The recordings of the Peaceful Families; Peaceful World workshop are now available:
You can view the recordings for free at https://www.visionroot.org/workshop-recordings/
Day 1: Abstinence-centered curriculum training,
Day 2: Unification Principle Study
Day 3: Strengthening Families and Communities Forum.
Cheon Seong Gyeong 2104
In your family you are told, “Be a child of filial piety!” What does this mean? It means to practice true love. Then, what does it mean to say, “Be an heir” or “Be a patriot”? It is saying that we should inherit the nation. What does it mean to say, “Be a saint?” It means that we should love the world; if we do, we will inherit the world. We will be the owner of the world. If we say, “Be a holy son and daughter” and “Be God’s son”… what does that mean? It is saying that we should participate in God’s love and receive the right to inherit the entire universe. Based on the traditional way to inherit all these things, God has been preparing the foundation to develop this logical stage in the fallen world of humanity. From this we can draw the conclusion that the purpose of religion or the path of spiritual attainment is possible. On what basis? On the basis of love. (142-337, 1986.3.14)
Cheon Seong Gyeong 782
In general, people throughout history, when focusing on the eternal nature of life, have tended to think not only in terms of ten or a hundred years, but of thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of billions of years. Yet when a person dies, it’s the same as when an animal dies; what use are the remains? Nowadays, even people who do not believe in God say, “Ah, I have to leave behind an honorable legacy,” but what use is it to leave that behind?
Even if one became a patriot for America and was honored with a monument, that monument would be destroyed totally if America perished. Only the American people would know of you. It would not mean much to leave your name behind. Even if you accomplished that, as the ages of history rise and fall, a good name can be treated like a bad one. All rulers will die in less than a hundred years, and nations perish within several hundred or a few thousand years. What would you do if there were someone who would neither die nor perish for eternity? If there were such a person, you would want to bring your name and your legacy to him and leave it all behind with him. Have you ever thought about that? (103-16, 1979.1.28)
Arguing with God
SINCE WE CAN EXPERIENCE GOD AS A REAL PERSON, who loves and cares for human beings as His children, it is not enough to respond only with simple devotion and blind faith. Having questions we cannot answer, struggling by ourselves and making no headway, we stop and demand that God give us the answer. With our feet firmly planted we take a stand, questioning the way things are and arguing that they can be better. The prophets and sages who disputed with God were neither doubters nor atheists, nor were they complainers of little faith. Rather, they dared to stand up and confront God, motivated by a burning desire for deeper insight into Gods’ truth and the experience of His Presence.
Abraham argued with God; he challenged God to be merciful on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses pleaded with God; he took the blame upon himself for the Israelites’ apostasy when they made the golden calf. Muhammad argued with God to reduce the number of obligatory prayers from fifty down to five. Job argued with God because conventional wisdom said that his suffering must be the just punishment for his sins, yet he knew himself to be innocent. The Talmudic sages argued with God to uphold the value of human free will.
In all these encounters, the prophets and sages of old showed the way to relate to God while upholding their personal integrity. They argued based upon righteousness and deeply held beliefs. They stood before God with a clean conscience and took their life in their hands to challenge the conventional doctrines, because they knew that God transcended the limited human teachings about Him.
The Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry which has come to me; and if not, I will know.” So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you still destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
At the end of forty days and forty nights the Lord gave me [Moses] the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant. Then the Lord said to me, “Arise, go down quickly from here; for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molten image… Let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.”…
Then I lay prostrate before the Lord as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin which you have committed… because the Lord had said that he would destroy you. And I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord God, destroy not your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness, or their sin, lest the land from which you brought us say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.’ For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.”
“When the angel raised me [through the heavens],” said the Prophet, “then God prescribed for my people fifty prayers [a day]. As I came back with this regulation, I passed near Moses. ‘What has God prescribed for your people?’ he asked. ‘He has prescribed fifty prayers,’ I replied. ‘Go back to the Lord,’ said Moses, ‘for your people will not be strong enough to endure that.’ So I went back into the presence of God, who reduced the number by half. Then when I came near Moses, I said to him, ‘They have been reduced by half.’ ‘Go back to the Lord,’ he said, ‘for your people will not be strong enough to endure that.’ I went back into the presence of God, who reduced the number again by half. Coming back to Moses, I told him of this new reduction. ‘Go back to the Lord,’ he replied, ‘for your people will not have the strength to endure that.’ I went back into the presence of God and He said to me, ‘There will be five prayers then, but they will be worth fifty in my eyes, for nothing can be changed of what has been spoken in My presence.’ I went back to Moses, who said to me again, ‘Go back to the Lord.’ ‘I am ashamed before the Lord,’ I replied.”
Hadith of Bukhari (Islam)
God said, “When I conquer, I lose. When I am conquered, I gain. I conquered the generation of the flood. But did I not lose, for I destroyed my world? So, too, with the generation of the Tower of Babel. So, too, with the men of Sodom. But at the sin of the golden calf I was conquered; Moses prevailed over me [to forgive their sin], and I gained, in that I did not destroy Israel.”
Pesikta Rabbati 32b-33a (Judaism)
I will take my flesh in my teeth,
and put my life in my hand.
Behold, he will slay me; I have no hope;
yet I will defend my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation,
that a godless man shall not come before him.
Listen carefully to my words,
and let my declaration be in thy ears.
Behold, I have prepared my case;
I know that I shall be vindicated.
Who is there that will contend with me?
For then I would be silent and die.
Only grant two things to me,
then I will not hide myself from thy face:
withdraw thy hand far from me,
and let not dread of thee terrify me.
Then call, and I will answer;
or let me speak, and do thou reply to me.
How many are my iniquities, and my sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Why dost thou hide thy face,
and count me as thy enemy?
Rabbi Eliezer brought forward all of the arguments in the world [in favor of his position on a certain matter of ritual cleanliness], but his colleagues did not accept them from him.
He said to them, “If the law agrees with me, let this carob tree prove it.” The carob tree leaped a hundred cubits from its place in the garden. The sages replied, “No proof can be brought from a carob tree.”
He said to them, “If the law agrees with me, let this stream of water prove it.” The stream of water began to flow backwards. The sages replied, “No proof can be brought from a stream of water.”
Again he said to them, “If the law agrees with me, let the walls of this schoolhouse prove it.” The walls began to shake and incline to fall. Rabbi Joshua leaped up and rebuked the walls saying, “When disciples of sages engage in a legal dispute what is your relevance?” In honor of Rabbi Joshua the walls did not tumble. In honor of Rabbi Eliezer they did not right themselves, and are still inclined even to this day.
Again Rabbi Eliezer said to the sages, “If the law agrees with me, let it be proved from Heaven.” A divine voice came forth and said, “Why do you dispute with Rabbi Eliezer, for in all matters the law agrees with him!” But Rabbi Joshua rose to his feet again and exclaimed, “‘It is not in heaven.’ [Deut. 30.12]”
Some time later, Rabbi Nathan met the prophet Elijah and asked him, “What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do when rebuked by Rabbi Joshua?” Elijah replied, “He laughed with joy, saying, ‘My children have defeated me, my children have defeated me.’”
Talmud, Baba Metzia 59ab (Judaism)