Monday, April 20, 2015

Reality of Japan

Now after living in Tokyo for a period of time I can start to see the reality of what the general belief-system and lifestyle here entails for the average person. Although outwardly portrayed as a technology-advanced utopia with an excellent standard of living and a seemingly peaceful people; the dark underbelly of Japan remains, even growing at an unsustainable rate. How can this be so? Many of you have seen links on my Facebook page concerning the reality of Japan. Here again are the links that show the reality of Japan:

 Japan is Literally Working itself to death
 Where did all the Japanese Fathers go?
 Japan's Disposable Workers 
Japan's Birthrate Decline

At what cost comes success in Japan? Or for that matter at what cost does it take just to raise a family in an increasingly competitive Japanese society in which human value is measured mostly by usefulness much in an entirely utilitarian sense. Can you sense the distress a little more clearer now? Can you see why a “First World” country needs Christ just as much as any other country. I hope so, because the people here are literally dying physically as well as spiritually.

In Tokyo when human beings are reduced to only the belief in the physical existence without regard to the truths of the scriptures, their only hope can be found in an increasingly dehumanizing system of “survival of the fittest” by somehow coming out on top in the Japanese societal structure. Only for many it comes at the cost of their bodies breaking down, death, suicide, or other various addictions. But, if this is how you are taught to believe reality is, then how do you escape? The term "Shikata ga nai" comes to mind, which means "it cannot be helped".  This is the reality of doing ministry in the urban landscape of Japan. Many people here know that there is an issue, that something is not right, that there is more to life than the physical existence; many often just continue in their existence thinking that this is the extent of their life. Many Japanese people that we meet have interest in Christianity, and would become Christians if someone had the time to sit down with them an explain the scriptures in detail. This has happened with the few people that we have been able to devote appropriate time to.

This is where the Japanese church as a whole comes in. But, if the church is comprised of many mentally sick, weary, spiritually-oppressed, elderly, new-in faith, and over-worked people, then how can it be expected to complete the task of the gospel? (For most men work very long salary-man hours to support their family and do not have much time for spiritual matters, as they are just trying to survive.) The church needs help. It needs prayer support, God-called missionaries, and humble servants in the church to prayerfully combat in spiritual warfare. The church needs Japanese servant-leaders who will come along side the people to help them (rather than command them) throughout this country, for the potential is great. Will you pray for this?

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