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Japan: Beyond symbols

"Japan: Beyond symbols" Continued...

Issue: "Troops hunt for weapons," June 14, 2003

Even if the placing of such items provides some degree of comfort, hope remains distant. Some Japanese on the slow road to nirvana love the idea of hoping in the fast help of Amida Buddha-but what if, like Mrs. Blockson, they understood their opportunity to pray to the all-powerful Creator who truly can save His creatures? What if Jodo Shinshu adherents understood the opportunity to upgrade from an imaginary utopia to a real heaven? Some Japanese like being able to rely on Shinran's Compendium on Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment instead of having to wade through the immense canon of Buddhist works-but what if they grasped the beauty of the inerrant (and also succinct) Word of God?

Despite dire economic and social forecasts, there's hope for Japan. Many Japanese try to stay aloof from religion until some ritual need forces them to make a choice. A Japanese person, asked "What religion are you?" may typically answer, "No one in my family has died yet." But they are missing out on what Christianity has to offer in life as well as death. "You must be born again" is Christianity's message not only to individuals but to cultures that are sinking. Easter emphasizes death to life, despair to determination, and the way that fallen man can rise because Christ has shown the way. The Gospels emphasize movement from death to life and despair to determination, pointing to the way that fallen man can rise because Christ has shown the way.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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