What do the Moonies believe? Here’s a thumbnail sketch:
- The Unification Church believes in a finite suffering God. God is not omniscient and, due to man’s “free will,” cannot know the future (though he usually can predict it). God is said to be in agony, suffering over the faithlessness and sins of mankind. The only way for God to know real peace is for man, His creation, to be loyal, true, and committed to Him continuously.
- Moonies reject the doctrine of the Trinity, and claim the Father alone is God, while Jesus and the Holy Spirit are merely created beings, a man and a female spirit, respectively. The Virgin Birth of Christ is rejected, and Jesus did not even preexist before being conceived by Mary and Joseph. (Earlier teaching said that Jesus was produced by adultery between Mary and Zacharias.)
- Jesus’ original mission, supposedly, was to be married, father “sinless” children, and be received as Messiah by the world. But because of the faithlessness of John the Baptist and the Israelites generally, His mission was thwarted and He was crucified. Moon claims Jesus was not resurrected bodily and is not coming back to earth.
- The Unification “secret” (although common knowledge even among most worldly people) is that the Rev. Moon is the Messiah, the Christ returned. What Jesus failed to do, Moon intends to accomplish. The “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7) took place in 1960 at Moon’s own wedding, and he has already fathered 13 children. Moon paid for mankind’s sins with his own blood during a stay in a Korean prison camp, and he has “subjugated” all the angels, demons, and human spirits in the spirit world. Even Jesus, Moon says, has bowed down and “subjected himself” to him.
- Through Moon, mankind can be redeemed from sin both spiritually and physically. Accordingly, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and all other rituals which came from Jesus are passé. Instead of prayers being offered “in the name of Jesus,” Moonies pray, “in the name of the True Parents” (Rev. and Mrs. Moon). The Unification Church has a weekly “pledge service,” in which members bow down three times before photos of Moon and his wife. Their single parallel to Communion is the “Holy Wine Ceremony,” given only after a special marriage ceremony, in which the wine contains a small amount of Moon’s literal blood (in highly diluted form, of course). All that remains is for the world to receive him as Messiah, but this can be accomplished in stages, and may even wait for completion until after his death.
- The final restoration of the world is being accomplished through Moon’s well-publicized mass marriages. Moon teaches that the children of these “blessed” marriages are born without original sin, and have the potential of growing to sinless adulthood. The proliferation of these sinless offspring and their descendants will eventually overwhelm this planet, bringing about the “kingdom of Heaven on earth.