View Single Post
Old 06-07-2008, 11:44 PM   #31
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 265
Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

...which connection is also a Person, the Holy Spirit, -- if we are to keep our theology straight.
By all means, keep it straight!

The fire descends where He wills it -- so, who is to say it did not descend to a guy in Japan in the 20's and 40's?
Off the top of my head I can't think of any instance in the Bible when the Holy Spirit rested upon anyone in an oracular or prophetic way who was not a servant of Jehovah God. You don't find the Holy Spirit at Pentecost descending willy-nilly upon people, either. No, He came as the Comforter to Christians. The Holy Spirit inspired followers of Christ to write what we know today as the N.T., not followers of some pagan god.

I strongly doubt that Morihei Ueshiba was inspired by the Holy Spirit in the things he said about the relationship between the human and the divine. Mainly this is so because of the point I just made above, but also because much of what he said is directly contradicted by Scripture. God is not the author of confusion the Bible tells us, which is precisely what you get when you have a person espousing contradictory religious beliefs.

Who is to say that a Christian should NOT understand what he has to teach from the standpoint of semina verbi (regardless of how the Japanese may view their own spirituality, or that of Christianity), especially when the man invokes the divine Logos to help explain himself?
Many have invoked the name of Christ while teaching falsehood and behaving like the devil.

Not being Catholic, I don't myself hold to the idea of semina verbi. There are some universal truths that God has put in place prominently enough in the world that even those who aren't enlightened by God's Spirit can discern them. Thus, when a pagan religion or secular philosophy reveals an awareness of these truths, I don't assume that there has been some special divine dispensation of spiritual knowledge.

You could not have more widely missed my point, had you tried to do it.
Well if I have, I don't believe the fault is entirely my own.

If the "sword," metaphorical or otherwise, is turned upon Christians rather than also wielded by them (as katsujinken, in my view) then why do are we supposed to sell all we own and, among other things, go get one, (and only one), sword?
I believe Christians may take up arms to defend themselves and others (as your citation of Luke 22:35-38 indicates). However, some of the scriptural justification you appeared to be using in support of doing so was, as I briefly demonstrated, taken out of context. While there is talk of a sword in both the Luke and Matthew quotations the contexts are quite different and prevent a direct correlation. The example of Christ and the apostles was not to take up arms in matters directly associated with the spreading and defense of the gospel. If a Christian were to be attacked by highwaymen, however, in a situation not directly related to the Christian's faith, then, by all means, defense is perfectly appropriate.

That we are to die by the sword if we take it up is certain, but we are supposed to die to this life in any event, if we are to be reborn in Christ, so why is the vocation of the sword as the means to die to this life a bad thing, theologically speaking
Living and dying by the sword is not, in context, meant to be taken as a good thing to do. Christ speaks of it in rebuke of Peter and goes on to explain that Peter's violent action is the result of his misunderstanding the situation. Christ was laying down his life willingly; it was not being taken from him by force, so he didn't need Peter's sword to defend him.

The commandments of Scripture to Christians to be "harmless" and "gentle" and "to not strive" would, if obeyed, preclude a life "lived by the sword."

I'm not sure what you mean when you say Christians are to be "dead to this life." We are made dead to sin and to Self (Ro. 6), but we are to live this life as an eternal investment. I don't, though, think either of these things touches upon what you mean.

Dying itself is not of consequence to our salvation -- so properly, faced with attack, we arm ourselves and step under the falling sword.
There is more than just our own salvation to think of and by which we order our behavior.

Meister Eckhart said that the Kingdom is only for those who are "thoroughly dead." While deemed kitschy in some quarters, how is this not comparable to what is said of budo in Hagakure? "By setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."
Not being familiar with Meister Eckhart's writing, I cannot comment on what he meant and whether or not it is applicable in matters of budo.

The Bible, on the other hand, I do know something about and can tell you that what is meant in budo by being dead to the body is quite different from what is meant by the apostle Paul in his letters to the Romans, Galatians, or Corinthians.

Thomas a Kempis in the quotation you gave appears to be speaking of spiritual warfare, not physical. Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians that they were constantly at war with "principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12) He told them to put on spiritual armor with which to defend themselves because their battle was "not against flesh and blood."

Well, you were saying that you couldn't relate them to the spiritual understanding of aikido, and I was showing a way (one at least) that it could be done, so I would say that yes, I really did challenge you.
You've shown me some of your thinking on the subject, but nothing that actually requires reversing or adjusting my own thinking. Thanks anyways.

Last edited by Jonathan : 06-07-2008 at 11:51 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
  Reply With Quote