PDF file: 20210301_Prayer for Abundance Service_Order_Masaaki-sama
As followers of Meishu-sama, there is one grave question that we must ask ourselves. That is, is Meishu-sama still alive or not? Is he alive or, to put it more blatantly, is he dead? Which one is it?
When you hear this, you may be thinking that this is hardly an important question at all, that of course Meishu-sama is still alive and working. Well, could it be that simple?
You want Meishu-sama to be alive, or rather, you want Meishu-sama to be alive only if he acts and thinks as you wish, wouldn’t you say so? You want the image of Meishu-sama you created to be alive.
But if Meishu-sama were actually alive right now, you may be told by him that what you are doing now is not according to his wish. Are you ready for that Meishu-sama to be alive?
And what kind of person is that Meishu-sama? This is the Meishu-sama that removed the names Kannon and Miroku from his Church and suddenly made it World Church of Messiah; or the Meishu-sama who said “Johrei is not so important anymore” in his final years of life. Still more, this is the Meishu-sama who went through with these transformations in only a few years’ time.
Decades have passed since this Meishu-sama ascended. So what does Meishu-sama really want now? Can anybody say what he really wants now? Can you?
You may want to say: “I am living according to the will of Meishu-sama.” Or “I am doing this and that because this is what Meishu-sama wants.” Well, if Meishu-sama were really alive, he may say to you directly, “That is not what I want.” He may clearly reject what you are doing now.
As some of you know, there is an unusual amount of splinter groups in the faith of Meishu-sama. Many religious groups look up to Meishu-sama as their founder. But the will of Meishu-sama is one. So if he were alive right now and let’s just say there are ten groups, he may say, “Nine out of those ten groups are not following my will.” Or he may clearly point out, “That group is the one that follows my will.” Or what if he says all ten are no good, “None of these follow my will.” What would you do? There’s nothing you can do, can you?
You may want to say to Meishu-sama, “What we are doing is based on your teachings, Meishu-sama! What we do is accepted and praised by society, Meishu-sama! We are working together with people around us, Meishu-sama! We are highly recognized by many, Meishu-sama!” But no matter what you say to Meishu-sama, if he says to you, “That is not what I want,” that’s the end of story, everyone.
So when I think of all this, even though you may have been wanting for Meishu-sama to be alive and be active, I have to say I doubt it. Do you really want Meishu-sama to be alive? Well, it is not as easy as you think.
So actually, the question we must ask ourselves is not whether Meishu-sama is still alive or not but whether we really want Meishu-sama to be alive or not. This is the question each one of us must be asking ourselves.
The Meishu-sama who acts and thinks as you wish—I think you want this Meishu-sama to be alive. The Meishu-sama who approves and cheers what you do—you want this Meishu-sama to be alive. But do you want a Meishu-sama who holds absolute and unchallengeable authority to be alive? Do you?
What would you do if he said to us, “The way you carry your faith does not suit my wishes at all”? That’s the end of story, isn’t it? If Meishu-sama were really alive, there is a possibility that he may say this to us.
We easily say, “Yes. Meishu-sama is alive. Yes, I want him to be alive.” But can you say those things with courage and really mean it? I think each one of us needs to seriously think about this.
Now, I want to talk about Sekai Kyusei Kyo. It is determined that in Sekai Kyusei Kyo, Meishu-sama is alive and working.
What does this mean exactly? Within Sekai Kyusei Kyo, there is something called the Church Rules where that is established.
More specifically, as all of you know, the rules that we must follow and obey as members of Sekai Kyusei Kyo are clearly stipulated in the bylaws and Church Rules. The natures of these two are a bit different. The bylaws are for the authorities, but the Church Rules lay out the rules of our faith, what kind of path of faith the members of Sekai Kyusei Kyo should take.
Now, the Church Rules clearly indicate what the Kyoshu of Sekai Kyusei Kyo is and what his or her roles are in the Church. In one of the rules, it is stipulated that “Kyoshu inherits and carries out the sacred work of the founder,” that is, Kyoshu-sama is the one who succeeds Meishu-sama and inherits and carries out his sacred work. This is a rule of our Church.
“To inherit and carry out the sacred work of the founder”—there’s really no other way to interpret this. When Meishu-sama made his ascension in 1955, do you think his divine work in this material world was over at that point? No, it wasn’t. Someone inherits and carries out Meishu-sama’s work, and that person is Kyoshu-sama. That is what is stipulated.
That is to say, “After his ascension, Meishu-sama will be alive in and work through the spiritual leader, Kyoshu, of Sekai Kyusei Kyo.” This, in a nutshell, is a rule of our Church clearly established in the Church Rules. If someone is not happy with this rule, they do not have to be members of Sekai Kyusei Kyo.
So after Meishu-sama’s ascension, Nidai-sama (Second Spiritual Leader), his wife, first succeeded Meishu-sama. After Nidai-sama was Sandai-sama (Third Spiritual Leader), Meishu-sama’s daughter. And after Sandai-sama is Yondai Kyoshu-sama, the current and Fourth Spiritual Leader, Meishu-sama’s grandson, Yoichi Okada. And as you know, now we are having a bit of a fight over this.
After the Church Rule of “Kyoshu inherits and carries out the sacred work of the founder,” the gravest language comes next. That is, “Based on the teachings of the Church, Kyoshu unifies Sekai Kyusei Kyo.” So Sekai Kyusei Kyo’s Kyoshu inherits and carries out the sacred work of the founder, and based on the teachings of the Church, unifies Sekai Kyusei Kyo.
So what exactly are the teachings of the Church? The issue lies here. There are various possibilities for interpretation of Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word and his life examples. And that is why there are so many splinter groups, is it not?
After Meishu-sama’s ascension, who now has the authority to decide what the teachings are in Sekai Kyusei Kyo? This also is stipulated plainly in the Church Rules. It is written that “Kyoshu defines the teachings of the Church”; “Kyoshu defines the foundation and general outline of the teachings of the Church.” This is the rule.
As many of you well know, similar to what I just mentioned on the content of our Church Rules, Nidai-sama spoke on the authority of Kyoshu regarding the teachings, right?
She said, “Now that he has ascended, Meishu-sama will relay his will to the successive Kyoshus. The sole person who has the authority to interpret the teachings, or the Sacred Word, of Meishu-sama and decide how to lead the members of the Church is Kyoshu. When you read the teachings of Meishu-sama, you must engrave in your hearts that you are doing it under the authority of Kyoshu, under the interpretation of Kyoshu.”
Actually, this is perfectly natural, isn’t it? There is such an enormous amount of Sacred Word with many diverging interpretations—the reason why there are many splinter groups.
And when it comes to deciding the direction of the teachings of the Church, if no one is chosen as the one who has the authority to interpret them, religious activities simply cannot move forward. Arguments about who is more correct—this person says that, another says this—will never end. Take the military for example. If the chain of command is not made clear, things would become very complicated. If you had two superiors, whose instructions do you listen to if not made clear to you?
So these are the rules of Sekai Kyusei Kyo: First, Kyoshu-sama defines what the teachings of Meishu-sama should mean. And, through those teachings that Kyoshu-sama defines, he or she unifies Sekai Kyusei Kyo. This is Sekai Kyusei Kyo.
Nidai-sama succeeded Meishu-sama after his ascension. She had some ties with Omoto, and not only did she firmly put forward the existence of Meishu-sama, she also emphasized the existence of God. Of course, it is very difficult to sum up what Nidai-sama taught in a few words, but in any case, she taught about the importance of the existence of God.
While also inheriting the direction of Nidai-sama, Sandai-sama placed much emphasis on the side of Art. Of course, Meishu-sama and Nidai-sama both touched upon Art, but since it is established that the Kyoshu-sama of the time determines the direction of Sekai Kyusei Kyo, Art was the direction that Sandai-sama took.
And now, our Fourth Spiritual Leader, Yondai Kyoshu-sama, is conveying what he believes to be important for the members: what Meishu-sama said in his final years, “being born anew as the Messiah”; how the name of his Church was changed to Sekai Kyusei Kyo (World Church of Salvation), but Meishu-sama originally named it Sekai Meshia Kyo (World Church of Messiah); the meaning of his words “Johrei is not so important anymore”; and how his words “the sum total of our numerous ancestors” meant that within each one of us, there are many ancestors. These are what Kyoshu-sama believes to be important, and he is imparting these matters to us.
We may feel that this is different from the direction we were walking in until now, but it was Meishu-sama who said all these things, right? “To act in concert with Christianity”; “World Church of Messiah”; “From now on, we enter the world of sonen”—it was Meishu-sama who said all these. It was from no one else.
Isn’t that why Kyoshu-sama felt these matters were very important for followers of Meishu-sama and are imparting them to us?
But there were people who were not happy with this. The illegitimate Board of Executive Directors of Sekai Kyusei Kyo said that Kyoshu-sama was violating the teachings, and they have been one-sidedly asserting that Kyoshu-sama was expelled.
But as it says in the Church Rules of Sekai Kyusei Kyo, the one who “defines the teachings of the Church” is Kyoshu-sama, so they have no authority to do the same. After all, for Sekai Kyusei Kyo, Kyoshu-sama is the one who inherits and carries out the sacred work of Meishu-sama.
So wouldn’t you say that the illegitimate Board of Executive Directors of Sekai Kyusei Kyo have the perception that it is not Kyoshu-sama who inherits and carries out Meishu-sama’s sacred work, but rather, it is themselves? For them to say Kyoshu-sama is in violation of the teachings means that they think, “We know what Meishu-sama’s teachings are. We know Meishu-sama’s will.” In other words, they think, “Meishu-sama is alive and working in us.” Otherwise, they could not do what they did.
And in Sekai Kyusei Kyo, there has to be a Kyoshu. So what they did was establish their own “Kyoshu-sama,” their own “Fifth Spiritual Leader, Godai Kyoshu,” of Sekai Kyusei Kyo. This person is Mr. Nobuyuki Watase—a scholar of Hinduism, Emeritus Professor of Research in Indian Philosophy at Tokai University and trustee of an organization related to MOA/Toho no Hikari. The “executives” claim that Mr. Nobuyuki Watase is the current Kyoshu-sama of Sekai Kyusei Kyo.
While I say “Nobuyuki Watase,” they refer to him as “Nobuyuki Okada.” Well, as a member of the Okada family, I don’t want him in our family—just joking. Or am I? For them, I don’t think they are concerned about Mr. Nobuyuki Watase inheriting and carrying out the sacred work of the founder nor unifying Sekai Kyusei Kyo based on the teachings of the Church as Kyoshu. You can call him a puppet or perhaps a position only for show—at any rate, they established a Kyoshu just because the rules say so. Those who “enthroned” Mr. Nobuyuki Watase believe that it is precisely within themselves that Meishu-sama lives and works.
At the end of the day, as I had mentioned at the Beginning of Spring Service, they secretly followed and filmed Kyoshu-sama. This is a fact. MOA/Toho no Hikari group—in reality, the illegitimate Board of Executive Directors of Sekai Kyusei Kyo—secretly followed and filmed Kyoshu-sama, and many people approve of this act. This is a fact.
What I am getting at is that if Meishu-sama did live and work through the MOA group and those of the illegitimate Board of Executive Directors of Sekai Kyusei Kyo, it would mean that Meishu-sama instructed them to secretly follow and film Kyoshu-sama, right? If they were the ones who inherited and carried out Meishu-sama’s sacred work, it would mean that it was Meishu-sama’s will to secretly follow and film Kyoshu-sama, right?
Well, if Meishu-sama, an existence that is most important for us, were someone who would order or approve of the cowardly act of secretly following and filming someone, I say we should abandon our faith altogether at once. We’ll get nowhere professing our faith under that kind of founder.
Think: why do we believe in God in the first place? Isn’t it because we want to turn into a godly and undefiled existence and get as close as possible to God? Isn’t that why? So then, if the very founder we look up to were someone who would approve of the cowardly act of secretly following and filming someone, what’s the point of being a follower of that kind of founder?
Let’s look at Kyoshu-sama. The fact that he met with a Christian friend and was studying the Bible became an issue. This wasn’t something that he did during official time. During a very busy schedule with divine work, he could just enjoy himself during the weekends, relax or, say, play golf. Instead, he uses his time for the purpose of faith, even on the weekends.
Since Meishu-sama left for us, for instance, the word “Messiah,” “Hallelujah” chorus, “working in concert with Christianity” and even the importance of the Bible, Kyoshu-sama wanted to do all he could for Meishu-sama’s will. So he has spent all day, every day, regardless of whether it is a day off, for faith, even taking some time to learn about Christianity and the Bible.
Through whom does Meishu-sama work? Is it through those who committed and approve of the cowardly act of secretly following and filming someone? Or is it through Kyoshu-sama who, even on his days off, even during his personal time, strives to learn about Christianity and the Bible in order to seek the true will of Meishu-sama? Which one is it?
The answer, I believe, is too obvious.
And why is Kyoshu-sama doing all this? Isn’t it for Meishu-sama’s will? Isn’t it also for us, to guide us members to Meishu-sama’s true will, somehow, some way?
Don’t you think that Meishu-sama is ordering Kyoshu-sama, saying, “Study these matters. Know my true wishes and come closer to me even if just a little”?
Now, hearing all of this, do we have the right to sit in judgment over the cowardly act of secretly following and filming someone? No, we don’t.
Can we arrogantly say and judge that those people are bad, that they’re terrible? No, we can’t.
Didn’t Meishu-sama say, “Judge not,” and that before you judge, judge yourself first, right? Jesus also says in the Bible, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1–2)
To secretly follow and film someone is a very cowardly and base act. So why can’t we simply judge this as “evil”? We must think first about why they acted the way they did.
Of course, there may be many reasons why, but if we get to the bottom of it, rather than the direction that Kyoshu-sama was indicating, they wanted to prioritize their own wishes, a direction that suited their convenience. Isn’t that it? If that is indeed the case, wouldn’t you say that we ourselves have or have had the same attitude toward God?
We know that there is God’s will. But instead of seeking that, don’t we seek the joy of this world? Don’t we seek what is convenient for us? Don’t we prioritize family and personal matters? Aren’t we—myself included—living in a way that suits our own convenience?
And as we live our lives in this way, don’t we try to justify our own thoughts and behavior to God? I certainly believe we do.
So from God’s point of view, I think this attitude of ours would surely be regarded as cowardly and base. God is thinking and saying to us, “When all of you should be listening to what I am saying, you are living your lives prioritizing your own convenience, aren’t you? And you try to justify your way of living by saying, ‘Because God said so’ or ‘Because Meishu-sama said so,’ aren’t you?”
After all, no one wants to secretly follow and film anyone, right? If we had been able to realize our unforgivable posture toward God well before, they wouldn’t have had to commit that cowardly act, wouldn’t you say so? God needed to use them in that way because we were so ignorant of our posture toward God—that’s why.
God is telling us, “Look at what they did. Look at how cowardly and low they are. Aren’t you actually like them? Isn’t that who you truly are?” God wanted to convey this to us by using them, through making them commit that cowardly act.
In this sense, it is only through realizing our unforgivable posture toward God that we are able to really make those who committed that cowardly act fulfill the role they were assigned by God. It is up to us.
If we keep judging them, if we continue saying they’re bad, the role assigned to them by God will never be fulfilled.
So there is nothing to judge. Rather, I believe we must impress deep into our hearts that their posture is our posture.
That all being said, in whom is Meishu-sama alive and working? For us, it is in Kyoshu-sama, right?
But what does this Kyoshu-sama say? He says that Meishu-sama is not only alive and working within a special person, but actually, he is alive and working within each and every one of you.
He is saying that Meishu-sama is not only alive and working in a person with the special position of Kyoshu.
Meishu-sama is alive and working within Kyoshu-sama. It is this Kyoshu-sama who says, “Meishu-sama is alive and working within each one of you.”
We may think this is something ordinary, and we may easily take it for granted, but the fact that Meishu-sama is alive and working within us is a grave matter. Meishu-sama who was born anew as the Messiah is alive and working within us. This, truly, is a grave matter.
If that is true, then how can we be most useful to Meishu-sama? What is the best way to serve him? That is to become one with Meishu-sama. That is the most useful way.
In order to advance Meishu-sama’s true will, there would be a limit if it were only Meishu-sama making efforts by himself. But what if there were many people who became one with Meishu-sama and his true will, and advanced his divine work—can you imagine how encouraging this would be for Meishu-sama? So we need to be one with Meishu-sama who exists within us, right? That means we have to be born anew as the Messiah, just like Meishu-sama. So, yes, even though it is easy to say that “Meishu-sama exists within me,” this actually is a grave matter, really.
Regardless of what religion—be it Christianity, be it Buddhism—the original purpose of faith is to become as close as possible to the founder one reveres, isn’t it? Why have we been practicing Johrei, Nature Farming or Art-related activities for such a long time until today? Isn’t it because we wanted to get as close as possible to Meishu-sama?
What Kyoshu-sama has been teaching us is this one point: do you want to be closer to Meishu-sama or not? In the end, that would mean do you want to follow Meishu-sama’s example and be born anew as the Messiah or not?
So this cannot violate the teachings. What Kyoshu-sama is teaching us is for us to be one with Meishu-sama. How can this be against the teachings of Meishu-sama? Well, it can’t. That is why those people needed to secretly follow and film him—to find something to attack Kyoshu-sama.
If Kyoshu-sama really were in violation of the teachings, that would have to be discussed in terms of the teachings.
“To be born anew as the Messiah”—Meishu-sama did not teach us that? Yes, he did.
Kyoshu-sama is teaching us about the importance of sonen, the importance of surrendering our thoughts to God, right? Meishu-sama did not teach us that? Yes, he did. Meishu-sama said, “Johrei is not so important anymore. From now on, we enter the world of sonen.”
Kyoshu-sama is teaching us that there is no reincarnation. Meishu-sama did not teach us that? Yes, he did. Meishu-sama said, “This is different from reincarnation. Rather, I was born anew.” And aren’t we trying to be one with Meishu-sama and be born anew? If so, how can we say that reincarnation exists when Meishu-sama clearly denied it?
In this way, what Kyoshu-sama teaches can all be found in the teachings of Meishu-sama. That is why it is impossible for anyone to attack Kyoshu-sama through the claim that he is against the teachings of Meishu-sama. That is why they needed to secretly follow and film Kyoshu-sama in order to find something, some information to attack him, and justify the ousting of Kyoshu-sama.
By their cowardly act of secretly following and filming Kyoshu-sama, that is, by their own hands, they proved that Kyoshu-sama was not against the teachings of Meishu-sama. For if Kyoshu-sama was against the teachings, they should have discussed it in terms of the teachings. But because they were not able to do so, they could only expel Kyoshu-sama, or so they claim, by forging a negative image against him.
Kyoshu-sama says, “We, too, must be born anew as Messiahs” and “Within us, there is the existence of Messiah.” But the fact of the matter is, these sayings can also stand on their own.
So depending on the person, some decide not to mention Kyoshu-sama’s name. They can easily say, “There is the existence of Messiah within us” or “Our aim is to be born anew as Messiahs.” Or because in Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word he says, “From now on, we enter the world of sonen,” that means we can surrender through our sonen. Or because Meishu-sama says that “It was different from reincarnation,” there is no reincarnation. It is quite possible for them to say these to people without mentioning Kyoshu-sama, as if it were their own realization, as if they already knew. And that is because these exist on their own in the Sacred Word.
However, as long as there is Kyoshu-sama on this earth, we have to attribute everything to that existence, to Kyoshu-sama. We need to say things like, “This is something I learned from Kyoshu-sama” or “This is what Kyoshu-sama is teaching.” We need to utter and use the word “Kyoshu-sama” clearly in order to attribute everything back to him. Why do we need to do this? Because, in this world, there is order. Order is important, is it not? That is why.
Followers of Meishu-sama need to obey the order of this material world. What is that order? First, there is Kyoshu-sama who receives the will of Meishu-sama, and then there are us, who come after Kyoshu-sama.
You must know that there is also the order of the heavenly world. What is that order? To put it simply, it is the order in which God reigns over everything. It is God who possesses all knowledge, power, authority and breath. He possesses everything. What can we do? Nothing, but to prostrate ourselves before Him. God is the source of everything. We have no other choice but to prostrate ourselves before Him.
You may want to say that “I am doing this and that,” that “I am doing my best on earth,” but you know what? If God takes away your breath, that’s going to be the end of story, isn’t that right? You may want to say, “I know this and that,” but if God takes away all the knowledge and wisdom you have, that will be it, won’t it? We lose everything.
That is why I am saying that we have no other choice but to prostrate ourselves before God. Even when we come to know something, we must say, “God, it was from You that I received this knowledge.” When gratitude wells up within our hearts, “God, this gratitude I feel was from You.” When we do something of great power, we should say, “God, this power is from You.” We must attribute everything to God in this way. Isn’t that right? So I believe it is necessary to go through training, discipline, in this material world.
That is to say, everything follows the law of the spiritual preceding the physical. Therefore, the material world follows the order of the heavenly world. Of course, I am not saying that Kyoshu-sama is God. That’s not it. I’m saying that in this material world, there is a strict order. And because we are taught by Kyoshu-sama on various matters in this material world, it is important to attribute all those matters to Kyoshu-sama. We can say, “It was Kyoshu-sama who taught me about this.” For after we pass on, when we go to the heavenly world, we must be able to properly serve God. Of course, we are serving God now too. But we must be able to serve God in the truest sense. That is why we are being made to practice, so to speak, in this world of form. We are being trained and disciplined to attribute everything to the central existence.
If we ignore this order, if we act as if we ourselves realized all the various matters that Kyoshu-sama taught us or try to take the credit, and if we don’t attribute these things back to Kyoshu-sama, when we go to heaven, I think God will say to us, “You must start over from scratch.”
Kyoshu-sama is here in this material world, so I believe it means we are being trained and disciplined by God.
Surely, I realize that regarding the various matters that Kyoshu-sama talks about, there are things we understand and things that we don’t.
For example, at the Beginning of Spring Service not too long ago, regarding the new Church symbol, Kyoshu-sama said that this symbol lives within us, and it is engraved within us. Do you know what that means? It can’t be understood easily—after all, it cannot be seen. We may be asking ourselves, “Where is it engraved?” or “What does it mean for the symbol to be alive within us?”
Now what if, for example, Meishu-sama were directly facing us and were to say, “The symbol that I created is engraved within you. It is alive.” What else can we say but “Yes. Thank you. I will receive this.”
So when it comes to Kyoshu-sama saying this rather than Meishu-sama, you may feel as if there’s a cushion. You may doubt, wondering whether what he said is following Meishu-sama’s Sacred Word, or coming up with many excuses, you may say you cannot accept as such. If you do so, it would be the same as what happened in this time’s Church purification. Rather than Kyoshu-sama’s guidelines, if you make your own guidelines superior and base various judgments on that, you will end up being the same as those who claim to have expelled Kyoshu-sama.
Don’t get me wrong. Of course, it is fine to think various things. But more than anything, what is important is our attitude toward what Kyoshu-sama says, and that is “I will receive it” and “Thank you.”
That is to say, if we are able to unconditionally accept what Meishu-sama says to us directly, and if we believe that Kyoshu-sama works on this earth as a representative of Meishu-sama right now and that Meishu-sama is alive and working within Kyoshu-sama, then, when Kyoshu-sama says that the new Church symbol is alive and engraved within us, there is nothing else for us to say but “Yes, I will receive this.” Isn’t that right?
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Got it. Our duty as followers of Meishu-sama is to become one with Meishu-sama. It is to be born anew as Messiahs following him as our example.” We may think that if we walk this path, we will be able to fulfill our role. But it is not that simple. That is to say, there is one more grave issue left.
That is the existence of Jesus Christ. If we ignore this, we cannot go forward. If you look at the whole world, many people, not only Christians, recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah. So if we are to walk the path of becoming one with Meishu-sama, the path of being born anew as the Messiah, eventually we will run into the issue of Jesus’s existence. What do we do with it?
You may think, “We have no connection with the salvation of humanity; We’re fine living in our own world; Isn’t it enough to become one with Meishu-sama and be born anew as Messiahs?”—of course, if you wish to live in your own world, feel free to ignore Jesus. But when the time comes for us to really spread the salvation of Meishu-sama to the world, to the Christians, if we believe that Meishu-sama is the only Messiah, I tell you that we will get nowhere, for Jesus is the only Messiah to Christians.
But this is not what we believe, right?
What we believe is this:
Even though Jesus opened up the path for all humanity to be born anew as Messiahs, no one succeeded his work for nearly two thousand years. The story of Jesus is the story of the Middle East, isn’t it? But after almost two thousand years since Jesus appeared, transcending all time and space, Meishu-sama in Japan received the truth of Jesus, that is, the truth of God, and was born anew as the Messiah. It is this Meishu-sama who is the model to be followed by all humanity. Of course, we do not deny that Jesus is the Messiah. We, followers of Meishu-sama, aim to be born anew as Messiahs, but this path of being born anew is also open to all humanity. So we want to move forward on this path while working in concert with Christianity. This, however, does not simply mean that we have to get along and be good friends with Christians or study the Bible a little more. Rather, what we must do is impart the truth we have been entrusted with by Meishu-sama to all Christians, to all humanity.
This is what we believe, isn’t it?
In our working in concert with Christianity, I heard about someone asking whether as a follower of Meishu-sama, they should go to a Christian church and receive a baptism or not.
I understand the enthusiasm this person had. But if we go to a Christian church and receive a baptism, that would mean that we acknowledge that we are below Christianity, that we submit ourselves to Christianity.
That is not what we should be doing! What we should be doing, rather, is telling Christians, “It is at World Church of Messiah that you can receive the baptism that Jesus truly wishes for.” This is what we should be doing. This is our mission.
After all, Jesus’s true wish is for all of humanity to be born anew as Messiahs—this is the path he wishes for, isn’t it? What we should be asking Christians is “Would you like to receive World Church of Messiah’s baptism that leads to this path?”
We are talking about receiving baptisms at Christian churches—so then who is higher, World Church of Messiah or Christianity? We are higher, right? “We are higher” sounds overly direct, but as far as the sense of responsibility goes, the sense of pride, I think we may be able to say something like that.
So learning about the Bible or going to Christian churches and hearing various talks is fine, but we cannot end with simply coming into contact with these and saying, “This is wonderful.”
At Meishu-sama’s Birthday Service and New Year Service, I spoke about various matters related to the Lord’s Prayer. What Kyoshu-sama teaches is not taught in Christianity. Christianity does not say, “Our ancestors are within us. That is why various thoughts and feelings arise within us. Let’s offer those thoughts and feelings to God.” After all, they do not recognize the existence of the ancestors to that extent. They also do not say that everyone must be born anew as a Messiah since in Christianity, Jesus is the only Messiah.
So if you are going to study the Bible or Christianity, do it in order to let Christians know about Meishu-sama and Jesus’s true wish that Meishu-sama is teaching to us now through Kyoshu-sama. Do it in order to get some clues as to how to save Christians. I think that would be a good purpose.
You must be careful as there is a saying, “Intending to persuade someone and instead being persuaded oneself.” We do not need to receive a baptism at a Christian church and say, “Christianity is wonderful.”
In the area of Japanese religion, World Church of Messiah is truly the greatest. Apart from Jesus himself, even in the world, our Church is great and far superior to the Christianity of today.
As we heard in the hymn today, no matter how minor or insignificant our role is in this work of salvation that Meishu-sama is showing to us, it truly is a privilege to be a part of it. If you could understand the greatness of the mission we have as ones who have been made to know how to save humanity in the truest sense, if you can understand the grandeur of this divine work, then you would not be able to help but want to be a part of it, even if only a minor role.
Also in today’s Sacred Word, Meishu-sama sternly says, “There are plenty of your replacements.” It may be unnerving to hear, but the point is that this is not mandatory. I believe it means that the people who sincerely wish to participate in this divine work, even if only in a minor role, are the only ones who should go forward on this path. So Meishu-sama is asking us, “Do you truly wish to walk this path?” Meishu-sama is not simply saying, “There are plenty of your replacements so yes, you should quit.” I think we see here Meishu-sama’s stern love, don’t you think?
Right now, through Kyoshu-sama, we are being made to know this wonderful path. So rather than doing something like go to a Christian church and receive a baptism, we should go forward on this path with resounding pride and self-respect.
After all, if you do receive a baptism at a Christian church, exactly what was the meaning of the moment you became a follower of Meishu-sama? Does God have two wills? The moment that you became a follower of Meishu-sama is the moment that you received God’s will. Indeed, at the time we became members, we may not have been aware of the true meaning of Meishu-sama’s existence. But now, we have been made to know it.
Naturally, to become a follower of Meishu-sama could mean various things. But to a Christian, you can say, “By becoming a follower of Meishu-sama, I have already received the baptism that Jesus truly wishes for.” Because what does Jesus truly wish for? Isn’t it for all humanity to be born anew as children of God? And hasn’t Meishu-sama achieved this wish of Jesus? And aren’t we the ones who are united to this Meishu-sama?
There is only one baptism. If there were two baptisms, it would mean that there are two wills of God, but that’s not the case, right? The will of God is one.
So truly, we have been guided to an unprecedented path, haven’t we? In a good way! In a good way, we have been guided into this unprecedented, monumental path. And now through Kyoshu-sama, Meishu-sama is boldly guiding us. Let us believe this with conviction and go forward with great pride!
Thank you very much.