Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 341
Cheon Seong Gyeong Book 11: Ceremonies and Holy Days
Chapter 2: Church Services
Section 1: Church Service and Prayer, 36
Section 2: The Meaning of Tithing, 05
(36) When I stand before a person who is totally devoted, I am at a loss for words. As the leader of the Unification Church, when I am considering which of two people is better, I do not consider which of them is better-looking, but rather which has a better inner orientation. I examine whether their mind is public or personal. If you walk the path of a public life, embracing this principle, you will never perish. Therefore, be mindful of how you manage things, how you treat people, and how you attend Heaven.
(37) When you take your first step in the morning, you should consider whether or not it is for a public purpose. And when you go to bed after finishing your daily work, you should reflect on whether the day was spent for a public purpose or a personal one. Furthermore, at the end of the year, you should look back at your past year, or at your entire life up to that point, and reflect on whether you led a public life or lived just for yourself. It is based on this criterion that life and death are weighed on the scale of judgment. Keep this principle in mind so that at each step on your journey, you will exercise good judgment and keep to the public path.
(38) Once you take up a responsibility, the next thing is to fight and struggle. You must persevere in that struggle even to the death, saying, “I am willing to give up my life." In your lifetime, you should lay the foundation to bring at least three people who oppose you to natural submission, and in this battle, you may not use any means or methods that are not acceptable to God. Also, in the service of God’s Will, you should not lead the life of a taker. Rather, you stand in the position to give.
(39) When you become a leader, you have to stand truly in the position of a doctor who tries to cure a patient’s illness. If an ill person’s spiritual situation begins to deteriorate, you have to make an effort to cure the person’s heart, shedding tears day or night, oblivious to time. That is a spiritual leader. How many nights have you stayed up trying to save lives? How busy have you been trying to save lives? When you go to the spirit world, such deeds will become the objects of commendation. The barometer of character will reflect them.
(40) Even if a member falls away, you must never be discouraged. A very interesting phenomenon occurs when a member falls away; someone else who resembles that person joins the church. He or she has a similar personality, similar speech, and even a similar way of walking. From every angle, the new person who joins bears an amazing resemblance to the person who fell away, and yet is much better. When you see such a phenomenon, you can understand that sincere investment of devotion is never lost. This is absolutely true. When you become acquainted with someone, you must not think the relationship ends at a simple acquaintance. Especially if you met that person based on Heaven’s guidance, you should never forget him or her. If the person stops coming to the church, you must not cut off or malign him or her. Even if the person falls away, never abandon that person.
(41) Before you speak or teach, first you must feel God's heart. Do not just talk. Instead, put God’s heart first before your words. You should always be humble. When you give a sermon on Sunday, you should do so with the intense feeling and focus of women in labor. You need to direct all your attention to it. Standing behind the podium, you need to feel like a pregnant woman on her way to the delivery room. If you reach that level of heart, you need no other preparation. The issue is not the content of your sermon or how well you speak. The issue is whether your heart has reached that level.
(42) During the sermon, a boundary line is drawn that determines whether someone is bound for heaven or hell. Suppose a person comes to our church thinking, "I’ve always wondered about the Unification Church. Let’s see how it is!" But if the sermon is disappointing, he or she may think, "What kind of sermon was that?" The sermon has, in effect, cut that person’s lifeline. Therefore, you should regard giving the sermon as a momentous matter, even more so than a judge rendering a verdict in court. You have to understand that as a preacher, you are in a fateful position that can make many dozens or hundreds of people stand or fall. If you are a leader with a certain responsibility, you should not neglect it and thereby cause your subordinates to disrespect you. You have to invest your efforts, so this never becomes the case. That is why it is difficult to be the person in charge. It is an extremely daunting position in which everything about your identity is exposed and revealed.
Section 2. The Meaning of Tithing
(1) After you joined the Unification Church, you learned the term "restoration through indemnity." To accomplish restoration through indemnity, there must be a sacrificial offering, and in making that offering, you must have a heart of devotion. It would be wonderful if you could simply do things the way you think they should be done, but God cannot receive your offering based on how you think it should be made. That will never happen. The offering for the indemnity condition represents your very life; it is sacrificed in your place. Therefore, you need to become one with that offering and love that offering. When you make an offering and that offering is sacrificed, you should shed tears in your heart, feeling the same pain it does. This can be likened to Abraham, offering his son as a sacrifice. You, too, ought to present your offering with a heart so connected to it that the link cannot be severed. You need to make a sacrificial offering from this position. That is why you should offer what is most precious to you. When you make a material offering, if you offer something used or leftover, you will be punished. In that case, it would be better if you had not made the offering at all.
(2) If we look into the background of tithing, it is quite fearful. In biblical verses about tithing, we are told to offer God one-tenth of what we earn. Those of you who question tithing, please know that offering only one-tenth of one’s income is as if one offered everything. Suppose you want to put on a feast to celebrate your parent’s sixtieth birthday or the king’s birthday. You would prepare a whole cow or pig, the best you could find, and offer all of it at the feast. Yet would they eat it all? Certainly not! Of course, they would accept and receive everything, but they could not eat it all. In fact, they would eat very little. Still, offering it sets the condition that they received everything and ate it all.
(3) A tithe means that by offering one-tenth of your material possessions to God, you make a condition equal to having offered all you have. Although you do not offer everything to God, the one-tenth that you offer with sincere devotion nevertheless holds that value. By offering one-tenth as holy, God considers the remaining nine-tenths holy. The person who tithes will never perish. As the days go by, his storeroom will be filled with abundant material blessings.
(4) If you want to make a relationship with God by offering devotion before Him, the offering you make must be totally pure and brand-new. You cannot make a devotional offering with leftovers. Thus, when you tithe, your tithe should be pure, something in which you invested your utmost heart and mind. That is a sacrificial offering. A sacrificial offering should be pure. If you are to offer your son, you must offer your best son. This is because your offering represents yourself.
(5) If you tithe with sincere devotion, you will never starve to death. Your descendants will never suffer for want of material things. This is principled. However, you must invest devotion in your tithe. This is the essence of faith. Offering your tithe casually is not acceptable. Your offering represents your own life, so you have to offer what is most precious to you. The most precious thing to a human being is his or her life. Hence, a sacrificial offering should be made as if you were offering your own life. That is why, by offering material things for the sake of restoration through indemnity, your sins can be washed away.