RJC World

Reaching Japanese for Christ (RJC) is a network of loving Christians, primarily in Norh America, who are helping Japanese who are here temporarily.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Japanese Western Weddings in Japan and Elsewhere

Yesterday I was working on the new "Operation Japan" Prayer Book which will come out as an expanded CD only edition. Here is what we had in the 2004 edition, pg 52:
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Some missionaries say that the wedding ministry in Japan is the most effective mass evangelism method today. Here is the reason they are saying that. Of the 750,000 weddings performed yearly in more than 3,000 wedding chapels and other locations, up to 75% or 562,500 are Christian or Western services. With an average of 50 guests per wedding, this means that in a year up to 268 million people come in contact with God’s Word. They sing two Christian hymns, hear two prayers and a short Bible message.
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There are at least four levels of Western (Christian) weddings for Japanese taking place in Japan, Hawaii and elsewhere.
1. Pure secular business weddings. These take place in wedding halls, hotels, etc. and are often conducted by non-Christians.
2. Secular business weddings conducted by Christian missionaries, pastors. These ceremonies often allow 10 minutes with the couple before the wedding in order to explain something of the meaning of the ceremony.
3. Western weddings, conducted by Christian ministers with counseling. Those getting married may or may not have had previous contact with Christianity. During the counseling there is opportunity to explain the gospel. In some cases there is follow-up after the wedding.
4. Western weddings conducted only under the authority of a Christian organization, like a church, only for Christians.

My personal feeling here is that we need to pray for those getting married at each of these levels. Even #1 weddings conducted on the beaches of Hawaii allow the name of Jesus to be used, the Bible is read and a hymn is sung. May God use these unprecedented opportunities to bring many to Himself!

What do you think?

DW

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A man named Mr. Inagaki was the first person I saw come to Christ in Japan. The very first thing that motivated him to seriously consider Christianity was attending a Japanese wedding. I believe he was strongly being drawn to Christ there. He expressed to me that he could understand the ceremony unlike for example a Buddhist funeral where non intelligible chants are used. Apparently he was very moved by what he heard.

4:33 AM  
Blogger sampler said...

I do believe that God often breaks the mold when it comes to evangelism and the Holy Spirit can (and does) use the popularity of Christian-style weddings to make contact between Christians and unbelievers.

However, I am concerned about the potential damage caused by the promotion of narrow, western stereotyped weddings. There is no such thing as a 'Christian wedding' in the Bible; yet all the Japanese see with these wedding chapels is a man-made religious form which they equate as Christianity.

There is a lot of confusion about whether or not these events are religious or just entertainment.

Personally, I think that the de-Westernization of Christianity under the anointing of the Spirit is the primary way to see church growth in Japan. How else will it ever be perceived as other than a foreign religion?

10:32 PM  
Blogger sampler said...

I do believe that God often breaks the mold when it comes to evangelism and the Holy Spirit can (and does) use the popularity of Christian-style weddings to make contact between Christians and unbelievers.

However, I am concerned about the potential damage caused by the promotion of narrow, western stereotyped weddings. There is no such thing as a 'Christian wedding' in the Bible; yet all the Japanese see with these wedding chapels is a man-made religious form which they equate as Christianity.

There is a lot of confusion about whether or not these events are religious or just entertainment.

Personally, I think that the de-Westernization of Christianity under the anointing of the Spirit is the primary way to see church growth in Japan. How else will it ever be perceived as other than a foreign religion?

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Adamma said...

This is great info to know.

8:17 PM  

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