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Rev. Moon's program to "Take Down the Cross"

On April 30, 2003, I was a guest on Prime Time America, a nationwide broadcast originating from Moody Broadcasting Network, broadcast from Moody Bible Institute, where I work. In response to numerous requests, I am making the following information available.Eric Pement

An official web site of the Unification Church reports that 123 churches removed the Cross from the sanctuary over the Easter weekend (April 18–20, 2003), in agreement with the teaching of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. They also claim to have gathered 258 signatures of Christian clergy, who affirm that the Cross is a "gruesome" and inappropriate symbol for Christians today and should be replaced.

The facts sustaining this event appear as news stories, photographs, and video footage from this website:


This is the home page of the "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification," the current legal name of Rev. Moon's organization (better known as the Unification Church). At the time of this posting (May 1, 2003), this story is front page news for them. Click on nearly any of the hotlinks in the top left corner. Moon's disciples have infiltrated Christian churches across the U.S., convincing pastors to remove the cross and replace it with a Crown, which will ultimately symbolize themselves as kings, and Rev. Moon as King of Kings.

The churches involved now claim that the cross is "an image of bloodshed." Near the top of the Family Federation page is an address from Bishop Anthony Moses of the New Discipleship Church that the cross is "gruesome" and "no longer an appropriate symbol for Christians." Other churches which have gone along with this include:

Christian Light Missionary Baptist Church; New Prospect Family Praise and Worship Center; Trinity Missionary Baptist Church; Sadoc Christian Church; Calvary CME Church; Opportunity Baptist Church; Greater All Nations Pentecostal Church; Cosmopolitan Community Church; Mercy Seat Missionary Baptist Church; Lighthouse of Faith Family Church; and many others.

The degree of Christian complicity with Rev. Moon's apostate doctrines has come as a result of a directive given by Rev. Moon in February of this year (2003). On Feb. 15, 2003, Rev. Moon targeted 10,000 Christian pastors in the U.S. to be indoctrinated in the Divine Principle. Later he raised the number to 12,000 .

In anticipation of common questions, asked on the air, I am arranging the remainder of this page into Q&A format.

How are these ministers able to convince their congregations to remove the cross from their churches? It doesn't seem likely.

Answer: They chose Christian motifs and Christian themes to make their pitch. Easter Sunday was no accident, since it is day that Christians rightfully celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead, conquering death, which is represented by the cross.

Among the Bible-oriented churches, they often sang "The Old Rugged Cross, paying particular attention to the last line, which reads, "I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown ." Then they say that that time has come to "exchange the cross for a crown." Many of the pastors involved in this act of betrayal would quote 1 Pet. 5:4 ("And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that does not fade away") as part of the cross-removing service. They would then have a time of respect for what the Cross represented to many of the people in their congregations, and while singing hyms would take down the Cross and place a gold or jeweled Crown on the heads of the pastor(s) or the elders, or on all the members of the congregation. They justify receiving the Crowns now by passages such as 1 Cor. 4:8, Rev. 5:10, and others. In one case, after taking the Cross from the sanctuary, they buried it in the ground !! Among more liberal churches, the appeal is that the Cross is not accepted by Jews and Muslims, and we should look for other symbols.

Q: Would real Christians do this?

Answer: Not all pastors and church leaders truly know the Lord. Many church pastors are not born again, and thus are unsaved. I myself was a Sunday School teacher when I got saved. There are unsaved and misinformed people in every denomination, including mine.

Q: What does Rev. Moon have to do with this?

Answer: Moon has targeted thousands of churches across the U.S. for acceptance of him as the Messiah. He teaches that the cross is a symbol of Jesus' failure to accomplish his mission. The initiative is called "Take Down the Cross" and is promoted by the American Clergy Leadership Conference , which is a front group of the Unification Church. According to the Continental Director of the Unification Church in North America (Chang Shik Yang), "When Jesus looks upon the Cross, his heart is flooded with painful memories. His heartbreak and sorrow will finally be resolved only when the cross is taken down from every Christian church" (page 16 of The Opening of the Gate . . . . ; note that this is a 38-page Microsoft Word document)

The American Clergy Leadership Conference (whose name is modeled after the better-known Southern Christian Leadership Conference) issued a newsletter in March, with a cover story from "Archbishop" George Augustus Stallings, Jr., of the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation in Washington, D.C., explaining why he had removed the cross from his church on New Year's Eve, 2003. Archbishop Stallings is working on a book entitled You're a God in the Making, and was married by Rev. Moon to a Japanese bride in 2001 at one of Moon's mass marriage ceremonies. (I'm not against interracial marriages, since I'm interracially married myself. However, Moon's marriage ceremonies are notorious for having Moon select people who often haven't met one another before, usually based on differing racial backgrounds, and also because Moon teaches that marriages "blessed" by him have sacred power to remove original sin, which allegedly could not be removed by the blood of Jesus Christ.)

Q: In a nutshell, what is the Divine Principle?

Answer: The Divine Principle is a false revelation which Rev. Moon says was given to him by God. It is also a book published by the Unification Church, which they refer to as the Completed Testament. The Completed Testament supersedes the New Testament, in the same way that the New Testament supersedes the Old Testament. In a nutshell, it teaches that Jesus Christ failed in his mission and was not supposed to die on the cross. Jesus was not born of a Virgin, was not resurrected bodily, and is not God. Rev. Moon, however, has completed what Jesus failed to do, and Moon is the Return of Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In this age, the Completed Testament age, people are saved by attending to and following Rev. Moon as their Savior and Messiah.

Q: And so how many people believe this man is the messiah?

Answer: There are probably less than 20,000 people who are formally members of the Unification Church in the United States, though they probably have well over a million followers in Korea and Japan.

However, their tactic is to allow people to remain in their own normal "Christian" churches and denominations, without joining the Unification Church, while teaching them Moon's doctrines and getting them to accept his doctrines (such as themselves as messiahs, him as a spiritual master and great man of God, the value of his "blessed marriages" and the "Holy Wine Ceremony," etc.). If people can just become sympathetic to Rev. Moon or receptive to his teachings, the Unification movement has gained much ground.

The Unification message is spread through conference and clergy organizations with neutral-sounding names like the American Clergy Leadership Conference, the Womens Federation for World Peace, the Interdenominational Conferences for Clergy, and other groups. This way, they receive support from Muslims, Jewish groups, and other movements as well.

Q: What is their influence in the African-American community?

Answer: They have targeted the black and African-American churches in particular. For example, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 13% of the U.S. population identifies themselves as black or African-American. But well over 60% of the churches which attend and participate in Rev. Moon's conferences are African-American. The Unification Church offers those who attend free trips to exotic locations, free hotel rooms, free room and board, awards, gifts and recognitions. They may offer to give the church a new van for their ministry. They will identify Rev. Moon as a Korean who was a victim of racism, and many African-Americans resonate with that. These techniques are an effective public relations move in gaining support.

One well-known pastor was compromised by a Unification member who visited his church regularly for two years, inviting him become involved in Unification functions. He refused for a long time, but after 2 years he relented. When he finally visited a "clergy conference," they honored him with an award. He went on to recommend them, gave a sermon at another conference, and raised money for their work.

Q: What can Christians do to counteract this movement?

Answer: We should pray, inform others, and remember the biblical warning, "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered" (Zech. 13:7, Mark 14:27). This passage suggests several things, including a messianic prophecy. But is surely includes the principle that an effective strategy for influencing the sheep will begin with shepherd and pastors.

We should also be aware that not all "interdenominational" conferences are truly run without an agenda. In particular, conferences which offer free trips, free housing and meals, and other things usually have an agenda. Remember that cults will often disguise, downplay, or minimize their real beliefs upon first contact. They often get non-members to promote and appear as the main speakers, to further set people off the track. Our ultimate need is to know the Word of God, to know Jesus Christ personally, and to be firmly grounded in His truth.


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Last modified: Thursday, Feb 12, 2004