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by Mike Oppenheimer
It becomes evident that this is not what the apostles delivered to the church, this is something FOREIGN, altered. This is not upholding the faith but destroying the faith that was delivered to the saints. Kikawa wants to go back, back into the ancient past where the creator of a culture is generally mentioned or where some individual may have known something about the creator. He ignores the completed revelation that is in our hands that is to be distributed- as is. He cites Job and Mechizedik as examples of those who held a knowledge of God but these were not nations but rare individuals in these PAGAN nations (Canaan, which God destroyed). There were no nations that worshipped God "“ the creator correctly, except one- Israel. And this is only because God specifically revealed himself to them; yet they at times fell into idolatry with this revelation. If there were any redeeming qualities of these nations God would not have had to remove Abraham from among the pagans (Chaldeans) to train him and make a nation, a theocracy under Him. Contrary to what Kikawa is teaching, God did not purify any nation. If we look at Egypt as an example, He took his people out and judged those who opposed them. And He continues to call us out from the worlds beliefs.
Jer. 23:27 "as their fathers forgot My name for Baal." Subtly Kikawa does the same, telling people to evangelize by befriending the people of the nations through using their own cultures god[s]s names instead of introducing the God of Israel to them.
The same problems are repeated from the Old Testament II Kings 17:33-35 "They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods-- according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away. To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the LORD had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel, with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying: "You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them."
The Lord then talks about idolatry stating, "you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me" God considered those who had continued to adhere to these God’s in any way as equal to hating Him. How can they be acknowledging him? (Deut 5:9)
This view presented by Kikawa and adopted by YWAM (who are teaching the youth this) has all the functions of pluralism, syncretism, though it has its own modifications. The idea that we can accept nearly anyone’s God as the same God of the Scripture if he is seen as a benevolent creator; that we worship the same God, only by different names. To be a Christian and say, "all of us are worshipping the same God," with different names is absurd. In fact, this is found in the religion of the Bahai, not Christianity. The Bahai’s who are also monotheistic claim that all religions are from the same God, that God sent his prophets in various different religions.
1.1.1. "Many names in many religions are used to describe the same God.1 2.2.1. Be aware that all major religions promote the belief in one God and one mankind, and that God is the source of Truth and Guidance.Ã‚Â 1.1.4. In other words, God creates all religions. 1.1.5. The source of all religions is one. Truth is One. God is One." (bahai site)
"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 BahÃƒÂ¡'ÃƒÂ Concept of God http://info.bahai.org/article-1-4-0-2.html)
Daniel kikawa is using the exact same theory the Bahai’s do, to unite people that are already in different religions, except he is doing it with a Christian shell.
This inclusive theology promotes an interfaith message that has nothing to do with the gospel. This message is culturally correct but Biblically INCORRECT. It should be obvious to anyone who is familiar with Bible history, world history and the word itself. This is mans wisdom and it should be rejected because it is it not a biblical worldview.
The World Council of Churches and other interfaith organizations main objective is to promote syncretism. Interspiritualism , universalim, pluralism and other terms all describe the formation of this new world religious system being formed. Religious syncretism is probably the most dangerous practice that can quickly leaven a church, deceptive as it is, it has come through evangelism.
In Elwell’s Evangelical Dictionary we find these definitions and cautions: "Syncretism is the process by which elements of one religion are assimilated into another religion resulting in a change in the fundamental tenets or nature of those religions. It is the union of two or more opposite beliefs, so that the synthesized form is a new thing. It is not always a total fusion, but may be a combination of separate segments that remain identifiable compartments. Originally a political term, "syncretism" was used to describe the joining together of rival Greek forces on the Isle of Crete in opposition to a common enemy.
"Syncretism of the Christian gospel occurs when critical or basic elements of the gospel are replaced by religious elements from the host culture. It often results from a tendency or attempt to undermine the uniqueness of the gospel as found in the Scriptures or the incarnate Son of God. The communication of the gospel involves the transmission of a message with supra - cultural elements between a variety of cultures. This includes the disembodiment of the message from one cultural context and the reembodiment of it in a different cultural context.In the striving by missionaries for an indigenous national church with a contextualized gospel, the danger of syncretism is ever present in attempts at accommodation, adjustment, and adaptation. Tippett reminds us that while striving for relevance we must remember that in communication only message is transmitted, not meaning. Beyerhaus points out three steps in biblical adaptation:1. Discriminating selection of words, symbols, and rites, e.g., "Logos."2. Rejection of that which is clearly incompatible with biblical truth.3. Reinterpretation by a complete refilling of the selected rite or symbol with a truly Christian meaning.
The supracultural teachings of Scripture must be judge of both culture and meaning as God works through men using various forms to bring all creation under his lordship" (S. R. Imbach, p.1062, Elwell’s Evangelical Dictionary.)
Kikawa says, "Another thing the Korean Bible does is uh,Ã‚Â in contextualizng the gospel 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 eastÃ‚Â thatÃ‚Â was their staff of lifeÃ‚Â that’s why they say give us this day our daily bread, that’s so we can live, so we,Ã‚Â andÃ‚Â what Jesus was saying "I am yourÃ‚Â 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-Ã‚Â 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 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" (Word to the World interview by Danny Lehmann with Daniel Kikawa, #10 Feb.17, 2006)
Going by the word is called legalism by Kikawa, however, Jesus calls it obedience. The application of pragmatism is used for the end result of "cultural redemption." The Word of God that we are called to teach is changed and diminished.Ã‚Â It is not being legalistic to stick to the word of God but being accurate.Ã‚Â What Jesus would tell them is what He already said.Ã‚Â If we change His words then we are CHANGING the message. Certainly people need to understand the message and we can use examples to springboard to the word. But if these examples replace the word by re-contextualization then we have changed the word. Remember the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not our words or stories.Ã‚Â Again taking the liberty to change the bread (that is all through the Scripture) which is directly tied to the types and shadows given the Old Testament to Israel so that she could recognize her savior is tampering with the word of God.Ã‚Â He is completely missing the context of the Old Testament and God who specifically formed the Hebrew culture (ie. The tabernacle as a earthly replica of what is in heaven).Ã‚Â Then when Jesus held up this bread and said this is my body- it was pierced, striped and without leaven.Ã‚Â These items become totally disassociated with the culture it was given in. What do we do with the tabernacle and all its items, or the Temple or even Jerusalem? This become far worse than a paraphrase.Ã‚Â Again, there is no problem if these points are used to explain to those unfamiliar with the Bible what it means but to PUT them IN the Bible becomes another story (pun included).
Yet Kikawa has no problem saying the bread of life is now rice- as long as it works. He did the same in his video God's Fingerprints in Japan. He used the Japanese Tea ceremony of Shintoism, with the eating sweetcake and called it a communion. Removing this from its Jewish context means the literal word of God is not as important as concepts made by man. Then the word becomes whatever the interpreter wants it to mean at the time and to whatever culture he is trying to reach. I don’t think this is handling the word of God correctly.Ã‚Â If the connection to the truth of Scripture is not made then the Bible becomes some nebulous potpourri.
The spirit of truth bears witness to Jesus Christ. I can only wonder why the alarms are not going off in those who claim to follow Christ and are willing to call on other gods names in his place because of their nationality. God[s] that have been with these people from the beginning shaping their culture. Kikawa has disconnected God with Israel and made him the God[s] of all the nations. In fact, Kikawa teaching that God has been shaping these cultures and societies throughout their history is a blatant false statement. This is not evangelism- telling people their God had a son, who is Jesus Christ, for it removes Jesus from his own people -Israel. It disconnects him from the prophecies in the Old Testament, the shadows and types given to Israel and most important of all, it has him lose his Jewish Identity "“ born through Mary.
This is an alternative religion Kikawa has made up from historical references and myths (that he bends). His theory is about as sound as the theory of evolution. A slanted view that tilts 180 degrees away from the truth.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks directly about this. Jer. 16:19-21 ""¦ the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, "Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things." Will a man make gods for himself, which are not gods? "Therefore behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know my hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is the LORD."
How can they know who the Lord is if one teaches that their god is God?
1 Chron. 16:25-26 "For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; he is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens."
Paul admonished Timothy (1 Tim. 1:4) "nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith." 2 Tim 4:3-4 "because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables." Peter says, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables" (2 Pet. 1:16). Kikawa makes up fables about a cultures past history to make the religion acceptable and creating a religious mixture that is repugnant to a Holy God that the Bible presents.
If he was the God of all nations he would not have needed to remove Abraham from Ur and make a nation from Him, he would have kept him there. Isa 54:5 Holy One of Israel; he is called the God of the whole earth." This is what the Bible proclaims. Israel becomes God's recipients of God’s favor, while all other nations remained in idolatry, becoming more corrupted as time went on.Ã‚Â There is no cultures religious background that is to be integrated in ones faith and practice of Christianity. This does not take into account cultures that are demonic in nature, of which the majority are. God desires man to freely worship Him but he must do it in truth, correctly.
Teachers are to be held to a higher standard-People who misrepresent God’s word and history should be held accountable.Ã‚Â How anyone can allow this, or endorse this is beyond me.
Finding traces of God in your culture is a bankrupt idea.Ã‚Â Why dig through corruption when the truth is readily available? The Jewish culture was a theocracy, the only one there ever was made by God. God gave ONLY Israel as a nation customs which became their traditions in their culture.Ã‚Â The Jewish culture was given 613 laws to govern their conduct and separate themselves from ALL the other nations surrounding them. Gen. 12:3 and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Gen. 18:18 "since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? In him, because of Israel, they were not blessed currently or before but a future fulfillment when the Messiah would come. Gen. 26:4 in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."
This is speaking of the lineage of the Messiah. The gospel is about the God of the Hebrews. Jesus himself said to a Samaritan, "for salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22).Ã‚Â If you disconnect Jesus from Judaism then you have rejected the Bible's revelation of who He is, you separate yourself from the source ofÃ‚Â history, knowledge, revelation. He ignores this, and instead blends this with another God had a son and then names that son Jesus Christ, whom is specifically of the Hebrew lineage. Again, this is separating Jesus from the people and religion He came to earth by.Ã‚Â They are making a Jesus for all nations out of those nations. This is diminishing the Hebrew origin of Jesus. Jesus came as a Jew according to the Scripture, he came to his own people he formed.
All the gods that are not the one true Creator of the Heavens and the Earth will perish. You can call them creators by the many various names but in the end God says- Thus you shall say to them: "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens" (Jeremiah 10). Those who are called creators by the cultures and nations will one day all be gone and then everyone will bow their knee to the real maker of heaven and earth- Jesus Christ. Until then lets keep away from the indigenous movement that would syncretize ancient gods and practices and keep pressing forward with Yehsua ha Mashiach "“ Jesus the Christ, savior of the world.
Psalm 98:2-3: "The LORD has made known His salvation; his righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11)
Acts 4:12- No other name by which we can be saved- Jesus Christ.
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