Chinese Pastor on Evangelizing Japan: Christians Should Live Out “Reconciliation”
By Ruth Wang, July 29, 2017 06:07 AM
Pastor James, a native Zhejiangese who has studied Japan for a decade, set an ambition three years ago: become a missionary to Japan who would bring the gospel to many distressed souls in the country.
He has been inspired by two verses about "reconciliation" :
"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. " (Ephesians 2:13-17)
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:18)
As Chinese, Pastor James knows the countless pain Japan caused China in history. However, he knows that hatred is not the ultimate way out after understanding the gospel. Instead, Christians should live out the value of "reconciliation" and bring healing. The more he learns about Japan, the more he feels the thirst and pain of Japanese souls and that only the gospel can give showers of rain to this paradoxical nation.
One year ago, he launched a new ministry, "China-to-Japan Mission Cruise" so that Chinese Christians could see the real Japan to break many myths, release their inner bitterness, and pray for Japan, that the gospel can work deeper in the hard soil.
In November 2016, the pastor led twelve Christians on the journey, praying in Japan and announcing healing. In his eyes, it is like the trip of the twelve spies who explored Canaan --- it's true that the conflict and hatred lasting for centuries between the two countries cannot be solved overnight.
More than 40 Christians joined the cruise in March 2017. In the beginning of the trip he stated that the core value in Ephesians 2:13-17 was "reconciliation", hoping that it could be a reconciling journey. It was interesting that there was a Catholic chapel in the center of the bottom of the cruise ship, making it like "Noah's Ark" that God prepared. During the journey, he shared the biblical messages on "reconciliation" and the spiritual condition of Japan and communicated with Japanese Christians.
"Many enemies have been reconciled in the Holy Spirit."
The Bible has many examples of reconciliation. The first one was Jacob being restored to a good relationship with Esau and the second was Joseph being reconciled with his brothers. The third was Jonah's story.
"Our personal thought is that 'I will avenge when I grow up, implacably hostile to Nineveh,' while God's will is that 'don't you know they are ones I love and value'? " He hoped that the participants could be elevated to a new level: "doesn't God love Japanese people? Should we Christians live out reconciliation and be one in Christ?"
He mentioned a testimony that he went to visit a church in Nagasaki, where an atomic bomb was dropped during World War II, in November 2016. He found that it still survived even though there was devastation everywhere else.
He believed that the key to breaking the curse is to release Chinese souls. "The Chinese people got much hurt from Japanese, so we need to be released and break the curse. If we don't release the Japanese, it's impossible to release ourselves and usher in a spiritual revival in Japan. We also need to be released before welcoming revival in China."
He continued that the reconciling journey didn't end in Japan. We Chinese people should live in harmony with other Chinese, particularly treating thousands of Chinese people on the cruise with peace. "You can reach so many Chinese people, shake hands with them and say that Jesus loves them. We can tell Korean and Japanese drivers and tour guides off the ship, 'Jesus loves you'. They hold that Chinese people are not easy to get along with, but they will change the image they have of Chinese people if we are polite and joyful."
Spiritual darkness in Japan originates from a lying spirit
"What kind of country is Japan?" Pastor James summarized Japan's spiritual condition with a word: "lie".
"We don't know the Japanese who seem a mystery to us." He said that the Japanese are too paradoxical, such as being polite while actually distant and strict while inhuman. Many historical facts show their contradiction and falsehood: it proposed to establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere centered around Japan, but brought the war to the East Asia; it caused the Nanjing Massacre, but denies the murder to this day. He thought that the formation of their ethnic character was related to their shrine system. "They believe that the Emperor of Japan is the son of the sun-goddess and passes down from generation to generation. He is the form of God in human shape. A lie lives among them, while the reality is that they create a god and set up a shrine system. Today the Japanese still consider the Emperor as god."
The system has been carried out for a thousand years. Learning humanism from the West in modern times, Japan has become a country where humanism has reached its climax. The thought based on humanism and militarism led to disaster. Numerous Japanese people died in World War I and II. Pastor James believes that humanism and militarism come from Satan. "It's extremely horrible that militarism combined with Japan's Mikado system to the extent that Japanese people regard their death as allegiance to the Mikado."
"There is a lie in Japan. We must help them break the lie and pray for them. They want to build a god by themselves, but they're frustrated when they fail. They greatly value people, regarding them as gods. They serve you well, but they don't raise their heads to put their hope in God. So they worship multiple gods, regarding cattle, sheep, and dogs as gods, but we should not be taken hold by such thoughts."
Only the gospel of Jesus can break the lie and myth and release the Japanese souls in bondage. "Is God seeking and using perfect people? No, God never uses a perfect man, but one who obeys Him and submits to His will. David and Elijah were imperfect in the Bible. Humanism always seeks and shapes an image of a perfect person, using every means to disguise the surface to make not understand it. However, a man can't be perfect. We must accept ourselves: I'm not perfect."
As far as he is concerned, Japan is like a stubborn stone and hard toil. It reminded him of what Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China, cried: "顽石啊，顽石啊，你何时才能开？"(Rock, rock, oh when wilt thou open, rock?) Currently the gospel has comforted countless Chinese souls. "Today's Japan is like a rock, but we need to declare it to change."
-Translated by Karen Luo
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