On December 5th, televangelist Paula White spoke at a prayer rally in South Korea on behalf of Hak Ja Han (better known as Mrs. Moon or True Mother), the widow of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon.
In her opening remarks, White said, “What a great joy and honor it is to be here today giving honor to the distinguished faith leaders and to all those that are serving in capacity of religion and faith and making a tremendous difference. I am honored to participate in this historic interfaith prayer rally for the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula. I want to take a moment and honor, as well as encourage, Mother Moon for her great work as a spiritual leader who loves the LORD and seeks to carry out and to comfort the heart of God in all the areas of conflict in the world. She is truly a jewel from God.”
Before White spoke, a water ceremony for peace was held. The Unification Church has been observing this ritual since 1985.
Four days after creating the ritual, Sun Myung Moon explained it to his followers:
“Likewise, what we need is a total detachment from the past. Don’t long for your previous ways of life. Follow the new tradition totally, creating a brand new system. In order to make this turning point more obvious and dramatic, I held a special ceremony on August 16 at East Garden, called the Holy Water Ceremony.
“As you know, the human body is approximately three fourths liquid, or water. By receiving this Holy Water, we can spiritually cleanse our bodies from the past and become new creatures in God’s sight, totally acceptable to Him.”
Sun Myung Moon and his wife embraced the honorific titles of True Parents, True Father and True Mother. Sun Myung Moon told his followers, “True Parents existed spiritually, but we had to lay the foundation to become the physical True Parents.”
According to Unification Church teaching, Jesus never became a True Parent. Sun Myung Moon preached, “God has sent the Messiah, but had there ever been a Messiah who reached the level of True Parents and completed the heavenly four-position foundation? (No.)”
Sun Myung Moon’s theology was rooted in pride. “There is only one way you can realize how amazing I am. God is intoxicated with me and tells me, ‘My dear son, do whatever you want. It’s up to you. The challenge is falling upon you.'”
So, why would Paula White align herself with a religious cult? At least three explanations exist.
- The televangelist could be bought. She may have been paid a large amount of money to appear as a guest speaker.
- White is attempting to reinvent herself as a champion of reconciliation by promoting the unification of North and South Korea. Some critics might even say this action is rooted in religious nationalism.
- Perhaps White sees nothing wrong with Unification Church teaching. To come to this conclusion, White must either believe Unification teaching or embrace relativism in which truth is different for each person.