Thursday, March 08, 2007

A New Purpose

I used to write this blog because I wanted to make sure that all the facts about Sukyo Mahikari that had remained buried were exposed, but now that I feel I have done that I want this blog to stand for something more. I want it to focus on healing and on the love of God that is for everyone if they just accept it. When I die and I meet my maker and He asks me what I did to undo the wrong I did while in Sukyo Mahikari I want Him to say “Well done, good and faithful one.” I want Him to know that I pointed to Him enough to make a mark on things…because if I do nothing, if I remain neutral and keep what I know to myself…well, let me tell you a story…

A fire broke out in a five story apartment complex in New York City. The fire department was called and the first to respond to the scene was a fireman named Michael Robertson. Michael had just purchased a new C.D. player as a gift for the Fire Chief and was in the fire engine tinkering with the device as the fire devoured the rooftop of the apartment building. He sat in his car for 10 minutes before taking action to extinguish the flames. On lookers watched in horror as a woman jumped from her fifth story apartment, covered in flames, clutching her baby to her chest as she hit the ground. In the end a family of six were burnt alive. During the trial the fireman seemed unaffected by what had happened and before his sentencing he asked that the judge take into consideration that the gift for the Fire Chief was very expensive and state-of-the-art. What do you think his sentence should be? 10, 20, 30 years? Life in prison? Death? Take a moment to ponder this before you read on.

Now, what did you give him? Well, every time we have opportunities to tell people about God and Christ, but don’t, we’re no better than that fireman. We’re allowing our friends, family, and acquaintances to be burnt alive because we don’t care enough to take action; to take the time to have a heart to heart with them. I do not plan on being that fireman. If I start to preach a little bit, please forgive me, I don’t want to be the one to push you out of reach, but I just love everyone so much that I am going to be a fool for God. I just ask that you receive what I have to say with an open heart. I know some of you have been hurt, I know some of you have your own pre-conceived ideas about God, but when we hear the truth we know it…deep down even though we often try to stifle it. Deep down we all knew that something about Mahikari was not right and we chose to ignore it because it fit into the kind of life we wanted to lead. That’s the thing with a lot of people…they chose the religion that is going to allow them to continue living the same lifestyle they’ve always lived and Sukyo Mahikari is a catch 22 because not only can you live the same life, well besides having to come to dojo to offer okiyome, but you can also erase your sins based on how much time you spend at the center. It’s 100% saved by your efforts and not God’s grace. Rescue yourself.

For those of you who have been commenting on my blog and sending me emails I ask you to not be afraid of this subject matter. If you have an opinion, be it good or bad I say speak it out. I won’t get upset. If you feel like religion is something private that shouldn’t be discussed on a blog then that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it, but let me know. If something I say touches you in some way, let me know. I am still going to center this on SM, but from now on I am going to take the kind of approach that God wants me to take. If that’s too much for you and you no longer want to read, I’m sorry, actually no I’m not, because even if I offend some people I know I’ve made them stop and think and I know the love of God is eventually going to get to them, if not through me then through someone else God puts in their path.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Saved by Works

JEREMIAH 14:13-15
13 But I said, "Ah, Sovereign LORD, the prophets keep telling them, 'You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.' "

14 Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, 'No sword or famine will touch this land.' Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.

This post is directed more towards the former Christians who have joined Sukyo Mahikari. I’ll start out with a basic statistic: Christianity is the most predominant and recognized religion in the world, making up 39% of the entire population globally. It is only logical to assume, at least in America, that a majority of Sukyo Mahikari members were once Christian or have at least heard of Christianity. Based on that it brings the question…where did we go wrong? How could we miss the signs? Did we not read our Bible’s? There were so many warnings about this; warnings from God…from Jesus…the Disciples…how did we miss it?

MATTHEW 24:23-28

23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24For false Christ’s and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.

26"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

And there are many more. God warned us about people like Yoshikazu Okada. He told us that people would come and perform miracles, claiming that they were the savior, but we were not to believe them because our savior had already come. God told us that the enemy would attempt to turn us away from Jesus by sending these people; people who would seem so sincere…who could do miraculous things (like healing for example) to try and bait us away from Jesus. Kumite…we took the bait.

Satan has power over those who do not believe. People who have accepted Christ have authority over the devil, but those who haven’t or who struggle with doubt are fair game. Satan loves those kinds of people because they are impressionable; he can twist his lies anyway he wants and they are going to retain all of it, if not most of it.

It’s funny, I used to blame the Sukyo Mahikari higher ups for entrapping Kumite in their lies, I used to harbor so much hatred for Yoshikazu and Keishu because some of the most kind, sincere, altruistic people I know are stuck in Sukyo Mahikari, but now that I am more savvy as to how the devil works I can put blame where blame is due. I am by no means saying that the devil is a match for God…as my Pastor says there’s a great big God and a little bitty devil, but for those who have not put on the armor of Jesus Christ…they do not have the protection the rest of us have.

Some might ask, “How do you know that Sukyo Mahikari isn’t the way?” My rationalization is simple really…I am going to believe a religion that has been around since 30 A.D. as opposed to one that’s been around for 46 ½ years. I am going to believe in a savior, whose death was so important to our world that our dating system is based on the time of his death…B.C.-Before Christ and A.D.-After His death or Anno Domini, which is Latin for ‘In the year of our Lord’ depending on who you ask. I am going to believe in a savior who loved me so much that he died for my iniquities.
However, some members of Sukyo Mahikari do not believe that Jesus died on the cross. Instead they believe that he was buried in Japan when he passed away at the ripe old age of 106. They teach their followers that his brother died on the cross in his place so that Jesus could live on and continue to teach, get married, and have children. The enemy was smart here…he knew that in order for Christians to believe that Yoshikazu Okada was the savior and convert them to Sukyo Mahikari, he’d have to replace Jesus as the savior in the eyes and hearts of believers.

Sukyo Mahikari acknowledges Jesus as a prophet…well, if Jesus was a prophet…the way Sukyo Mahikari and so many other religions claim…it is common knowledge that a prophet cannot lie. Jesus said he was God in human form…not that he was a PART of God…not that he was LIKE God…but that he WAS God. Now…let’s examine the possibilities; either A, B, or C is true. A: Jesus was a liar and you should never follow a liar, B: He was a lunatic and you shouldn’t follow a crazy person, or C: He was who he said he was…which means he was the son of God, born of a virgin, never sinned, and died on the cross for our wickedness. Period. The end. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father except through me.” Not “no one gets to the father unless they take Kenshu, get an omitama, offer okiyome to erase their impurities, and worship Yoshikazu Okada.”

Kumite, former Christians, what were we thinking? It was so clear and yet we wondered off the path. But don’t lose hope, there’s some good new!
Okay picture this…you’re in jail because of the bad things you’ve done in your life. The judge tells you that you will be set free if you pay your fine. However, your fine is 7 billion dollar! There is no way you can pay it! You’re just about to despair when Jesus walks into the courtroom and pays your fine in full. You’re free to go, but what will you do with your new-found freedom? Commit the same sins and run up your fine again? Or honor the man who gave you your freedom? It’s your choice. Jesus is the bridge between us and is because he died on the cross that we can reach God and that our sins are forgiven if we repent.

Romans 10:9-10 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

I don’t want to get up in your face, or put the pressure on, or make you run away…I just want to show you the love that Jesus has shown me. The most important thing about me is that God loves me - not that I loved Him, but that He loved me and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for my sins. I did NOTHING to deserve this, in fact, I deserve eternal condemnation, but by His great mercy He saved me. It's not about ME being right, it's about glorifying Him

Luke 15:1-7 1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." 3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

God wants us all; regardless of what we’ve done. How crazy is that; God, Lord of the universe seeks us! He wants fellowship with us! No matter how many times we’ve screwed up he still waits for us.

LUKE 15:20-24

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. 22"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

Forgiveness is always waiting. His arms are always open. God isn’t an angry father, waiting for us to return home so He can smite us…no, He is the father who is waiting for us, longing for us, who wants to pour His love and grace upon us when we’re ready to commit to Him. He has the best robes for our bodies, a ring for our finger, and sandals for our feet, he wants to throw us a feast…no matter what we’ve done. How awesome and praise worthy is that?

I leave you with this last verse…

Ephesians 2:8-9 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

We are not saved by our works. Stop sitting on your knees at dojo offering okiyome! You are saved by God’s grace; not by the amount of sins you erase while you’re at dojo. Sukyo Mahikari would have you believe you can save yourself, but it isn’t true! You can’t save yourself! Not by a pendant or any other means…it is all God’s grace.