The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity
The word cult, as defined by Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary denotes “a usually small circle of persons united by devotion or allegiance to an artistic or intellectual movement or figure.” According to this interpretation, all religious groups can be classified as having this characteristic. However, due largely in part to stereotypes portrayed in the media, much of society perceives the word cult as definable by “a close-knit, unorthodox religious movement in which members, or potential members are enticed by means of deception and indoctrination.” It is in accordance with this explanation that one can separately distinguish the hundreds of religious groups fitting this description, from the much larger number of orthodox religions, or religions deemed conventional.
The act of stereotyping religions as cults has been in existence since the beginning of organized religion. Jesus and his followers, while on earth, were even viewed by many as a cult members. In the 1960’s and early 70’s however, cults suddenly began to get larger and became spectacles through the media. In 1978, the first widespread fascination with modern cults occurred as a result of the mass suicide in Jonestown.
One such religion that fits society’s definition particularly well is the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, more commonly known as the Unification Church. This group was founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 1954, and is based upon the doctrines taught by Rev. Moon.
According to the beliefs of the religion, Sun Myung Moon was told by God that he was the second messiah, sent to Earth to complete Jesus’ “unfinished work”. The members claim to believe in the same God that exists in Christianity, but they reject the traditional Christian concept of the Trinity. In fact, they believe that Jesus, was sent to Earth by God to form a perfect marriage in order to redeem humanity. In this perfect marriage, a child can be born free of original sin. Since Jesus was executed before accomplishing his mission, it is now up to Moon to complete the work.
When God created Adam and Eve, he intended for them to be married in Eden. Before marriage however, Eve had an affair with Satan and ultimately caused the spiritual downfall of mankind. Later, she again sinned by engaging in a pre-marital sexual relationship with Adam; and consequently, they formed an imperfect family; meaning that any children conceived by Eve, could not born without original sin. These two sins combined resulted in giving Satan control of the world. According to the group, Jesus was sent to rectify the problem and was executed and resurrected not physically, but spiritually, making it possible for people who believe in him to receive spiritual salvation. Complete salvation (spiritual and physical) cannot be obtained until the second messiah has formed a perfect marriage. This is the...