Monday, December 20, 2004

Pondering Authentic Glory to God

A few days ago I was pondering. I am posting this more for my own future benefit than for anything else, but of course anyone is welcome to peruse it.
Authentic praise is heartfelt. Too often in the NA church the praise comes more in the form of rhetoric. I think there may be too much rhetoric in our churches today. But that aside; when we praise God in North America, culture, language, and our worldview all come very much into play. Our praise is generally offered in context of these things. We generally praise God in our own language, we use words that are meaningful to us based on our experiences with life as well as with church.

How does one offer authentic praise in Japan? What is authentic praise from a Japanese standpoint?
I suppose they might offer up or elevate values they hold near and dear to their own hearts, core values and transfer them to God? For an example I think a core value in the Japanese culture is honour. Being honourable is especially important to the average Japanese person. So if God was infinitely and perfectly honourable, honour personified, that would constitute mighty high praise indeed, in the eyes and heart and soul and mind of a Japanese person. Or as a second example loyalty. Loyalty is another core value I think. So if God were worshipped as being omnipotently loyal, that too would be beautiful in the estimation of a Japanese person.

In our culture (North American, European) we have developed a large body of music and songs, poetry and stories, pop culture and high culture, over the years in praise to God.

But in Japan the cultural legacy is one built without God. Can we export our resources into a Japanese culture very different from that of western culture and expect that to be meaningful? How is authentic praise being generated in Japan? How can it be developed? How can we help in developing it?

Can there be Japanese music that is Christian? Can there be Japanese Literature that is praiseworthy? How can we develop art that is glorifying to God in Japan?

As a rookie missionary I look with not a little trepidation at the mountain that needs to be moved. I need to learn not to focus on the mountain but on the Mover. That is key to success, and to my well being.

1 comment:

Gideon Strauss said...

Wonderful questions you raise!