I remember Moon's words, "No matter what ...don't EVER leave. Even if you have to lock yourself into a closet, don't EVER leave! Your descendants will accuse you for all eternity!"
The Unification Church teaches that people only leave for illegitimate, selfish, secular reasons. I was taught that there is no legitimate reason to leave. To show members that this is a lie, I want to briefly share what really happened and that I left the church for RELIGIOUS reasons as part of my spiritual journey, my personal quest for truth.
For me, the free gift of salvation offered by Christianity was liberation from the bondage of Moonism. Although I know many others who left for other legitimate reasons, I left for religious reasons, so please bear with me if this part of my explanation is rather religious. (In a different section I will share another perspective.) Even though you may not agree with all that I say, I would like to ask you to keep an open mind and to think about the essence of what I'm saying.
I was distributing fliers I had designed to invite students at the University of Illinois Campus (UIC) in Chicago to one of my lectures on the Divine Principle. As I was handing them out at the bottom of the escalators, a student walked past me and then came back to ask me if I was new and whether I'd tell him about our group. Lesly, a Christian engineering student who had walked away from the Boston Church of Christ (another controlling high pressure group) simply by reading the Bible and realizing that it was unscriptural, was very friendly and sincere. As he told me later, he wasn't going to talk to me, but he felt pushed by God to turn around and come back to me. We met a couple times to pray and discuss our beliefs. He said he wanted to be right with God and that he would move into the CARP center if I could prove to him that the DP is true. After agreeing to talk about truth, the "Word of God," rather than our individual doctrines, he asked me, "If there was a contradiction between the DP (Divine Principle) and the Bible - to which authority would you hold?" Realizing that God cannot contradict himself and his Word, the Bible, in a later revelation or "New Truth," I said, "The Bible - and if you can prove to me that there IS a contradiction, I will change my way and leave the church!"
We talked for about 6 hours, and while doing my own analysis and research with prayer based on a comparison of DP and the Bible by the Spiritual Counterfits project during a "3 day condition" (i.e. flower selling) I had set myself, I had an interesting experience: It was like scales falling from my eyes as I for the first time read the Bible critically and found many verses which completely contradicted the Unification teaching. Also, reading Isamu Yamamoto's "The Moon Doctrine" I recognized the manipulation scheme I had fallen victim to: the smiling faces, the love bombing - all means to gain your trust and confidence. You were made to feel guilty for thinking critically or "negative" or for wanting to walk away. Haven't you noticed the plastered on, hollow smile, almost all Moonies wear when fundraising or witnessing? If you're a member - haven't you experienced that your face often doesn't at all match your inside, your heart? Isn't that fake? Isn't that deceptive? Isn't that ...sad? Anyways, on that Mother's Day weekend 1993 while selling flowers, I prayed a simple prayer I had read on Christian tracts before, asking God's forgiveness and inviting Jesus into my life. The next day I left the church - after selling out all flowers and handing in all the money (over $3000) as I had committed to do. I was finally able to overcome the fears of being destroyed by satan I had been indoctrinated with because I realized: If the Bible is true, Mr. Moon cannot be the Messiah and satan can't harm me.
For the first time I came to understand the powerful meaning of verses like,
"He (Jesus) is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."[Heb 7:25; read context!] and "I (Jesus) give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all." [John 10:28,29]
I realized that I would actually be going against God's will by following a false prophet as prophesied in Mathew 24 ("For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect --if that were possible." [ Mat 24:24] ) and Luke 21. (He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and, `The time is near.' Do not follow them." [Luke 21:8] )
I also realized that if the Bible is not true, then the DP is also not true, because its foundation of authority rests on the Bible. (The DP often uses the Bible to solidify its claims, e.g. the Parallels of History and the "Return of the Messiah" ...although it quotes the Bible out of context and tries to discredit it as only "partial truth". The other source of suggested validation is subjective experience, which is the same as the Mormon church, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology and other extreme movements espouse. In contrast to Christianity, experience is set above reasoning. Experience, however, can easily be manipulated.)
It's o.k. to have been deceived - but it's crucial to have the courage to admit it and change your way! After all: YOU are still responsible! You DON'T have to leave God to leave the church! The church teaches that people only leave because they're "invaded by satan," because they're weak or arrogant, because of resentment or "chapter 2 problems" (sexual sin). Although I used to believe that I have come to realize that THAT'S ANOTHER LIE intended to scare people into staying! (I read in one of Mr. Moon's speeches that it's better to lock yourself into a closet than to leave - because if you leave, you'll be invaded and destroyed by satan. Your ancestors and descendants will accuse you for all eternity. Your descendants will be cut off from the Messiah for 7 generations etc..)
Since leaving I have met many other former members who like myself left out of STRENGTH and INTEGRITY, because they could not continue to support an organization which is so corrupt, untrue and abusive... while claiming to be the only true organization of God and True Love on earth. If you're a present member, consider this: Why is it, for example, that while the Bible teaches, "love your enemy," and while the DP is supposed to be a teaching of True Love, the UC harshly slanders former members or people who are "negative" about the group as evil or invaded by satan (e.g. Steven Hassan, the Cult Awareness Network etc.)? Would the loving thing not be to try to initiate dialogue and win them back with love if they really "erred"? Instead, they are viewed as "dead" and "evil". After I left the group, all Chicago CARP members were taught to not to have ANY "Give and Take" (relationship) with the Christian student (Lesly) who had talked to me, because he was "satan"! By the way, did you know that according to Heung Jin Nim (Moon's son who died in a car accident and has since been channeling messages from the spirit world), satan has been restored? So what's the big deal, anyway? In case you're a member: Do you really want to follow God and truth? If there's a contradiction between DP and the Bible - to which authority will YOU hold? What if the "Parallels of History" (The time line which "proves" that Moon is the Messiah) are historically as well as biblically incorrect? Have you ever checked it?
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