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Praying for Japan: Historical Strongholds and Spiritual Warfare RJC Midwest Conference October 10, 2009 Dr. Stephen Dupree

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praying for japan historical strongholds and spiritual warfare

Praying for Japan: Historical Strongholds andSpiritual Warfare

RJC Midwest Conference

October 10, 2009

Dr. Stephen Dupree

slide2
1Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites [Japanese] is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
slide3
3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for all who believes.

(NIV - Romans 10:1-4)

brief history of christianity in japan
Brief History of Christianity in Japan
  • First wave of Christianity in Japan -
    • 1549 - Francis Xavier
      • First Catholic mission to Japan
      • By 1589 - 300,000 converts (1.6% of population)
brief history of christianity in japan5
Brief History of Christianity in Japan
  • Second wave of Christianity in Japan -
    • 1872 - Meiji Restoration
      • First Protestant mission to Japan - arrive in 1859.
      • 43,273 Christians in 1900 (.1% of population)
      • Tokugawa government begins persecuting Christians
brief history of christianity in japan6
Brief History of Christianity in Japan
  • Third wave of Christianity in Japan -
    • 1945 - Post WWII
      • New wave of missionaries to Japan.
      • 1950 - 4,100,000 converts - (5% of population)
brief history of christianity in japan7
Brief History of Christianity in Japan
  • Japan Today -
      • Many missionaries from after the war have retired. There are not as many missionaries replacing them.
      • 2002 - 2,000,000 converts - (1% of population)
      • Bible schools/Seminaries have had to close or are greatly reduced in numbers.
worldview
Worldview

Western Two-tiered View of Reality

  • faith
  • miracles
  • other worldly problems
  • sacred

Religion

Excluded Middle

  • sight and experience
  • natural order
  • this-worldly problems
  • secular

Science

Paul Heibert, Anthropological Reflections on Missiological Issues

slide9
Japanese view:
  • Religion encompasses all seasons of life through it’s ebb and flow.
  • Shintoism - celebration of life
  • Buddhism - celebration of death

Afterlife

Birth

Death

Childhood

Senior

Youth

Adulthood

japan stronghold
Japan Stronghold -
  • Foundation of the stronghold in Japan:
    • Shintoism - Amaterasu (sun goddess)
      • Strengthened during the Tokugawa Period
      • Made a state religion during the Meiji Restoration.
      • Hundreds of thousands of shrines in Japan.
japan stronghold11
Japan Stronghold -
  • Buddhism - brought into the Japanese Imperial court by Buddhist monks in 538 AD.
    • Thousands of temples throughout Japan.
    • Accepted in a society that is a “both/and” society
japan stronghold12
Japan Stronghold -

Powerlessness -

  • Perception of being unable to change one’s circumstances or make an impact on society.
  • Shoganai - “Can’t do anything, but give up.”
  • Shikataganai - “It can’t be helped.”
  • Little confidence to change situation.

Keith Webb, Overcoming Spiritual Barriers in Japan

japan stronghold13
Japan Stronghold -

Conformity - “group consiousness”

  • Societal peer pressure to conform continues to control how a Japanese acts, thinks, and makes decisions.
  • Suppress own personal desires, values and beliefs for group.

Keith Webb, Overcoming Spiritual Barriers in Japan

japan stronghold14
Japan Stronghold -

Fear of Incongruity -

  • Not wanting to be different
  • Expectations within the family for “traditional” events, tied to religious festivals and holidays.

Keith Webb, Overcoming Spiritual Barriers in Japan

japan
Stronghold

Powerlessness

Redemptive Gift

Perseverance

Japanese Christians can move past the defeatist “it can’t be helped” attitude and move toward a godly perseverance

“We can do all things through Christ, who gives us strength.” Philippians 4:13

Japan -

Keith Webb, Overcoming Spiritual Barriers in Japan

japan16
Stronghold

Conformity

Redemptive Gift

Cooperation

Working together for groups to hear the gospel.

Japan -

Keith Webb, Overcoming Spiritual Barriers in Japan

japan17
Stronghold

Fear of Incongruity

Redemptive Gift

Feeling of Identification

Help Japanese know they may be a Christian and Japanese at the same time. They do not have to give up their “Japanese-ness” to become a Christian.

Example - Tsuchiura Church

Japan -

Keith Webb, Overcoming Spiritual Barriers in Japan

local examples
Local examples:
  • Local pastor -
    • Pressure to sign “non-proselytize” agreement.
  • Small church in Miyagi Ken.
    • After 10 years, still only pastor and his wife in worship service.
why pray
Why Pray?

“God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”

I Timothy 2:4