An official web site of the Unification Church reports that
123 churches removed the Cross
from the sanctuary over the Easter weekend
(April 1820, 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
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.
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
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
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
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.