The Unification Church (Moonies) – Their Teachings in Light of the Bible – Program 2

By: Rev. Tom McDevitt, Dr. Charles Carpenter, Mr. Thomas Cutts, Dr. Walter Martin, Mr. Jerry Yamamoto; ©1985
Was Jesus’ death on the cross a mistake? Did his death have anything to do with salvation?

What Did Jesus Accomplish On Earth?

Ankerberg: Welcome tonight! We’re glad that you joined us. We’re talking about the beliefs of the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, and comparing that with Orthodox Christian belief. My guests tonight are Dr. Charles Carpenter of Atlanta, a psychotherapist, and then next to him is Rev. Tom McDevitt, a primary spokesman for the Unification Church. Next to him is Jerry Yamamoto, an author, and Dr. Walter Martin, director of the Christian Research Institute. We’re glad you’re all here, gentlemen.
I’d like to start tonight by asking a question that comes up from the Divine Principle, a copy of which was sent to 300,000 ministers. Tom, you told us last week that you had a part in organizing and sending all of those out. Here’s the question. How much did Jesus Christ accomplish on this earth during his life, according to the Unification Church?
Let me just start us off with two quotes from Sun Myung Moon. First, “It was not God’s plan for Christ to die on the cross. We must realize that Jesus did not come to die on the cross,” Divine Principle, page 143. Page 152: “From the time of Jesus through the present, all Christians have thought that Jesus came to the world to die. They have entertained the wrong idea that spiritual salvation was the only mission for which Jesus came to the world.” Then, another spot where a student asked him in The Master Speaks: “How much did Jesus accomplish?” Because it seems like to the person that was asking the question of Mr. Moon in the audience, he says, “He accomplished very little. I just wonder how much he really did accomplish.” Mr. Moon’s answer, “Nothing. There was but one thing left. He died for God in heaven. That is the only thing that he accomplished.” Nothing was accomplished, nobody, no disciples at all, nothing, just death. Tom, start us off. What did Jesus actually accomplish then?
McDevitt: As you read in the Principle quotation, what Jesus accomplished was the spiritual salvation of mankind. By dying on the cross, by shedding his blood, by resurrecting, he opened the way of salvation if we believe on him as our Lord and Savior. So what did Jesus accomplish? He accomplished salvation for us, what the Unification theology describes as “spiritual salvation.” What’s the difference between spiritual salvation and full salvation or physical salvation? Merely the difference between having spiritual salvation, as you who are Christians know as your own personal salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, and living in the kingdom of God on the earth.
Ankerberg: Jerry, you’ve written two definitive books on the Unification Church. Translate to us what the differences are, would you please?
Yamamoto: Well, as he said Jesus Christ redeemed mankind spiritually but not physically; therefore, another Messiah, the Lord of the Second Advent, must come and redeem mankind physically. I would also like to add one other point; that is that in the heavenly realms, spirits, when they become, at different stages within their development, “form spirits,” “life spirits” and “divine spirits.” Those people who have followed the Mosaic laws and followed them obediently have become “form spirits.” Those people who have followed the teachings of Jesus Christ—Christians as ourselves—become “life spirits.” But no one has become divine spirit until now. With new revelations that have been given to Rev. Moon and the work of the Lord of the Second Advent, we now in the spiritual realm can become “divine spirits.” Those are the teachings of the Unification Church.
Last week we talked about the Bible and how there was no contradiction between the Unification theology, or the Divine Principle, and the New and Old Testament. Well, from what I just outlined for you in the teachings of the Unification Church in terms of form spirit, life spirit, divine spirit, it seems to say to me that Jesus Christ has not redeemed mankind fully. Now, let me just read a few passages from the New Testament. I’d like to hear how Tom would respond to these quotations. First is from 1 John 1:7: “If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Hebrews 9:28: “Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time,” not to deal with sin, so the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is not to deal with sin, but to save “those who eagerly await him.” Furthermore, in Hebrews 10:14: “For by a single offering Christ has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” And finally, from Acts 4:12: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” To me there is a contradiction here in the fact that Christian teaching presents the full salvation that is in Jesus Christ, while in the Unification theology salvation must occur with Jesus Christ fulfilling spiritual salvation and the Lord of the Second Advent saving us physically.
Ankerberg: Does that make sense, Tom?
McDevitt: It makes sense, but again, remember that Jesus has to come back to establish his kingdom upon the earth, to establish the full purpose of God, which God had from the very beginning.
Ankerberg: Is it Jesus or is it Sun Myung Moon?
McDevitt: Let me finish. Every Christian who is born again in the blood of Jesus, who gives birth to a child, gives birth to a child who also has to be born again because the child is born with original sin. That’s the definition that the Unification Church has to describe that Jesus accomplished spiritual salvation on the cross. The job is not yet done in terms of fulfilling God’s original purpose of creation.
Martin: Who says that?
McDevitt: That’s part of the revelation that God has given through Rev. Moon. I’m sorry if that’s difficult for people like Dr. Martin to digest and it gives them spiritual diarrhea. The problem here is we have to look beyond, that there is the possibility that God is speaking a new word through a new messenger. What is that new word? That Christianity does not exist to just fight about their doctrine. In Matthew 7:16 we learn that a false prophet is known by his fruits. Check the fruits of the Unification Church. I know you have problems with people who simply talk about fruits. We’ve got to get into this.
Ankerberg: Okay, before Dr. Martin has much of a problem, let’s ask him to respond to the first two, there.
Yamamoto: No, before we get to Dr. Marti, I still want to hear how he responds to the quotations out of the New Testament that I gave.
Martin: By all means.
McDevitt: I believe in those quotations, but still you can’t deny, are you free of original sin? Can you give birth to children without original sin? Do we live in the kingdom of God? Is the purpose of Christianity finished simply by saying we are Christians and by crying out “Lord, Lord?” Have we finished the job?
Yamamoto: I still don’t think you’re answering the question.
McDevitt: No, I’m answering the question from the angle or perspective that I take as a human being, and that is that Jesus Christ’s purpose was to build the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God still yet is to be built.
Yamamoto: Did Jesus Christ save us completely and redeem us from all sin?
McDevitt: Satan still controls the physical world. Satan is…
Yamamoto: That doesn’t answer my question.
McDevitt: How does it not answer your question? Again, I appeal to you to be open minded in a sense. Understand where I’m coming from, that Satan dominated the universe. Jesus came and established a spiritual salvation. If we believe in Jesus, we’re protected from Satan’s accusations spiritually. Satan still dominates the physical world. He’s called “the god of this world,” the ruler of the world. We still have a job to do. Jesus is coming back, as it mentions in the book of Revelation, to finish the job. Any Christian who thinks that the job is finished and all you have to do is call yourself a Christian and simply remain in the realm of belief, is going to be judged in terms of their fruits.
Ankerberg: Tom, it seems like the thing that Jerry’s waiting for you to answer is that those verses pointblank said that Jesus is the one who has the remedy to what you’re talking about.
McDevitt: I believe that.
Ankerberg: If you believe that, then the thing is, there’s no need for anything further.
Yamamoto: Is the Lord of the Second Advent Jesus Christ?
McDevitt: Yes, Jesus Christ is working through Rev. Moon. Jesus Christ exists at the center of Rev. Moon.
Yamamoto: Will you deny that Rev. Moon is Lord of the Second Advent?
McDevitt: Oh, no, of course not. You know I won’t, because I believe that Rev. Moon is coming. But my view…
Yamamoto: Does he have the power…
McDevitt: Just a minute. My view of how Jesus Christ is coming again is a very different view than their view.
Martin: Amen!
Ankerberg: Before we get to that—because that could be a whole program—Dr. Martin, come on back to this thing of what was said there about you having a problem, and so on, and respond to that.
Martin: My problem is very simple. Mr. Moon denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, denies the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, denies the bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead, without which Paul says you can’t be saved (1 Corinthians 15:14). Then we’re asked to believe that after doing this he’s not a false prophet; he’s just giving us new truth. Well, the Scripture says that God has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, [Heb. 1:2] not by Mr. Moon.
McDevitt: Well, let me give you this response.
Martin: Let me finish. I haven’t finished yet.
McDevitt: I’m gearing up for my response then.
Martin: Let me finish, okay? God specifically said that Jesus Christ once for all paid the price for all sin. [1 Pet. 3:18] Now, having done that, we do not need Mr. Moon as the Lord of the Second Advent to redeem our physical bodies by marriage. Christ will do that in the resurrection.
McDevitt: That may be true.
Martin: Thank you!
McDevitt: That may not be true.
Martin: Ooh!
McDevitt: We do need somebody to set a better example of living a Christlike life in this modern age.
Ankerberg: Why?
McDevitt: Why? Why is there communism? Why is there racism? Why is there a breakdown of the family? Why is our country being engulfed in a vortex of secular humanism? It’s because as Christians we have to bring more of the Word into life. The belief and the action have to be harmonized. James speaks about it: “Be not ye only hearers of the Word but doers of the Word.” [Jas. 1:22] What’s wrong with Rev. Moon practicing the gospel? He may have different theological views than you, but let’s examine his fruits.
Ankerberg: Okay, let’s examine the fruits, Walter.
Martin: I would say a conviction for breaking the laws of the United States for fraud, for tax evasion, for being put in jail for what he richly deserved, is proof that you’re dealing with a false prophet.
McDevitt: Now is that why 40 primarily Christian organizations filed an amicae curiae to support his case?
Martin: You got 40 pretty dumb Christians who can support a crook.
McDevitt: Who represent 120 million Christian people, folks.
Martin: No, no they don’t.
McDevitt: I’m sorry.
Martin: They represented themselves when they filed that. They did not represent the people.
McDevitt: They represented organizations, sir, if you read the briefs.
Martin: The briefs speak for the individual organization that files it. When the National Council of Churches files a brief, as they have done before, they have had storms of protest from people who say, “File it for yourselves, but you don’t represent us.”
McDevitt: Well, let’s talk about why he’s in prison.
Charles Carpenter: I don’t see how that could be a proof of a false prophet. I think you’ve come up with…
Martin: He’s talking about fruits of life, Doctor. He just said, “What’s the fruit of life?” Okay? Here’s a good fruit of life: You get caught with your hand in the till; you’re a crook and you end up in jail as a convicted felon, and now you’re going to say that, “I’m a martyr.” Come on! Grow up!
McDevitt: Let me lay out some facts in the case, here. Rev. Moon is now in prison for an 18-month prison sentence in Danbury, Connecticut, for alleged tax evasion.
Martin: Convicted tax evasion.
McDevitt: He was convicted for tax evasion.
Martin: You bet he was!
McDevitt: How much tax? Do you know how much? $7,300 was the tax that should have been paid on the interest that was accrued on an account, money that was put in Rev. Moon’s name, held in his name on behalf of our church members.
Martin: That’s not why he’s in jail.
McDevitt: That is why he is in jail, because he didn’t pay the tax.
Martin: He’s in jail, according to the court, for evasion of income tax, for fraud, misrepresentation, altering records. That’s fraud. That’s why he’s in jail.
McDevitt: My claim is he’s not in jail for that; he’s in jail because he’s been religiously persecuted.
Martin: You’re not a lawyer.
McDevitt: I know I’m not, and neither are you.
Martin: No, but I teach in a law school. Forty lawyers have told me, “He’s a crook.” And he’s a crook. I say it publicly.
McDevitt: And then what did they call Jesus when Jesus healed the people? That he got his power from Beelzebub.
Martin: Don’t compare Mr. Moon with the Lord Jesus Christ!
McDevitt: I’m sorry, it’s a historical example. Well, it’s an example in which people did not understand the goodness of Jesus. They persecuted him because they were blind.
Ankerberg: Gentlemen, I didn’t necessarily want to get into the tax case here, but I prepared for it. Let me just throw out a few facts that are from the Appeals Court published opinion. This is not from the first federal Grand Jury, this is from the second one that they appealed to. This comes right from their notes. It was found that in ‘74 the church officers in the Unification Church consulted a Washington firm regarding a number of businesses, financial deals. Counsel that Sun Myung Moon hired said, “Please keep those things separate. You have a personal income. Please keep that separate. And interest is taxable.”
Sun Myung Moon, rather than allow the lawyers and the accountants to file his ‘73 tax return, he had his assistant do it. The assistant went back and documented $1.8 million that was deposited in the Chase account. He said that these came from church organizations in England, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Each one bore a date matching the deposit. The IRS, by means of a watermark expert, proved that the documents accounting for these transactions were fraudulently backdated and they were prepared in order to show that the assets were church property, to avoid tax on the interest.
Evidence was also given by Unification Church members at the trial that these funds, they themselves considered them to be the separate property of Moon. Here are the actual figures: Moon’s ‘73 tax returns were reported as $14,458 from the church and no interest earned, although there was an earned interest of $3,208 on the Chase Manhattan account. In 1974 he reported $20,520 from the corporation and $254 in earned interest, although deposits at Chase earned $59,079. In ‘75 the returns from the corporation was reported as $37,080 and interest at $267, although the records actually show there was an earned interest of $43,841. This is what the records show.
The jury found that Sun Myung Moon did in fact know and understand that interest income was taxable, and that knowing that he exercised personal control over the funds deposited in his own name, and had false information fraudulently backdated to show that these funds were church funds, and that Moon was acting as agent for the church in collecting interest. The jury, the New York Times, Time magazine and other documents, as well as these, said that Moon would not have been convicted if it had been stupidity. What brought down the house was the fact that evidence showed that he willingly knew what he was doing. It was wrong, and he got caught.
McDevitt: That’s not what the evidence showed. What the evidence showed ultimately was that the fact of the case was that Rev. Moon held the money in a corporate sole account, precisely the way that hundreds of Catholic bishops hold the financial resources of their churches in the name of the person who represents the church. Rev. Moon paid income tax on the personal income that he gained from that account. He did not pay personal income tax on the rest of the interest that was accrued on the rest of the account, because it belonged to the church. It was church property. He held it for me. I’m a member of the church.
The government is arguing that the interest that was accrued on church property should also be taxed because it was simply in his name. Why would he try to hoodwink the American government out of what ended up being… $7,300 was the ticket? That was how much money had to go to the IRS if he had paid up what they wanted him to pay. Why would our movement, why would Rev. Moon, have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into projects in America, like the Washington Times and other projects that are taking place in America, to revive the moral fiber of America? Why would we try, or he try, to hoodwink the government of $7,300? We’re talking about 1972,’73,’74. Rev. Moon probably spoke a total of 16 words of English. He didn’t understand tax laws.
Ankerberg: Okay, two questions. Dr. Martin, you want to respond to that?
Martin: Yeah. The questions isn’t why he did it; the question is that he did it. Let me refer to the attorneys for Mr. Moon, who argued: “It was improper for the jury to find that Mr. Moon used the Chase interest money for his own business investment or personal ends, and that these uses were other than for religious purposes.” This is what your own attorney said: “It’s wrong for them to argue that way.” In other words, as the Appeals Court stated, this is the Appeals Court ruling: “Under the definition now advanced as the church’s, any use of those funds by Rev. Moon was for religious purposes.” That is not only bad law; it’s impossible, because if that were accepted, then anybody who called himself under any circumstances a religious leader, opened those accounts, deposited that money, could say, no matter what he spent it for, “This is for religious purposes,” and the quacks and the thieves would be all over the place, robbing everybody blind. So the Appeals Court says, “You cannot do this.”
Ankerberg: Let’s put it down to a lower level. Under Christianity, I’m sure you know, Tom, that we believe in the priesthood of the believers. Every Christian is a priest under biblical doctrine. Every Christian would love to come under the ruling that every bit of money that they spend for whatever in their bank account is not taxable. That’s what the court had a problem with.
Martin: The court also said that Mr. Moon was convicted for filing false income tax returns, obstructing justice, making false statements to government agencies. A federal Grand Jury after that, after the trial and appeal was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the second circuit, and it is from the Appeals Court’s published opinion that this information was drawn that I’ve been quoting. Mr. Moon may only have known 16 words of English, but Mr. Moon is a very sharp businessman. Mr. Moon has English-speaking accountants. Mr. Moon has English-speaking attorneys. Mr. Moon spent $200 million, you just said, in the Washington Times and he is so dumb that he cannot file an income tax return? He cheated the United States government and that’s why he went to jail. He’s no martyr. He’s a thief.
McDevitt: Well, if he’s no martyr, why is it that thousands of Christian pastors throughout the country who have examined his case are coming to his aid, crying out that if the government can encroach on the freedom of the Unification Church by defining what we do with our money as religious or not religious, when in the court proceedings they never once asked any Unification members about the theology of the church?
Ankerberg: Let me answer your question. You said, “Why did they do it?” Because there was an appeal made on the decision, and the Unification Church attorneys charged that the IRS was guilty of “selective prosecution,” namely that they picked out Sun Myung Moon to look into his records rather than everybody else. It was at that point that people in the Moral Majority and Tim LaHaye got involved and said, “You know, that rings a bell.” Not the fact that Mr. Moon did something wrong, but that they thought—and I have a whole group of Christians that said they were wrong in jumping the gun at that point—they took a good principle, namely, they thought that maybe Mr. Moon was being picked on, but they were not. You look at Tim LaHaye, and the people in the Moral Majority. They never said a word about the fact of Mr. Moon and his crime in terms of tax evasion. That was proved. The most damning thing, I think, was when reading that your own officers knew, and advised him not to do it. That’s where the jury, according to the New York Times, made the decision. Your own people testified against Mr. Moon. The Christians got involved and said, you know, after that we’re taking the principle “Is he being picked on? Was he singled out?” and they thought, “Yes,” although there’s documentation to show that maybe that’s not as true as they thought. That’s their opinion. Two different things.
McDevitt: There is certainly a growing awareness in America right now that the power of the IRS and the power of the government as it relates to the church is a problem. And out of that problem, out of that growing awareness, these thousands of pastors have come up. They’re not dumb people. Tim LaHaye and the other people have looked into the case. The commonsense viewpoint is that why would a man try to hoodwink the American government out of a measly several thousand dollars?
Ankerberg: Tom. Give me a closing wrap-up statement of where we are going with this.
McDevitt: We have yet to even tap what the Unification Church is doing to save America. That is where Dr. Martin and myself and the rest of us have to work together.
Ankerberg: Dr. Martin?
Martin: All I can say is that we don’t have any objections to the Unification Church’s having its views or propagating its religion. We have a very strong objection—historic Christianity and Orthodox Christianity objects—to their misrepresenting Jesus Christ and his gospel and claiming that God has done away with Christianity and is replacing it with the Unification Church. There we have a big disagreement.
Ankerberg: We’re going to continue that disagreement next week and we’ll jump into exactly what does Mr. Moon say that he is doing that is different than Christianity. And we’ll have a response. So, please join us for that program. Thank you.

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