Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Cloud Over Japan?


I am re-reading Jackie Pullinger's "Chasing the Dragon" for the first time in about seven years, and was struck by how in Hong Kong at the time she was told by Christians and missionaries that China was under a cloud of unbelief, and that's why it was so "difficult" there and no one converted. But after one gang member came to Christ, she cast off that idea and knew that Christ indeed was there.

I was struck by this because Christians and missionaries have been saying the same thing about Japan for such a long time. But here there are many who believe the answer then lies in spiritual warfare -- not against real principalities (like pride, rejection, etc.), but against shrines, temples, and local deities which they have mistaken for being the principalities.

What occurs to me is that Japan is just like Jackie found Hong Kong. It is not under a cloud, and Jesus is here. The problem, like she found, was that Christians did not know how to harvest and did not go into the harvest. They wanted the harvest to come into their buildings, and they wanted the harvest to be neat and cleaned before it came.

In the same way, one problem is that the church in Japan is profoundly middle-class. Gospel outreach is mainly left for certain "ministries" instead of seen as part of every Christian's life.

But more than that, there is a problem of listening to and following Christ. It is a problem that is stuck on tradition and authority -- the traditional weekly church service, and needing the authority of a pastor or "covering" or whatever. Churches pray for "revival" but want it controlled, sitting in pews, and submitting to the authority of the local pastor by coming and sitting for the weekly lecture. The "cloud" is not so much over Japan as it is over Christians in Japan. The greatest spiritual warfare needed is in the church -- we need to be set free to follow Christ out of our comfort zones and traditions and into streets and homes where His heart is, where His harvest is.

This picture that I got awhile ago is starting to make more sense:


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