Why does our religion not increase in membership since the explosive growth in the late nineteen century? The answer may be in the Tip of the Writing Brush (Ofudesaki). The religion was founded in the rural farming community of Tenri Japan where farming was the main occupation. Many agricultural terms are used in the Tip of the Writing Brush, making it easier for the nineteen-century reader to understand God’s intentions. The following is my interpretation of why the religion is not flourishing.
The church is an establishment to plant the seeds, or bring in new members. Many times in religion, we get to the point where we want to share our religion with others. We want others to understand God’s truth. The church serves this purpose of bringing in new members to share our joy (planting the seeds). God has given us a prayer called the Joyous Service which serves to bring people to our churches. This Joyous Service is referred to as the fertilizer. But this prayer (fertilizer) is ineffective without the true sincerity of the prayers. To gain true sincerity, one must have a pure mind without greed, arrogance, and self-love. Weeding of the mind is necessary in order for the Joyous Service to be effective.
Our churches do not grow in membership because:
- More attention is focused on the Yorozuyo and the 12 songs, instead of the Joyous Service. The Joyous Service is the prayer that will bring people to our churches. The other dances appear to be motivational songs for the early followers.
- We the prayers must weed our minds of the dusts of greed, arrogance, and self-love.
Ironically, understanding the science of farming may lead to the joyous life of all mankind that had been promised by God in the beginning.