Rev. Moon dies

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon died at age 92 in Seoul, Korea.  He founded the Unification Church, a cult that taught that Jesus Christ did not finish his work, due to his unfortunate crucifixion, but that a new Messiah from Korea would, about this time, be raised up–the implication being himself–to complete his mission.  Rev. Moon also established a financial empire, including a number of conservative institutions, such as the Washington Times newspaper.  See Rev. Moon, religious and political leader, dies in South Korea at 92 – CNN.com.

I remember back when I was in college, the so-called “Moonies” would host interesting-sounding seminars on topics like world peace and if you were sitting by yourself they would start conversations with you.  They would then invite you to a camp out in the country for more instruction, which led for many people to an initiation into the religion.  That meant raising money for the cause–selling flowers at intersections was a big fund-raiser–but eventually the Rev. Moon would, if you were blessed, pick out a spouse for you, someone you had never met before but you would be married in a mass wedding with hundreds of other couples.

Parents used to hire people to kidnap their children from the Unification Church to “deprogram” them out of the cult.  Now, it seems like it has become more socially acceptable.

Did any of you get sucked into any of this?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    I would ask on what basis you are classifying the Unification Church as a cult? I went to college a lot later than you did, and by this time the church had been around for longer and probably enjoyed more acceptance than when you were in college. A lot of hostility to this movement comes from the fact that it is novel, where if it had been around for a thousand years, more people would be accepting of it. Suppose that it were the case that instead of being founded in the 1950s, and having a living messiah, the church was founded 3000 years ago, and it’s messiah died then. Would you then think somewhat differently of the church?

    Incidentally, people were likewise suspicious of early Christians.

  • Michael B.

    I would ask on what basis you are classifying the Unification Church as a cult? I went to college a lot later than you did, and by this time the church had been around for longer and probably enjoyed more acceptance than when you were in college. A lot of hostility to this movement comes from the fact that it is novel, where if it had been around for a thousand years, more people would be accepting of it. Suppose that it were the case that instead of being founded in the 1950s, and having a living messiah, the church was founded 3000 years ago, and it’s messiah died then. Would you then think somewhat differently of the church?

    Incidentally, people were likewise suspicious of early Christians.

  • TE Schroeder

    Unless I am mistaken, Rev. Moon claimed that he himself was the Messiah. This is blasphemy, and it qualifies the Unification Church as a cult.

    Do you have another definition for a cult?

    Longevity does not change the definition.

  • TE Schroeder

    Unless I am mistaken, Rev. Moon claimed that he himself was the Messiah. This is blasphemy, and it qualifies the Unification Church as a cult.

    Do you have another definition for a cult?

    Longevity does not change the definition.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Yeah… Moonies are hardly orthodox on several issues. Read here: http://carm.org/unification-church

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Yeah… Moonies are hardly orthodox on several issues. Read here: http://carm.org/unification-church

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I can’t say I’m sorry to hear this. Moon was a false prophet and a real kook to boot. I’m afraid his teachings poisoned Christianity for many in Korea.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I can’t say I’m sorry to hear this. Moon was a false prophet and a real kook to boot. I’m afraid his teachings poisoned Christianity for many in Korea.

  • Joanne

    No, never even met any Moonies. But I did date a devotee of the Maharaji way back in 70s Florida. Attended veggie meals at ashram, and attended one worship session. But when we were all intructed to bow down to a photograph of the Maharaji, I baulked, and wouldn’t go to any more of their stuff. Loved the ashram food though. There were Hari Krishnas everywhere then. Still attending Lutheran church every Sunday, but always curious about how other religious stuff worked.

  • Joanne

    No, never even met any Moonies. But I did date a devotee of the Maharaji way back in 70s Florida. Attended veggie meals at ashram, and attended one worship session. But when we were all intructed to bow down to a photograph of the Maharaji, I baulked, and wouldn’t go to any more of their stuff. Loved the ashram food though. There were Hari Krishnas everywhere then. Still attending Lutheran church every Sunday, but always curious about how other religious stuff worked.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    My brother flirted with joining the Moonies back around 1970. He was talked out of it by a mutual friend of ours, who frankly is weak on sanctification and whose company I’ve since grown very tired of. But he was the right guy in the right place to keep my brother out of that trap.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    My brother flirted with joining the Moonies back around 1970. He was talked out of it by a mutual friend of ours, who frankly is weak on sanctification and whose company I’ve since grown very tired of. But he was the right guy in the right place to keep my brother out of that trap.

  • Stephen

    I smell a job opening!

  • Stephen

    I smell a job opening!

  • Michael B.

    “Moon was a false prophet and a real kook to boot. I’m afraid his teachings poisoned Christianity for many in Korea.”

    It’s the exception that a whole new religion is started. Usually there is slow, but massive change, but the name of “Christianity” is still kept.

  • Michael B.

    “Moon was a false prophet and a real kook to boot. I’m afraid his teachings poisoned Christianity for many in Korea.”

    It’s the exception that a whole new religion is started. Usually there is slow, but massive change, but the name of “Christianity” is still kept.


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