This 16-part DPlife series, takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth. Thomas Ward, a Unification Scholar and Co-Chair of the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought, will be our guide. This series may bring surprises, uncover new perspectives, and challenge largely held beliefs. With curious minds and open hearts, we invite you to take this journey with us as we deepen our understanding of Jesus and how his life informs history and society today.
Photo by Peter Feghali on Unsplash
Some Christians like to say that “God works in mysterious ways.”
Personally, I have often felt that the expression “God works in mysterious ways” serves, consciously or not, as a more benign expression of “I hate all of the gods.” The expression is linked to the Greek Titan Prometheus who says, in Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound,
I hate all the Gods,
Because, having received good at my hands,
They have rewarded me with evil.
Many people who grew up within the Judeo-Christian cultural sphere have abandoned God because they observe that so much evil has been done without God’s intervention. The latter half of the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth century were philosophically driven by the existential question, “If God exists, why is there so much evil in the world?”
God does not work “in mysterious ways.” I will advance the proposition set forth by the [Rev. Sun Myung Moon] that God works based on the conditions set by human beings. God’s intervention requires the agency of human beings and the evil agency of humanity over millennia has compromised God’s power.
God is indeed an Almighty God yet God chose not to rule by power but by love. God’s intention was to bequeath His power to a humanity who had first inherited his love.
To do so, humankind first needed to mature internally and inherit God’s heart and love. That standard of God’s love was first demonstrated and brought to humanity through Jesus. Yet Jesus was stymied in his efforts to bequeath that standard to his contemporaries.
In his life, Jesus could have fulfilled the Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Why then did God’s Kingdom not come with his crucifixion? Why the Crusades? Why Hitler, why Mao, why Pol Pot? Why is God’s will not done on earth as it is in Heaven?” Was any part of God’s will undermined and curtailed through Jesus’ crucifixion?
Thomas Ward is a Unification Scholar who has served as Dean of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Public and International Affairs and is the Co-Chair of the Research Institute for the Integration of World Thought, an academic institute created by Reverend Moon in 1999 to oversee the development of Unification Thought in the United States.
Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments. Most of all, we look forward to learning and starting a discussion will all of you!
Join us next week for part ll of this series.