The Tribal Messiah
On May 13, 1993, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, his wife, Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, and thirteen of their sons, daughters, and sons and daughters-in-law, began a ministry of proclamation the likes of which the world has never seen. They proclaimed, throughout the world, "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age."
This crusade, which continues unabated to this date, is unparalleled first of all in its geographical extent. The Reverend Moon and his family have taken the proclamation personally to every state of the United States, to dozens of cities in Japan, dozens of cities and campuses in Korea, and to forty nations on six continents.
The crusade is unparalleled in rapidity. It has taken place with the suddenness of a bolt of lightning: over three hundred speeches delivered over this global expanse in the space of less than one year. Virtually one speech per day given throughout the world, by a member of this family.
It is unparalleled in the depth of its audience: ambassadors and representatives of nearly a hundred nations at the United Nations in New York; over fifty congressmen and more than one hundred congressional staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC; governmental, religious and social leaders at the Kremlin, the National Congress buildings of Korea, The Republic of China, India, Brazil and Canada, major national leaders in Kenya, Nigeria, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Egypt, Greece, Italy, England, Byelorrus and many other nations; faculty and students at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Chicago... the record is growing every week.
There are more superlatives in terms of quantity, but far more important than this is the message itself. After enunciating a prophetic re-visioning of God's providence in history, the proclamation comes to an overwhelming conclusion:
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege to announce to you the establishment of the first True Family. Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon ... have achieved, on the family level, the central root, the central trunk, and the central bud of the Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible."
At this point, the listener is called not simply to witness this historic event, but to participate in it:
"It is our sincere hope that you will symbolically graft into this tree by joining us in our efforts to create an ideal nation and world. This marks the beginning of the Completed Testament Age. At the dawn of the Completed Testament Age, the time has come for each family to take up the messianic mission of completing the work of salvation all over the world. After restoring your family, the next step is to restore your community, tribe, and nation. We call this process tribal messiahship."
One and all ask, how do we practice this? What is the meaning of "tribal messiahship"? The present volume holds the answer to this question.
The Tribal Messiah consists of selections from the teachings of Reverend Sun Myung Moon on the topic of tribal messiahship. I draw back from the challenge of explaining "tribal messiahship," even in the moment of reflection afforded in composing this introduction. And yet, as the reader will see, the first sentences of the present volume consist of Reverend Moon's challenge to "come here and talk about tribal messiah!" If we hesitate even to talk about tribal messiahship, how can we even conceive becoming one?
Tribal messiahship is the fulfillment of the standards of true religious life as enunciated in the New Testament. Beyond that, it embodies Jesus' "counsels of perfection", heretofore thought unattainable even by faithful believers. "Blessed are the peacemakers," said Jesus, "for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9) Tribal messiahship is the way to world peace. Peace is of little meaning if it is limited to one family, one tribe, or one nation. Such so-called peace would only bring more war and hatred. The genius of the Reverend Moon is that he embodies, at the cost of his own sacrificial suffering, God's desire that all His children find true peace, free from sin and ignorance, living with true happiness. But this desire can be fulfilled only when we, by our own will, become tribal messiahs.
Tribal messiahship is the fulfillment of the biblical vision of "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9). This race, however, is the "love race," including all people in one global family. In fact, the Reverend Moon calls us to become "a royal family of God." Grandparents, he and his family proclaim, "will be in the position of kings and queens, representing God and good ancestors. Parents will be in the position of kings and queens, representing present humanity, and children will be in the position of princes and princesses representing all future descendants." expanding from such families, a holy nation is naturally created,
Tribal messiahs also answer Jesus' call for the "faithful and wise steward" (Luke 12:42), trusted by his master with all the goods of his household. God has indeed bestowed upon us the goods of this earth. Tribal messiahship requires wisdom in responsible care for the creation, based upon faith in the master who created it.
Throughout his teachings, the Reverend Moon explains the meaning of suffering in the course of bringing about God's kingdom on the earth. As Paul enjoined Timothy 2,000 years ago, a tribal messiah is called to "share in suffering as a good soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3). When our suffering is shared, of course, it is bearable, and it becomes the occasion of eternal joy as we share the bond of true love as brothers and sisters.
Tribal messiahs also inherit the commission given by Jesus to evangelize and teach (Matthew 28:19-20). To live for the sake of others means not only to serve others spiritually and physically, but to teach others the word which gives life, God has revealed His word progressively according to man's ability to receive it, Today marks the opening of the Completed Testament Age, in which God's word is made flesh as husband and wife, parents and children. It is the responsibility of tribal messiahs to witness to this truth, to teach it and to live it.
Let us not be those who merely follow a religious leader. Let us make the commitment of our entire being to the embodiment of the True Parents' way of life through tribal messiahship. With this hope, the present text is commended to the reader. May it provide the sustenance of life for us all, as we pursue the way of God's will in the Completed Testament Age -- the way of the tribal messiah.
This text is the translation of the Korean text published in December 1992, as Jong Chock Juk Messiah (The Messiah of the Tribe). It was edited by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon Speech Editing Committee of the Unification Church of Korea, working from speeches and sermons Reverend Moon delivered from 1965 to 1992. We owe deep appreciation to the committee for their monumental and historical work, This is a life-giving book in which is the presence of the living God.
Please bear in mind that there may be some errors due to the difficulties of translating spiritual concepts. We have tried to balance the Korean structures of thought with clarity in the English language. I would like to express my appreciation to the translating and editing team that prepared this text, and to all who assisted in the considerable task of its production.
Reverend Joong Hyun Pak
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