The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Fourteen: Prospects


When Cho Songgwang first came to visit, the Founding Master said, “You seem to have qualities different than those of ordinary people. What is your faith?” Songgwang replied, “I am an elder at a Protestant church and have been worshiping God for several decades.” The Founding Master said, “You say that you have worshiped God for several decades; so tell me, where God is?” Songgwang said, “We say that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, so there is nowhere He does not exist.” The Founding Master said, “Then, do you regularly see Him, listen to His words, or receive His teachings?” Songgwang replied, “So far, I have not seen or talked to Him.” The Founding Master said, “If so, can you say that you have become a truly intimate disciple of Jesus?” Songgwang said, “What shall I do to enable me to meet God and receive His teachings?” The Founding Master said, “You may accomplish that by practicing well and becoming a disciple who truly knows Jesus.” Songgwang asked again, “In the Bible, it is said that Jesus will return during the degenerate age and 'will come like a thief [in the night],' but many signs of his return will appear at that time. Will there really be a day when He returns?” The Founding Master said, “Sages are not deceitful. If you practice well and your spiritual mind opens, then you will also understand Jesus’ coming and going.” Songgwang said, “I have been waiting for a long time for a great teacher who would give me personal guidance. Meeting you today, my mind is satisfied, and I would like to become your disciple right away. But at the same time I have qualms of conscience because it seems like apostasy.” The Founding Master said, “If a Christian becomes a disciple who truly knows Jesus, he will come also to understand what I am doing; and, if one becomes a disciple who truly understands me, he will come to understand what Jesus accomplished. Therefore, ignorant people maintain gaps between this and that religion and so think themselves to be apostate, thereby becoming hostile to other religions. However, those with real understanding know that these religions have different names merely according to the time and place, and come to view them all as belonging to a single household. Thus, you should use your own discretion whether you stay or go.” Songgwang rose to his feet, bowed, and vowed anew to become his disciple. The Founding Master assented and said, “Even after you have become my disciple, you will be a true disciple of mine only when your reverence for God grows stronger.”