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Without revealing any spoilers, I’d like to point out some biblical parallels with episode 110 of Naruto Shippuuden. I am not saying Shippuuden teaches biblical principles because Naruto has its own religious principles that conflict with Christianity.  However, its my hope that this episode can be used as an illustration, contrasting a godly grief with a worldly grief.

Guren on the right and Yuukimaru on the left.

Guren on the right and Yuukimaru on the left.

In Naruto Shippuuden 110,  Guren says, “I fully realize that no matter how much I may regret it, no matter how many times I say I’m sorry, nothing will ever erase what I did.”

Firstly, Guren acknowledges that feeling sorrow, or grief will not erase her sins. Guren’s quote follows after a biblical principal: Although the believer and non-believer both have sorrow,  sorrow in of itself does not erase wrong-doing.

Biblical Principle: All Grief is Not Created Equal

Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians 7:10, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas world grief produces death.”

The difference between the two types of grief are what the grief produces: One produces death, the other produces repentance that leads to salvation without regret.

What Repentance Isn’t (Keeping the Law)

Worldly grief lacks repentance that leads to salvation, not just stopping sin. Paul is not simply saying to stop sinning. Paul says that the repentance must lead to salvation with no regret. In other words, a non-believer cannot repent by obeying the law! Why? Because keeping the law is impossible.

Jesus says:

“Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
– Matthew 5:20

There was no one that tried harder than the Pharisees to keep the whole law.

However, keeping the whole law is impossible! James writes:

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery’, also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.”
– James 2:10-11

James argues that if your want to keep the law than you must keep the whole law. Therefore, if a person already has failed in one point, he has failed in keeping all of them!

Based on what both Jesus and James said, we know that a repentance leading to salvation is not just keeping the law since failing one means we’ve failed them all.

Repentance Leading to Salvation

In order to repent with a repentance leading to salvation we first must confess our sins:

“If we we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9

Second, we must do it by faith in Jesus Christ:

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”
– Romans 3:21-25

A Salvation with No Regrets

Lastly, Paul specifies that godly grief produces a repentance that leads to Salvation with no regrets. There is only one reason why we can have no regrets: Being justified by faith. Paul writes:

“Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– Romans 5:1

A righteousness by faith produces peace with God. The righteousness by faith reconciles us to God (Romans 5:11), producing peace.

To receive salvation from God, Guren must have faith in Christ propitiation for her sins (propitiation means satisfying of God’s wrath or judgment for our sins). Do you have a faith leading to salvation and forgiveness of your sins? Guren took the first step, confessing her sins, and admitting the uselessness of only feeling sorry for her sins. Can you?

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-~#*’` Contains Naruto Shippuuden Episode 31 SPOILERS ‘`*#~-

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Sasuke and NarutoEating Ramen

 

Naruto, Sakura, Choji, Rock Lee, and recently Ino in episode 220 have all felt inadequate after battling various opponents. This caused them to renew their resolve, and begin training hard again. Often times the episodes ends with all the various ninja vowing to not be left behind, and train competitively to become stronger than the other. This is most notable between Naruto and Sasuke.

Let’s see what Paul has to say about competitively training:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
– 1 Cor 9:24-27

So compete. And “train yourself for godliness… as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

 

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So this thursday, my friend was giving a presentation of pressuppositional apologetics. The topic was specifically on neutrality. He explained that asserting that one has no position is a position also.

I had just watched an anime called Naruto, and decided to write something about Naruto, Kenshin, and the themes in the perspective of a Christian worldview.

We see in examples such as Kenshin and Naruto as well as other anime that the philosophies and themes promoted are not neutral, and express a mix of Christian as well as atheist themes.

Rurouni Kenshin is an anime about a wandering samurai, attempting to atone for his sins in his former life as the hitoriki battousai or the man slayer. In the anime, the villian Shishio believed, “If you’re strong you live; if you’re weak, you die.” This was in opposite to Kenshin’s philosophy that the sword was to protect the weak.

Similarly, the enemies in Naruto, the popular anime about ninja, held power and strength in idolatry. The perfect characterization of this was, Oroshimaru, one of the strongest ninjas, whom would accomplish anything to become stronger with seals and techniques. All that mattered to both Naruto and Rurouni Kenshin villians was who was most powerful. Once the powerful killed the right, who was right became irrevelant. Thus, the survival of the fittest is taken to the logical conclusion: Survival of the strongest determine what is right.

However, to these villians morality becomes dependent upon what the believe are right. And thus, when two disagree in regards to morality, they fight it out and the stronger one is the right, and the dead one is wrong.

This sort of idea professed in Naruto and Rouroni Kenshin comes from the idea that morality is subjective and depends on man to exist. So thus, if man ceases to exists, his morality dies with him.

It is interesting that the they decided to depict this type of philosophy as bad guys, because in the setting, the audience might see the foolishness without the knowledge of God.

In earlier episodes of Naruto, like during the battle between the 3rd Hokage and Orochimaru, the 3rd Hokage tried to explain to Orochimaru, why Orochimaru would not succeed. He explained, it was the protection and love of his village that gave the 3rd Hokage power. In the current episdode 201, the message toward the end, and especially in the conclusion expressed the importance of a group of friends willing to protect each other against anything.We see in Naruto especially, that during extreme stress and duress, and even when over-matched, the WHY is more important than the HOW. The characters in Naruto anime can’t lose because their friends depend on them.

Likewise, the truths of the bible will allow any Christian to rejoice in suffering, death, tribulation, and persecution. Knowing that we are sharing in Christ’s suffering, in order to share His glory. Knowing that we are called to suffering. Knowing that our suffering is small compared to the glory that awaits. Knowing that there is therefore no punishment, because Christ has set you free from sin and death. Knowing that all things in your life work together for good.

Knowing these are the truths keep you in Christ, and determine whether you remain in the Word, or fall away during hardship.

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