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L.A. Alaban: Address to the International Leadership Conference

Address to the UPF International Leadership Conference
Seoul, Korea, February 9, 2011

Bishop Lucrecio Aranete Alaban is the Administrative Pastor of the Capitol United Evangelical Church, of Oroquieta City, in the state of Misamis Occidental, on the Philippine island of Mindanao. Bishop Alaban has a Doctor of Divinity degree an is regional director for Region 10 of the Pastor Elder Association for Righteous Leadership. He supervises clinical pastoral education, is a consultant to the Barangay Chaplaincy of Misamis Occiental, and is a spiritual advisor to local politicians.

This International Leadership Conference is a very pleasant moment of unity in diversity. It is an assembly of God with the utmost significance: the creation into eternity out of every moment of time.

This is what religion is all about. It is the spiritual power moving into an era of interfaith cooperation and universal peace. Religion is dynamic and active. It is dealing with the living issues of world peace in the realm of quantum physics. Academics talk of action-reaction laws: that for every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction and that the reaction is always greater than the action. Such reaction is very much needed to address the century-long Mindanao conflict in the Philippines.

For a moment, may I offer a rejoinder to all the splendid expressions delivered by our honorable speakers. Here is my humble proposal.

How can we be happy when conflict is all over and around us? Exploitation and greed are all around us. Immorality is all around us. Persecution is all over around us. Let us make the people of the world angry against all of these evils. Let us gather their anger into a worldwide organization of righteousness that stirs humanity to live in kindness for others.

I am a community organizer for people's power at the local level. Father Sun Myung Moon is the organizer at the international level for building heaven on this earth. Such a builder is always in the arena of conflict and has no time to get old. Yes, at 91 he is still young at heart.

The Universal Peace Federation is the new reality to save mankind drawing together people from religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and the remnants of classical Judaism and secular realms such as fascism, communism, secular humanism, and ethical idealism. All these claim ultimate truth and demand complete devotion, but all of them claim absolute peace without a universal concept of peace.

No particular religion matters, ultimately — neither ours nor yours. But universal peace matters. This judges you and me, your religion and my religion. Interfaith has occurred, and we are asked to participate in it. And so we should say to people of all religions: don't compare your religion and our religion, your rites and our rites, your doctrines and our doctrines, your prophets and our prophets, your priests and our priests, the pious among you and the pious among us. All these are of no avail to save mankind. Let us stop converting each other. This would be of no avail. We are here together to show something that we have seen and to tell you something we have heard: that in the midst of a very divided world there has come an interfaith era that manifests the way to universal peace.

This was declared by the United Nations Resolution 64/164 of 18 December 2009 (King Abdullah’s “interfaith initiative”) and Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s proposals.

We should not be too worried about membership and doctrines, about institutions and ministers, about sermons and sacraments. All are of no importance if the ultimate question is asked, the question of salvation of the world. This question, however, is of infinite importance. We should worry more about it than about anything else between heaven and earth. Universal peace is our ultimate concern; this should be the infinite passion of every human being. This matters. This alone matters ultimately. In comparison with it everything else, even religion or non-religion, even Christianity or non-Christianity, matters very little — and ultimately not at all.

Our boasting about our own religion or secular viewpoint is foolishness. It is the spiritual power of religion and secular that he who is religious can fearlessly look at the vanity of absolutizing itself. The most mature fruit of Christian understanding is to understand that Christianity as such is of no avail. Although the wisdom of Christianity is the fact that there is nothing to boast about, this is the wisdom of maturity. Having as not having — this is the proper attitude toward everything great and wonderful in life, even religion and Christianity.

Universal peace is a reality in which that which was separated is reunited in the overwhelming and inexhaustible power of interfaith. We look around us and see how we as humans have maintained the union of interfaith in spite of everything that drove us to separation. As we uphold the era of interfaith cooperation building universal peace, everyone feels united with God, who is the ground and meaning of our existence.

People talk about the passion that drives our destiny. Let us have the courage to take upon ourselves our own anxiety.

There is a center, a direction, a meaning for life. Holistic healing — of body and mind — is real healing. This is the way to universal peace. To advance universal peace, let us go where the action is and learn by doing in the action-reaction cycle in the arena of persecution and there build heaven with God.

Therefore, let's all go together even to places where angels never go. Let us go where human beings are nestled and as participant-observers empower the people in an organized manner. We can have the utmost bargaining power joining in the high realms of eternal destiny. Let us together join in courageous company with the innumerable angels of the Lord and join in an eternal embraces!