false teaching

The Real Thing vs. All Messed Up

Some Japanese words are very convenient. They encompass a range of meaning for which English would require a number of different expressions. The Japanese word mechakucha (meh-CHAH-koo-chah) is one of those. It means “all messed up,” “confused,” “gone to pieces.” As in, “Everything went wrong Monday. The whole day was mechakucha!”

crates in dissaray
Image by Efes Kitap from Pixabay

That word describes how I feel sometimes when I try to explain to people some of the topics I address here. When people have been deceived by the clever marketing of a certain teaching or spiritual practice, they have, in effect, come up with their own definition of that thing. So their reality is all mechakucha. And when they hear what the teaching/practice really is, they can’t compute accurately. They may have various reactions:

  • Some just wouldn’t want to believe what they’re hearing.
  • Some argue and deny the actual purpose (I mean the actual purpose of the teaching/practice as stated by its own experts concerning its origin). Which is sorta like a person telling a doctor that a thermometer isn’t for taking temperature.
  • Some think there are multiple definitions . . .

To get specific: Some insist that the labyrinth is a Christian tool. Some don’t grasp that “contemplative prayer” is neither contemplative nor prayer. Some have reshaped (or attempted to reshape) a pagan teaching or practice into their own version of it—like yoga, reiki, automatic writing, etc.  Some were deliberately given a false definition—like being told that the Tibetan Buddhist sand mandala ceremonies are “cultural exchanges” rather than the demon-invoking ceremonies they actually are.

Then those people defend the practice based on their wrong definition of it. We end up with some people talking about the real thing and multiple other people using the same term but meaning multiple different things.


Though not specifically on this topic, a thought from Greg Koukl’s article “Tactics for Atheists” seems helpful. He says, “If you want to critique a view, you must critique the view itself and not your own private version of it.”

I encourage everyone to make sure they know the real definition of whatever it is you’re being challenged on. A person who has done a bazillion hours of research on, say, spirit guides, could be right about what spirit guides are; and you—if you haven’t actually done research—may be confused. Be willing to back up and research the real thing . . . and then determine whether you want to accept, promote, or participate in that.

That’ll keep us from going all mechakucha.


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