Thursday, 3 September 2009
If Japan became Christian...
As an Evangelical Christian I want the whole world to become Christian. However I had a thought today about what this may mean. Much of Japan is based upon a Shinto/Buddhist mix which is almost impossible to separate from their culture. What would happen to all their rituals? What would happen to the Shrines and temples? The iconography? The idols? Should they all be ridden of, or left? This, I suppose can be applied to any culture but as Japan is dear to me I thought I'd pose it like this.
It seems to me that for most the answer is obvious: destroy all trace of falsehood. However I'm not so sure. What if we left these as symbols of the past? Just as a fat person who becomes thin keeps a piece of their old clothing to remind them of what they once were could not a convert see their old life in a similar way? Perhaps many of the rituals and traditions could be incorporated into Christianity, or general life in some way. Just as the Maypole is part of (Traditional) British life, so could the purification ritual become for the Japanese.
Christianity has a long history of taking an old concept, ritual or tradition and making it Christian rather then destroying it. Easter for example used to be a spring festival of new life, cleverly replaced with our resurrection festival.
Just some initial thoughts. May post more about this at a later date.
Till Next Time!