Introduction to the Divine Principle
The Divine Principle, the teaching of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, can largely be divided into three parts. The most fundamental part of the Principle is the "Principle of Creation," which explains how God made the entire world of creation.
Since God is the substantial being of the unique, good and eternal ideal, in accordance with His purpose, man was also created to become the ideal embodiment of goodness, in whom sin and suffering would be a contradiction and an impossibility. The reality of the contradictions and evil in which man finds himself is a result of his having lost his original value by failing. Therefore, traditional Christianity calls this state of man "the fall. " Divine Principle explains the details of the fall, such as its motivation and process, the origin of sin and the true identity of Satan. This comes under the chapter entitled the "Fall of Man."
The men fallen into sin must tread the path of salvation under God's blessing; in the Unification Principle, salvation is restoration. In other words, the purpose of salvation is to return to the original state before the fall; therefore God's providence of salvation is the providence of restoration. Under what principle has God been working for the salvation of mankind? To clarify the overall meaning and process of salvation is the purpose of the "Principle of Restoration."
The "Principle of Creation," the "Fall of Man" and the "Principle of Restoration" are the three major parts of the Divine Principle of the Unification Church.
On earth, there have been numerous religions and even now present-day Christianity is divided into several hundred denominations. Then what could be the providential significance and motive underlying the emergence of the new Unification Church at this particular time?
God is alive and working. Both throughout history and in the mind of man God has always left the clearly noticeable thread of His life work. In contrast to this, what has man, the object of God's work, been like? Has he always been standing still and not progressing; or has he been changing and improving constantly in his internal standards, such as spiritual state and intellectual level, which God must deal with in the different periods of human history?
If man had not fallen, he would have resembled God's perfection (Matt. 5:48) and realized God's character (John 14:20) so that God could directly relate to him. However, because of his fall, man has been in the state of separation from God; in other words, he fell and became the substantial being of sin, which is contrary to God's will. If we were to speak of how man's spirituality and intellect were affected by the fall, we could say they plummeted down to zero.
The spirituality and intellect of fallen and deteriorated man have gradually come to be enlightened through the benefits of God's restoration providence. Therefore, as man's spiritual and intellectual levels have developed in each age, God accordingly has had to revise the means of educating the people and relating to them. In other words, in Abraham's time, when spirituality and intellect were extremely low, God had to lead people in such a way that they came to God by offering sacrifices to Him. The people of that time were too immature to be able to respond to laws and other words of a higher order. Several hundred year later, in the time of Moses, God carried out the providence through the Law and 1,600 years after that, instead of repeating the same dispensation through laws or commandments, God gave the people the Gospel, in a degree adequate to the spirituality of the people of that age so that they would come closer to God.
The fact that the Jewish people, who so devoutly believed in God, could not recognize Jesus as the savior is the gravest error in the providence of restoration. Not only did they not recognize him, but they went to the extreme of distrusting him, calling him a "prince of devils" and even driving him to be crucified. What led to this? In that age, the people of Israel followed God through their old way of laws, but God began to reach people through Jesus himself, by means of the new dispensation of the Gospel. In light of these historical facts, we can see that as the spirituality and intellect of the people develop in each age God has always adopted an even higher method of reaching them. The objective of the living God and His providence is not men who are like fossils, but rather, men who are very much alive spiritually and intellectually.
Then who is the present object of God? It is not the people of Jesus' time of 2,000 years ago, nor the people of Moses' age 3,600 years ago, nor primitive man still further past. It is contemporary man, living here and now.
Today, no one can deny that churches have lost their spiritual power to attract and hold young people, as well as to influence all the people of this age. Then the living God must give new truth, a new expression of truth, to lead the people of this age to salvation and the New Age.
We read in the Bible Jesus' words, "I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father," (John 16:15) or "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:12) and "You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and tongues and kings" (Rev. 10: 11). All these verses testify that in the Last Days there will come a new expression of the truth. However, since this will be a new way, in some aspects it may not be in accordance with so-called conventional doctrine or tradition. For example, Jesus spoke on the basis of the Old Testament, but at that time, the people were literally bound to the Old Testament and could not understand Jesus. Jesus taught them to make themselves new to be able to receive new words, saying, "new wine must be put into fresh wineskins" (Luke 5:38).
The Divine Principle of the Unification Church does not center on conventional theological theories, nor is it a repetition of past sermons. The Divine Principle contains the words of a new revelation given through the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, that clarify God's will and providence of salvation to the highest degree. Reverend Moon did not gain his revelation in school while studying philosophy and theology. God directly revealed His will to him. We know that God worked through Noah and Abraham, and we know well that God revealed words through Moses and Jesus. Can not the same living God, who is alive today, give a new revelation in the present day?
Today, what the church needs is not another human interpretation of the Bible. What matters now is how God interprets it for us, and when we live for God according to His will, we will be fulfilling His will. Let us consider this with an open mind and heart.
Because the church can not continue as it is any longer, don't we need something new? Don't we believe that many religious people should truly come to revere God now? Can we leave the rapid deterioration of the lives of our young people as it is? Do we honestly believe that if mankind continues to live giving no heed to God our next generation will still have hope? Do we not realize that now is the time for God to speak and give man new direction?
God has already broken His silence. But how? Will you only hear God's voice in the clap of thunder and only find Him amidst the great physical upheavals of the earth? Historically, God's voice to men has been quiet, but it has served as the strongest source of life to man. The revelation that God gave Reverend Moon took place quietly in the East, but it has given today's young men and women of the world new happiness and new hope and has given them new life, from the depths of their hearts. How can youth from 120 nations, whose skin colors, cultural backgrounds and lifestyles are so different, all come to find new life, new meaning and new enthusiasm to follow God?
Here we introduce an outline of the Divine Principle, which has the power of vitality to deeply move the human mind and spirit and to transform an individual into a person of new character centered on God.