no salvation; and there was no beginning, no beginning of Christianity. So there on the cross, salvation was not given. Today, the Unification Church members must know this truth…. We must grimly realize, and rededicate ourselves, knowing first of all, that Jesus did not come to die on the cross. So we must not celebrate a false Christmas in which we believe that Jesus Christ was destined to die on the cross.
A statement like the above, in light of clear biblical teaching, is incredible. Moon claims that his teachings are Christian, yet he ignores the plainest and most central teaching of the entire New Testament: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3, emphasis added ).
For Moon, Jesus’ death resulted from factors other than propitiating God’s anger against sin. Jesus was crucified because He disobeyed God, used occult powers or failed to find a wife! “The reason why Jesus died was because he couldn’t have a bride…. That was the cause of his death.”  The Divine Principle asserts, “If Jesus had not been crucified, what would have happened? He would have accomplished the providence of salvation both spiritually and physically.”  It also declares, “From the time of Jesus through the present, all Christians have thought that Jesus came to the world to die. This is because they did not know the fundamental purpose of Jesus’ coming as the Messiah.”  As we have already noted, Moon is viewed as the true atoning Savior of the world: “[Sinless] Father shed blood instead of me…. Without Father, there is no life. Father is more precious than myself, than even all mankind. Therefore, even at the price of my life, I can be a joyful offering for Father.” 
By virtue of his position as the “object” of God, man is considered to be one essence with deity. Moon asserts this quite clearly, as does Divine Principle:
God and man are one. Man is incarnate God…. So man, the object of God, is as important in value as God Himself.
He saved not a single ounce of [His] energy when He created them. Thus, man has become the life of God. 
The man whose mind and body have formed a four position foundation of the original God-centered nature becomes God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) and forms one body with Him (John 14:20). This means that man attains deity.
Seen from the principle of creation, the original man of creation should be as perfect as God, having eternal deity because of his oneness with God. 
A man who attains the purpose of creation would become the temple of God’s constant abode… thus assuming deity…. The man who has attained the purpose of creation would assume the divine value of God.
A perfected man… is so valuable as to even possess deity.
Still, because of the physical (sexual) nature of the Fall, man’s body is evil. “Your worst enemy is your body.” And because Jesus’ physical body was given to Satan, man’s physical salvation was lost. “Satan’s children are born in the satanic body. Our Lord [Moon] is coming to take this physical body away from Satan and return it to God.”  Moon has allegedly subjugated the spirit world, but apparently not the devil, for the devil is nearly omnipresent in Moon’s theology and is seen as the source of many troubles. Also, there is little awareness of demons in their biblical role. As is true in mediumism, evil spirits are seen as the spirits of confused, rebellious or wicked men, rather than in their true identity as the fallen angels (demons).
In UC theology, the existence of death was part of God’s original purpose in creation. “God created man to grow old and turn to dust; this would occur even if man had not fallen. Therefore, when Adam died at the Biblical age of 930 and turned to dust, this was not the death which was caused by the fall”  (compare Rom. 5:12). Moon teaches everyone will be saved in the end, even the devil and his demons. Thus, he also denies the biblical hell, replacing it with temporary, purgatorial concepts:
The ultimate purpose of God’s providence of restoration is to save all mankind. Therefore, it is God’s intention to abolish Hell completely, after the lapse of the period necessary for the full payment of all indemnity. 
The Bible infers that Satan will be case [sic, cast] out forever. Will he be restored completely? Of course. But it will take almost an eternity for it to happen. He has a great deal of indemnity to pay. Lucifer will not be restored to his original position, but will serve in the lowest position.
But, as our Principle teaches, God will not desert any person eternally. By some means of restriction they will be restored.
- Master Speaks, 2 (2), p. 1.
- Master Speaks, 4 (2), p. 6.
- Master Speaks, 418, May 19, 1974, p. 2.
- Divine Principle (Washington, D.C.; HSA-UWC), p. 15.
- Moon, “Christmas in Heart,” The Way of the World, December 1973, p. 13.
- See also Matt. 26:28; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 24:25-27, 41-46; Acts 2:23-24; 20:28; Rom. 3:25; 4:25; 5:10; 2 Cor. 11:13-14; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:7; 2:8, 13; Phil. 3:18; Col. 1:14, 17-22; 1 Thess. 5:9-10; Heb. 9:1-14, 22; 10:12, 29; 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; 2:24; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11.
- Master Speaks, December 27, 1971, p. 6.
- Divine Principle, p. 147.
- Ibid., p. 152.
- Ken Sudo, The 120 Day Training Manual (Barrytown, NY: International Unification Church Training Center, n.d.), p. 61.
- Sun Myung Moon, Christianity in Crisis (Washington, D.C., HSA-UWC, 1973), p. 5.
- Ibid., p. 15.
- Divine Principle, p. 43.
- Ibid., p. 104.
- Ibid., p. 206.
- Ibid., p. 209.
- Moon, The Way of the World, January-February 1978, p. 5.
- Master Speaks, 4 (2), p. 9.
- Divine Principle, p. 168.
- Ibid., p. 190.
- Master Speaks, 6, p. 4.
- Master Speaks, 4, p. 1.