Saturday, May 14, 2011

Love Letter to Japan: God Loves Japan too!

So, this is a tough post for me. I'm speculating alot here. This is my attempt to show those of you in Japan the love of God. My "Loveletter to Japan."

I wanted to write this, because I heard one Japanese man quoted as saying that God had judged Japan at the earthquake. I don't think that this is the case. Every other person and country is as bad off as Japan, and they haven't been judged either. I believe now that God is not judging us through disasters, but rather using disasters to get our attention, so we will escape the real judgement.

I don't honestly know alot about Japanese culture, outside of what we've seen here in America. That said, I've seen alot of weird stuff, and alot of not so weird stuff. Godzilla, Dragon Ball, Inuyasha, Shigesato Itoi, Haruki Murakami, Ninja Turtles, Manga and Anime. Sushi. That's really all I know. I've been to Tokyo-Narita airport. That's about it. Sadly, I haven't had alot of opportunity meet many Japanese people.

That said, please forgive me if I get anything wrong.

I've also heard that in Japan, it's very hard for you to believe in the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ, because you believe in so many gods. I don't know how true that is, but my experience with Dragon Ball seems to confirm that. Just about every other character is a more powerful god than the previous one. But think about it, if there are other spirit beings with "godly" powers, isn't it logical to wonder, who made them? It does have to stop some point, with an originating, All Powerful God. And it does. There is indeed a Most High God, above all other beings that call themselves gods or kami.

I do also know there is a concept of sin in Japan, though it may differ from what we believe here. Every person knows when they have done something wrong, even something as "small" as lying, or stealing. I know in Buddhism and perhaps other Japanese beliefs, people have rituals that are supposed to clean people of sins. The Japanese tea ceremony is one such way that some of you in Japan try to remove the sin and guilt that you get.

I also know that some of you in Japan believe you will be judged for how you lived on earth after you die. Usually, this is done (in Japanese religion) by Enma. Indeed, we will be all judged at death, but what is enough to get into Heaven and escape hell? Goku saved the world by beating up evil aliens and he was able to earn a place in Heaven. That was fiction, so if we have to earn our way to Heaven, what is enough to get in?

Assuming thatthere is any truth in what I think I know, both above and that in Japan the Bible is nothing special because of the number of gods, why should you accept the western God? Or maybe why should you believe and trust in Jesus Christ as savior? In Japan, there are no stories of similar scope where God becomes man (which is what Jesus did) and saves humanity? In Japan there is nothing similar.

Japanese people, you do have a similar myth. I discovered this through a podcast called Future Quake, and have corresponded with the host, Dr. Future, and we began to talk about an amazing Japanese TV show from 1966 called "Ultraman."

Yes. Ultraman.

Dr. Future informed me of one of his cohorts who said it was difficult to share God's love for Japan, in Japan because of this lack of myths that have similar ideas to what Christians believe. This is what he said.

"I told him that Ultraman has been in production since 1966 there until today, and is a universal "mythology" identifying the Japanese people. In the show, a god-man from outer space comes, merges with a man's body, dies and then resurrects, then inhabits the body of a man that is part of a group that fights the same evils alongside him. When the evil gets intense, the "god" part of the man comes out and fights their fight for them. If that is not a type of Gospel and subsequent explanation of the church, I don't know what is!"

- Dr. Future

What a powerful analogy to the Gospel.

In this way, Ultraman can indeed serve as a parable.

Let me draw this out, and sort of elaborate on what Dr. Future said. So in the Bible, we have God, the Most High God, the Lord of Lords. He created everything just by speaking it. But, evil came into being through an angel named Satan. As punishment, God made hell to punish Satan and any other angels that sinned. Satan then tricked mankind to sin (doing things that are wrong), and as a result, mankind was to share the same punishment. So sin, Satan and these evil angels can serve as the Kaiju that plague humanity in Ultraman.

So, God knew He had to save people, because He never meant for us to be punished with Satan. So to save us from the Kaiju (sin/Satan) He had to come to us to fight them for us. So, God became a man around 2000 years ago in Israel.

This is similar to how the original Ultraman tracked down Bemular to earth and defeated him. Ultraman crashed into Hayata and killed him. But to keep fighting evil, Ultraman became a man, and became one with Hayata and was able to bring him back to life. He defeated death so that he could destroy the kaiju that plagued people. Whenever the evil kaiju get out hand, Hayata calls Ultraman, and the kaiju are defeated.

Back to the Bible. God became man, but before this, He gave prophecy describing everything about what would happen when He became a person. When God became a person, He was called Jesus. As Jesus, He fulfilled all of the promises He had made throughout the Bible, including dying on a cross and three days later coming back to life. This is how God defeated sin for humankind. Because of this, Jesus now has power to destroy the sin in people's life and defeat Satan when he attacks us. All we have to do is believe that He paid the price for our sin and accept Him into our life and heart as our savior. Once we believe in this life saving and life changing power, God's Spirit will live in us! Then, when evil comes, or sin comes into our life, we can go to God, and He will fight it for us because we allowed Him to clean our hearts and live in us.

When a devil or evil spirit attacks me, I call out to Jesus and God's power destroys the attack. When I sin, I go to Jesus Christ for forgiveness, and God destroys that sin. Would you like to accept Jesus Christ? For those who accept and believe in Him, they will spend forever in Heaven with Him. If you reject it, the road is going to hell. God loved us enough to give us a chance to escape hell, and He will judge us based uon whether or not we accept His solution to get rid of sin in our life. That is, do we accept Jesus Christ?

The Bible tells us how to get right with God. We just believe that God became a man, that He lived a sinless life, and died upon the cross paying the penalty for our sins. Then, He came back to life and holds power over all spirits, and will judge everyone. (Bible in Japanese: can help you search if you don't mind reading in English. Otherwise, go to your local book seller and find a Bible in Japanese..

Here are some reading suggestions.

John 3:16 (then read all of that book). This tells us,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

Now read that again, but instead of "everyone who" with your own name.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that [if] YOUR NAME believes in him YOUR NAME will not perish but have eternal life."

I should also mention, that Jesus Christ is coming back to earth soon. The earthquake in Japan is just one of the warning signs that His return is soon. And when He returns, it's too late. Go to this link and you can readily see the signs telling us that Christ is coming soon.

That's all I have for today. I hope that you can see the parallels between Ultraman and the Bible. Obviously, Jesus is more than Ultraman. But this is sort of a "Mars Hill" moment, where we can take the myth of Ultraman, and use it to present the good news that God has given us.

1 comment:

  1. Just read your post! My daughter and I are going to Japan as missionaries this month! Thank you for your insight! Blessings on you!
    Rhonda and Jennifer