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History of God: From Yahweh to Father to Parent

Jin-su Hwang in 2023

History of God has witnessed a development from Yahweh to Our Heavenly Father to Our Heavenly Parent

David Hanna on history of God
Dr. David Hanna lecturing in Oslo, Norway on 16th March 2024. Photo: Knut Holdhus

Part 2 of a lecture given by Dr. David Hanna, head of the North European sub-region of the Family Federation, at an international prayer meeting by Zoom on 27th March 2024.

See part 1, part 3

Being a member of the second generation, Professor Hwang remembers his parents bowing to each other as part of the Kyeongbae ceremony [“Kyeongbae” means bowing and is a common way of showing respect in South Korean culture. It is used in various social situations.] Maybe you’ve done this yourselves? And he explains, when we do the Kyeongbae ceremony, the whole family first bows to a picture of True Parents. Then we offer prayers. Then the couple face each other and bow to each other.

The fundamental meaning of this bowing to each other is captured in these words of Father Moon,

“Originally, parents represent the original position of God, and here husband and wife represent God’s different sides.” (From a speech Father Moon gave 17th January 1999)

Each becomes the other side’s “god”. You will understand this through the tradition of our bowing ceremony. It shows that there’s an equality to husband and wife bowing to the “god” in the other.

Mother Moon asked a gathering of women leaders,

“Have any of you wives received a bow from your husband? Did your husband ask you to sit and then offered a bow to you?” [“We bow to each other,” came the reply] And Mother Moon advises, “Equality is what you should seek.” (From a speech Mother Moon gave 29th August 2019)

Not dualism
Extract from a slide used by Dr. Jin-su Hwang. Photo: FFWPU

Dr. Hwang’s third main point is about why this view of the Unification Principles is not dualism, by which I presume he is meaning a female God and a male God, or two beings.

I don’t think myself that this is a confusing point for most Unificationists, but Dr. Hwang solves it by stating that God’s original substance (the original internal nature and external form) that is the root of the masculine aspect and the feminine aspect, is one, not two. The dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity are attributes that belong to the original substance. They’re not the original substance itself.

There is one being we call Heavenly Parent. That leads into the question of why we have understood God only as Heavenly Father until now, and Dr. Hwang gives three reasons but talks only of the first and third points.

The first reason is the explanation of the relationship between God and the creation as being that of masculine “subject” to a feminine “object” [Explanation given in the Unification Principles]. And if we misunderstand that, he points out that the creation as female “object” is of course populated by male and female pairs.

So, if anyone is confused on this point, his helpful suggestion is to think of this relationship [between God and the creation] as a parent-child relationship rather than a male-female relationship.

God historically
Extract from a slide used by Dr. Jin-su Hwang. Photo: FFWPU

The third point the Korean professor mentions, is that historically, it’s the fact that Jesus was single and did not marry that cements the idea of God as male in people’s minds. This is part of the historical progression from understanding God as Yahweh to God the Father to Heavenly Parent.

Professor Hwang does at this point tantalize us further with another reference to Wolli Wonbon. There, Father Moon says,

“People throughout history have known God only as Father, without Mother. Nevertheless, it is true to say that we did not even think about the fundamental reason that God appears only as our Father, without being our Mother. Relating to such children who do not know God as their Mother, God the Father’s pain and sorrow must be beyond description.” (Wolli Wonbon, 1952, unpublished, p.278)

Mother Moon said to Christian ministers in America,

God wanted to be the True Parent, visible in the flesh through the first human ancestors. That was God‘s hope and dream. It is God‘s purpose of creation.” (From a speech Mother Moon gave 10th September 2017)

And Professor Hwang concludes his lecture saying that Heavenly Parent’s dream is to assume the True Parents’ bodies to realize one great cosmic family and live together forever in the joy of true love.

Dr. Hwang says that it is more in line with the spirit of the “Era of the Heavenly Kingdom” (“Cheonilguk” era in Korean) to call God the Heavenly Parent.

Continued in part 3.

See part 1, part 3

Featured image above: Jin-su Hwang, professor of theology at Sun Moon UniversityAsan, South Korea. Photo (2023): Screenshot from video by 신통일한국 평화포럼

“History of God: From Yahweh to Father to Parent” – text: Dr. David Hanna

More about history of God: God as Our Heavenly Parent (Father and Mother)

More about history of God: Teachings Make Great Strides in New Version

Related to history of God: In a Nutshell

Also related to history of God: Brief about the Teachings

Also related to history of God: Unification Principles

Also related to history of God: Exposition of the Divine Principle

Also related to history of God: Peace Messages

Also related to history of God: Cheon Seong Gyeong

 

 

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