pt.4 Communion with Tea, Buddha and Endorsements
Video- “Many scholars believe that after persecution began hidden Christians continued to use the tea room for communion, disguised in the tea ceremony. What are some of the similarities?
Between the way of tea and Christian communion Dr. Sen told us that once while he was doing Chado for the Pope at the Vatican a priest began doing communion at the same time. While he was cleansing the utensils for Chado with his napkin the priest was also cleansing his utensils for communion with his napkin The acts of cleansing the utensils were exactly the same.” “The wafer or sweet cake eaten first, the lifting of the cup and the turning of the cup.” (the video shows a film of the cleaning of the cups as proof of the sameness of these two religious ceremonies.)
Before making a bowl of tea, the host ritually cleanses each utensil, just as the student of Zen empties or “cleans” the mind through study of Buddhism.
Jesus spoke about the ritual Washings, how the religious people wash (Mark 7:4-5). The washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches- it wasn’t a good thing, it was traditions of men
The similarities pointed out in the video of the folding the napkin has nothing to do with our communion. The lifting and turning of cup folding of napkins is compared to Catholicism which Kikawa makes no distinction to true biblical Christianity. This is not a Christian teaching or tradition. Video- “The wafer or sweet cake eaten first, the lifting of the cup and the turning of the cup. Christian metaphors can also be found in Chado”. Then when Jesus held up this bread and said this is my body- it was pierced, striped and without leaven, it had meaning in the symbology. Its basis is leaven vs. unleaven, it has meaning in the symbols used.
Sweet cake- is made of bean curd or mochi – rice and sugar- is this his body? If you have no correlation to the real event then you should not use it. This becomes totally disassociated with the culture the teaching was given in. Kikawa’s argument is to use the culture (any culture) of the people, but when it comes to the Hebrews he ignores it. He is completely missing the context of the whole Old Testament and God forming the Hebrew culture to give us the Messiah through.
Did God institute this cultural ceremony as communion through Buddhists? If you can do this with these ceremonies of Buddhism then you can combine ANY religious practice and make yourself a new religion.
Let me divert from the video to his interview on Word to the World where he spoke more on this. On the topic of the Korean Bible “in contextualizing the gospel or using culture specific evangelism for this people to help them understand the word of God is they do not say Jesus is the bread of Life. Okay, why do we have to look at why does Jesus say he was the bread of life? It was because in the middle east that was their staff of life that’s why they say give us this day our daily bread, that’s so we can live, so we, and what Jesus was saying “I am your staff of life, I am your main thing of which you subsist on and that’s why he used the word bread, where everybody can just understand and relate to bread there. Now you go to Asia especially, y’know, several hundred years ago and you again say Jesus is the bread of life and you look from their computer system what would that tell them? It would tell them several things. One is, he really is your God because you eat bread- we eat rice. So he is the foreign God he’s your God, I understand that, y’know. Or maybe he’s a little God in my life because I eat a little bit of bread but my main god is rice. And I really believe that if Paul or Jesus was in Asia that if they were trying to get that concept across he would say I am the rice of life and see; That is very controversial in the west, but, the Korean Bible, the protestant missionary who I have got to shake his hand when I meet him in heaven, how he translated the Bible is, Jesus is the rice ball of life. okay , and it tells the Korean people that he is not only a Korean God but if the concept that Jesus was trying to get across, okay, gets across very well to them. I am the main thing you subsist on Y’know. And we might think, Wow that sounds terrible y’know, that, how can we do that, y’know, your changing the bible and all this, but we have to realize that if we don’t in this sense, okay, if we are legalistic and we stick to the word of God we change the spirit and the message of the gospel. Because we’re not telling him what Jesus would tell them, what Jesus would try to say-that I am your main subsistence, I am your God who loves you and I’m your main subsistence that doesn’t come across”(Word to the World interview with Daniel Kikawa, Feb.17, 2006)
So, if they do not understand Jesus being the bread of life the only option we can use- is their culture! I don’t think so. As previously stated there is not a problem making an association with ones culture to bring them to understand the Bibles teaching. What we are not to do is form our Bible teaching to THEIR CULTURE. One leads into the Scripture the other leads away.
Paul was in Asia and what did he teach to them. To the Corinthian church He taught the Old Testament being fulfilled in the New Covenant. 1 Cor.5:7 “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” This was a Hebrew feast day he did not contextualize it but gave them the spiritual meaning. And by the way his command of purging out the leaven is quite apropos for this. Paul also used the other Hebrew feast days to teach the Gentile church. It was Jesus who gave them the Passover and unleaven bread. This is the point of the scripture, which Kikawa says we are legalistic to if we stick to it. What Jesus would tell them is what he told us, it is written.
Video- “Dr. Sen told us that the small entrance is the narrow gate you cannot enter with your sword or with other weapons. You must put them away and enter naked”
This one of the more ridiculous points in the video, a narrow entrance one crawls into the tea room from Zen Buddhism is supposed to be the narrow way. Even if it had no other religious significance it would not have any correlation to the Bibles meaning of Jesus being our salvation.
We are told one who must study the WAY OF TEA. One requires strict training in the Way of tea. How much training does on need to do communion? Years? “Because the Tea Ceremony involves an understanding and appreciation of a complex combination of sensual and spiritual elements, the training to become a Tea Master is long and demands complete commitment. A student can learn enough of the basic movements and rituals to create a tea after three years or so of dedicated study, but becoming a true Tea Master is a lifetime's work and the training process is never really completed”. http://www.teamuse.com/article_001001.html
The video explains how the Christians were being persecuted and they would go into the tea room hidden from view. “Many scholars believe that after persecution began hidden Christians continued to use the tea room for communion, disguised in the tea ceremony. What are some of the similarities?
Many Scholars? Whom? Hold communion in a tea room, why? A perfect disguise for communion! If this tea room was hidden and there were only a few allowed in the room, why would one need to disguise the ceremony? None of this makes sense the way he presents it. This narrow door is a metaphor for Jesus-To call the entry the narrow gate is Christianizing another religion. how does it teach he is the only way? How does it explain his crucifixion. Again we have Kikawa proposing a knowledge of the gospel before it was delivered to them. The Japanese did Chado all this time before any Christian teaching and now Kikawa calls it communion.
“The entrance to the tea room is so low that everyone must stoop to go through - a symbolic gesture of humility A meal of fine foods and saki is then served but although this can last for more than an hour, it is not the main event but merely a preparation of the body for the tea that is to come.” http://www.teamuse.com/article_001001.html
The tea room also reflects many of the Zen doctrines. The size of the orthodox tea-room is four mats and a half, or ten feet square. It is determined by a passage in the Sutra of Vikramadytia. Vikramadytia welcomes the Saint Manjushiri and eighty-four thousand disciples of Buddha in a room of this size,--an allegory based on the theory of the non-existence of space to the truly enlightened. The roji, the garden path which leads from the machiai to the tea-room, signifies the first stage of meditation,--the passage into self-illumination. The roji was intended to break connection with the outside world, and produce a fresh sensation conducive to the full enjoyment of aestheticism in the tea-room itself. (to understand this one must see the video)
The video goes from this to even further digress from the Bible. Where it explains how the Christians were being persecuted and the Buddhists helped hide them. Inside the Buddhist temple we find a cross with a Buddha on it, “plastered into the wall with only the Buddha showing. Thus, when a follower of Jesus was praying in front of the Buddha no one would know he was praying to Jesus”.
Did Buddha die for our sins, what’s he doing on the cross? The argument of hiding the cross behind the wall is absurd. No Christian tries to find a cross to pray with to it. This is Catholicism. Even if one wanted a cross to pray with they did not have to put the Buddha on it, they could have moved it over in the wall. This shows to me the syncretism that was already taking place and certainly what is being upheld by Kikawa is blending Shintoism with Christianity.
Video-“This bronze magic mirror was a secret sign to hidden followers of Jesus. When one looked into it. One would only see his reflection, however if the reflection off the mirror were shined onto a wall the figure of Jesus on the cross would appear.”
A “famous disciple of Sen No Rikyu is said to have designed stone lanterns” “ A cross and a Christian figure can be carved into the base of the lantern the lantern was designed without a pedestal, therefore it was said after the grass grows, Jesus is hidden.’
The same applies for the mirror reflection which is not necessary if the Spirit of Jesus is in you. You do not need mirror images or Stone lanterns with a cross at its base where grass grows to hide (cover) it. The only reason people use these physical objects is because they lack relationship with him. Again, these items are also found in Buddhism
NARRATOR: We ask Dr. Sen how he would feel if followers of Jesus did communion as Chado. He replied “I wouldn’t think there is anything strange about that.”
Of course not-he’s not a believer in Jesus, so his standard is different than ours. Kikawa is taking the opinion of an unbeliever to prove his syncretism.
The video goes on to state “The magnificence of the creators name in Japan the god in the glorious center in heaven is important legacy of his relationship with the Japanese people for it is in God’s diversity that he gave the Japanese people their culture and it is in the culture they can find their identity in God.”
“Throughout the world followers of Jesus in many cultures are finding that God loves them just as he created them and he loves the cultural expressions that flow from them.
They are finding may things in their cultural identity that were ordained by God. And they are finding new and deeper meaning as they worship God in their traditional ways”.
Where does the Bible says this? It does not teach this. How did God have a relationship with the Japanese people, when did God give them commands to obey, whom did He give these commands to? Why do we not find any similarity to Judaism or Christianity?
Kikawa is claiming that God put these things in their culture. Was (Zen) Buddhism given by God? That is where the tea ceremony came from, most of what is presented in the video is part of the Japanese culture today. Geisha is part of their culture just as is Sumo wrestling. There are a number of things that are not neutral customs in their culture.
God loves the cultural expressions that flow from them. They are finding many things within that flow from their cultural identity that were ordained by God.” He has not given one shred of evidence except twist the truth. In fact, the Bible plainly states otherwise, Kikawa willfully ignores this.
The video ends with the endorsement of John Dawson the President of YWAM who says “God loves the Japanese people. God has made a unique culture there, that should not be overshadowed by anyone else’s culture…”
We do not want to change ones culture or impose our culture on anyone. Again
if ones culture does have religious connotations than those portions need to be
dropped or changed. There are certain adjustments that must be made. in Acts 15,
although he gave them freedom, he imposed restrictions on the Gentiles in the
parts that had been part of their religion. He did not impose the Jewish culture
on the new converts but did say “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble
those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, "but that we write to them
to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things
strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:19-20). This was a wise solution that
went out to the whole church for the new Gentiles coming into a predominantly
Jewish church. V.28 -29 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to
lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain
from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual
immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
Endorsing this Video
John Dawson not only endorsed his poorly researched book Perpetuated in Righteousness but he gives a glowing endorsement of what Kikawa is teaching on the video by agreeing that God made their culture. On the back cover of the Video DVD Dawson's endorsement states, “After seeking to communicate to Japanese people their beauty for so many years. I know that we have the key to open the correct door.” (I thought the Bible gave us the gospel as the key to evangelize the nations. According to Dawson when Kikawa offered us this syncretism )
Posted on Aloha ke Akua website John Dawson further comments, “We would like to use this video as a central part of our missionary work in Japan and to use it as an example for our missionaries around the world, of how to present the gospel to indigenous peoples.”
That is disturbing. To think that this will be distributed to the youth that come to this para-church organization and be used as a model for missions. Furthermore they will bring it into their own churches.
Even Loren Cunningham, Founder of YWAM chimed in- “thank you for your in depth research that that is giving us keys that I believe will help us teach modern day youth in Japan.”
So he too believes Kikawa holds the keys. We have seen this to be religious inclusivism. So then what gospel would one be delivering if they use this kind of presentation? (Both YWAM and Grace Bible are fully acknowledge at the end of the video.)
Repenting to Japanese Christians
Kikawa is on the international Reconciliation coalition which goes around doing Identificational repentance, believing that this breaks strongholds. It is a soulish act to elicit a spiritual effect, its goal is to unite two opposing groups. The Bible tells us the cross has already broken down any partition (Eph.2), instead, apologies are made for something done in the past that did not involve one or more of the parties and this is to affect us today.
NARRATOR: “As a member of the International Reconciliation Coalition board, Daniel believes that its important to let the Japanese people know that God loves them just the way they are.
Kikawa- “We have told you that your culture is not honorable, and not good enough for God. As American Christian I want to ask you for forgiveness for that. And tell you that God has left so much beauty in your culture. Please, I want to do this, to say please forgive me.”
Kikawa is bowing before men and women apologizing, for what? This is something I have never heard anyone say. I have no idea whom he is referring to. even if someone had said this it is not the norm. Who stopped the Japanese from becoming Christian because of their culture (besides he is apologizing to Christians). I’m disagree and think this is wrong to apologize like this. There are many Japanese in the west that have been genuinely born of God’s Spirit. No one is telling anyone to become an American to be a Christian. Of course there are cultural issues to be dealt with in any culture. On the other extreme some believe we can allow everyone to keep anything in their culture; as Kikawa has presented on this video. Much of what he has used has proven religious significance in Buddhism and Shintoism. Yes God loves the Japanese and all people, there is no question about that. This is why He wants to change us, so we are not left mixing a culture and religious practices that would be contrary to true worship of Him.
NARRATOR: The Creator God has never left Japan or the Japanese people and it is in Pastor Hamasaki's prayer that we hear the heart cry of Japanese followers of Jesus.
PASTOR HAMASAKI: (Praying) “In our long history and in our Japanese culture we have manifested Your true nature of caring for us by your love and presence. We thank You. You have shown us that You are indeed our God, our Japanese God, and not a foreign God. You are a part of Japanese history and culture...”
Stating he’s a Japanese God, not a foreign God certainly makes a cultural statement. Then what do they say to another country if he is a Japanese God? This is not bringing unity but promotes division. The same argument used to not make him foreign to one culture makes him foreign to another. What if each culture claimed he is their God? Are we to accept God putting these religious or cultural practices in Japans culture then what of another countries practices that would differ or even contradict them. Someone has not thought through what the implications would be to hold this position in mission work, its illogical within its own framework. It is even more in opposition to the Bibles revelation of which it is supposed to be in agreement with. (the previous articles make this clear)
The video ends as it begins with all these peaceful serene scenes that leave you with a good feeling despite the contorted information presented throughout.
This bears repeating: Kikawa has reinterpreted Christianity and Christianizes other religions just like the Bahai do. The Bahais’ believe, “Although we may have different concepts of God's nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names--Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma--nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being” (The Bahá'í Concept of God http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-2.html).
What Kikawa ignores is the nature and activity of these gods – he calls the creator. In these cultures there is no one God (that is Triune) that is separate from all other gods, or did not create other gods. A God that created all things, controls all things, and previously existed before all things. That is infinite, eternal having all knowledge, knowing the future in advance and is able to give specific detail of it. And most importantly (which is intentionally overlooked) formed the Hebrew people entrusting them with what he wants mankind to know about themselves.
How can these Gods be God when God at this time period revealed himself to Israel and was calling them not gods? In the history of the Church I have never read of anyone recommending to go back to other nations gods; this is new age heresy.
He began his video stating, “Although we can that the Japanese people are very religious there are still no answers.” By the end of the video he has still given no solid answers in his favor.
Approval of other false religious practices, other gods, trying to mold their practices to be Christian is not the solution for evangelism. If this is the new direction for missions then we may conclude that we have a completely new message, not just a new method.