The Unification Church (Moonies) – Their Teachings in Light of the Bible – Program 6

By: Rev. Tom McDevitt, Dr. Charles Carpenter, Mr. Thomas Cutts, Dr. Walter Martin, Mr. Jerry Yamamoto; ©1985
Moonies say Jesus failed in his mission because he did not get married. Why do they think marriage is so important?

Why Didn’t Jesus Marry?

Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re talking about the beliefs of the Unification Church. We have representatives from Sun Myung Moon’s church, the Unification Church. First, Thomas Cutts, the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Unification Church; Rev. Tom McDevitt, primary spokesman for the Unification Church, who helped in preparing the 300,000 videocassettes that were mailed out to ministers across the United States. Also, we have Jerry Yamamoto, an author concerning the Unification Church; and Dr. Walter Martin, Director of the Christian Research Institute.
We’re talking about what Rev. Moon was saying that Jesus’ mission was here on earth, and that he did not fulfill it. Here’s the quote, God’s Warning to the World, pages 38-39: “Jesus knew that God was looking forward to having his only begotten daughter. So Jesus looked forward to restoring a woman to that position…. God’s ultimate desire is to give a physical bride to his Son. How could Jesus kiss an institution? Suppose Jesus had been blessed with a perfect bride. Do you think that because he was a holy man, Jesus should have kept five feet away from her at all time? Would he have kissed his bride only for the sake of some sacrifice?… Jesus came to fulfill the will of God, and to do so he had to restore his own bride. The entire Christian world is shaken at hearing this revelation, and because of it Christians have called me a heretic.”
Let me ask you, Dr. Martin, in being very sensitive to the men that are on the platform right now, because this is very odd for Christians to hear. We have not heard that Jesus missed fulfilling his mission because he didn’t get married. We’re not used to hearing that the onward-going process of Christian theology is actually that we need to have a new Messiah that will come, marry—such as Sun Myung Moon did in 1960—become the true parents, and actually physically give birth to a new generation that is sinless. Can you comment very gently at that point? And then I would like to have a response from you, Tom, at that point, too.
Martin: I think you have to recognize from biblical theology that Jesus Christ has children, and no wife. That is found in Isaiah 53:10: “When you will make his life an offering for sin, he will see his children.” So, we do not have to wait for Jesus to physically kiss a woman. We don’t have to wait for Jesus to physically produce a family. We don’t have to believe any of that, because in biblical theology Jesus Christ is the Lord out of heaven; the Last Adam; has a glorified body; and is not going to be reproducing children, and already has begotten millions of sons and daughters spiritually by faith, and in the resurrection uniting physically the spirit and the soul. So the idea that we’re getting here from Unification theology is a direct opposite on the end of the spectrum from Christianity.
Ankerberg: Tom, then we have a member of the Unification Church that wants to ask a question here. Thomas?
Cutts: I’d like to respond to this.
Ankerberg: Yes, please.
Cutts: From the Unification perspective, God is a God of love. I think that’s a Christian perspective. The reason God created us was to be able to manifest his love on this earth. In fact, Jesus’ sacrifice was out of love for us. We would say that one of the highest realms of love is between a parent and a child, but then love is even more deeply expressed in a relationship between a man and woman. And so God would want to participate in those relationships as well. So, in the same way he would want to demonstrate the model of that kind of relationship through his perfect Son.
Martin: But that’s Mormonism, you see, because that’s exactly what Mormon theology teaches, that God has sexual relations and produces a son.
McDevitt: But that’s not necessarily wrong.
Cutts: Even the whole Bible many times uses images of marriage, that our relationship with Jesus should be as marriage.
Martin: But not God having sex.
McDevitt: Let’s go back to the point here that Dr. Martin brought up in the beginning of Jesus having spiritual children. As you probably have read in the Principle, we believe that,… that is, when we talk about spiritual salvation, we mean exactly that people have been reborn through Jesus. But it is not true that Jesus did not have a bride. He did have a counterpart. Who is the counterpart? It’s the Holy Spirit.
Ankerberg: I think we ought to stop there, too, because that’s…
McDevitt: This is central in Unification theology.
Ankerberg: It’s unique, I think, to Unification theology, because to say that the Holy Spirit is the spiritual bride that was given to Jesus…
McDevitt: The counterpart. In other words, the relationship…
Ankerberg: …is actually to call God the Holy Spirit “the mother.”
McDevitt: The “mother principle” or the “mother element.”
Ankerberg: You’ve got to realize that’s new to Christians.
McDevitt: I know.
Ankerberg: And they also would say it’s probably not biblical.
McDevitt: Well, it depends on how you look at the Bible…
Martin: It certainly does!
Ankerberg: I haven’t found that verse there.
McDevitt: …in particular through Western eyes.
Yamamoto: Okay. Rev. Moon…
Martin: Who’s an Easterner.
Yamamoto: …himself is now establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth. He’s married. He has children. So, he’s doing things that Jesus Christ should have done 2,000 years ago. Would you say that the children of Rev. Moon and Hak Ja Han are sinless?
McDevitt: Oh, boy, Jerry! I can say yes very glibly, but it takes several hours to explain what I would mean.
Ankerberg: Okay, let’s have a question from a member of the Unification Church.
Audience: Sorry I don’t have my boxing trunks on, but I’ll try to get into the spirit of this. This question is, I think, most specifically for Dr. Martin. Especially in the first program, you were talking about the deity of Jesus and also other points. You mentioned before that Christianity is based on fact. It’s based on the Scriptures as you interpret them, and you’re interpreting it very clearly. Much of the language of the Scriptures seems to be spiritual and figurative, so we can quote Jesus as saying, “I am the truth, the light (sic) and the way,” or “No one comes to the Father but by me;” [John 14:6] “I and the Father are one.” [John 10:30] You’re saying this is a factual way of interpreting Scripture to mean that Jesus is God. But there are so many other examples where Jesus says things like “I bring you not peace but a sword;” [Matt. 10:34] or, “You must hate your father and mother to be worthy of me;” [Luke 14:26] “Let the dead bury their dead.” [Matt. 8:22] He says many things that seem to be open to interpretation.
Martin: What is the point you’re making?
Ankerberg: So the question is, what’s the difference? How can you tell that Jesus is not talking symbolically when he says, “I and the Father are one?” [John 10:30] Is that a good one?
Audience: Yes, basically. You seem to be saying when Jesus says, “I and the Father are one,” [John 10:30] he means that, “I am God.”
Martin: I never quoted that passage. I deliberately avoided quoting it, because it is so mangled in Unification theology.
Ankerberg: But you’re not afraid of it.
Martin: No, not a bit.
Ankerberg: Translate it then. You brought it up.
Martin: Actually the Greek text says, “I and the Father, we are in union.” That’s the actual Greek text: “We are in union.” All he’s talking about is unity of identity and deity with the Father. The important point about the deity of Christ is this: that in every passage where he makes a statement about his deity—and the apostles make statements afterwards, and the New Testament record affirms it—it’s all consistent with the fact that he really was God in human flesh. This is the very point that the Unification Church denies. All the creeds of Christendom affirm this for 1,900 years. It’s hardly likely that over a 1,900-year period, with theologians going over the record and manuscripts over and over and over again, that they would have all come to this one basic agreement unless there was a mass of evidence. And there is. The core of Christianity is incarnational theology: that God literally became man in Jesus Christ. If that’s not true, then there is no New Testament revelation. That’s the point I was making.
Yamamoto: I think he’s asking a question in terms of how do you know the difference between symbolism and literal.
Audience: Yes, figurative and literal. You’re quoting things very literally, but many things…
Yamamoto: Moreover, from what Walter Martin is saying, I think you need to look at how people responded to what he said. For example, when he says, “If your eye offend you, pluck it out. If your hand offends you and causes you to sin, cut it off.” [Matt. 18:8-9] Did that mean that the disciples afterwards on a mass level start cutting their hands off and plucking out their eyes? No, that was figurative. But if we look at the passage where he refers to himself as God, then we see the reaction of the Jews and we find that they pick up stones and they want to throw them at him because he is identifying himself with God. [John 10:30-33] So, that way you can tell what is figurative and what is literal.
Audience: Identifying is not claiming to be God, is it? There would be a big difference.
Martin: Yeah, but remember something. John 5:18 is very explicit. “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Jesus, because he had not only loosed the Sabbath, but he said God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” Now, the word ison there means “on an equal plane.” He was equal with God. He even took the divine name and applied it to himself. He said, “I AM,” and the Jews reached for rocks immediately. Paul’s arguments for his deity say he is ho megalou theou, “the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.” [Titus 2:13] New Testament theology is very clear, and not figurative, on the deity of Christ. Not one figurative passage exists in New Testament theology describing the nature of Christ, none. I’ve been through every single one of them in English and Greek. They’re not there.
Ankerberg: Another question right here.
Audience: Yes, sir. In reference to 1 Corinthians 3:10-12, speaking of Christ being the only foundation of the Church and upon no other foundation can any man build. Also in reference to God working through Rev. Moon, can you tell me what part—I have a magazine article dated 1956 at my home, speaking of blood cleansing; I’ve hesitated even to make this my question—but can you tell me what part God played in the ceremonial ritual of blood cleansing as Moon performed it in 1956?
McDevitt: The article you refer to about the blood cleansing was one of the most malicious and actually the first example of a misalignment by the press, an attack on Rev. Moon’s character. It didn’t occur. It doesn’t occur. It doesn’t exist in the Unification Church. It was an effort of people who wanted to attack the Unification Church in its earlier stages, to cause a ruckus in South Korea, which they did. And Rev. Moon eventually went to prison for a short period of time, was eventually exonerated from the charges, and it was forgotten. The Japanese Unification Church started to build up in the 1960s. The same charges were passed over to the Japanese press. In the 1970’s, the same phenomena occurred, the same unsubstantiated charges that are not true, have no part in the Unification theology, came to the West.
Ankerberg: Is this what you’re talking about right here? I have The Master Speaks. I have to look at the date. Rev. Moon is speaking. Question to him: “How would you procreate a new generation under these conditions?” “I make several conditions before I bless. Through the blessing you produce a new generation.” The blessing I think we’re talking about is the marriage ceremony. “At the ceremony I use a holy wine which was made through special revelation. Through the use of this holy wine your body is cleansed. The wine signifies new life. I could not make this wine until I had made enough conditions and received sanction from God. It tastes very much like grape wine, but it is made of twelve materials. After it was made, many spirits came and asked for a cup of it. In our group we don’t use liquor at all, only a small portion of wine when we are blessed.”
McDevitt: That’s completely irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the accusation we’re talking about. What he’s defining there, as hard as it may be to understand it—again, you’re dealing with a person from the Orient; in Korea the awareness of spiritual world, of spirituality, is far more real than it is in the West. But at any rate, what you’re talking about was a malicious effort to do in Rev. Moon’s character. It has nothing to do with reality. What John is talking about is simply Rev. Moon’s spontaneous explanation of the significance of the sacramental wines, similar to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, in the Unification marriage ceremony.
Ankerberg: Jerry?
Yamamoto: Was one of the ingredients in the wine the blood from Rev. Moon?
McDevitt: I heard it might be. I’m not actually sure.
Yamamoto: In 1979, there was a Evangelical/Unification dialogue and there we discussed it. Neil Salonen, who was the president at that time, did say that, at least as I understand it, from the first batch there was an element of Rev. Moon’s blood within the ceremony.
McDevitt: I don’t know. I was honestly never in a class or in a lecture or heard such content.
Ankerberg: Rev. Moon said, “My dispensation is to establish a new lineage of pure blood.” Then he gave what I just read before.
McDevitt: Again, that has symbolic meaning. Be careful. Again, we’re dealing in a new dispensational era, a whole new frame of reference, a whole new way of looking at the world, an analogy. An analogy would be the difference in the viewpoint or the worldview or cosmology of the Western civilization before and after Copernicus and Galileo realized that the solar system was heliocentric, or before and after Einstein. In other words, there’s a whole different way of looking at life.
Ankerberg: Dr. Martin?
Martin: We were discussing before on continuity as evidence of truth. God specifically in the Old Testament and in the New Testament forbids dialogue with spirits. He executed Saul, first king of Israel, because he dared to try and talk with spirits. He commands that those who practice dialogue with spirits be executed. Mr. Moon, in that quotation just read by John, is saying that spirits came to him and asked him to drink from this cup. He talks with spirits: Buddha, Muhammad, etc. This is spiritism, not Christianity. Dispensation or not, you’re still dealing with spiritism.
Cutts: You’ll find even in the New Testament, Jesus, in 1 James he, after his crucifixion, three days…
Martin: Jesus in 1 James?
Cutts: …referring to Jesus. First James as referring to Jesus at his crucifixion, then during that three day period he ministered to the spirits.
Martin: That’s Peter you’re quoting.
Cutts: Oh, James, Peter. Anyway, sorry.
Martin: A little different. The context is different, too.
Cutts: In 1 Peter Jesus goes and ministers to the spirits in prison. [1 Pet. 3:19]
Martin: It doesn’t say that.
Cutts: Yes, it does. Sure it does.
Martin: It says, “He proclaimed to them.”
Cutts: That’s talking to them, if you ask me.
Martin: I’m sure he did. He proclaimed the judgment of God!
McDevitt: There’s also the example of Jesus meeting Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. The purpose of the law in dealing with spiritism is because people would be influenced or dominated by an evil spirit world.
Ankerberg: But, Tom, the thing I think the guys are getting at is the fact that, if Jesus is God, then he makes up the rules. In the Old Testament he does rule with an iron hand. He says, “Anybody else that talks to them, they shouldn’t. They’ve got a big problem.” I think that’s what the fellows are referring to. Jesus, because he is God, if he says, “Jump,” they jump. He holds them in complete authority. He rules them, and by the cross he conquered them, okay? And he is going to finally put Satan away when he comes back again. He’s in control, is what Colossians says. Now, anybody else, any other man, the Scripture says it’s anathema to do that. That’s what we’re saying. How can Rev. Moon come along at that point and say he’s talking to spirits?
McDevitt: Again, let me come back with this. It gets tiresome after so many years. If he’s in total control, why is the world out of control?
Martin: Because we have freedom to act in rebellion against the law of God, because without freedom there is no moral choice and there can be no love. That’s why.
McDevitt: All through this whole program, these whole series of programs, the image I’m getting from the traditional Christian thought is that Christianity has done no wrong, that Christianity is in a position of having done everything it’s supposed to do. In my honest opinion, when you look at America today, when you look at the situation of the world, the world is crying out for a true Christian renewal, a true application of the gospel for the revitalization of the lifestyle that Jesus left us. I get so sad when we go on and on and on about…
Martin: You can’t get it from Korean cultism. You can’t transplant a cult over here.
McDevitt: Let me tell you how painful it is for you to throw out this and brandish the word “cult,” which you yourself, in your own pamphlets, tell your own people not to use glibly. I don’t belong to a cult. I belong to a church. I belong to a church of Christ, of Jesus Christ. I don’t like being called a cultist, a Moonie. I am not brainwashed. I’m doing what I’m doing because I believe in it wholeheartedly. I see in America that we are not going to accomplish God’s will for America unless Christianity unites and fulfills its purpose. To debate and fight about doctrine and theology is not going to solve the problem that is being caused by the sinfulness and the faithlessness of our own church and our own believers.
Ankerberg: I think the problem is, Tom, that we love your enthusiasm, but you’ve got to realize that you have to examine the object that you place your faith in.
McDevitt: Of course. I’ve done it for twelve years.
Ankerberg: Christians can’t throw their mind away. We haven’t heard solid information of why we ought to leave Jesus Christ and the revelation that he has….
McDevitt: No one is asking anybody to leave Jesus Christ, John.
Ankerberg: But you see, from what you are saying, if we accepted what you are saying, we are leaving Jesus Christ.
McDevitt: I haven’t left Jesus Christ. I have not left Jesus Christ. And if you say that I have, you are wrong.
Cutts: I’ve come into a relationship with Jesus Christ even since joining the Unification Church.
Martin: Which “Jesus” are we talking about?
McDevitt: The Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago.
Cutts: The biblical Jesus!
Martin: Alright now, wait a minute. Let’s get down to it.
McDevitt: The Jesus Christ who is sent by God.
Cutts: The Jesus sent 2,000 years ago.
McDevitt: In other words, God the Father has been conducting a providence of salvation for all of human history. If that providence of salvation is the main trunk line of history, Jesus came…
Ankerberg: Are you talking about an office, the office of Christ?
McDevitt: Jesus came as the Son of God, as the Christ, as the living incarnation of God to conduct that providence.
Martin: But you deny him as God!
McDevitt: Now, just a minute! That providence is still taking place today. The challenge that people 2,000 years ago had is the challenge that people have today, which is to go beyond where they are.
Ankerberg: Again, I appreciate your enthusiasm on it, but we’ve got to define words. If we’re talking about the office of Christ, no way is Christianity saying that. If we’re going to argue, we’ve got to argue on the same terms. I think that’s what Dr. Martin is telling you.
Cutts: We’re talking about the personality of Christ.
McDevitt: I’m talking about the person, Jesus Christ. The person Jesus is in my heart.
Ankerberg: Let’s let him respond to what you are talking about.
Martin: The Scripture says it’s possible,… you’ve said this many times here, you said, “This is an intimate thing with me. This is a very personal thing.” You’re sharing it with us. We appreciate that. Now, understand how I feel, okay? I came from liberal Protestantism: Fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man, neighborhood of Boston, okay? I had an encounter with the living Savior, the Lord Jesus. He transformed my life. I became a new creation. That’s very intimate to me. Now, when I hear you use the word “Jesus,” my ears perk up, because we’re talking about my Savior.
McDevitt: Okay.
Martin: We’re talking about salvation. We’re talking about the cross. We’re talking about what Christ did for us by grace alone, and so forth. Now, that registers in the mind of Evangelical Christians, classical Christians, immediately. But when we start talking with you, we find out that you have changed the character of Jesus. You have denied the Trinity. You have denied him as God. You said before that he did not create all things, when the Scripture says he did create all things. You have come up with a totally different Jesus. “A” cannot be “non-A.” Your Jesus and the Jesus of the New Testament are totally different, Tom. Now, you have to realize that from our perspective.
McDevitt: From your perspective, I’ll buy that. But then, again, coming back to our perspective, my view is that we are standing on the other side of the dispensational fence. The perfect analogy is the dispensational era that the Old Testament occupied as compared to the dispensational era that Jesus opened up. They were talking to each other from two different sides of the fence.
Martin: But he never contradicted the Old Testament.
McDevitt: Well, from their standpoint and from their perceptions they certainly appeared to.
Cutts: That’s why they crucified him.
Martin: But historically we know he didn’t.
McDevitt: Well, of course, we know he didn’t in retrospect. But what was the motivation of the crucifixion? God didn’t tell a bunch of people to love his will so much that they should go and kill his Son. They hated Jesus. That’s why they killed him.
Martin: They rejected him.
McDevitt: They rejected him. Why did they reject him? Let’s get into the analysis of that.
Martin: Because their deeds were evil [John 3:19] and they had turned against God and rebelled against him. They had broken his law. Jesus said, “You have been given the law by the hand of angels and you have not kept it,” and “you hate me and you hate my Father.” [Acts 7:53; John 15:24] That’s as clear as crystal, why they killed him.
McDevitt: And, of course, when he spoke, he spoke from a new vantage point, a new perspective. As you said before, they didn’t unite with him because they were blind; they were in darkness. They couldn’t see who Jesus was.
Martin: By choice.
Yamamoto: And doesn’t the Unification Church also characterize the Christian Church the same way?
McDevitt: Because we go back to this issue of choice and free will. Choice and free will also imply the major word, which gets back to indemnity: “responsibility.” The chosen people, like Christianity today, had a responsibility. Now, we do apply that analogy historically, because of the principle of restoration through indemnity, that the purpose of Christianity today is to restore the failure of the chosen people 2,000 years ago. Therefore, there is a similar dynamic occurring.
Yamamoto: In other words, Christians are failing in their work.
McDevitt: Well, I don’t like to think that we are failing: I think that we’re on the way to succeeding.
Martin: How about us, I mean, not you?
McDevitt: I’m a Christian, too. I’m on this side.
Martin: But is the Church of Jesus Christ failing?
McDevitt: I’m not the one to judge that.
Yamamoto: Doesn’t the Divine Principle characterize the Christian Church as one that will turn against the new Messiah?
McDevitt: No. It’s… not necessarily. In other words, that could happen.
Yamamoto: Doesn’t Divine Principle characterize the Church during this period of time unable to fulfill what God has planned for it?
McDevitt: No, on the contrary.
Ankerberg: Let me quote Rev. Moon: “You know, for thirty years our movement has been delayed by the initial rejection I received when I first declared this message. Koreans deserve hell, so that nation must suffer. Christians all over the world deserve to decline, because they did not accept me.” December 25, 1974.
Yamamoto: What does it mean when…
McDevitt: Let me comment on that. When Rev. Moon met Jesus in spirit when he was sixteen years old, he came from a Presbyterian family. He himself was a Christian before he met Jesus. Jesus gave him this anointment, this commission, this charge. Then his message that he brought to the Christian churches, the mainline churches in Korea at the time, which I believe mainly were Presbyterian and Methodist, they rejected him. His intent was to bring that message to them. From 1945 until the current time we’re in, the Unification Church, which never was supposed to exist…. The Unification Church was never supposed to exist. Rev. Moon came in the spirit of an evangelist to bring a new life, a new spirit, to Christianity. When he says that Christianity has failed, he’s talking about the very important relationship that we have to have: the younger brother, the elder brother. Even though from a theological standpoint in a seemingly Orthodox position, it may be difficult to conceive of how we ever can work together.
Ankerberg: Tom, just one thing I want you to respond to, that I was trying to bring up before. We were talking about the spirit world. You brought up the spirit world again. Mr. Moon went to Arthur Ford, a medium, and had an audience with him. Of course, the voice that spoke out of Ford is known as Fletcher, a person in the spirit world, as Arthur Ford states in his book, Unknown But Known. From the transcripts that were taken there, it seems like Mr. Moon had a surprise. Even though he says in other places that he “had to struggle with each group in the spirit world, overcome each struggle, and become the first victor,” the spirit, in the spirit world, said through Fletcher, “Mr. Moon is just one in a long line of people who have been used as revelators. He is not the last.” Now, at that point I think there was a surprise, because I think Rev. Moon was thinking that he was the last; he is the Lord of the Second Advent; he is the Messiah. The spirit world said, “No.” He is not victorious over the spirit world, apparently. They do not bow down and tell everyone, as he said they would, about him. What do you think about that?
McDevitt: That’s your commentary on that quote of a hearing that was with Arthur Ford. Basically, Rev. Moon is here doing the best he can to fulfill what he conceives to be God’s will. He’s told the followers of the Unification Church countless times that he expects all of the members of our church to go beyond what he’s done, to do better than what he’s done, work harder than he’s done. I don’t believe for a minute that Rev. Moon would feel that way. I think he fully expects the future generations, in the 21st century and as the world goes on, will have even greater and greater works to do.
Ankerberg: Dr. Martin, just a closing wrap-up here. I’ll give you a quote to jump off on. In The Master Speaks, “On Prayer and the Spirit World,” page 4, Rev. Moon said, “I’ve already subjugated Satan on the spirit side. Now I have reached the point where I can rule the spirit world, using only my physical senses.” How does that contrast with Colossians 1, and give us a wrap-up statement of where Orthodox Christianity would come from.
Martin: Well, of course, Colossians 1 tells you that the only way that you conquer the spirit world is by recognizing that Jesus Christ has done it in our place, that our conquest is through him, not through ourselves. [Col. 1:13] That’s why John says, “You have overcome them [past tense], little children.” [1 John 2:13-14] That’s us, not Mr. Moon. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” [1 John 4:4] The triumph of the Christian Church is in the risen Christ, the historic Jesus Christ, who conquered for us. Satan is subject to him. By Christ’s power, the Scripture says, we can conquer Satan. “Behold, I give you power over the demons…. They are in subjection to you in my name.” [Luke 10:17-19] That’s the victory of the Church, not Sun Myung Moon.
Ankerberg: Gentlemen, we appreciate this. I think that we have learned a lot. Thomas and Tom, thank you for your sensitive statements and for your sharing from your heart. We appreciate that. Jerry and Dr. Martin, thank you for the information that you have given to us. Goodnight. Hope you’ll join us next week.

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