"An Epic Tale of the People of the Covenant" slide show Episode 10：Jesus' commandment.
＜Slide show Episode 10＞
Russian President Vladimir Putin quoted the Gospel of John chapter 15 verse 13 at the "8th Anniversary of the Crimean annexation" commemorative rally held at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on March 18, 2022, saying, "To spare people from this suffering, from this genocide -- this is the main reason, motive and purpose of the military operation that we launched in the Donbas and Ukraine."
On the day before the Passover Feast, Jesus, who had shared the Last Supper with his 12 Apostles at the second floor of meeting place of the Essenes, next to the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest, explained the meaning of the Crucifixion and ordered his disciples to practice the same love as he did, on the way to the Mount of Olives with his disciples, saying "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15: 12-13)"
Putin aims to make Russia as Power of Orthodox Christianity
According to Mr Jitsuro Terashima (寺島実郎1947-), a well-known social critic, who is the president of Tama University and the chairman of the Japan Research Institute, Putin, an intelligence officer of the Soviet Union, a socialist country, has abandoned socialism and repeatedly stated that he aims to make Russia as Power of Orthodox Christianity. While China still sticks to socialism, Putin broke up with socialism and advocated Russian Orthodox Church as a governing philosophy.
According to him, the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the Golgotha Hill in Old City of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem) is divided and ruled by Christian denominations.
Only the small blue part in the upper left corner is Roman Catholic Church, the largest yellow part is Greek Orthodox Church, the next yellow-green part is Ethiopian Orthodox Church, after that, the purple is Copt Orthodox Church, the ocher is Armenian Orthodox Church, and the brown part located in apex is Syriac Orthodox Church, and the large presence of Greek Orthodox and the small presence of Roman Catholicism stand out.
Paradigm shift in relations between Europe and Russia
After collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, but the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continued to exist, and a move has taken place for former Soviet Union member countries to join NATO.
According to Mr. Terashima, the blue (Roman catholicism) and yellow-green (Protestantism) parts of the religious distribution map belong to Western Europe under the Roman catholicism and the Protestantism. The red (Russian Orthodox) and yellow (other Orthodox) parts belong to Eastern Europe of the Greek Orthodox family.
The gray part of the NATO member country map is the NATO member countries, and the red line shows the division line by the "Iron Curtain". Light purple is a new NATO member countries after the removal of the "Iron Curtain" in 1991. White is neutral countries. For example, among the countries that were once members of the Soviet Union, the three Baltic countries, of which, Lithuania is Catholic, Latvia and Estonia are Protestant, and Romania and Bulgaria are Orthodox, all of them have joined NATO.
According to Mr. Terashima, if Ukraine also joins NATO, NATO will erode the zone of the Slavic Orthodox Church and the prestige of Russia, the Orthodox powerhouse, will be destroyed.
Thus, let us look back on the relationship between Western Europe and Russia and Eastern Europe from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the present day.
Mikhail Gorbachev, who became General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1985, launched a "Perestroika (Reconstruction / Reform)" policy from the following year and promoted political and economic reforms. It helped democratize Eastern Europe and ended the Cold War, but the domestic economy was in turmoil and the public was dissatisfied with the federal government. In addition, because the Glasnost (information disclosure) system, which abolished censorship and allowed freedom of speech, was promoted, nationalism and independence were strengthened in various parts of the country.
Outbreak of coup d'etat and appearance of Yeltsin
In order to maintain the federation that had been showing signs of collapse, such as the outbreak of ethnic conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and the declaration of restoration of independence of the three Baltic countries, General Secretary Gorbachev, who had also served as president since March 1990, aimed at the establishment of a new federal treaty that would greatly expand the power of the government.
On August 19, 1991, the day before the treaty was signed, a coup d'etat by conservatives opposed it occurred, but their attempts to seize power failed because of resistance from Russian authorities led by Boris Yeltsin, who had been strengthening power on behalf of Gorbachev, and citizens. However, the authority of the federal government was lost, the republics declared independence one after another, and the division of the federation deepened.
Belovezh Accords and the disappearance of the Soviet Union
In order to prevent the collapse of the federal government, Gorbachev rushed to try to conclude a new Union of Soviet Streak and Economic Community Treaty. However, Ukraine declared independence on August 24, and a referendum asking whether to independence was carried out on December 1 (voter turnout 84.2%) and was supported by the overwhelming majority of 90.3% in favor. Regarding Ukraine, which had made clear its intention to become independent, Gorbachev and Yeltsin agreed that "the new federation would not be possible without Ukraine."
Russia's President Boris Yeltsin, Belarus's Supreme Council Chairman Stanislav Schshkevich and Ukrainian president Leonid Krafchuk, who had been elected in a presidential election at the same time as the referendum, gathered in a hurry in the former villa of Fursichov in the Belarusian Forest 'Belovezh' on December 7, 1991 and signed Belovezh Accord which proclaiming the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the establishment of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at a secret meeting on 8 December.
Budapest Memorandum of Understanding: Ukrainian denuclearization and neutralization agreement
According to Nobuo Shimotomai (下斗米伸夫1948-), an emeritus professor at Hosei University(法政大学), who specializes in Russian politics, the original plan was for the three Slavic brothers Russia / Ukraine / Belarus to maintain mutual neutrality and jointly manage their strategic nuclear forces. However, apart from the differences between President Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Kravchuk, Ukraine's next President Kuchma is the representative of the military-industrial complex, so on the condition that the United States, Britain and Russia guarantee Ukraine's security, let Ukraine approve the waiver Nuclear weapons, and the agreement that Russia will take over all nuclear weapons was reached, and these countries signed the Budapest Memorandum of Understanding.
Clinton's re-election and NATO's eastern expansion
According to him, the idea of NATO's eastern expansion emerged in connection with President Clinton's re-election issue. This was not to expand to Ukraine, but to the Czech Republic and Poland. However, there was a great deal of controversy within the United States. Clinton turned to NATO's eastern expansion in light of domestic politics. From around this time, Russia's vigilance increased. A person named Yevgeny Primakov, affiliated with Gorbachev, emerged as a presidential candidate, but President Yeltsin appointed Putin from the KGB to prevent him.
According to Tsuneo Watanabe (渡部恒雄1963-), a senior researcher at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (笹川平和財団) and chief editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun (読売新聞), NATO's eastern expansion began in 1995, and the details of the eastern expansion were agreed in 1997, and the three countries of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary were decided to join.
Difference in attitude toward Russia between Bush Jr. and Biden
According to him, at that time, the US-Japan security issue was facing difficulties due to the trade friction between Japan and the United States, but he (Mr. Watanabe), along with Sbigenez Brezinski, the security adviser of the Carter administration, was on the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. While the Okinawa base issue was also being debated, the Okinawa Summit was held. In 1995, a Japanese parliamentarian met with Brzezinski. Brzezinski is said to have advised that it was not a good idea to overstimulate Russia immediately after NATO's eastern expansion, so it was better not to strengthen Japan-US security. It can be seen that the Clinton administration was pushing NATO's eastern expansion plan with considerable force.
When Russian troops invaded Georgia, President Bush Jr. not only provided military support, but also kept US military aircraft parked at the airport. It indicated that If the Russian army attacks and the US military aircraft is damaged, it will be an immediate US-Soviet war, and US dispatched its Secretary of State Condley Zarice to conclude a standstill agreement.
At that time, the Bush administration combined military power and foreign policy to suppress Putin, but Biden showed a completely opposite stance of denying the dispatch of US military aircraft, saying that if it dispatched US military aircraft, it would be a US-Soviet war. On the contrary, it invited the invasion of Russia.
Brzezinski Doctrine and Kissinger Doctrine
According to Mr. Terashima, the so-called Brzezinski doctrine, which says that Ukraine should be brought into NATO after the collapse of the Soviet Union, certainly existed in the United States until 2008, but after that, rose the Kissinger doctrine, which says that rather than pulling Ukraine away from Russia and putting it into the west, it should be neutralized same as Scandinavia.
According to Mr. Watanabe, Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but is a member of the United Nations. Russia's invasion of Ukraine violates the Charter of the United Nations, so the UN forces must intervene, not the NATO forces. However, Russia and China are included in the permanent members who have veto rights, so if both countries oppose it, the UN Security Council will not work. That is why the condemnation resolution was passed at the general meeting. How to solve this point is the key, and the issue of neutrality is important. Isn't there a method that Kissinger recommends?
The Ukraine crisis is a prelude to the coming great war
According to former Tokyo Chunichi Shimbun editorial deputy chief and a well-known commentator Yukihiro Hasegawa (長谷川幸洋1953-), it is clear that President Biden considers Putin to be the root of all evil, and from his recent remarks, though what is happening in front of us is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Biden describes the world after this conflict is over. That's why he said, "Go get him," "Don't let Putin stay in power," "Don't forgive genocide." I think that it's almost as if he said that he would fight Putin-dominated Russia thoroughly. Biden is increasingly convinced that "this battle cannot be defeated." "In the Biden administration, these discussions have been going on for a long time," I think. If so, "there is no ceasefire." In other words, the Ukrainian conflict is just the beginning of the upcoming Great War. After this there is a possibility that it will be a real decisive battle.
Compromise by US is the only solution
I think that China will soon reveal its true nature, but as long as the true nature of the dictatorships of Russia and China has become clear, it is inevitable to fight against it. Since they ignore international law, the only way to avoid the decisive battle is for the United States to compromise by protecting only the security of its own country. If the United States compromises, a ceasefire could be reached. In that case, Ukraine and Taiwan will be abandoned, and the United States will retreat to Hawaii.
If the United States decides so, there is a possibility of compromise. But the members of the Biden administration are those who are not willing to make such a compromise. Their ideologies of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and the market economy aren't just for the Democratic Party, so are the Republicans. Because it was Republican President George W. Bush who decided to join Ukraine and Georgia to NATO. Unfortunately, the realists who say that such an extra battle should not be fought, although it may change under the Trump administration, are a minority in the United States. Even if the Trump administration is born, it will be 2024, which is two years away. If Biden will be in charge for the next two years, there are many people under Biden who are burning with idealism, such as Secretary of State Sullivan. If so, unfortunately US cannot compromise with Russia and China. That way, the war will continue and there is a good chance that it will lead to a great war, he said.
The Inside Story of China's Socialist Market Economy
According to Mr. Daisuke Kondo (近藤大介1965-), a Chinese affairs expert, who is a special editorial board member of Kodansha (講談社) and has experience of studying at Peking University and working in Beijing, in China, China stipulated the socialist market economy policy in the Constitution in 1992, but people of the country have debated over the past 30 years as to whether to prioritize socialism or the market economy.
President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, who also serves as the General Secretary of the Communist Party and the President of the Military Commission, is in a position to prioritize socialism and advocates that socialism is indispensable for the market economy policy.
However, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao are in the position that the market economy should be prioritized. It seems that Prime Minister Li Keqiang, a child of Hu Jintao, also wants to promote the market economy and eventually make China become a democratic nation.
The CCP's unity is hard but fragile. On the surface, everyone applauds, but no one can see the back side. During the five years immediately after General Secretary Xi Jinping was born at the 18th Communist Party Congress in November 2012, a fierce power struggle between the Xi Jinping faction and the anti-Xi Jinping faction took place. At the 19th Communist Party Congress in October 2017, the anti-Xi Jinping faction was wiped out, but the non-Xi Jinping faction still exists, and the top of it is believed to be Li Keqiang.
Resolution on 100th Anniversary and History resolution
In the resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party in July last year (2021), General Secretary Xi Jinping's strong intention was expressed that the first 100 years was made by Mao Zedong but the next 100 years will be made by Xi himself. However, six months later, in a long history resolution of 40,000 characters, which was decided at the 6th plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, five leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping are listed side by side, and Xi Jinping's color is toned down. Xi Jinping seems not to be able to accept it as General Secretary, I think. If Xi Jinping had complete control of power like Kim Jong Un, I don't think such a resolution would appear, Mr. Kondo said.
According to Mr. Kondo, President Xi Jinping's support base is the poor lower class, which has not been affected by diplomacy, political struggles, economic tightening, etc., but corona measures and recent economic policies have also affected these poor people. It is undermining the core support base of the Xi Jinping administration. As a result of the power struggle, economic expert Li Keqiang is also less likely to come into play. However, until the party convention this fall, it seems that they will try to suppress the dissatisfaction of the people.
All-participation type New world order
Mr. Terashima points out that "the crisis in Ukraine may lead to a shift in the world from a superpower-led order to an all-participation order." It is important that 13 of the 15 judges of the International Court of Justice, excluding two from Russia and China, decided that the invasion of Ukraine was close to a war crime, he said. Some say that the United Nations is not functioning, but that is not the case because of the condemnation resolution at the General Assembly. The era of being protected by some great power is over, and it may be an opportunity to aim for a new order in which everyone participates as the next step. China seems to have learned the fear of being isolated from the world, and is also cautious about the Taiwan issue.
The origin of the conflict between globalism and nationalism
Mr. Terashima said that President Putin has regarded Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church as a mentor, but while Western Christianity aims for universal values and globalism, Greek Orthodox Church has a strong color as nationalism or national religion.
The origin of the conflict between globalism and nationalism in the Christian church seems to date back to the time of the inauguration of the Jerusalem Church. The Jerusalem church split into the Jerusalem church itself led by James the Less who preached the way of Jesus which had high regard for the Mosaic Law and the Antioch Church led by Paul who preached the way of Jesus freed from the Mosaic Law and circumcision, because of the conflict between Hebraists and Hellenists occured just after the founding of the Jerusalem church.
The Roman Catholic Church was originally founded by Hellenist believers who were loyal to the way of Jesus freed from the law preached by Paul but after the reconciliation between the two factions was reached in the 4th century, the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — have become as the canon of the New Testament and neither James nor Paul, but Peter was canonized as the first Pope of Roman Church.
Council of Chalcedon
The Christian Church was subsequently divided into east and west at the Council of Chalcedon held in 451 AD over the humanity and divinity of Jesus.
The meeting confirmed the theory called "dyophysite" that "Christ has both divinity and humanity." The "monophysitism" advocated by Eutyches, an archimandrite of Constantinople, that "humanity was absorbed by divinity in Jesus" was denied. At the same time, Nestorius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, who called Mary the "Mother of Christ" rather than the "Mother of God," was once again ruled as a heretic although he agreed "dyophysite theory" .
By the way, prior to this, the Eastern Church stated at the Marcabuta Synod in 421 that "the Patriarch of the Eastern Church responds only to Christ," effectively proclaiming the independence of the Eastern Church.
Establishment of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Looking in this way, it can be seen that the Oriental Orthodox Churches were not monolithic, although they agreed that they did not obey instructions of the Roman Catholic Church.
In any case, the Greek Orthodox Church belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church, which was founded by Thomas, who preached the teachings of Gnostic Jesus. It can be said that it has the potential to sublate the conflict between East and West.
According to Historia Ecclesiastica of Eusebius (I, xiii), Christianity took hold in Assyria when Saint Thaddeus of Edessa converted King Abgar V of Osroene, a Roman province of which capital was Edessa, in the mid-1st century AD. Assyria became the first Christian country in the world in 129-140 AD. Christianity spread to Media, Persia and Bactria till 161 AD and Eastern Churches were formed. The Assyrian Eastern Church (Syrian Church) was called Jingjiao (景教: Luminous Religion/ Nestorianism) in China.
The arrival of Nestorianism to Japan
According to Shinsen Shojiroku (新撰姓氏録) and Nihon Shoki (日本書紀), as early as 197 AD, in the eighth year of Emperor Chuai (仲哀天皇), King Koman (功満) of the Christian (景教) nation of Yuzuki (弓月) came to Japan with his servants. Perhaps the Japanese imperial family converted from Judaism to Primitive Christianity around this time.
Emperor Meiji's daughter Princess Shinobu (仁内親王) told her son, Mr. Takatoshi Kobayashi (小林隆利), "My father (Emperor Meiji) said, 'I examined the history of Japan with the emperor's authority and found that Shinto (神道: a religion originating from Japan) had originally been a Jewish religion and later integrated into Primitive Christianity."
According to the book Honchokouinjohunroku (本朝皇胤紹運録), which was compiled in the early days of Muromachi era (室町時代), Emperor Ankan (安閑天皇) had a prince called Toyohikomiko (豊彦王), and Toyohikomiko was the same person as Hata Kawakatsu (秦河勝), the head of the Hata clan (秦氏) and an aide to Prince Shotoku (聖徳太子). If this is the case, then Emperor Ankan's father, Emperor Keitai and the current royal family, which belongs to Emperor Keitai's direct line, would also be a member of the Hata clan, which is said to be a descendant of Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇the first Emperor of Qin).
Nestorianism had a dramatic impact on Chinese Buddhism
The thoughts and beliefs of the 'Second Coming,' 'Resurrection,' 'Last Judgment,' etc. brought about by Nestorians seem to have had a dramatic impact on Chinese Buddhism.
Kukai (空海), the founder of Japanese Esoteric Shingon school (日本真言密教) of Buddhism, learned Sanskrit from Panruo Sanzang (般若三蔵), a friend of Jingjing (景浄) who was the author of the inscription of Nestorian Stele (景教碑). For this reason, there is the imitation monument of Nestoriam Stele given by Mrs Elizabeth Anna Gordon (1851–1925), a Jingjiao researcher, to Mt. Koya (高野山), the headquarters of Japanese Esoteric Shingon school, in Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山県).
Then the contents of the third volume of 'Shizun bushi lun (世尊布施論The Lord of the Universe's Discourse on Alms-Giving)', owned by Kyoto Nishi Honganji Temple (京都西本願寺), almost corresponds to 'the Sermon on the Mount' in a Chinese translation of the Gospel of Matthew, which was written by Jingjiao followers.
Zen masters of Rinzai sect (臨済宗) give their students subjects for practice in the meditation hall are called Koan (公案Court case). The influence of Christianity's "The Last Judgment" can be felt here as well. The each content of "Gospel of Thomas" is Koan itself.
The true vine
On the day before the Passover Feast, Jesus, who had shared the Last Supper with his 12 Apostles, spoke the parable of "vine" on the way to the Mount of Olives with his disciples.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15: 5)
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15: 12-14)
The "he" in "he lay down his life for his friends." means "Jesus" himself, the "friend" means "disciples", and by extension, "all mankind". In short, it foretells that Jesus will be crucified as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind.
This is "the love of Jesus." "Love each other as I have loved you," commands the disciples to give others a level of love that sacrifices themselves, just like Jesus did.
Foretells the fate of one who has lost sight of 'The Original Self'
≪The Gospel of Thomas≫ has the following two verses.
Jesus said, "A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden." (Thomas 32)
According to Mr. Sasagu Arai (荒井献), author of the Japanese version of 《The Gospel of Thomas》, 'city' implies 'The Original Self,' and 'built on a high hill and fortified' implies 'man's ability or quality.'
Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted away from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish." (Thomas 40)
According to Mr. Arai, the phrase 'away from the Father' at the verse 40 of "The Gospel of Thomas" is synonymous with 'does not remain in me (the Father)' at the verse 6 in the chapter 15 of "The Gospel of John." It foretells the fate of one who lost sight of 'The Original Self,' and that is the opposite of verse 32 of the "Gospel of Thomas."
What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【Thesis】"A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【Anti-thesis】But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven." (John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【Synthesis】"If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes.
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