Standing on the Side of Truth

October 24, 2010, Cheon Bok Gung, Yongsan Seoul Korea

Main Sermon:

Let’s first start with True Parents’ words. These are True Parents’ words in 1971 and this is from the collection of speeches volume 40, 77th page. Let us read this together and dwell and meditate on the meaning of the reading. So we read in English. Please follow along in English. “After receiving the call to walk the way of God’s will, you should always search with sincerity for the objective you are meant to fulfill. I am moving forward with the entire problem of the providence of restoration; that path is not peaceful. I have to surmount many disturbing and ever-changing situations, beyond anything I could have imagined when I started. As you walk this way, purge your mind of greed and rid your heart of pride. It is impossible to succeed with the mind of ‘I am going to try this; I am going to attempt that’. Even if your plan succeeds, it may contradict the Providence since it was planned from a human perspective.” Aju.

We are one community, one world community, one family that serves True Parents, that seeks to glorify True Parents, has faith in True Parents; we, through our faith transcend national boundaries and backgrounds, etc. You  are from Japan, I am from America, and many brothers and sisters are from Korea. But we transcend those boundaries because of our faith in True Parents. That is what binds us together, the faith, the love that we receive from True Parents and the lineage we have received from True Parents. But there are times we face challenges and we are compelled, we are asked, to rise up and stand on the side of truth, to stand for God and for what is right.

In the modern era we have heard, almost everybody has heard of the famous peace activist, Gandhi, who fought against colonial Britain that was  trying to exploit the Indian people. His movement was founded, the Satyagraha Movement; that is, in Sanskrit “satya” means truth and “agraha” is translated  as force. So the truth-force, the force of the truth is what the Satyagraha movement moved with. And as you know, the movement challenged the colonial rulers extremely strongly. Demonstrators  were beaten, were threatened, and even killed, but until the end, Gandhi emphasized that the fight against evil and oppression must be done forcefully but non-violently. This later influenced people like Nelson Mandela and people like Martin Luther King Jr. who also fought for human rights.

We as Unificationists in the modern recent times have also had to stand up for our brothers and sisters in Japan recently, in the fight against injustice and the violation of our members’ human rights and your religious freedom. When this project first began, Kook-jin nim was sent into Japan. As you all know, in the Japanese church it was an extremely difficult time last year where many different situations were happening. They were raiding our churches as if we were criminals and they were almost entering even into the Head Quarters building, as you all remember. That was a very terrible time.

At the beginning everybody believes that this project would not succeed. We would not succeed with this project, it would fail and that we should wait, maybe we should wait until this problem resolves itself and not make such a big stir about such an issue. But see, what we realized is that there are forces that were purposely and organizationally moving with a mission orientation to destroy our movement, trying to take away our legal religious status. And if that was to happen, then our Unificationists would not be recognized in their faith as people believing in a viable and real tradition. If we were to wait for the issue to resolve itself and had done nothing and just allowed the government to come in, for the different forces to come in, our Japanese congregation would be completely at risk and losing their religious freedom and human rights.

So we started to fight, we started standing up for each other, for our church, for our religion, and for True Parents. At first “this was dangerous”, people said. “This would never succeed, it’s going to create more problems,” is what people said. But Kook-jin nim came across very clearly, “We will fight for our human rights and our religious freedom. We will fight against religious persecution, systematic organizational religious persecution, criminal kidnapping, criminal confinement, even rape and murder of our brothers and sisters. We will fight this. We will not wait and stand idle as these cases continue to mount and our human rights are stripped before our very eyes. We will fight.”

Of course this fight is not over yet. But we have many huge strides that have been made. We have received news coverage around the world about this issue of human rights violations in Japan against Unificationists. We have succeeded in the United Nations acknowledging Goto Toru San’s case and other Japanese brothers and sisters’ cases as authentic cases of violation of human rights, through international pressure and particularly the work that In-jin nim is doing in America, with the Congressmen. We were able to give international pressure here in Korea as well, demonstrations in front of the Japanese embassy. Also in Japan I know you have been doing demonstrations, peaceful demonstrations, bringing light to this issue. The government in Japan has been challenged internationally for its obvious lack of living up to its constitution and reputation as a legitimate democracy with freedom of religion as a protected constitutional right.

Just last month on the 6th of October, we had a full one hour documentary on SBS about the issue of our human rights in Japan. Nobody ever imagined that we could get a one hour nationwide documentary done by one of the three big media groups in Korea KBS, NBC and SBS. They are all nationwide broadcast channels and SBS covered for one hour the issue of confinement and kidnapping of our brothers and sisters in Japan. With this particular program, we were expecting maybe a 5% viewing rate. That is normal for documentaries at this hour, at 11pm at night. This would be very good, this would be average. We were hoping maybe for 7% which would be great, that would beat the average. That would be fantastic success and we were praying for 10% which would be absolutely phenomenal; almost unthinkable, 10% of the population.

The next day there were on internet the viewing rates for that program. They came under many different numbers but these are the numbers that SBS uses themselves for their viewing rating ok? The numbers that SBS uses to view its own program was not 5%, was not 7%, was not 10%, it was 11.7% of the nation! (Applause) Over the entire nation. That was almost 12% of the entire Korean nation. That is over 4.5 million viewers, million viewers, who watched that program that night! We don’t have 4.5 million Unificationists in Korea (laughter) but we had 4.5 million viewers that night. That night we watched the broadcast with Kook-jin hyung at Cheon Jeong Gung with True Parents, yes and I remember while we were watching the coverage, we could see the heart wrenching stories of our brothers and sisters who are suffering because of this human rights violation. Their families are being torn. Their religious freedom, their constitutional right is being taken away because nothing is being done. Not even one case of prosecution over 4,300 kidnappings. Not even one case of prosecution. This is outrageous. We could see brothers and sisters there in their real life story. We could see that these are real people. Unificationists are not some kind of ugly demons but real people who are having their human rights stripped from them. They can’t even return to Japan.

I remember when True Parents were watching the program, especially when one of the Christian ministers in Japan who also admitted that he would help in the kidnappings in the program,  at one point got up, stood up and said “I don’t want this interview to continue,” left. If you all saw the program you saw that point. During that point I could remember True Parents saying “Now the world will know. Now the world will truly know the situation of the victims that have been Unification Church members. That we have silently waited and suffered and been stripped of our human rights. But now the world will know.” True Father was so happy as the broadcast ended. He was so happy and said “Good job! Korean members, all members, good job!” Like this. He was so very happy that day. Let’s give a moment of applause (Applause).

I remembered that night we were so excited and so proud of our brothers and sisters who stood up and fought, especially the ones who were in the program. There were very difficult situations they had been, to gather a lot of courage and stand up and be on T.V. to share their story which is very personal. It is very painful. But they had the courage to do it. Everyone was so grateful because True Parents acknowledged that courage and invited even those families that were in the program, invited them to Cheon Jeong Gung. They came and had the lunch and evening banquet. All those brothers and sisters, the Japanese and the Korean husbands were invited to celebrate with True Parents. Let’s give a big round of applause for our brothers and sisters. (Applause)

But I remember that night so grateful and we were walking around, me and Kook-Jin hyung walking around at night around Cheon Jeong Gung outside and looking at the sky and walking. I remember this feeling, so grateful, that we can stand up for our brothers and sisters. We’re telling each other, “We’re so grateful we can stand up for the real saints of our movement.” When really everybody doesn’t want to touch this issue that really I’m so thankful to Kook Jin because he had the courage to step forward and say “No, we’re going to fight, fight for our brothers and sisters’ rights.” Because of that we’re able to come this far, which is incredible. Really it’s a miracle that we were able to be on SBS for one hour. As you saw on that program they even revealed the Principle, our principled interpretation of the Fall. They revealed that we believe, as Unificationists, that True Parents are the Messiah and the Lord of the Second Advent which we’re very proud of. They announced that to the whole nation, so nobody has any doubts what we believe because we believe what we believe, that it’s true. So that day was a real miracle.

But the day after, SBS was in a very difficult situation. It began getting criticized, very strongly. Usually there are only about 200 comments after a program is done. The very next day there were over 1000 comment, saying to SBS “What are you? Are you a UC broadcasting channel? What are you? Do you have Unificationists in your managerial staff? What are you? Who is that reporter? Is he a Unificationist?” Like this. We could see that the people that were writing like that, many of them were very closed-minded, fundamentalist Christians attacking. “Why are you doing that for Unification Church? We tuned in, we saw the program because it was called the ‘Kidnapping Issue of Unification Church’ so we tuned in, and we watched the program because we thought Unificationists were kidnapping Christians or other people and we watched the program and it was the other way around. Unificationists are being kidnapped. Why are you reporting that?” Very ridiculous statements.

But within a very few days, within a few days, good Christians, conscientious Christians started sending in and writing and they said, “No, if Christian ministers are engaged in this kind of activity, this is wrong! I am a Christian. This is not Christ-like. You can’t illegally kidnap and confine people and steal their human rights. I don’t care if they’re a minister or not, they don’t have the right to do that, to steal people’s human rights. If you want to do something, do something through the law but don’t do illegal activities.” Like this they started writing in. Then at the  same time, we had more people writing in like that. More people writing in saying “I am from a small minority religion and also we have been victims of kidnappings by fundamentalist Christians or by this or that group.” So, people started creating more and more issues and actually praising us. “Good job! Good investigative reporting!”

As we saw this situation occur, we could see that the national broadcast one hour program (of course this has never been done in our church history, this kind of program) but one hour program had huge impact, huge discussion started happening within Korea, especially within the Christian community. Since now a national broadcast carries this documentary about the Unification Church and  the victims of human rights violation then it is so much more possible that now international media outlets will carry this story (as well). Because a nationwide broadcast which has credibility and a nation’s standard carried this, reported this as an investigative report of real human rights violation, now in terms of other news media around the world it has become much easier for them to carry this story, to think about carrying this story and to feel credible in offering this as a real investigative report.

But still brothers and sisters we will have many challenges in this issue. There are many closed-minded people who want to attack the Unification Church, anti-unificationists. They will try to attack True Parents in many different ways, trying to discredit and dishonor True Parents in any way possible. At this time  the providence is moving towards 2013, the beginning of the Cheon Il Guk era. It is said that before the greatest victory, Satan attacks the hardest because he’s scared, he’s afraid that it’s going to happen. Some victory is going to happen, so he attacks from all sides.

From the outside, we see that the forces against Unification Church continue to try to slander our theology, slander the church, slander True Parents and our faith and also try to stand up for violation of Unificationists’ human rights, saying “that’s not a real issue” and try  to blame us for other things.

And even from the inside, we see things that are really wrenching at our hearts, especially as you all know, particularly in Japan, but all around the world now. We all know  the Rev. Kwak and UCI issue that have occurred. Last week all of you received the report of it. Many people when they hear that, we all feel scared because this is an internal issue. This is very sudden. Why, all of a sudden, are we taking a strong stance on this issue? Why, all of a sudden, are we taking a strong stance? Isn’t it a little sudden? I mean isn’t it kind of out of the blue? But honestly, for two years True Parents have waited, they have told us so many times to quickly solve this issue.

For two years straight as you may or you may not know, we have been waiting and waiting, trying to solve this issue without it going to the membership, or going to the public. But for two years straight, although members on the ground may not have felt it every single month, we, as the mission department, have to manage and work with the different churches of the world every month. Literally every month, events (happened) that were against True Parents’ wishes, were happening all over the world; in different nations at different times. You may or may not know those details. Issues continue even to this day that go against True Parents’ command; that go against True Parents’ wishes.

I have struggled with this issue for over two years now. Personally, I have had many days when I was thinking “If  I’m really in the position of Abel maybe it’s better for me just to love and embrace them and just forgive. Just to love and just wait, just let the issue sort of solve itself, maybe that’s the best way. Or – seen from the principled perspective of Jacob and Esau – maybe I should just, like Jacob, give all (away). What Jacob had (he gave) to Esau, this is what he did and that’s what happened and unity came. Maybe I should just give the title “international president” or whatever other titles that True Parents may have asked me to do,  to our brother. And that will solve the issue, just quickly resolve this issue.”

But I realized that this is not a Cain and Abel struggle, this is not a Jacob and Esau story, because when Jacob and Esau were alive and  in that situation, their father was not on the earth. Isaac had already passed. But in this situation, True Parents are here. So it is essential that unity does not just come through the siblings. Only through the central figures, who are the True Parents, does unity come. When we lower our heads in humility and serve the One Parent, then we are united.

And so I realized that this is not a Jacob and Esau issue. This is more of an issue of Abraham and Isaac. When Abraham asked Isaac, “Will you die for me? Will you have faith and obedience in my prayer and command? Will you go on the altar for me? Do you believe in me? Will you go on the altar?”  How would Isaac respond as the son? Would he say, “Yes, I will do so.” Or would he say, “I am sorry. I cannot do that. I will go my own way.”

And really this is the issue that we have been seeing for the last few years and that have been really bringing so much pain to many families  around the world, personally and also collectively. What I realized about the Jacob and Esau story is that Jacob made his own kingdom for 20 years. He made his own foundation and success. The kingdom which he offered to Esau was his own. All the riches and all the wealth and the entire kingdom that he created, he gave to Esau.

But when I look at myself, I have no foundation that I made myself, like Jacob who went out and made his huge foundation. I did not make the World Unification Church, the movement. I did not create this global foundation. The only reason why I am here in this position is because of True Parents. And it is True Parents and the members’ blood, sweat and tears that have created that global foundation. And that is not mine as the International President. That is not my kingdom. If I have something that I have created in the last ten years of my own training and my own faith life, then it is my jeongseong, my training, it is my practice, and it is my daily training – jeongseong. This is something that I can call mine. But it is also something that I cannot give to anybody else. It is the nature of jeongseong that it always remains jeongseong, if you do it with a pure heart.

So, what we have to realize is that the international president’s title is just a name. I am an employee. I am True Parents’ servant. True Parents are here. Every decision we make must go through True Parents. Any big decision we make, True Parents have to sign it to give the approval. As the international president, people may think that I can just do whatever I think because I am the international president. It is simply not the case. Without obedience to True Parents, without working with True Parents, the international president’s title is worthless. It means nothing. It is just a name.

And so what I have noticed is that just like in the situation of Japan -, there were forces that were organizationally and systematically moving to harm our unification community – in the same way, for two years, we have waited event after event, situation after situation, this nation and that nation, again, this nation and that nation, that nation, this nation, just endless, non-stop. We witnessed a systematic movement to disobey True Parents, to go against their wishes, to discredit them, to defame True Parents’ children that they placed in positions of responsibility. We see organizational, systematic motions to do that around our world movement to create schisms.

For two years we were silent on this issue. Every month, True Parents have to see this situations occur. So I realized, just like with the problem of our kidnappings in Japan, this would not solve itself. If we waited to solve itself, we would no longer have religious freedom. In the same way, in this end phase before Cheon Il Guk, when True Parents hearts’ are being violated, when their authority is being violated,  when their commands are being violated – which has never happened like this at this level in the Unification church history –  this situation will not resolve itself, by itself.

But only when the true filial sons and daughters of True Parents, the members of faith who call themselves real sons and daughters of True Parents, stand up, just like when we stood up and fought against human rights violation, to stand up and raise our voice. Do not just be silent and idle while True Parents are being slandered and put in pain. This is a violation of True Parents’ parental right and authority, of their divine position. And this is the age of Unification Tong-Il Gyo, wherein “hyo ja”, the character “hyo” means, there is a character of filial piety next to the father. It is the age where the filial sons and daughters must stand up, go before True Parents and protect them from attack, protect them from dishonor and raise their name, and try to give them hope, to uplift them.

We can see that there is a repeat of what God had to encounter.  When God created the Garden of Eden, He had created everything – all the plants, the mountains, the planets, the oceans and the fishes – even Adam and Eve He had created. And they were doing fine.  They were growing up in the growth stage. In three to five years, they would have reached the perfection stage and could become one as husband and wife, and start Cheon Il Guk from the family, tribe, society, nation, world and cosmos. God almost had Cheon Il Guk.  Almost, almost had it!  But at the very last stage, about three to five years before He almost had Cheon Il Guk, that is when Lucifer came in, the archangel.

Remember, Lucifer the name is a good name. It means the bringer of light. It is a very positive name. God trusted him, loved him. God believed in Lucifer. Lucifer is a good name, by the way. He gave His children for Lucifer to raise so that they would be obedient to Him. But at the last phase, it was where the fall occurred.  We know this from the Principle. Lucifer took God’s sovereignty, took God’s children, and created the fall, inherits false love. “I love me more than God”. We inherited this from Adam and Eve, and this is the beginning of our fallen history.As True Parents are in the substantial representative position of God, they represent God here on earth. What we are seeing is that True Parents are going through all the heartache, all the pain, all the violations, betrayals, all the suffering and tortures that God Himself had to endure. True Parents themselves are again at this stage right before Cheon Il Guk, about three to five years right before; where if we were all just one and centered on True Parents, Cheon Il Guk would be fast approaching.  But in this stage, True Parents are feeling the very heart of God. The very anxiety and pain that they have labored and encountered, God has encountered in the Garden of Eden.

Their most trusted disciple, most loved, most praised, most foundations given to and most titles given to, Rev. Kwak, given all to him, most trusted, most loved disciple of True Parents – but now the situation, just like in the Garden of Eden – (Rev. Kwak) saying, “I will go my own way now ” and even working to take away True Parents’ own children, trying to make people believe,  that their own brothers and sisters are their opponents,  taking continuously True Parents’ sovereignty (away), continuing to try to create confusion in the World church, amongst young people all around the world in the Unification Church;  non-stop, still going on at this moment! And  while True Parents are holding the Blessing Ceremony in Korea, at  the same time holding competing events, telling people to attend those events over True Parents’ events.

This kind of continual disobedience we see, and we realized that this will not resolve itself by itself, but only when as a community we stand up for True Parents and say, “This is wrong!  We love you but this is wrong. What you are doing is wrong.  We do not support that. We stand for True Parents.  We can decipher between right and wrong”, and in this stage, where we are tested, we take the position to stand for our beloved True Parents of Heaven and Earth.” Let us give them a big round of applause.

In the Bible, there is a story of King Hezekiah. He was the King of Judah. Judah was the land that had united the northern region of Judah, that is where Jerusalem was, and the southern kingdom of Israel. Hezekiah took the helm. He would become king when he was 25 years old. In the 14th year of his reign, the Assyrian kings began to invade. They started to invade because the people started disbelieving in God. And the Assyrian king Sennacherib laid siege to all the fortified cities of Judah. And he was moving in Jerusalem. Sennacherib demanded all the riches of Judah. So he demanded 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold, etc. And Hezekiah had to give all the fortunes that Israel had muster to Sennacherib. He had to go into God’s temple and scrape off the gold from the pillars and doors to give to Sennacherib.

And in that incredible situation where everybody would have lost their fortune and everyone was losing hope and saying it was over, Hezekiah remained faithful to God. He did not waver in despair. He said, “I worship you alone God.” And he prayed to God, and he did not doubt God but he praised Him in that time of trouble. When everything was collapsing, when the Assyrians were coming in and right about to destroy the center city of Jerusalem, Hezekiah – with nothing – offered prayers of praise to God, thanking God, remembering that God is great. So the Lord heard his prayers. And at night, the Bible said He sent the angel of the Lord. And the angel went and destroyed the army of Sennacherib, the Assyrian army, in one night.

So in the end God did not let the Assyrians take over Jerusalem which was the center of the Land of Judah. And because Sennacherib’s desire was for his own promotion and was against God, as he prayed to his god Nisroch in his temple, his own sons came, and since they wanted his throne, they murdered him in the temple. They took him and cut him down. In the end, evil multiplied evil, unethical behavior multiplied unethical behavior; falsehood multiplied falsehood, and eventually destroyed itself. And this was the great genius of God.

In the same way, even though there are many archangels that are rising up – on the outside they are trying to attack us from different angles using different central figures, also on the inside archangels are rising up trying to discredit and dishonor True Parents, to try to defame their children, standing up, creating anti-Unification Church movements – as these things are happening, as the Unification Church is becoming more mainstream, as the Unification Church is moving into much more acceptance than it has ever done, as True Parents are becoming more and more accepted and seen as doing incredible things, then there are these attacks that come from both, inside and ouside.

But at this time, we must remember, just like Hezekiah did, to stay true to our faith. We are here because of True Parents. We are here because we believe in True Parents. We are here because we stand as filial sons and daughters of True Parents in this stage of Tong-Il Gyo where we will protect True Parents; where we will stand up for them, where we will lift up their names and where we will glorify them as their filial sons and daughters. Let us give it up for God and True Parents!

If we do that, we will see God is in control. He will use the attack that is meant to harm True Parents, to harm our community. And in the temporary period for short term, God in His greatness will turn it around. He will use it against itself to show that True Parents truly walked the course that God walked, and that out of anybody in the world, (only) True Parents truly understand the pain of God that they have walked through, that they liberate God and that they bring Him glory in their final stage.

Brothers and sisters, it is so important that we come together at this time as a community of faith, as a community that believes in True Parents, that believes in their authority, that believes in their mission, we come together and stand up for them. To stand up for what is right, just like what we did for brothers and sisters in Japan with our human rights, now standing up for True Parents’ rights as filial sons and daughters.

Let us end with our final words from True Parents. It is their prayer from March 29, 1959. Let us read it together: “Father, Thou knowest the direction that we, Thy sons and daughters should go.  Thou knowest the path we shall have to walk. Our minds do not begin from within ourselves for we have been chosen as Thy helpers, not for ourselves. Since it is for others and for Thee, Father we pray, Thou wilt take dominion over our hearts and not let them change to the very end.” Aju!

Prayer to True Father:

“Glory be unto the Holy True Father, liberator of God’s heart, the King of Kings, the returning Christ. May we fully inherit your God’s true love. We bow before you, your sacrifice for us. For our trespasses, You suffered and died, descending into hell seven times to indemnify our sins from the individual to the cosmic level. We bow before you in utmost gratitude and give you glory.” Aju!

Prayer to True Mother:

“Glory be unto the Holy True Mother, Perfected Eve and Mother, mover of the Holy Spirit. Bless us with your sacred womb from which we are born again of the Holy Spirit. Pray for us your children and permit us to come closer to God and our Holy True Father now and when you ascend to the Spirit World.” Aju!

Closing Prayer:

“Dearest Most Heavenly Father, we thank you God this day.  Father we thank True Parents this day for God, You are great. The first thing we must remember at this time is that God, You are in control. And Father, You have dominion over all things for You now live in the age of liberation and complete release. True Parents have taken on all the burdens and sufferings and betrayal and pain that You have endured throughout history and taken it as their own cross. They have walked the path of the filial son to You. And they have succeeded as the True Parents of Heaven and Earth, becoming your substantial representative here on earth. Father, at this time, there will be many who will try to say, “How can you talk of unity, how can the Unification Church talk about unification when it itself inside is not united?” But what we must realize is that True Parents are walking the exact path that You walked. That not only can they empathize with Your heart-wrenching pain, but Father through the experience of betrayal, and pain and suffering, and through the experience of what You had to encounter with Your most trusted individual truth incarnations turned against You, Father, True Parents stand as the ones who succeed in understanding Your heart. Father, these situations, external and internal, these criticisms and attacks that will be thrown against the Unification family, Father, we know that in the end, in Your great wisdom, You will use them, turn them around, and use them as evidence and proof that True Parents are Your direct representative here on earth and that they are the successful True Parents of Heaven and Earth. Praise God. Thank you so much Father for this day, for today Father we want to stand in clarity. We want to stand Father with understanding the difference between right and wrong. We want to stand for True Parents rights now. We want to stand for True Parents authority now. We want to no longer wait and be idle. And Father we in the shadows, we want to come forth and stand with our True Parents, protect them, lift their names, and glorify them. We thank You so much Father because we trust You and we believe in You. And we know that You are in control. We thank You so much and we pray that You may inspire courage in our hearts, that we may more and more come forward and speak out against this issue. And to quickly resolve it so that Father we can become one and serve You and True Parents, and glorify Cheon Il Guk with our lives. We thank you so much. We pray all these things as one community, with one faith, with one heart, with one body and with one mind. We pray and offer thanks and bow to you and True Parents, in our Own Names as Central Blessed families.” Aju!

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