Indemnity (Unification Church)

Indemnity (Unification Church)

Indemnity, in the context of Unification Church beliefs, is a part of the process by which human beings and the world are restored back to God's ideal. It is explained in the "Divine Principle", the basic textbook of Unification Church theology based on the teachings of church founder Sun Myung Moon. [ Daske, D. and Ashcraft, W. 2005, "New Religious Movements", New York: New York University Press, ISBN 0814707025 "To restart the process toward perfection, God has sent messiahs to earth who could restore the true state of humanity's relationship with God. Before that can happen, however, humans must perform good deeds that cancel the bad effects of sin. Unificationists call this "indemnity". Showing love and devotion to one's fellow humans, especially within families, helps pay this indemnity." p142] [ Yamamoto, J. 1995, "Unification Church", Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Press, ISBN 0310703816 "The doctrine of indemnity. Indemnity is that which people do to restore themselves to God's kingdom. Young Oon Kim describes it this way: 'We atone for our sins through specific acts of penance.' Kwang-Yol Yoo, a Unification teacher, even goes so far as to say that by following the "Divine Principle", 'man's perfection must be accomplished by his own effort without God's help.' God does most of the work, but people must still do their part in order to achieve God's plan of salvation: 'Five percent is only to say that man's responsibility is extremely small compared to God's.' "p35 "The doctrine of indemnity is not biblical. 'In simple language.' states Ruth Tucker, 'indemnity is salvation by works.' Bob Larson makes a distinction between Moon's doctrine and biblical theology, saying, 'Moon's doctrine of sinless perfection by "indemnity [forgiveness of sin by works on Moon's behalf] , which can apply even to deceased ancestors, is a denial of the salvation by grace offering through Jesus Christ.' 'Farewell,' said John Calvin. 'to the dream of those who think up a righteousness flowing together out of faith and works.'" p40] [Tingle, D. and Fordyce, R. 1979, "The Phases and Faces of the Moon: A Critical Examination of the Unification Church and Its Principles", Hicksville, New York: Exposition Press p53-55 "In short, indemnity is anything you want to make it, since you establish the conditions. The zeal and enthusiasm of the Unification Church members is not so much based on love for God as it is compulsion to indemnify one's own sins." ] [ [ THE POWER OF THE PRINCIPLE: WHENCE IT CAME; WHERE IT WENT] Richard Quebedeaux] ["Exposition of the Divine Principle" 1996 Translation [] ]

Indemnity as explained in the "Divine Principle"

The concept of indemnity is explained at the start of the second half of the "Divine Principle", "Introduction to Restoration"::"What, then, is the meaning of restoration through indemnity? When someone has lost his original position or state, he must make some condition to be restored to it. The making of such conditions of restitution is called indemnity. For example, to recover lost reputation, position or health, one must make the necessary effort or pay the due price. Suppose two people who once loved each other come to be on bad terms; they must make some condition of reconciliation before the love they previously enjoyed can be revived. In like manner, it is necessary for human beings who have fallen from God's grace into corruption to fulfill some condition before they can be restored to their true standing. We call this process of restoring the original position and state through making conditions restoration through indemnity, and we call the condition made a condition of indemnity. God's work to restore people to their true, unfallen state by having them fulfill indemnity conditions is called the providence of restoration through indemnity." ["Exposition of the Divine Principle"]

The "Divine Principle" goes on to explain three types of indemnity conditions. Equal conditions of indemnity pay back the full value of what was lost. The biblical verse "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth" (Exod.21:23-24) is quoted as an example of an equal indemnity condition. Lesser conditions of indemnity provide a benefit greater than the price that is paid. Faith, baptism, and holy communion are mentioned as examples of lesser indemnity conditions. Greater conditions of indemnity come about when a person fails in a lesser condition. In that case a greater price must be paid to make up for the earlier failure. Abraham's attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac (Gen. 22:1-18) and the Israelite's 40 years of wandering in the wilderness under Moses (Num.14:34) are mentioned as examples of greater indemnity conditions. ["Exposition of the Divine Principle"] [Tingle and Fordyce]

The "Divine Principle" then explains that an indemnity condition must reverse the course by which the mistake or loss came about. Jesus' statement that God had forsaken him (Matt.27:46) and Christianity's history of martyrdom are mentioned as examples of this. ["Exposition of the Divine Principle"]

The "Divine Principle" then states that human beings, not God or the angels, are the ones responsible for making indemnity conditions. ["Exposition of the Divine Principle"] [Daske and Ashcraft] [Tingle and Fordyce] [Yamamoto]

tatements of Unification Church members on the concept of indemnity

In a 1979 talk to church members, Sun Myung Moon said (about a person's attitude on the death of his or her spouse)::"In our Unification Church faith the most beautiful word is indemnity; through indemnity we can pay the debt of sin. You can think that no one else could stand such a burden of indemnity, so God is asking you to pay instead as His champion. You can accept it with a thankful heart. When you compare the time you spend without the person you loved with the millions of years your generations will live, your payment of indemnity is small in comparison to the blessing God will give you and your descendants." [ [ The Importance of Prayer] Sun Myung Moon April 15, 1979]

In 1999, church member Anne Inoue wrote (on the occasion of the funeral of Rev. and Mrs. Moon's son Young Jin Moon)::"When I came in the door to Little Angels in the morning, I was greeted with the most amazing feeling of grace and love from God. I don't know if I can really explain it, but it centers on the subtle difference between "I have to pay indemnity" because of guilt and fear and "I have to pay indemnity" because ... someone has to do it. Because it has to get done, or the world will not progress toward the ideal. God is taking every opportunity to claim indemnity offerings and Father is doing his best to tell us how to make them (by completing the projects at hand, by prayer, by loving the people around us, etc.). And then, when we don't do as much as we might or should have been able to do, God and Father take the opportunity to take a tragic event like the death of Young Jin nim and use it to make our back payment for us without accusation or condemnation." [ [ Testimony about Young Jin Nim's Seunghwa] Anne Inoue 1999]

Criticism of the Unification Church concept of indemnity

Christian theologians have criticized the concept of indemnity as being contrary to the Christian doctine of salvation by faith. Radio and television evangelist Bob Larson said, "Moon's doctrine of sinless perfection by 'indemnity', which can apply even to deceased ancestors, is a denial of the salvation by grace offering through Jesus Christ." Donald Tingle and Richard Fordyce, ministers with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who debated two Unification Church theologians in 1977, wrote, "The zeal and enthusiasm of the Unification Church members is not so much based on love for God as it is compulsion to indemnify one's own sins." [Daske and Ashcraft] [Tingle and Fordyce] [Yamamoto]

The Unification Church has also been criticized for saying that the wars of the Twentieth Century served as indemnity conditions to prepare the world for the establishment of the Kingdom of God, and that the Holocaust was the result of indemnity for the crucifixion of Jesus. [Helm, S. [ Divine Principle and the Second Advent] "Christian Century" May 11, 1977 "Thus, while the two world wars may appear from a human point of view to have been evil, from the point of view of God’s plan for restoration they were good and necessary. The defeat of the 'satanic side' in each case cleared the path for a more nearly complete foundation for the Kingdom of God. These two cataclysmic conflagrations of our century, which broke the back of the liberal Protestant faith in progress, do not appear to trouble the adherents of Divine Principle, by and large members of a generation conveniently undistressed by stark memories of those ‘triumphs' for the heavenly side. This sanguine schematization of the Holocaust has not, understandably, reassured Jewish critics of the movement."] [ [ NEWS OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT & INTOLERANCE DURING 2003-MAR.] Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance 'Unification leader blames Jews for the Nazi Holocaust: In a speech to his followers in Arlington VA, Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- the founder of the Unification Church -- said: "Who are the Jewish members here, raise your hands! Jewish people, you have to repent. Jesus was the King of Israel. Through the principle of indemnity Hitler killed 6 million Jews. That is why. God could not prevent Satan from doing that because Israel killed the True Parents. Even now, you have to determine that you will repent and follow and become one with Christianity through Rev. Moon....If you follow Rev. Moon, you will not go down. In the future those who hear my words and believe will go to heaven, those who don't will not." Rev. Moon also discussed the creation of a theocracy in Korea. He stated: "To unify Korea we must unify church and state. We must establish a political party and then unify church and state."']


ee also

*Unification Church
*Divine Principle
*Unification theology
*Unification Church and antisemitism

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