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Author Topic: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan  (Read 21967 times)

Trotter

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The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« on: December 28, 2004, 06:00:12 PM »

I've been checking in this forum the last couple of days and I'm just wondering why no one has even bothered to comment on the death toll from the tsunamis where 44,000 people have died so far? Do you think it has nothing to do with christianity, it's not relevant, is inappropriate to talk about, or are you just not moved by it one way or the other at all? I thought at least someone would comment that it's God's work, his providence, his judgment, or at least something? Have we gotten so cold as christians that we don't even have something to say (anything at all) about an international tragedy? Just curious why christians are pretending like nothing has happened? I don't mean to be critical, I am honestly seeking reasons why we think this isn't worth commenting on. Or that it's not important? Shouldn't we use this as a platform for the gospel? What are your thoughts?

John

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2004, 08:57:33 PM »
My thoughts are that this tsunami killed people that God had appointed to die. It is highly doubtful that many were Christians. So the real tragedy is not so much that a lot of people died, but that because of sin a great many people will awake to stand for judgment and spend an eternity in hell. Putting this in context, no one is happy that men, women, and children die. But death is only the beginning of woes, it is the second death that looms large, and on this forum it and many other realities are discussed.

By the way, I used to do tropical cyclone prediction and storm intensity at a centralized facility. We'd see on satellite enhanced imagery an extremely powerful typhoon slowly heading up the Bay of Bengal toward populated coastal areas of India. Because the government believes in "karma" and fate, they do not notify their citizens to flee. Their false religion tells them if they are to die then there is nothing that can be done to change the outcome. Fatalism causes the death of tens of thousands each year where many lives could have been saved. Do you see the folly of sin and the depravity of man? Even worse is not to see the ultimate end of man -- God's eternal wrath.

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
13  And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14  I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.




Apart from a life in Christ that leads to eternal life, the existence of man is to live for a moment under the curse of sin and suffer everlasting punishment. This pales a tsunami by way of contrast.

2 Corinthians 5:10-11
10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.


john
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midas

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2004, 10:51:42 PM »
Quote
Shouldn't we use this as a platform for the gospel?

I don't mean to be critical, and since you used the word "we" why didn't you post something about tsunami on this web site until today. Somebody has to go first ...

As for me I primarily use this forum to learn about different doctrines and scripture meaning.

World tragidies, earthquakes, wild weather, global turmoil, famine, droughts, plagues, Satanism, the economy, volcanoes, murders, etc, everyday there are major events on the news that are sad and devastating ...

To me the people on this forum are careing and warm hearted Christians ...  I believe this forum specializes on the meanings of scriptures and true doctrines and rarely on world events and how they relate to the bible ... Just a prefernce as what is discussed and not disrespectful to the topic you or others may be personally interested in. It's pretty consistant here  ... World news is rarely discussed.

If world news is an interest of yours and you which to start a discussion on a specific topic and how it relates to the bible, feel free to start one ...

If you wish, you could ask Tony Warren to start a new discussion topic titled World News and How It Realtes to the Bible ... I'm not asking for it however maybe others are interested in it ....

judykanova

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2004, 04:01:41 AM »
Trotter,

Both john and Midas have expressed what I believe most here feel about this tragic event.  I would but add these comments.

It's those still living, (not the dead whose fates are 'sealed'), who should most concern us during the aftermath of such catastrophic events.  Some may be prompted to consider their life, the brevity of it, the forces of nature which God alone established and controls, and the final 'judgement'  against which these natural disasters can't even compare in severity and duration.

It is a sad but true commentary on how desparately wicked are the hearts of men who will only seek the Lord when confronted with tragedy.  Tragedy can remind us like none else, of just how vulnerable we really are, and how desparately we are in need of a Savior.   Such is the perverseness the our fleshly nature, that the Lord often has to bring us low to get our attention -- at times bringing us literally down on our knees seeking mercy, help and/or repentance.  If we're lucky,  the Lord's Spirit and Grace will enable us to learn from such events and foster a greater dependency on God.  Unlike those 'stiff-necked' Israelites who despite their first-hand witnessing of God's mighty wrath against Pharoah and Egypt, dared to 'murmur' and rebel against the Lord, thereby bringing upon themselves the wrath of God and perishing in the wilderness.

Deu 9:6-7
6  Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.



There seems to be an awesome 'balance' (for lack of a better word) between the greatness of God's wrath, and His boundless love and mercy, which is reflected in Scripture and can be observed in everyday life & tragedy.  Albeit some attempt to downplay or remain ignorant to this aspect of God's sovereignty, and focus only on His love.  Some even become embittered by such events and dare to question God -- unlike Job who uttered the simple truth that it is God who grants life in the first place, and who takes it away according to His divine purposes.

Job 1:19-22
19  And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
20  Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21  And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.


Although such things may be difficult to understand in this ever changing and ever corrupt world,  we can thank God that He remains constant, Faithful, True, and perfectly Just, and affords us our only sure Hope.

Act 24:15
And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust

Rom 12:12 
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;


judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Shirley

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2004, 09:05:00 AM »
I notice this avoidance of the issue also. Judy's response seems to be the most compassionate. I have to ask if Christianity is any longer a living force in the world for compassion, both for the physically needy and the spiritual needy? It seems so many christians attitude today just seems really cold. Especially reformers who seem to take the position that they don't need to show concern, or even evangelize, because the elect will be saved anyway if it's God's will. While I don't argue with that, God works out his will through our efforts.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

When I see disasters and tragedies I think what a marvelous opportunity to speak on the providence of God and the fleeting nature of life on this earth. Tragedy is a great opportunity to preach on everyone's need for a saviour. Unfortunately, many christians seem to take the attitude that if it's God's will, then we don't worry about it or try to help either spiritually or physically or with aid. Besides for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, I don't know of any other reformed group that is compassionate about these types of things.

I know that this is ultimately God's judgments and all in the providence of God, but I also question this perceived indifference by christians to this monumental tragedy in this week's Tsunamis. At first I thought it might be because it's not a biblical issue. But then I realized, this is a biblical issue, and a salvation issue. These people of the world need spiritual help, and they don't get it.

 Mt 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 Ac 13:47 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.

God wants us to spread the gospel, not smirk at how God judged these people when disaters befall them. I'm beginning to think that some christians, and particularly reformed christians, are just aloof and show none of the compassion for others that Christ showed for them. When we see all this calamity and disaster around us, that's when people most ask, "why?" As christians we should seek to comfort them through the gospel, seek oportunity to explain God's vision, and point these souls in the direction of the gospel. I hear none of that, and what I heard on another forum is that they were all heathen and were judged. As you say, here it's almost as if everyone is oblivious to this disater, or at least attempting to appear so. 

 Mt 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

This is the equivolent of seeing the battered man on the side of the road, and crossing to walk on the other side. Not as the good samaritan. There are all kinds of ministering, but I see, or rather feel, a lack of compassion by some christians.

Diane Moody

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2004, 04:12:26 PM »
At last count, the death toll now tops 80,000 people dead and it's sure to rise.

http://www.backtothebible.org/lifeissues/faith/why_does_god_allow_suffering.html

This link may help those who are struggling with why God would allow this.


Shirley

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2004, 05:49:53 PM »

Thanks Diane,
  At least you show a concern that some people may need help coping with situations like this. This is what I think Trooter was expecting from Christians in the first place. Some help to those who are less fortunate and who don't know the gospel as we do.

Daniel

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2004, 11:51:47 AM »
We must remember this world is passing away, this is not our home.  Sometimes I forget that, and I get too caught up in this world. I must rejoice in the Lord always, I say again rejoice.
     As for spreading the Gospel.  I think president Bush (who says he is a born again christain) has a great opportunity  to spread the Gospel. So what does he do, he starts wars.
     We must remember rejoice in the Lord always.
                                                                         Dan

Chris

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2004, 12:31:36 PM »
I don't think the irony is lost on anyone that the three most christian, compassionate and biblical responses to date have come from women (Diane, Judy, Shirley). Even though Christ said to men, feed my sheep, men tend to have more of the "don't think about the world" because it will soon be over type responses, while the women have more of the, "It's an opportunity for the gospel and to explain why God does things" attitude.

Interesting. I tend to think the women have the more christian attitude. Just because we are realistic doesn't mean we have to be cold and incompassionate.

Tony's FAQ, and Christian Answers Net often gives some of the most thoughtful yet biblical responses.

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t023.html

No human tragedy that has ever occurred is unforeseen or not in God's divine providence. There are no people who have died an untimely death, because when people die, it is their time to die. But from our perspective, we should approach these tragedies as firtule ground to bring the compassion of the gospel rather than a uncompassionate quip about how they all deserved it (as if we don't) or how they are being judged for sin. For sure God has his reasons, but those reasons may be for the benefit of the living. Something for men to think about rather tha merely implying we should not get caught up in compassion for the world.


Oneil

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2005, 04:42:31 PM »
I don't think the irony is lost on anyone that the three most christian, compassionate and biblical responses to date have come from women (Diane, Judy, Shirley). Even though Christ said to men, feed my sheep, men tend to have more of the "don't think about the world" because it will soon be over type responses, while the women have more of the, "It's an opportunity for the gospel and to explain why God does things" attitude.

That's probably a lot truer than men would want to admit. At least from what I've heard. By the way, the death toll is past 150, 000 now which makes it the biggest disaster I've ever seen in my lifetime. I think it merits a comment or two from Christians.

I read other boards and I hear so many people asking why would God dso such a thing. I try to help them understand that it's Christ that is the only answer to all these questions of why, and how, and what now. And they can't understand how I can say that if just 5 people turn to Christ because of this disaster, then it's all been worth it.

We don't know what is God's plan in how he draws some to salvation, but we hope and pray that some will cast their burdens upon him and find both true peace of mind, and rest for their souls.

Matthew 11:28-30
 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest.
 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
 
We think in times like these that our burdens are heavy, but that's only because we don't take them off our shoulders and lay them upon the Lord to carry. In him, we will find our rest, our answers, and our assurance. Like you, I wish other christians would be more proactive instead of reactive. Rather than send money to feed and clothe the people in india after this flood, send that same money to people to go spread the gospel to those people in India and Asia. Please tell me, when did Christianity become a non evangelizing religion? These are the questions that this disaster brings to my mind. Why are Muslims working tirelessly to spread their gospel all over the world while Christians sit content to go to Church and pass out sandwiches to the homeless?


John

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2005, 12:01:13 AM »
Quote
I don't think the irony is lost on anyone that the three most Christian, compassionate and biblical responses to date have come from women.

You have made a false dichotomy between the post of men and women and between "compassionate biblical" responses versus supposed unloving and unbiblical responses. Neither of your assertions are true. Do you measure "compassion" by feelings and wringing of the hands? How have your supposed compassion made any difference in the lives of anyone?

The biblical response made here were done by both men and women, some more accurate than others. The biblical response should be that God raises up and God puts down, the whole world is His to do as He pleases.

Job 1:21-22
21  And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22  In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.


There is no difference in how men or women approach this disaster -- they understand that God can do with His creation as He pleases. Both genders understand that the most significant and important effort these people need (or anyone needs) is to have the gospel preached. They know that true biblical compassion is in the desire that some might be saved from an even larger looming disaster yet to come -- Judgment Day and eternal damnation.

This is the biblical framework we should be operating under.


Quote
I tend to think the women have the more Christian attitude. Just because we are realistic doesn't mean we have to be cold and uncompassionate.


Cold and uncompassionate?  Women have the more Christian attitude??  You have a uncanny ability to state your opinions as if they were undeniable facts. None of these things are true. I have not seen anyone posting a cold and uncompassionate response concerning the tsunami disaster. Do you suppose that if you are a self-proclaimed "compassionate" that makes the rest of us cold and uncompassionate -- this is not a zero sum game. You can be as compassionate and realistic as you see fit, yet this does not diminishing the biblical truths that others have posted. Your supposed compassion does not invalidate Biblical truth, however Biblical truth may just invalidate your framework of compassion.   


Quote
Especially reformers who seem to take the position that they don't need to show concern, or even evangelize, because the elect will be saved anyway if it's God's will.

You are attacking a position that no one holds and nobody here believes. Just like saying woman are more compassionate, the statement above is unfounded and untrue. Suddenly reformers are not caring or wanting to evangelize? Why? Because they don't have your level of compassion?  Simply making wild statements doesn't make you more compassionate -- more irrational yes -- but not compassionate.


Quote
God wants us to spread the gospel, not smirk at how God judged these people when disasters befall them.

Here we go again. Somebody is smirking? Apparently, for some to elevate their compassion status they must disparage others. Are you now good because you declare everyone else to be bad. Your compassion is a bit too self-serving.


Quote
For sure God has his reasons, but those reasons may be for the benefit of the living. Something for men to think about rather than merely implying we should not get caught up in compassion for the world.

This whole man vs. woman, compassion vs. uncompassionate, caring vs. not caring is an erroneous and fabricated comparison apparently designed to elevate someone's sagging sense of self-worth. Someone is angry that this forum is not busily discussing the tsunami event and has decided to invent a straw man assertion to "prove" that Reformed Christian men are cold, unloving and don't care about anything or anyone, except perhaps, as some would have it, occasionally handing out sandwiches to the homeless.

Someone wanted Christians to make a few comments about the disaster, and a few Christians did -- with Bible verses. They related it back to the Bible and put it in context because that is what this forum is about. The remainder of the posts bemoaning the lack of caring here are self-serving attempts to demean Reformed Christians by spreading false allegations.

Most of these allegations are neither compassionate, nor biblical, nor worthwhile -- that is the true irony.

john
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!

jsw

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2005, 01:15:48 AM »
I just heard Franklin Graham try to answer the question....why did god let the tsnunami happen, doesnt he love everyone. Franklin underhandedly blamed it on the devil, not directly. Graham can never argue his way out of a corner with Larry King with any good doctrin.

God made the tnunami happen. God causes all things. in isiah 45 i think it says that God causes calamity.  God is love, just,,and soveriren, and we dont know why really ever.

AllofGrace

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2005, 03:19:34 PM »
Hi,

It always bothers me when I see people answering questions like this one, and in a desire to "protect God's righteousness", they diminish His sovereignty. I have even heard some say "God did not let this happen. The devil did this." Well, if the devil could do things that God does not allow, then God would not be sovereign. But we know from scripture that He is.

Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Psalm 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

I agree that we often do not understand why God allows such things. But then, that is the difference between the creature and the creator.

Grace and Peace,

Michael

Grace and Peace,

Michael

John

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2005, 08:42:52 PM »
Quote
why did god let the tsunami happen, doesn’t he love everyone.


Who can we blame for the tsunami?  The waves?  The ocean floor?  The gravitational pull of the moon? A destabilized earth that is cursed by God? The residual effects of the great flood?

Do we blame the cursed people who caused the world to be cursed? The man Adam who brought the curse upon all mankind? Or each and every person living who would have done exactly as Adam did?

I will not blame God for testing Adam or Satan for failing to remain faithful. Adam, you, or me, we all together would have failed the test too. Therefore, we caused God's perfect creation to be cursed. We caused the earth to become what it is: A place of hardship, suffering, and death.  This tsunami is a small reminder of the blame we each share as children of Adam. A larger overpowering reminder will be the Lake of Fire on Judgment Day.

And as is typical with Adam's seed, where nothing is new under the sun, the fallen human race looks around to assign blame and points the finger at Satan or God, rather than see who really is to blame.

Gen 3:12  And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. [Blaming God]

Gen 3:13  And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. [Blaming Satan]


Genesis 3:17-19
17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Blame Adam, and then go look in the mirror.

john
Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!

Susan

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Re: The Tsunami & Why are There so few Christians in Japan
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2014, 06:51:59 PM »
As I read about the prevalence of earthquakes, Floods, tsunamis and the lastest volcano eruptions that killed so many, I am struck by the fact that among nations, there are so few Christians in Japan. CXan it possibly be that God is sovereign over these calamities because of their lack of response to Christianity as other nations have responded? It just makes me wonder why there are so few Christians in Japan, and why are so opposed to Christianity. In fact, they say Japan is one of the most secular nations of the world. Why? And is there any correlation you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Japan

I also looked up the above link which was also interesting.


 


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