True Believers Are Filled with Awe at the Mention of God

Numbers 9

23 They obeyed the Lord’s commands and went wherever he directed Moses.

Psalm 104

The Lord is merciful!
He is kind and patient,
    and his love never fails.
The Lord won’t always be angry
    and point out our sins;
10     he doesn’t punish us
    as our sins deserve.

Islam

Today Islam is playing a major role in God’s unfolding providence. Father Moon finds in Muslims a firm faith and moral clarity that is sorely needed in this relativistic age, when Christianity has grown feeble. He totally rejects the “clash of civilizations” scenario that would see the Muslim world as an enemy of the West. Because Islam is a higher religion, it has the spiritual blessing to be one of the pillars of the Kingdom of God.
Islam is a righteous religion, and holds itself above Judaism and Christianity, which it regards as filled with errors and hypocrisy. Nevertheless, what is required in this age is reconciliation between these three religions as the spiritual mainstays of humanity. Father Moon identifies the source of their conflict neither in doctrine nor in the events surrounding Muhammad’s ministry, but rather in the crucifixion of Jesus, which sowed the seeds that have borne their inevitable fruit in the contemporary world. Resolving the mistakes of that time will require the concerted efforts of all—Christians, Jews and Muslims—the descendants of the actors in that drama.

1. A Religion of Faith and Righteousness

You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. You enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and you believe in God.
    Qur’an 3.110

God has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness, and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness—a grace and favor from God.
    Qur’an 49.7

We believe in God, and in that which has been sent down on us and sent down on Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets; of their Lord; we make no division between any of them, and to Him we surrender.
    Qur’an 2.136

This [Qur’an] is the Book which We have revealed as a blessing; so follow it and be righteous, that you may receive mercy; lest you should say, “The Book was send down to two peoples before us, and for our part, we remained unacquainted with what they learned by studying it”; or lest you should say, “If only the Book had been sent down to us, we should have followed its guidance better than they.” Now then has come to you a clear proof from your Lord, and a guide and a mercy; then who could do more wrong than one who rejects Allah’s revelations and turns away from them?
    Qur’an 6.155-157

The true believers are those whose hearts are filled with awe at the mention of God, and whose faith grows stronger as they listen to His revelations. They put their trust in their Lord, pray steadfastly, and give in alms of that which We have given them. Such are the true believers. They shall be exalted and forgiven by their Lord, and a generous provision shall be made for them.
    Qur’an 8.2-4

O you who believe, be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice; and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably. Be just; that is nearer to observance of duty. And keep your duty to Allah. Surely Allah is aware of what you do.
    Qur’an 5.8

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Islam is a comprehensive religion. It adopted the teachings of the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible, but with God alone as its center. It was founded with contents appropriate to Arab culture. (39:316, January 16, 1971)

Today Islam will become a prophetic religion to ignite this deviating world. (39:42, January 9, 1971)

The Grand Mufti of Syria is a leader of accomplished self-discipline who has highly cultivated his spirit. After World War II he received a revelation from Heaven that dreadful punishment would come unless Islam united with Judaism and Christianity. Because he kept this revelation for forty years, he was persecuted and imprisoned several times. Still, he could not fulfill Heaven’s commission.
    After learning of my interreligious activities, he was moved to think, “I should go and visit Father Moon.” (212:324, January 11, 1991)

 

Blessed Are You When Men Revile You

Revelation 11

For three and a half days the people of every nation, tribe, language, and race will stare at the bodies of these two witnesses and refuse to let them be buried. 10 Everyone on earth will celebrate and be happy. They will give gifts to each other, because of what happened to the two prophets who caused them so much trouble. 11 But three and a half days later, God will breathe life into their bodies. They will stand up, and everyone who sees them will be terrified.

Richard: Here, it appears that the enemy is winning. But then the “dead” witnesses” revive.

Psalm 17

I am innocent, Lord,
    and I will see your face!
    When I awake, all I want
    is to see you as you are.

Christianity

Christianity is Father Moon’s own religious heritage; hence he has more to say about it than any other religion. His main teachings concern the essence of the Christianity—its core tradition, the unity of the church, and Christianity’s mission to the world.
Following Christ’s example, the core tradition of Christianity is love and sacrifice. The Christian is not reluctant or afraid to take up his cross and suffer for the sake of God’s will, as Jesus did. Therefore, Christianity is not an easy or comfortable religion, but one that demands commitment, courage and conviction. Christian love is the second essential core tradition. Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies and forgive those who hurt them. The fellowship of Christians who practice the love of Christ is a beautiful thing.
However, because this love is practiced only imperfectly, and often does not extend to believers of other churches, the problem of disunity has plagued Christianity since its early days. placing doctrinal purity and denominational self-interest ahead of Christian love, churches have quarreled and persecuted one another, causing great damage to Christianity as a whole. Father Moon has dedicated himself to restoring church unity through the practice of reconciling love and a clarification of essential Christian truth.
Christianity has a worldwide mission, to save all humankind. For Father Moon, this is not only a matter of preaching the Gospel and converting the heathen. In today’s world of many religions, democratic values and the ethics of love and charity are Christianity’s contributions to elevating the level of all civilizations around the globe. Ultimately, the mission of the church is to prepare the way for God’s universal Kingdom on earth, based upon these values, which will be established when Christ returns.
The section concludes with a glimpse at Christian history, which can be viewed as a record of the church’s successes and failures in fulfilling its mission. It is a history that is mostly found wanting. The church has consistently failed when it has lived by the secular values of power, wealth and worldly authority. It has made progress when it returns to Christ’s tradition of sacrifice and the search for true freedom of faith. in the course of this history, God has attempted to establish a sovereign Christian civilization—first in the Middle ages through roman Catholicism, and today through Protestantism centered on the united states of America. Medieval civilization perished when the Vatican’s leaders were more intent to pursue power and worldly glory than to live by Jesus’ core tradition of love and sacrifice. America, as the current representative Christian nation with a calling to lead the world into the Kingdom, faces the same test.

1. The Core Traditions of Christianity: Love and Sacrifice

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
    Luke 14.27
 
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5.11-12
 
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
    Romans 5.3-5
 
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.
    Tertullian, Apology
 
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
    Acts 2.42-47
 
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
    1 John 4.7-12
 
Love most of all brands us with a mark of blame in the eyes of some. “Look,” [the pagans] say, “how [these Christians] love one another”—for they themselves hate one another—“and how they are ready to die for one another”—for they themselves are readier to kill one another.
    Tertullian, Apology
 
 

Harmony Between Different Religions Is Important and Necessary

Numbers 23

When God appeared to him, Balaam said, “I have built seven altars and have sacrificed a bull and a ram on each one.”

Richard: We should be busy doing everything we can to establish God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness.

Psalm 19

14 Let my words and my thoughts
    be pleasing to you, Lord,
    because you are my mighty rock
    and my protector.

Everyone Has the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

3. Community and Solidarity among Religions

I came to the conclusion long ago… that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu… But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.
    Mohandas Gandhi (Hinduism)
 
Basically all major religions of the world carry the same message; therefore harmony between different religions is both important and necessary.
    Each system has its own value suited to persons of different disposition and mental outlook. At this time of easy communication, we must increase our efforts to learn each other’s system. This does not mean that we should make all religions into one but that we should recognize the common purpose of the many religions and value the different techniques that they have developed for internal improvement.
    Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Buddhism)
 
The Church therefore has this exhortation for her sons: prudently and lovingly, through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of Christian faith and life, acknowledge, preserve, and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these men, as well as the values in their society and culture.
    Vatican II, Nostra Aetate (Christianity)
 
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
    Isaiah 56.7
 
And I [Jesus] have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
    John 10.16
 
The essential purpose of the religion of God is to establish unity among mankind. The divine Manifestations were Founders of the means of fellowship and love. They did not come to create discord, strife and hatred in the world. The religion of God is the cause of love, but if it is made to be a source of enmity and bloodshed, surely its absence is preferable to its existence; for then it becomes satanic, detrimental and an obstacle to the human world…It is our duty in this radiant century to investigate the essentials of divine religion, seek the realities underlying the oneness of the world of humanity, and discover the source of fellowship and agreement which will unite mankind in the heavenly bond of love. This unity is the radiance of eternity, the divine spirituality, the effulgence of God and the bounty of the Kingdom.
    ‘Abdul’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace (Baha’i Faith)
 
 
 

God Does Not Choose Only the Path From the East

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John 17

You have given me some followers from this world, and I have shown them what you are like. They were yours, but you gave them to me, and they have obeyed you. They know that you gave me everything I have. I told my followers what you told me, and they accepted it. They know that I came from you, and they believe that you are the one who sent me. I am praying for them, but not for those who belong to this world.[a] My followers belong to you, and I am praying for them. 10 All that I have is yours, and all that you have is mine, and they will bring glory to me.

Psalm 78

God gave his Law
to Jacob’s descendants,
    the people of Israel.
And he told our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so that each new generation
would know his Law
    and tell it to the next.
Then they would trust God
    and obey his teachings,
    without forgetting anything
    God had done.

One Truth, Many Paths

1. All Religions Worship the Same God and Serve His Great Will

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Although different religions have different names for God and different ways of worshipping Him, the central Being worshipped by each religion is the one and only God. (140:11, February 1, 1986)
 
All people know Jesus, Buddha, Confucius and Muhammad as the founders of the world’s great religions. We revere them as the guides of humankind. There can be no objection to believing their teachings.
    Why should people follow them? They came to this world as our guides. Each takes responsibility for one religion and guides his people to advance toward the summit. When they reach the summit and find that they are only on a low peak among a great range of mountains, these founders will lead them to another trail, and then another, as they advance upward towards the highest summit.
    God does not choose only the path to the summit from the East. If God did, people from the West who cannot come around to the East would have no path. Therefore, God established religions in every direction—East, West, South and North—and revealed the major routes to reach to the peak from each direction. On the way, they each absorbed numerous peoples, as God furthered their progress towards one unified world. (81:181-82, December 28, 1975)
 
All four great founders of religion were centered on God. They were not their own lords, for above each was God, their Lord. God is above Jesus; likewise God is above Buddha, Confucius and Muhammad. These men knew God; that is why they could become the founders of religion. That is why they taught a common message—that message was one of righteousness, peace and justice. They worked to spread that message and to establish a world of goodness. They all lived many centuries ago, yet their teachings guide people to the present day. (130:146-47, January 8, 1984)
 
There are numerous religions on the earth today. God needed to set up different religions in order to gather the peoples scattered all over the world. Each people has a religion suited to its distinct history, circumstance, cultural background and customs, yet these religions are all headed towards one goal. They are like the streams of a single river. As you go downstream, the number of streams decreases as they merge into larger and larger tributaries, until finally they merge into a single great river. Likewise, all the religions are to unite as they flow towards the place where they can capture God’s love; there they will stay. (23:125, May 18, 1969)
 
Religion provides training as we seek for God’s love and ideal. The world’s religions were given different responsibilities to raise people level by level back to the original state. (87:177, June 2, 1976)
 
The world in which we live is not the world of goodness; it is a fallen world where evil holds sway. Hence, many barriers block our relationship with the God of goodness. To remove these barriers, God needs human beings to play a mediating role. Therefore, throughout history and all over the world, God has been developing movements based on religion to transform this evil world to the world of goodness.
    Among every people of the world, God developed a religion suitable to its unique culture and customs. God expanded the scope of these religions according to their suitability, from local beliefs to worldwide faiths. Today these religious roots have spawned four great civilizations: Christian civilization, Islamic civilization, Indian [Hindu] civilization, and the Far Eastern civilization rooted in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.
    Looking at the world today, what would be God’s wish? His desire is that these four religions not remain separate; He would unite them and present one religion on the world stage. That religion should represent God’s true Will to the world. (113:313, May 10, 1981)
 
There is not a single person whom Thou hast not touched,
or country that Thou hast not guided in hope.
Thou hast been leading all peoples,
transcending national borders,
to the present point on the path to the original world,
Thine eternal ideal. (76:86-87, February 1, 1975)
 
 
 

Set Things Right Between Your Two Brothers

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John 18

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.

Psalm 14

Richard: No doubt, this is today’s question. With so many lies and obfuscations being promoted, we need to be in touch with our conscience, centered on the Word of God.

Pslam 14

But all of them are corrupt;
    no one does right.

Won’t you evil people learn?
    You refuse to pray,
    and you gobble down
    the Lord’s people.
But you will be frightened,
    because God is on the side
    of every good person.
You may spoil the plans
of the poor,
    but the Lord protects them.

I long for someone from Zion
    to come and save Israel!
Our Lord, when you bless
    your people again,
    Jacob’s family will be glad,
    and Israel will celebrate.

The Purpose of Religion

3. Religions Promote Universal Community

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Galatians 3.28

The believers indeed are brothers; so set things right between your two brothers, and fear God; haply so you will find mercy.
    Qur’an 49.10

Israel’s reconciliation with God can be achieved only when they are all one brotherhood.
    Talmud, Menahot 27a (Judaism)

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
running down upon the beard,
upon the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life for evermore.
    Psalm 133   

Happy is the unity of the Sangha.
Happy is the discipline of the united ones.
    Dhammapada 194 (Buddhism)

The ultimate purpose of Buddhism, and for that
matter all religions, is to serve and benefit man.
    Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Buddhism)

Teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon

Throughout history, the basic pillar of every civilization has been the spirit. Religion is that spiritual pillar, enduring from age to age always keeping the spirit as its center. As religion expands its influence, it guides the human conscience, leavens the social environment, and guides humankind towards the world of God’s desire. (9:277, June 12, 1960)
 
God established religion to convey God’s love and truth to humankind and to save humankind. God established various religions, each in its own time and place. For example, He founded Buddhism in India and Confucianism in China approximately 2,400 years ago, and in Judea, He founded Christianity 2,000 years ago.
    It can be said assuredly that the absolute value perspective is established only through religions which revere Ultimate Reality. Conversely, no fundamental solution to today’s confusion is possible through those thoughts and philosophies that are not founded on religion… In history, we have the examples of Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, each of which, in its own time and place, dispelled anxiety and brought peace to societies in chaos. On the foundation of peace and security, each brought forth a flourishing of culture. (122:300, November 26, 1982)
 
What is the true religion? It is the religion that brings the truth by which all people can enter into a genuine parent-child relationship with God. It unites all humankind in brotherly love. Further, it strives to bring about one human family centered on the love of God. These are the qualities of a true religion. People who are searching for the highest religion, the religion established by God, should seek a religion with these qualities. (91:225, February 20, 1977)
 
In the next world, people are divided by nationality; except religious people, who can dwell together with fellow-believers from every nation. In the religious sphere people believe in one God and long for one world; hence they can live together transcending nationality. (297:271, December 19, 1998)
 
Although their skin colors are different and their living circumstances are different, in relating to Thy Will they are brothers and sisters in a destined relationship of one blood. (10:150, September 25, 1960)
 
The ultimate purpose of all religions is to realize the ideal world of peace, which is God’s desire. Religions should be concerned about the Will of God for the salvation of the world before thinking of the salvation of their own denomination or the salvation of individuals. (135:221, November 16, 1985)