Triangle Family Church Sunday Service on Feb. 19, 2023
Andrea's 80th Birthday Cerebration
Sermon transcription Japanese translation
Good morning brothers and sisters. Today I'd like to talk about true freedom; freedom of original mind. Everybody seeks freedom and fortunately we are living in a free country. Freedom is guaranteed in America. We can have freedom easier here than any other countries. But we need to find true freedom which gives us the opportunity to pursue happiness including mental happiness. Divine Principle says Adam and Eve lost freedom of original mind after fall. First, let us read Bible verses regarding to Freedom
John chapter 8:32 The truth will set you free.
Galatians 5:1 Christ has set us free for freedom.
Don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.
2 Corinthians 3:17
The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom.
The Bible tells us that the truth, Christ, serving others, and God are the keys to find freedom.
Are rules and regulations for or against freedom? What comes in your mind at first when you hear the words rules and regulations? No freedom? Definition of freedom is power or or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
From the definition of freedom, rules and regulations seem to be against freedom.
Home and church normally tell children what to do or what not to do. Home and church give rules and regulations.
Japanese media is recently spotlighting religions and religious parents are controlling children and violating their freedom. Is it true?
It may be true if the definition of freedom is to do whatever I want to do. Young people may feel they are free when they are away from home and church. Young children who go to college feel free. Two-thirds of American young adults who attended a Protestant church regularly for at least a year as a teenager say they also dropped out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22, according to a new study from Nashville-based Lifeway Research in 2019.
It is before Covid. This percentage may be higher after Covid.
Let us think what is true freedom and how rules and regulations can help us to reach for true freedom.
Where did true freedom come from? God endowed human beings with freedom.
Meaning of true freedom from Divine principle
Freedom is accompanied by the responsibility laid out in the Principle.
Purpose of True Freedom
Freedom allows us to inherit creative nature of God and participate in God’s great work of creation.
Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. This term "freedom and responsibility go hand in hand" is not just religious concept but it's common concept. Rules and regulations normally help us to be responsible or prevent us to take irresponsible actions. Driving car is a good example to explain that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. Following rules is crucial to keep the freedom of driving. Driving a car gives freedom to move around. I see high schoolers in America are eager to get driver’s license and gain the freedom to move anywhere and to meet friends. But to get the driver's license the applicants must successfully complete many things. There are many ways to lose driver's license and they all involve some level of responsibility. Freedom to drive and responsibility to drive safely go hand in hand.
Next, let us move to the topic of freedom and responsibility for love. It is our church’s main concern for youth.
Free Love & Love Marriage vs. Absolute Love & God centered Marriage
Free Love & Love Marriage sound good and seem to allow you to have free, natural, spontaneous relationships. What comes in your mind when you hear Absolute Love & God centered Marriage? Not natural, forced?
Traditionally marriages are more like God's centered marriage. "Free Love" and "Love Marriage" concept came recently. Free love is a social movement that accepts all forms of love. The movement's initial goal was to separate the state from sexual and romantic matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery. It stated that such issues were the concern of the people involved and no one else. The movement began around the 19th century, and was advanced by hippies during the Sixties.
A love marriage is one which is driven solely by the couple, with or without consent of their parents, as opposed to arranged marriage.
People seek freedom to love and marry. But did Free Love & Love Marriage give people freedom of love and marriage?
Statics in Japan shows the number of people who never marry increased as arranged marriage decreased.
25 percent of men will never marry and little less than 20 percent of women will never marry in their life.
Japanese people may not like too many choices. When I came to America I had difficulties at restaurants. Do you know why? When you go to a restaurant, the waiter and waitress comes to you and ask many questions how to cook, what kind of food, what kind of side dishes. They give many choices. When I came to America, I don't know or I never eat some food. The chefs are professional. They know food more than me. I said don't ask me in my mind.
Absolute Love & God centered Marriage make perfect sense if we understand what requires to enjoy freedom of love and marry.
Let us check what Christianity, Buddhism, and True Parents teach what is love.
Love in Christianity
Number one, love is an action not a feeling
Due to God's love for us, God made choices and committed actions for us.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.
God's commitment to love all humankind even if he needed to sacrifice his beloved Son
Second, love is sacrificial. Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Jesus showed love is sacrificial.
Number three, love requires self-discipline. Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth. Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
Next love in Buddhism
Buddhism teaches there are four elements for true love.
1. Capacity to offer happiness
2. Compassion (Energy that can transform suffering in yourself and the other person)
4. Nonattachment, nondiscrimination, or letting go
It is difficult concept. We have to put ourselves “into the other’s shoes” and become one with him or her if we want to understand and truly love him or her. When that happens, there is no “self’ and no “other.”
I like this quote. What is the difference between I like you and I love you. Beautifully answered by Buddha
When you like a flower you just pluck it but when you love flower you water it daily. Once you understand this, understands life. Love is deep and complicated. It requires full maturity. It is incomparable to driving a car. But yet many young people just jump in and fall in.
Love in True Parents' Word
It's from the speech; "The Providential History of Salvation from the Viewpoint of the Principle”
According to the ideal of love, all love relationships in the animal and plant kingdoms are for reproduction only. Human beings are the sole exception. Humankind enjoys freedom in the conjugal relationship of love, which is humanity’s special privilege as the lord of all creation.
God gave the blessing and infinite joy of love to His sons and daughters.
However, the true freedom that God allowed requires human responsibility.
Achieving the highest ideal of human love is possible only when one takes responsibility for love.
Freedom of love and responsibility for love go hand in hand.
God can only exist where freedom and responsibility are operating. Love, freedom, and responsibility are inseparable. God had no choice but to give Adam and Eve free will and responsibility to keep a commandment and be fully mature to enjoy freedom of love because of His love toward Adam and Eve. We need to remember this. Rules and regulations from God came out of God’s love.
Absolute Faith, Absolute Love, and Absolute Obedience
Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
True Parents taught us to have Absolute Faith, Absolute Love, and Absolute Obedience.
Who practiced Absolute Faith, Absolute Love, and Absolute Obedience?
God knew Adam and Eve would face temptations and challenges when He gave a commandment to keep their purity.
God had absolute faith that Adam and Eve would make a right choice with their free will because of His absolute love toward Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve had heartistic disconnection with God, fell, and lost true freedom of original mind. We will find true freedom in God’s love by reconnecting with God’s heart.
Lastly, let us listen to a song “Later Never Comes” from Netflix’s Scrooge. I felt God’s heart towards people who seek something else than God even though all we need is God. It is like a Book of Hosea in old testament, in which God expresses His suffering because Israel has been unfaithful to God by following other gods and breaking the commandments.
Later Never Comes - YouTube
Later Never Comes
When we first met
Your heart was free
Your hopeful eyes
Saw only me
Now you're looking for something
Something I can never be
When you are really
All I need
You keep on telling me "later"
But "later" never comes around
Please stop telling me "later"
As you search for what just can't be found
Take my hand
Come with me now and we'll fly free
No more "later", we both know that's a lie
Don't let be this the day I say
When you met hеr
You were set free
Her love for you
Was plain to see
You kept looking for something
A measure of security
But she was really
All you'd need
You kept on telling her "later"
But "later" never comes around
Please stop telling her "later"
Stop searching for what can't be found
Take her hand
Go with her now and you'll fly free
No more "later", we both know that's a lie
This will be the day she says
Off course, God will never say goodbye to us. But we should remember all we need is God. All we need is God's love. We will find true freedom in God's love.
Let us pray. Thank you for this day and thank you for this opportunity to gather here and worship Heavenly Parent. Heavenly Parent, this world will tell us so many freedom, so many choices. These days even society gave us freedom not to fulfill our responsibility, not to fulfill the the purpose of creation, and become one with Heavenly Parent. The value system is confusing. When young people are confused, schools are teaching so many choices, so many freedom. But schools are not teaching the original mind which is the source of our happiness, ultimate happiness. What we need is to reach Heavenly Parent, connect with Heavenly Parent's heart, and one with your love. That's the way to gain true freedom through freedom of our original mind. Please especially guide young people, help them to choose true freedom in their life and connect with Heavenly Parent's love. Thank you for this time with precious brothers and sisters. True Parents gave us truth and set us free giving us the way to find true freedom. I report everything in the name of brothers and sisters gathered here.