What are Unification Church Members (Moonies) Taught About Jesus

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John G. Weldon; ©2005
Anyone talking with a Unification Church (UC) member will probably be impressed with his or her devotion to “Jesus.” UC members (more familiarly known as “Moonies”) will say that they believe in Jesus, they love Jesus and they pray to Jesus. They work all day for Jesus. They would even die for Jesus. Unfortunately, they do not refer to the biblical Jesus Christ but rather to Sun Myung Moon, who is the Lord of the Second Advent, the symbolic return of Jesus Christ.


Anyone talking with a Unification Church (UC) member will probably be impressed with his or her devotion to “Jesus.” UC members (more familiarly known as “Moonies”) will say that they believe in Jesus, they love Jesus and they pray to Jesus. They work all day for Jesus. They would even die for Jesus. Unfortunately, they do not refer to the biblical Jesus Christ but rather to Sun Myung Moon, who is the Lord of the Second Advent, the symbolic return of Jesus Christ.

The Unification Church teaches that, for all practical purposes, the historical Jesus is of little, if any, relevance for today because he has been replaced by Moon. The 120 Day Training Manual emphasizes that Moon has completely superseded Jesus, since Jesus failed his mis­sion. In effect, Jesus is not much more important than millions of other spirits now living in the spirit world, although in the spirit world he is conceded to be a messiah of sorts. Nevertheless, Frederick Sontag declares that “the interpretation given in the Divine Principle of Jesus’ role… actually is very close to tradition on many major points.”[1] Actually, we were unable to find a single point of correspondence. We will now give Moon’s view of Jesus, taken from Divine Principle and other writings (biblical correctives are provided in parenthesis).

Jesus was not God (see John 1:1; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13)

According to Moon, when any man has attained the “purpose of creation” he is then “one body” with God and may be called God.[2] At the same time he is not all that God is, since God comprises more than the creation. Jesus, then, could attain what any man could attain, but no more, for Jesus was only a man. Moon and the UC are very careful in making certain that in His nature and essence Jesus is not unique or special; He was not God incarnate in the Christian sense.

He can by no means be God Himself.[3]
It is a great error to think Jesus was God Himself. Jesus is no different from other men.[4]
Jesus was a man even as any other man.[5]
He was a chosen man, but he was a man.[6]
Jesus ranks among us as our elder brother.[7]

Jesus was a failure and under satanic control (see Matthew 4:1-11; 17:5; John 3:35; 4:34; 17:4)

In their dialogues with theologians or with potential Christian converts, UC representatives may be evasive, claiming one teaching publicly while denying it privately. Thus, “In the Unifica­tion movement, we never ever say Jesus failed. That’s put on us from outside…. We don’t ever talk of Jesus as a failure.”[8] But in UC theology, Jesus was a failure. He was unable to attain perfection and unable to accomplish God’s will.

Well—most of us have come from Christian backgrounds—and a question that has really been bothering me is: exactly how much did Jesus accomplish—because it seems like he accomplished very little. I just wondered how much he really did accomplish. ANSWER: Nothing. There was but one thing left. He died for God and heaven that is the only thing he accomplished. He died, “Not my will, but I’ll die for God”—that is the only thing he left. Nothing was accomplished, nobody, no disciples at all, nothing, just death. Christianity started after his death anyway.[9]

In addition, incredibly, “God was not happy at all to see the resurrected Jesus.”[10] Further, in “Jesus’ case … His death not only ended his own life, but ended his influence on the whole world.”[11] More incredibly, “Jesus could not accomplish the purpose of the providence of physical salvation because his body was invaded by Satan.”[12] So, when the UC declares, “We don’t ever talk of Jesus as a failure,” what is one to think?

Jesus was crucified because He employed occult practices to perform His miracles (see Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Revelation 21:8)

“If you indulge in spirit phenomena, you must pay the price; you pay indemnity. Jesus paid much indemnity because he appealed to the people through [spiritistic] phenomena. He paid with a high price for the miracles, in the end, he paid with the crucifixion.”[13] Paradoxically, Sun Myung Moon however, who has been a spiritist from an early age, and who boasts of his “di­vine” [i.e. spiritistic] powers as proof of his identity as “The Lord,” is apparently exempt from paying any such indemnity, due to his superior mission.

Moon and his followers are or can become superior to Jesus (see Matthew 10:24; Philippians 2:9-11)

History has never seen such a group as ours…. We are greater than our predecessors, even greater than Jesus.[14]
You must be greater and better than Jesus himself. … We are in the place of Jesus, but we are going to carry out our mission which is greater than Jesus.[15]
You can compare yourself with Jesus Christ, and feel you can be greater than Jesus himself.[16]

By implication Jesus was an illegitimate child and not virgin born (see Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-37)

“To be conceived by the Holy Spirit means that Jesus was not born of the lust of his par‑ents…. Both were inspired, and in that sense they were almost forced to have the relationshipwhich produced Jesus.”[17] “Jesus was born of a father and a mother, just as anyone else is.”[18]
Because Jesus was not God incarnate, He had to be born as other men. Young Oon Kim states, “The virgin birth of Jesus is not securely rooted in the New Testament as a whole” and “Joseph was not the father”—he suggests Zechariah, the husband of Elizabeth, as Jesus’ fa­ther.[19]

Jesus was spiritually not physically resurrected (see Luke 24:13-39)

“Was Jesus’ physical body resurrected? No. Jesus no longer needed the physical body.”[20]

Jesus was ignorant of the truth (see John 1:14; 14:6; Ephesians 4:21)

“Many sages couldn’t find the truth. Buddha couldn’t…. Many saints couldn’t. Even Jesus wasn’t enough to understand the truth. Father [Moon] found it, found the truth.”[21] “I have talked with many many masters, including Jesus…. They have subjected themselves to me in terms of wisdom.”[22]

Jesus needs to be saved (see John 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5)

“We are in a position to save and liberate Jesus Christ and end his anguish. We can be in a position to liberate even God.”[23]

Jesus was not the Messiah (see Matthew 16:15-17; Luke 2:11; John 4:25-26)

“Therefore we must understand that while Jesus came as Messiah, he couldn’t be Messiah when he was here on earth…. Even when Jesus was arisen, he wasn’t the Messiah…. There­fore, poor Jesus, poor Jesus. He couldn’t be Messiah on earth.”[24] It was only several weeks after the resurrection that Jesus was somehow approved to become the Messiah, but only in the spirit world. Moon is the Messiah on earth.

Jesus was not the Savior (see John 4:42; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4)

“We must know today very clearly, that Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Messiah, did not come to die on the cross. That was not the way to save the world.”[25]

Jesus is not coming again (see Matthew 24)

Jesus Himself will not return literally as Jesus (this is a “very erroneous belief”),[26] but only symbolically in the person of Moon. Moon is Christ returned symbolically, although still greater than Jesus the person. In his 1936 vision he was told, “You will be the completer of man’s salva­tion by being the Second Coming of Christ.”[27]

In light of this, it is obvious that the Unification Church entirely rejects the biblical Jesus. When UC members say they believe in Jesus, what they mean is they believe in Sun Myung Moon. The Jesus of the New Testament has little if any relevance for them.


  1. Frederick Sontag, Sun Myung Moon—and the Unification Church (Nashville, TN: Abingdon/Parthenon Press, 1977), p. 192.
  2. The Divine Principle (Washington, DC: HSA-UWC), pp. 209-210.
  3. Ibid., pp. 210-211.
  4. Young Oon Kim, The Divine Principle and its Application (Washington, DC: HSA-UWC, 1960), p. 75.
  5. Young Oon Kim, The Divine Principles (San Francisco, HSA-UWC, 1960), p. 65.
  6. Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks 7, p. 4. [Notes: Sometimes the Master Speaks lectures contain multiple parts. If so, we include parenthetical numbers to refer to the parts of the lecture (1, 2, 3, etc)
  7. Master Speaks 1, p. 2.
  8. M. Darrol Bryant and Susan Hodges, Exploring Unification Theology (New York: Rose of Sharon Press, Inc., 1978), p. 31.
  9. Master Speaks 382, p. 3.
  10. Master Speaks PD 73, p. 2.
  11. Master Speaks 3, p. 15.
  12. Divine Principle, p. 148.
  13. Master Speaks 4 (2), p. 11.
  14. Master Speaks 430, p. 9.
  15. Master Speaks PD 72, p. 2.
  16. Master Speaks 423, p. 4.
  17. Master Speaks 7, p. 4.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Young Oon Kim, Unification Theology and Christian Thought (New York: Golden Gate Publishing Co., 1975), pp. 113, 116. For good defenses of the virgin birth, see Robert Gromacki, The Virgin Birth: Doctrine of Deity and J. Gresham Machen, The Virgin Birth.
  20. Master Speaks 4 (2), p. 9.
  21. Ken Sudo, 120 Day Training Manual (Barrytown, NY: International Unification Church Training Center, n.d.), p. 114.
  22. Master Speaks 3, p. 4.
  23. Master Speaks 405, p. 6; also in The Way of The World, December 1973, p. 19.
  24. Sudo, 120 Day Training Manual, pp. 284, 286.
  25. Master Speaks 405, p. 4; also in The Way of the World, December 1973, p. 14.
  26. Master Speaks 4 (2), p. 9.
  27. The Christian Century, December 4, 1974, p. 1140.


  1. Josh on January 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

    This is sickening. Do you fear God?

    He sees through all and I am here to tell you that you will be judged for spreading lies as is your entire article.

    Satan is the father of lies and you are doign him a great service here, m8.

  2. Just away on February 5, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Corithians 2:8, check that out, jesus did not come to die

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