Discipling and Growing Healthy Japanese Christians.
RJC Conference Feb 2013. by Tony Schmidt
- Japanese Culture is a Culture of Harmony.
- Help them see this – “meiwaku kakenai” (don’t cause trouble), “wa o kowasanai”
(don’t break the harmony)
- The Bible is a culture of truth and love. Truth and love must be the basis for any real harmony.
- Truth must take pre-eminence over harmony. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Truth need not be “grace-less” or unkind.
- Help them to be conscious of the battle, so they can be more prepared to choose truth.
- Help them to be lovers of truth – “the truth shall set you free” said Jesus. (John 8:32)
- Harmony at the expense of truth is bondage.
- Sensitive Personal Relationships.
- Personal relationships cause a lot of stress in Japan. (“kuuki o yomu”- reading the atmosphere) Sensing is a way of communication (“sasshi, sassuru”)
- Help new Christians to work through with you the scenario that one day they will probably be hurt be someone in the church. What will he/she do?
- Worldy ways to handle: retreat, withdraw, leave the group quietly, politely ignore the other, fret, criticize or gossip.
- Biblical ways to handle: Love, accept, forgive. (Eph3:20)(1 Pet 4:8) God’s plan is that we learn love through our relationships within the body of believers He has no plan for lone, “private” Christians.
- Affirm that we committed to follow Jesus, not another person. We need not be stumbled by another’s weakness.
- 50% or more of baptized believers do not go to Church anymore. The reason is often personal relationship conflict.
- Christianity is not a “belief system”, but a dynamic walk with God through knowing Jesus Christ, in fellowship with others who have trusted Jesus for salvation. To love Jesus is to love His Church. 1 John 4:19-21
- Confidence as a Believer in Society.
- “Nihonshugi” assumes that be a true Japanese you would have to be Buddhist and Shinto. (worship of ancestors and worship of Japanese gods)
- Satan’s strategy –to make Christians feel apologetic for the trouble they cause by being Christian! “meiwaku wo kakeru” (causing trouble) “katte ni suru”(selfishly doing own thing).
- Help new believer see that it’s Satan who is causing trouble, not them! And it’s others who do not trust or honor their Creator (yet) who are “selfishly doing their own thing”. Christians will have to forgive them, and pray for them to come to know Christ too!
- Encourage new believers as soon as they have been baptized to be up front about being a Christian. It makes life easier in the end.
- Equip new believers to cope with Buddhist funerals, and other Japanese festivals.
- Equip new believers with tools to share their faith. 2 min testimony, explain John 3:16, Gospel hand. Etc
Presented by: Tony and Pat Schmidt.( OMF International, Vancouver Japanese Gospel Church.)