Christianity in Japan is an amazing thing. For some reason, I am more in awe of seeing Christians there than when I meet them here in America. For some reason, God’s work is more clearly perceived in Japan than in America.
One obvious reason for this perception I had is because Christianity is relatively scarce in Japan. In America, I can imagine some people seek God because of all that they frequently hear about him in American culture. There are many churches and many Christians in large regions of the country. In Japan, this wouldn’t be the case. If someone is Christian, most likely, it’s because someone went to some considerable length to deliver the gospel message. Even if it was a Japanese native and not a missionary doing the evangelism, talking about Christianity is not as accepted as it might be here. Most parents oppose their children getting baptized. The obstacles are greater for everyone in Japan. Meeting so many Christians in a short time was impressive to me. Every time I met a Japanese Christian, it was like I was meeting a miracle. I loved hearing about how each person found their way through the doors at J-House. I loved seeing a girl respond to my friend telling her that “we have purpose.” I reminded myself of verses like Romans 3:10, Romans 8:28-30 and John 6:37-39. God was at work with these people and he deserves the credit. For someone in Japan to believe in God and the gospel while none of their neighbors do, only highlights how much God can change a person.
No Time to Fake It
I was encouraged to see such genuine Christianity in Japan. My friend pointed out to me that in Japan, it’s harder to be a ‘fake’ Christian. They do not have the time for that and would too easily be sucked into the things of the world if they were not truly joined with Christ. That’s just his theory but I can imagine that being true. The Christians I met are very committed members. Some are willing to travel 2 hours one way to attend a service at J-House. Some of the members stay all day and night for fellowship. On this trip, I saw many members at J-House 3 times in the week for a Wednesday night service, Friday night evangelism event, and Sunday worship service. For them, more church is more fellowship despite their busy schedules. They do not get tired of meeting together. I certainly didn’t mind seeing them that frequently. I see the same thing at some local churches in Hawaii but it was refreshing to see it in Japan.
The Miracle of Conversion
The truth is, despite my narrow perception, it is a miracle for any person to become a Christian no matter where they live. I take spiritual conversion for granted here at home. For someone to be dead in their sins and made alive again through faith in Christ is a miracle. It’s a miracle because God becoming flesh and being offered as a ransom for the sins of the world is the miracle of our human history. My trip to Japan helps me appreciate this miracle. Praise God for the believers everywhere, including the blessed ones in Japan!
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” -John 6:40