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Author Topic: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?  (Read 10438 times)

George

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2014, 03:03:17 PM »
Welcome Margaret,

May I welcome you to Mountain Retreat.  I do hope that you will enjoy your stay here. 

I have lived in Japan for 10 years, The existence of true Christianity is basically non-existent. I became very interested in the things of God, but I never returned to Japan.  I felt sure that with my Japanese language skills that if I was to become a Christian, surely I would have to return to Japan as a missionary. Instead God grabbed my heart and took me to Russia (of all places) instead.

Well once again, if God had wanted you to go to Japan, you would have. God's plans are not thwarted by man's missions are they? The fact is, God hasn't seen fit to do a great evangelistic work in Japan. Which begs the question, why? Maybe because it's not his will because Japan without repent serves a hundred false gods.


Bruce

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2014, 07:20:11 PM »
Well, my 2 cents is that I agree that blaming it on Japanese culture is just another way of excusing the Japanese for being full of themselves or prideful of their pagan heritage. Americans like to put the Japanese on a pedestal but I studied Japanese and they grow up groomed to have a self-aggrandizing respect that places their culture above everything else, so they actually look down upon not only other cultures but other people.

If their children don't succeed academically above other groups, they look upon that as a shame to the family because they think they are inherently better. Is it any wonder they reject Christianity and look upon it as the drug or crutch of the ignorant masses. It's a strange culture that is now becoming Westernized so that it's even worse today. The young girls are like an intelligent Paris Hilton, but still with an empty head. I don't say this to be cruel, just what I have noticed. I once asked a Japanese girl why she wouldn't date americans and she said it was not because they were Christian, bad, cruel or without money or culture, but because her parents wouldn't approve of her going out with caucasians.  A little prodding revealed that Japanese look upon us as substandard and beneath them. I thought it might just be this person, but I heard it again and again from my colleagues. Japan is one of the least places of integration in the industrialized world. By design. Now that's being full of yourself. They want our tourism, but not our God, sons or religion that they think will mess up their culture. Which is in itself religion. What's ironic is, they have started celebrating Christmas over there, but of course only in the sense of giving gifts, buying cakes and promoting Santa. Nothing more. When we look at that country objectively and not through nostalgic eyes, is there any wonder God has not done many powerful works there?



Halle

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2014, 09:44:35 PM »
But have no tears, for if God wanted a great election from Japan, there would be one. Agree?

I suppose so. But that could change couldn't it?

Reformer

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2014, 11:40:42 AM »
But have no tears, for if God wanted a great election from Japan, there would be one. Agree?

I suppose so. But that could change couldn't it?

With God all things are possible, but in this day and age of declining morals and abandonment of Church principles and faithfulness, I highly doubt it.

Having said that, when in the position to preach the gospel without reviling, we should never stop preaching to any people under the guise of God not willing it. If it's not God's will, you won't be in the position to preach the gospel in Japan, and if you are then it may be God's will that you preach, even if it is to no avail. Our job is to preach, not question the effectiveness of it or whether a country is cursed. That could be just as much a sign of our own arrogance as rejection is of their vanity or pride.

Brian

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2014, 04:08:27 AM »
Well, my 2 cents is that I agree that blaming it on Japanese culture is just another way of excusing the Japanese for being full of themselves or prideful of their pagan heritage. Americans like to put the Japanese on a pedestal but I studied Japanese and they grow up groomed to have a self-aggrandizing respect that places their culture above everything else, so they actually look down upon not only other cultures but other people.


I don't think they are "full of themselves", rather they are proud of their ethnic heritage and commitment to their history and country.  Is there anything wrong with being proud of your race and heritage? I don't think so. It may just be a simple matter of not enough emphasis in western Christians to evangelize there.

Rich Aikers

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2014, 11:11:03 PM »
I'm from China, but have worked in Japan and our people and the Japanese have a long standing cultural feud going that has stood between any evangelism. But lately, it seems to be thawing. While Christians view the world in terms of good and evil, God and Satan, right and wrong, the Japanese view it much differently than people do in the west.

It does make you scratch your head. Strange that there are more Christians in China (a Communist country that hates religion) per capita than there are in industrialized, westernized, democratized Japan. Things that make you go, Hhmmmmmmm.

George

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2015, 07:59:23 AM »
But have no tears, for if God wanted a great election from Japan, there would be one. Agree?

I suppose so. But that could change couldn't it?

Must I repeat things again and again? If God had wanted Japan to be a great Christian nation, it would be. Am I right in that? Isn't that the whole point of your Calvinism, that God is sovereign? God's plans are not thwarted by man's missions to change the people of Japan, are they? I say again, God hasn't seen fit to do a great evangelistic work in Japan. Is it because it is not really his will, because Japan won't repent and serves so many false gods, without giving a second glance to the true God?



Frank Mortimer

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2015, 07:07:32 AM »
BY MICHELLE A. VU
"The quality of missionaries or the methodologies used is not the problem when it comes evangelizing. But it is the Japanese mentality itself that is hindering more people from coming to Christ, said a mission leader last week at a global conference in Tokyo.

Japanese people value human relationships more than truth and principle, said Dr. Minoru Okuyama, director of the Missionary Training Center in Japan, during his presentation at the Tokyo 2010 Global Missions Consultations".


That quote pretty much sums it up.  Generally speaking, they value humanism more than truth. I don't want to point the finger at any particular group of people, but that about sums it up.

 I Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe".

Does that make sense?

Maurice

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2015, 07:49:34 AM »

That quote pretty much sums it up.  Generally speaking, they value humanism more than truth. I don't want to point the finger at any particular group of people, but that about sums it up.



I happen to love the people of Japan. They are a better class of people than we are. The people of Japan have a better sense of who they are than we Westerners do, they have respect for their history and their sense of culture and tradition, which is a good thing. As any good sociologist and Psychologist will tel you there's nothing wrong with thinking that you are special, in fact it is good for mental health.


Tony Warren

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2015, 07:17:13 AM »
>>>
I happen to love the people of Japan.
<<<

Not being a Christian (by your own admission) your idea of love is decidedly different from the Christian idea of love. We don't love people because they are from a certain nation, act a certain way, have a pleasant culture, look a certain way, have a certain character or social standing, but because charity never fails. In other words, in true benevolence (agape) we desire for them the same redemption that God has given us. That's the love that faithful Christians have for the people of Japan.

James 2:8-9
  • "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
  • But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."

As God is no respecter of persons, so we are no respecter of persons, but fulfil the royal law according to the scripture by loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. And that means desiring for them that same salvation that we ourselves have. You want to talk about love, THAT is true love.


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>>>
They are a better class of people than we are.
<<<

Sounds good to the misinformed, naive and credulous, but in reality it is categorically, unequivocally, Not True! There are no people on earth who are a better class than any other people, as we are all born in sin without righteous character, but clay in the potter's hands. There is only one class of people, and that is man/mankind. Yes, through humanism we may have our favorites, but rest assured, one is not better than the other apart from God's working in them.

Job 33:6
  • "Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay."

The only real better class of people are the people predestinated by God to be conformed to the image of His Son. And they are only better because of Christ in them. The Japanese who have Christ in them are indeed a righteous people because they are of the Kingdom of Christ. No other reason.


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>>>
The people of Japan have a better sense of who they are than we Westerners do,
<<<

Man has respect of persons(obviously), but God does not. If the people of Japan truly had a sense of who they were, they wouldn't be one of the least Christian countries in the world. Nevertheless, there is a remnant from Japan, just as everywhere else.

Acts 10:34-35
  • "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
  • But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

IF indeed they had a better sense of who they are, they would be a nation where there were many Christians, not one where there are few. For the Spirit to truly discern who we are is the chief reason we know that we are Christian. I sign my posts "nosce te ipsum," or "Know Thyself."  If one truly knows who they are, they know that they need the Christ. Do the people of Japan (in general) know they have need of Christ?

Job 15:14-16
  • "What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
  • Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
  • How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?"

The people of Japan have no better sense of who they are than any people of any other nation. And perhaps less. For one to know who they are they must know that their heart is is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

Psalms 51:5-6
  • "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
  • Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."

When man has a better sense of who he is, he has an earnest desire to do the will of God, and Christ is not far away. Indeed, without a good sense of that, mankind is adrift without a clear sense of being, purpose or direction.


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>>>
...they have respect for their history and their sense of culture and tradition, which is a good thing.
<<<

So do the people of Israel, but to what end? Is it really a good thing, or is it actually an exercise in glorying in ourselves, a cultivation of carnal pride that prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are? What good is history, culture and tradition without knowledge of Christ? It's just fuel for the fire.

Colossians 2:8
  • "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

Worldliness, vain philosophies, traditions and ideas of self-worth and heritage are the root of man's exaltation of himself that boast a higher class, a deeper wisdom or otiose cultural traditions. Respect for history in the numerous false gods and deities is a corruption of the sense of man, not a good thing wherein anyone might glory. Man should have respect for the invisible things of God from creation in the elements of the world that are clearly seen (Romans 1:20), but instead he rejects the glory of the eternal power and Godhead in favor of customs, idols, culture, folklore, tradition and mythos. No, it's not a good thing, it's a carnal humanistic thing that wars against true communion with the God of creation.


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>>>
As any good sociologist and Psychologist will tel you there's nothing wrong with thinking that you are special, in fact it is good for mental health.
<<<

Is it good for our spiritual health? Is it good to be unalterable because of tradition, or is that truly condescension, contemptuousness, arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, egotism and pride. Is being overconfident, having a sense of self-importance, a exaggerated self-opinion in self love a good things--ultimately? If we want the truth, we have to receive the truth, and that is only done through the Spirit of truth, never the spirit of hubris. We can worship God or we can worship ourselves--but not both. For only one is in truth.

John 4:23-24
  • "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
  • God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

We must worship him from spiritual principles, in humility with sincere, filial reverence that pleases Him rather than ourselves. We don't have to be a Sociologist and Psychologist to know that it is arrogant to think that we are some sort of special people "apart" from being in Christ? No, that's not good for our Spiritual health. What is good is to come to the God breathed realization that we are a loathsome, wicked, despised people, apart from the sanctified, uncommon family of Christ. The question of "if any people are special in and of themselves" is answered one way by Christians, and another way by the unsaved. And the Christian's mental health is defined by agreement with His Word, rather than man's opinions.

Quote
>>>
Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
<<<

As for the question, why are there so few Christians in Japan? That's God's domain, and only He knows for sure. But we know this:

Acts 13:47-48
  • "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
  • And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

There are as many Christians in Japan as God has ordained, for He sovereign and in absolute control of such things. Not one of His elect shall slip by unsaved, every single sheep will hear His voice that were meant to hear His voice. We are comforted in that truth.

Romans 8:14
  • "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. -Acts 10:34-35"

Maurice

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 04:38:11 PM »
Well I guess we know who don't like Japanese!  :(

  So I guess we should just write them off, huh?



Theo

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2015, 08:51:49 PM »
It does make you scratch your head. Strange that there are more Christians in China (a Communist country that hates religion) per capita than there are in industrialized, westernized, democratized Japan. Things that make you go, Hhmmmmmmm.

Interesting article!


Mission Leader: Why So Few Christians in Japan?
BY MICHELLE A. VU, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

The quality of missionaries or the methodologies used is not the problem when it comes evangelizing. But it is the Japanese mentality itself that is hindering more people from coming to Christ, said a mission leader last week at a global conference in Tokyo.

Japanese people value human relationships more than truth and principle, said Dr. Minoru Okuyama, director of the Missionary Training Center in Japan, during his presentation at the Tokyo 2010 Global Missions Consultations.

“Because they are afraid of disturbing human relationships of their families or neighborhood even though they know that Christianity is the best,” said Okuyama, who previously was Buddhist and a Shintoist. “Thus, Japanese make much of human relationships more than the truth. Consequently we can say that as for Japanese, one of the most important things is harmony; in Japanese ‘Wa.’”

He added, “[T]hose who harm the harmony are bad, whether they are right or not has been beside the question.”

Less than one percent of Japan’s population is Christian even though the religion was brought to the country over 150 years ago.

Okuyama noted that Christianity is thriving in neighboring China and Korea because the mentality of the people is to “make more of truth or principle than human relationships.”


In China, the Christian population outnumbers more than even the Communist Party. The Communist Party has about 50 million people, whereas the number of Christians is estimated to be more than double that figure.

Regarding South Korea, the Japanese mission leader called the country a “Christian” nation. South Korea is home to the world’s largest church – Yoido Full Gospel Church, which has more than 800,000 members.

“When the Chinese have been challenged to choose the truth or the human relationship, they choose the truth, sacrificing the human relationship. But Japanese would choose the human relationship, sacrificing the truth,” Okuyama said. “Utterly same as the Chinese, Koreans also choose the truth.”

He noted anthropologists have described Japan as a “human relationship oriented society,” but China and South Korea as “principle-oriented” societies.

Despite the difficulties in reaching the Japanese people, Okuyama said missionaries must not give up but continue to plant the seed. He noted the history of several people groups where, for hundreds of years, it seemed like evangelism efforts were in vain. But suddenly countless people came to Christ.

“The seed of the Gospel never falls to the ground in vain,” stated Okuyama. “Let us do our jobs!”

More than 2,000 mission leaders representing 140 countries convened for the Tokyo 2010 Global Missions Consultations, May 11-14. The Tokyo conference purposely coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Edinburgh meeting – the first-ever global missions conference.

Reformer

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2015, 05:54:11 AM »
Well I guess we know who don't like Japanese!  :(


Yes, the non Christian enablers!

Quote
  So I guess we should just write them off, huh?

Can you read? And why would a non christian be concerned about Christians just writing them off? Are you just trolling?




Maurice

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2015, 08:50:35 PM »
You Christian people should watch NHK world, you might learn something about Japanese culture and not think that Christ is the only way to a deity, religion or self worth. There are other opinions.

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why would a non christian be concerned about Christians just writing them off?

Maybe because we might think Christians are supposed to be inclusive, not exclusive.

Reformer

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Re: Why are there so few Christians in Japan?
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2015, 03:12:23 PM »
You Christian people should watch NHK world, you might learn something about Japanese culture

The only thing anyone will learn from NHK World is what the Japanese want you to think about Japan, not the Christian world view. Namely, that it's "Cool Japan," their moto, better in every way than any other culture.

If we want to learn that, we can just listen to you and ignore scripture about evangelism.


 


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