A message from Dr. Michael Balcomb on becoming true children of God
Message by Dr. Michael Balcomb, President of the Family Federation for Europe and the Middle East, given during the celebration of True Children’s Day, one of the Holy Days of the Family Federation, at the River South Community in London, UK 12th November 2023.
Thank you so much for coming for True Children’s Day!
I want to share with you briefly today a message that Father Moon gave a long time ago on True Children’s Day in 1981. He began by asking the question,
And Father Moon had just come back from 40 days of fishing for tuna. So, he decided to illustrate his talk with a parallel of catching tuna.
I must admit, before I met Father Moon, I really didn’t know what a tuna looked like. Anyone here had a tuna sandwich? Anyone here had a sardine sandwich?
I pretty much thought that tuna and sardines were the same thing because they both come in these small cans, right? And you open the can, or your mother did, and put it on a slice of bread, and that’s it.
But how big can a tuna be really? […] How about Russell’s size? How about my size? Let’s come together. How about all of us together? [4 persons on stage]
No. Twice that. Can you imagine how big a tuna can be, and how difficult it is to catch one and put it in a tin? One tuna, one tin can. Can you imagine how much you have to push the tuna? [Laughter]
Father Moon was describing how difficult it is to catch a tuna, especially a big one. But how do tunas start off? Do they start big right away? No, as an egg.
So how does a tuna get from being a little egg to being more than a thousand pound? Not by being stupid. A tuna that’s that big, has lived 20 years or more, and they’re very smart.
So when Father Moon started trying to catch tuna, he couldn’t catch one. Perhaps for 21 days or more. It was very difficult, and he had to learn how to catch tuna. You don’t just put a little bait on your hook and drop it in the sea.
No, you have to almost create a tuna buffet and keep throwing bait in the sea with no hooks. Just a feast of food. And Father Moon said,
“What you’re hoping is that a tuna will swim by and think, ‘I’ll just have a little sniff.’ It smells it, ‘All right! I’ll have another sniff. I’ll just have one bite, and then I’ll go away.’”
“Then,” Father Moon said, “the tuna’s finished! There’s no such thing as one bite and swim away. Because inside, finally, is the hook.”
So what do you think is on the hook for us? Father Moon said there are two types of hooks. One hook comes from the Devil. Satan tries to tempt us with things that look good, but actually are very dangerous. Some things, he said, come through your mouth, but he wasn’t talking about food, but really about what you say. If you use your mouth to praise God, you’ll never be hooked by the Devil. But if you use your mouth to complain – it has happened – then there’s a chance that you will be hooked.
Or it could be your eyes. If you use your eyes to try to see the glory of God and the presence of God in other people, you’ll be all right! But if you use your eyes either to look for sin or fault or things that you don’t like, or perhaps to look at things you shouldn’t look at – we all know what they are – you may get hooked.
God knows this, so He always tries to cultivate us to become something that He can catch, something good. Because, as Father Moon said, even God and Satan cannot just grab people without any condition.
Because we’re in the middle.
What I want to talk a little bit about today, is how to make sure that we are caught by the right kind of hook. The right kind of hook is not always easy to to see.
While Father Moon was talking about this, he explained that for God to catch someone and drag them to His side, pull them to His side, is also not easy. He needs something in us that He can say, “Yes, that definitely is mine.”
“You have to love each other more than you love me.”
That’s the really simple thing. He said,
“Throughout history, there are so many people who said they love God. And they did love God. They may have said many prayers, and come with sacrifices and offerings. But in in all of that they could not love each other. And in fact, sometimes they would argue with each other, ‘Whose offering is best? Whose devotion is the most? Who is doing it the right way? Who’s doing it the wrong way?’”
And if they were doing it the wrong way, they might probably think, “God wants us to punish them.”
This kind of progression of thinking came. Father Moon said, “You know, for God to hear that people love him is good, but there’s an asterix there, and the asterix stands for, ‘Really? Do you really love me, because if you do, then you’ll be loving each other even more than me.’”
I think all of us who are parents, one of the most delightful things is when we see our children loving and caring for each other, and even if they don’t do so much for us Our children all live in California, so we don’t hear much or see much of them. But they communicate with each other every day, and it’s a beautiful thing. It makes us so happy.
Of course Jesus said the same thing, right? If you’re making your offering – like this amazing offering table – but you realize on the way that you have a dispute with someone – your brother, your sister, your pastor – you have to leave the offering and go and try to reconcile first and then make your offering.
Father Moon spent quite a bit of time kind of reflecting on different types of temptation that men and women face. Obviously food – to eat too much, to drink too much, to take drugs or alcohol, to have the wrong kind of relationship with the opposite sex.
There’s a long list and Father Moon said, “But actually, do you think you will ever graduate from the possibility of these temptations catching you?”
And some people said, “Yes, yes, Father. I graduated already.”
Father Moon said, “I don’t think so, because I myself have to continually face these possibilities. I have to keep myself disciplined.”
Like that old tuna swimming around in the sea, right? If that tuna lets its guard down and thinks, “You know what? I’ve been blessed for 40 years. I’ll just have a sniff of something else.”
Mmm, that’s already halfway there, right? You may think, “I’ll just have one bite, but never […]”.
No, you have to constantly be on your guard. One thing I wanted to say today, is that we need to be on guard, not just for ourselves, but for our children, for the new generations. And to set a lasting example of what it really means to commit ourselves to God.
As Father Moon said, the best way to be on guard is to use all your time for loving other people, serving them, caring for them.
Maybe even today we could think, “OK, I’ll try that for a week, to serve others and see if it helps me to ignore the hooks that Satan is throwing.”
These days, I think there are other hooks: depression, hopelessness, doubt. And as Pastor Adza mentioned, when you look at the way the world is, it’s really easy to feel, “This is not going to work.”
But that is also the voice of the devil. […]
Are we ready to take up the challenge that the True Parents have given us to avoid the hooks of the evil one, and instead show by the way we live, and particularly the way we love each other, that we belong to God.
I just came back last night from a fathers’ and grandfathers’ retreat in Cleeve House. One of the big questions was, “What will it be like when Mother Moon ascends? Are we going to come into a time of chaos and confusion where nobody knows what to?”
And I realized, “It’s up to us. If we’ve already practiced loving each other, caring for each other, living the way that True Parents want us to do, it won’t make much difference when Mother Moon goes to join Father Moon in the spirit world, because we’ll already be living the life of the Kingdom of Heaven.
But if we haven’t managed to do that, then indeed there will be chaos.
So as we think of Korea, as we think of Mother Moon […] can we show to her that we are living the way Father Moon taught us all those years ago? Are we disciplined and still now avoiding the hooks that may come to drag us in the opposite direction? If so, this really will be a happy True Children’s Day […], when all the children of God unexpectedly come back together as one.
Thank you very much.
Featured image above: Dr. Michael Balcomb giving his speech for True Children’s Day in South London 12th November 2023. Photo: Screenshot from live transmission by the Family Federation.
More on becoming true children of God: God and Human Beings
Even more on becoming true children of God: Living for Others
And yet more on becoming true children of God: Essence of God