Sun Myung Moon

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The Reverend Sun Myung Moon (February 25, 1920–) is the founder and leader of the Unification Church and its associated organizations. He was born in what is now North Korea. He was born on Jan. 6, 1920 (by the lunar calendar). His wife has the same lunar birthday and they both celebrate their birthday jointly.

Many aspects of Rev. Moon's teachings are controversial. The three biggest points of theological dispute between his church and the teachings of traditional Christianity center on the mission, person, and second coming of the Messiah.

View of the mission of Jesus

Moon says that in 1935 he had a vision of Jesus while praying, and that Jesus asked him to complete the unfulfilled parts of his mission. The idea that Jesus did not come to die, which runs counter to the traditional view, is based on an interpretation of the Bible which sees the mission of the Messiah as the immanent establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. As Moon sees it, it was the failure of John the Baptist to endorse Jesus which led Jewish leaders and Judaism in general to reject Jesus as the Messiah. According to Moon, there are dual prophecies in the Bible whose fulfillment depends on whether human beings fulfill their responsibility. So a prophecy such as Isaiah 9:6-7 ("... of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end") or Isaiah 53 ("He shall be called a man of sorrows") depends on whether the Messiah is accepted when he comes.

View of the person of Jesus

A better known difference between Moon's teaching and that of traditional Christianity concerns aspects of Christology and the Trinity. Moon says that Jesus is a human being who (like anyone else) was created by God, while Christianity has most often taught that Jesus is God Himself. The church's textbook Divine Principle asserts that Moon's view does not dispute the divinity of Jesus or diminish his value, arguing that by attaining full maturity Jesus became "perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48)