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Waiting for a sign

180 Comments

An evangelist holds a sign in Tokyo's Ginza district.

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Yes, you can say that religion is indirectly involved but the same can be said of many other ideas. For example, around 100 million people were killed during the 20th century based on a belief in Socialism. People simply used Socialism as an excuse to kill others that did not conform with this particular ideology.

Yr starting to get it!

It matters not the excuse used for killing. It is the act itself that is the crime. The motivation is irrelevant. Making ideas a crime is a dangerous way of thinking.

AHHHH & then back to not getting it, you had for a sec there though!

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@stevecpfc

I can't put a link up because JT won't let me but try googling "faith, spirituality, psychology & health"

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“@knews Could you enlighten us with your religious insights?”

Religious insight is open to all who study it. It doesn’t come to you on a tray. It starts with a desire for the insight, then the search….. The problem is that people don’t know how to seek knowledge.They become their own obstacles.

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repentinjapan; Can you privide a link yo one of those studies, i cannot find one online.

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repentjapan at 01:55 AM JST - 30th December

Well said! Well said!!!

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GW:

My point is simple, an awful lot of people have died because of religion in the past & more likely will in the future as well, it doesnt matter one bit if some twist teachings, lie or do whatever........I just pointed out that there is a lot death caused by religion.

My point is even easier to comprehend. Religion, in and of itself, does not kill. Are you unable to grasp that it is fallible human beings that are killing other people? The ideas that make up a religion do not do any harm to anyone. It is when people take these ideas and use them as an excuse to kill someone else - that is my point. Yes, you can say that religion is indirectly involved but the same can be said of many other ideas. For example, around 100 million people were killed during the 20th century based on a belief in Socialism. People simply used Socialism as an excuse to kill others that did not conform with this particular ideology.

Try to wiggle out however you wish but it wont change things unfortunately. Do you really think those killed wud feel better that their killers had twisted their religions & werent really following teachings properly, man that wud certainly provide comfort to the dead & their survivors, actually likely not but....

It matters not the excuse used for killing. It is the act itself that is the crime. The motivation is irrelevant. Making ideas a crime is a dangerous way of thinking.

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We musy have sympathy for people like this gentleman. They need rules to live and ro feel happy. They want us to be like them but i think only the insecure or depressed would do so.

Scientific studies have PROVEN that people who practice ANY form of religion perform better on physiological tests in the area of happiness, self worth, confidence and general well being. Furthermore, medical studies also prove that the live longer and have less health risks.

Perhaps they should feel sorry for you!

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apple407

Could you enlighten us with your religious insights?

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Why is it that discussions on religion are carried on by people who have no religious insights… would people who have never studied Quantum Theory debate on the theory? The problem is that people assume they “understand” religion when they have no idea what it is to understand religion.

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Agreed!

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Religion is the bane of the world today.

Organized religion relies on a clergy or a clerical caste of some sort. In that respect I would include any -ism out there (socialism, progressivism, internationalism, nationalism etc) as a religion. And so it is more accurate to say the various clergies out there are the bane of our existence...

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I believe the message.

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Zenny11; Do not woory. I have decided i am the way and hopefully my ideas will be a best seller like The Bible.

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We musy have sympathy for people like this gentleman. They need rules to live and ro feel happy. They want us to be like them but i think only the insecure or depressed would do so.

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Why. You won't accept anything that is against your viewpoint.

Discussion over.

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Zenny11:

" And WilliB is incorrect according to many scholars of those religions. "

No, he is correct, and if you want to argue you should say what your unidentified "scholars" are saying.

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knews:

" Religion is the bane of the world today. "

No. You can not generalize about all religions like that. It depends on what they teach. By the same token, others could argue the atheism is "the bane of the world", as so much suffering has been caused by atheist regimes. Again, this is nonsensical.

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repentjapan

True, there will always be some who need to believe in a higher being and life after death etc., but the number of active practitioners will decrease. Not sure what you meant regarding the Soviet Union etc. but as people become more able to get information (i.e. by using the Internet), they will learn, ask more questions, and then realize that religion is all about power, money and control.

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Religion is the bane of the world today.

Actually no, it would be the people themselves who live by the law of "do as thou will" and deman that there would be no consequences.

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Columhcille,

As humans slowly become more and more educated with more and more information at their fingertips, religions will become weaker and weaker. It has already started...thank God! (I mean thank goodness).

Been tried aand failed. Just as the Soviet Union, East Germany and China. Mankind will never progress beyond the need for God.

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Columhcille

But do you really need to be a "member" of the LDS church in order to be "more kind and service-filled"? Religion is the bane of the world today. Violence and death all in the name of Gods who some hope exist. Pathetic really. Some people feel the need to "belong" and religion feeds on this. As humans slowly become more and more educated with more and more information at their fingertips, religions will become weaker and weaker. It has already started...thank God! (I mean thank goodness).

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I attend the LDS church which much more follows the practice of just living in a more kind and service-filled way to help others. Then instead of 'pushing religion' on someone who's not interested, they can see a difference of spirit, a difference in behaviour, and say "hey there's soemthing different about that person.. what is it?" and when they ask, that's when conversation about the gospel is opened up. I like that approach better. My husband and I have both had that happen many times; likewise, that is why we joined the LDS church.. we saw that people were different in a good way. When you really practice what you beleive, people see it and if they appreciate it, they will start asking questions.

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@martyman,

No permit is needed in Japan to express religious thoughts or ideas in public (witten, spoken. or brodcasted) . Authorities have tried to force BDL to get permits before but BDL has challenged it in court and won under the freedom of religion and free speech enshrined in the Japanese constitution.

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I am also agnostic.

And WilliB is incorrect according to many scholars of those religions. Many of which DON'T belong to those religions so got no stake in the findings.

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@Zenny11

Research, such as you suggest, reveals that WilliB is correct. But then, why is stating basic tenants of Muslim theology necessarily 'anti-Muslim'?

Being agnostic myself, I don't mind that people are criticising or even mocking this man, or challenging his beliefs. But had he been a Muslim (or come to that, anything other than a Christian) I don't think people would be so eager to wade in, because they would be shouted down immediately as 'islamophobic' or 'bigotted'.

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It is nice to see Japanese are allowed to have freedom of speech rights. I wonder if he petitioned with the city office before his religious demonstration?

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If you don't believe in hell, then what does it matter if they threaten you with it.

Still, even if I don't believe it, it's annoying to hear people preach about how should I live my life and conscequences if I don't.

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WilliB.

We all know your anti-muslim stance, and I would suggest you should check your statements here more for actual accuracy.

Start by researching all 3 religions without a mind of bias/prejustice.

All I got to say.

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one of the biggest differences ive noticed about jeh.witnesses from what ive studied, is the last few passages of the bible. the talk about prophecy. having said that they usually do witness well, like catholics tracking down the Holy Spirit....and they generally can quote the bible well so they dont actually prophesize themselves; but thats where personal interpretation-like the prophets and the God of the old testament being based similarly-can seem judgemental...and from the way they visit my place, id say they have a different concept of time, and personal space. like who likes uninvited guests; last time they visited i had time to talk, but said i usually dont and that because i do study the bible why dont they approach somebody else seeing they have the free time to walk around talking about it. but no they came again with oyatsu, at their time. presumption presiding. if the bdl is jeh. wit. they should approach discourse with other christian churches at the local community level, because theyre highly selective, they seem judgemental.

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WilliB; Better to forgey about all this religous nonsense and enjoy Christmas.

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zenny11:

" Judaism, Christianitiy and Islam all rely on the "Old Testament" as they basis for their religion. They are simply 3 different interpretations in time of the same books and share prophets, etc. "

Nope, you got that wrong. The Christian old Testament is a different version of the Jewish one, and Islam insists that they are both falsified. For Islam, only the Koran and Sunnah count.

And what is this business about prophets?? Only ony of these three claims that its prophet is superior to everybody else.

You really should not make misleading simplistic statements like this.

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If you don't believe in hell, then what does it matter if they threaten you with it. If you do believe in he'll then you've already bought the product anyway. So you see I'm confused by what you say...

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Sorry everyone, I wont be answering any more questions. I hope you all find peace with God and your beliefs.

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That's hardly the loudest thing in Ginza. The Bic Camera and constant irrashai are much louder. You don't have to listen if you don't want.

Sure, but they are not threatening you for eternal hell if you don't buy their products.

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Only those who are in Christ Jesus truly do good because they do good out of the right motives.

So fear of God, fear of going to hell, is a right motive, but doing good without having no fear or belief is not? To me, whoever doing good because of fear of god is in a sense investing for their afterlife future. They are expecting something in return, place in heaven. Surely it can't be better than a person who does not believe heaven and hell, but still be good.

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@ Zenny,

BDL does evangelism as do a few other christian faiths, but I don't recall the big christian faiths practicing it as BDL, Jehova's Witnesses, etc do.

Good question. The first reason is that there is a price to be paid for doing evangelism this way and most are not willing to count the cost of doing that. For example, I myself have had death threats made on myself (and my family), I have been beat up and almost thrown in jail . Also since my ministry is public anyone can google me and deny me employment (it's happened in Japan and in the US)

The second reason is that many in the Church world think evangelism is a "gifting" so others should do it.

The third reason is that people prefer what is called "friendship evangelism" which is going out and making a friend and then switching to Mr.. Ms. Christian on them and try to wrestle them to christianity.

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Repentjapan.

One honest question.

BDL does evangelism as do a few other christian faiths, but I don't recall the big christian faiths practicing it as BDL, Jehova's Witnesses, etc do.

Not the catholic, protestant, anglican, coptic, etc faiths.

Why is that?

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Fine exercise your religion in public. BTW, how do you that? What is the practice of any religion beyond prayers and deeds?

It's called evangelism and it is part of Christianity and a commandment by Jesus himself.

Sorry, trying to convert others is not practicing religion for me, ditto for telling them that YOURS is the only and true way/method.

You dont have to listen then. You have free will right?....just walk away.

Moderator: Readers, please stop going around in circles and bombarding this thread with repetitive posts. Also, please do not mock those with opposing points of view. From here on, any post that does so will be removed and any post that goes over the same ground will be removed.

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repentjapan.

Judaism, Christianitiy and Islam all rely on the "Old Testament" as they basis for their religion. They are simply 3 different interpretations in time of the same books and share prophets, etc. So not surprising that they will also condemn similar things.

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Steve, there's clearly some issues here with you and Christianity. Maybe you did sit through lots of classes, but like being in a garage doesn't make you a car, you didn't walk away with much. I haven't been through as much as some, but I at least understand the fundamentals of christianity. I don't sense you do...

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God's wrath remains on him

What were you saying earlier about the sin of anger?

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Only those who are in Christ Jesus truly do good because they do good out of the right motives.

Hang on. You're saying that that a person who (eg) gives to the poor out of a simple desire to help his fellow man gets fewer get-into-heaven brownie points than a person who gives because Jesus says that will help him get into heaven? Isn't that topsy-turvy?

Jesus said "be ye perfect as your heavenly father is perfect" so perfection is possible

Read the Old Testament and there are plenty of stories of God being a good deal less than perfect.

personal awakening can only be done though Jesus

Evidence....?

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repentjapan; you yourself just compared this wally brain and his speakers to nationalists. Why not leave us alone and mind your own business. If i believed a litter cleaning God, would you like it if i shouted on a corner to pick up litter and repent? Of course not, you would consider me mentally ill and quite rightly so.

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see the big speakers on top of the sign the guy holding? That's what Steve is complaining about. And yea, me too.

The speakers are hardly big...15 watts at the most. BDL takes care to not be to loud and overbearing. Thats more than I can say for the nationalists.

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Fine exercise your religion in public. BTW, how do you that? What is the practice of any religion beyond prayers and deeds?

Sorry, trying to convert others is not practicing religion for me, ditto for telling them that YOURS is the only and true way/method. When you do that is when you start invading on MY privacy and goodwill.

Every few days I get some Jehova Witnesses, etc come by and they ALL say theirs is the true way.

Just my view.

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junnma; nobody has to post, but it is my free will to do so. Having spent almost my whole time in education at Christian schools ansd met the most awful and bigotted individuals imaginable, i am glad i use my free will to live how i wish. I do not want anyones leses beliefs shoved down my throat and i don't shove mine down anyones. Christian like this man and repentjapan lack respect for others.

If there was a single being responsible for everything who had such power, he wouldn't be a spitefull idiot who condemns his own creations to eternal hellfire etc. It is like stories of the bogeyman used to scare small kids into behaving. It is all about control, that is all your religions are.

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I did not say underground, i said in private

Saying is should be private IS trying to forcing it underground. I say REAL progressive forward thinking individuals should should be against any suppression of free speech and exercise of religion even if it is done in private or public

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I think what repentinjapan is trying to say in his/her less than friendly way is that no-one is perfect

I don't think I am being unfriendly...just firm. Also Jesus said "be ye perfect as your heavenly father is perfect" so perfection is possible (unless you want to call Jesus a liar)

Many people talk about someone finally "being at peace" when they die, but fail to comprehend that they could have easily found that "peace" while still living - the "born-again" movement tries to grasp on to this concept by encouraging followers to seek out and obtain their own personal spiritual awakening.

Well said papasmurfinjapan, but personal awakening can only be done though Jesus.

..... but has unfortunately been distorted into one of despair, hate and bigotry.

Only because the non Christian world has tried to paint us into that corner. True Christians have never been anything close to what they are accused of.

Repent, can I hear your opinion on my question too? Do you have to believe in God in order to secure place in heaven? Or if you don't believe, no matter how good of a person you are, the only destination is hell??

Goodness is defined by God not man. Only those who are in Christ Jesus truly do good because they do good out of the right motives.

Belief in God in itself does also not save you. The bible says the devil belives in God and trembles with fear so just simple belief is not enough. You need to believe unto the point of obediance and submission to his will then you have salvation.

Jesus said this : "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
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That's hardly the loudest thing in Ginza. The Bic Camera and constant irrashai are much louder. You don't have to listen if you don't want.

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Junma, see the big speakers on top of the sign the guy holding? That's what Steve is complaining about. And yea, me too.

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Steve your not making sense. You're not being forced to be on this thread. You're here posting willingly. I'm not sensing much live and let live here...

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How do you know what's real and what's superstition? Most people take a lot of what they believe to be real on faith and declare it to be real. Do must people honestly really understand science? I know I don't.

Anyway, that's just an esoteric conversation and as old as the hills.

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I will say that most of the people venting here against this gentleman pretty much have little to no idea what being a follower of Jesus Christ is all about....and as far as Heaven being boring? Hmmmmm....the Bible describes heaven as somethign entirely different....

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Aha, "evidence" he said. That sounds like science. Good start. You believe in science.

You know the whole point of religion is that it is accepted without evidence or "on faith"...

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Cleo, had to say it, I really enjoy your posts.

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Junnama; I believe in what is real not superstition like this amn with his charming speakers causing noise pollution. IThankfully i have enough common snese not to need to follow a book eited as time goes by, that tries in vain to be relevent.

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I think what repentinjapan is trying to say in his/her less than friendly way is that no-one is perfect. Sure the Bible focuses a lot on sexual sins, and let's face it, depending on what part of the bible you read everything from admiring a cute woman on JT's photo of the day to coitus interruptus is a sin. I think we are guilty of both of those at least some stage during our lives.

The point is not do dwell on the sins we commit and live miserable lives. That is not the message of Christianity, although the scriptures quoted above really make it seem all doom and gloom.

The point is for us to realize that we are all imperfect beings, and know that God loved his children so much he sent Jesus of Nazareth (though dare I say not exclusively - call me a heretic if you will) to show us not only how to enter his presence in the afterlife, but tune in to the whisperings of God in our daily lives.

Many people talk about someone finally "being at peace" when they die, but fail to comprehend that they could have easily found that "peace" while still living - the "born-again" movement tries to grasp on to this concept by encouraging followers to seek out and obtain their own personal spiritual awakening. Where they err is by confining it to their own sect. Spiritual enlightenment is available to anyone, of any religious denomination, if they only search for it.

Christianity's message is supposed to be one of hope, love and enlightenment, but has unfortunately been distorted into one of despair, hate and bigotry.

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Repent, can I hear your opinion on my question too? Do you have to believe in God in order to secure place in heaven? Or if you don't believe, no matter how good of a person you are, the only destination is hell??

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see if you cant get into heaven

Do I want to get into heaven? Isn't it an eternity of boredom? Most Christian teachers claim that since animals don't have souls there can be no dogs or cats in heaven. I don't want to spend all eternity in a soul-destroying place like that, it would send me loopy.

Q1. ever looked at a woman with lust? Then you have committed adultery

Not interested in same-sex relationships, sorry. It is possible to appreciate the beauty of the human form of either sex (go on, I'll chuck the cat among the pigeons and add appreciation of animal forms, too) without being overcome with pangs of lust. Or even merely slightly titillated. The logical end result of 'if you look at a woman...' is a need to dress every woman in a hijab. I don't think we want to go there.

Q 2. Ever been angry with anyone without just cause....EVER???

Without just cause? Of course not. When I'm angry, it's for a reason. Didn't Jesus get righteously angry at the money-changers in the temple?

Q3. Every told a lie? Even a small one? A person who lies is called a liar.

A white lie, eg telling a kid he's not bad at something he isn't good at, thus giving him the confidence to become good at it, or at least try harder? Lots of times. Encouraging children to achieve their potential isn't a sin. I seem to remember Jesus had something to say about lights under bushels and talents buried in fields. Also sometimes a lie can help save someone heartache, like when they're grieving the loss of a loved one and you agree when someone comments that the dearly departed is with the angels, or in heaven, or whatever.

Q4 Ever sold something no matter how insignificant (including illegal copies of software or songs?) A person that steals ANYTHING is called a thief.

Selling stuff isn't a sin. Selling stuff that isn't yours to sell is wrong. Never done that.

FYI wafers is a Catholic thing which protestants don't take part in

Sorry, you're wrong there, too. I was raised a protestant (CofE) and attended church schools until I was 17, and the wafers on Sunday was a big thing.

Just because you cracked a Bible open one day and read two sentences does not make you and expert on the Bible

Regular Divinity lessons from the age of 5 to the age of 16, extra-curricular Bible Study classes, confirmation classes, O-level Scripture Studies. Done a bit more than 'crack open a Bible one day'.

Would pedophilia that is done in the privacy of someones bedroom be no ones concern also?

I would say that is a child abuse issue. The sexual element is peripheral.

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Some religous peopel are good, there are good people in all parts of society, but many devoutly religous people have offensive and bigoted beliefs that do not belong in this century.

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When did Christ institutethe Eucharist? I know from the Bible that he instituted the Lord's Supper, but the Eucharist is something altogether different. And all religions may point to a god, but they don't all ppint to God.

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The wafer? It is partaking in the meal set forth by Christ. That is all. Catholics condemn no one. It is in God's hands. Jesus instituted the Eucharist for a reason having to do with space and time as he was the Son of God. The Word through whom all was created. All religions will point to the Spirit of God for He leaves no one destitude. Shinto for the mountains and the sea groaning for the new beaven and Earth. Budhist for one with Christ God. Man crys for help and deliverance from death, suffering and sorrow, the results of sin. Only through accepting that indeed God is Love will anyone see that the Son of God brought humanity into the Godhead by the cross. Cleo you gave all for your children and surely it is unknowingly to you a part of Christ. Most traditional cultures do this.

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stevepfc - That wasn't really what I'd hoped for when I asked for an explanation; 'tis more along the lines of your own personal opinion, which really, and quite frankly, is only proof of you having an opinion of the Bible. Thank you for taking the time all the same...

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Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

What if a person who doesn't do wrong, but still have no belief in God? Will they be allowed to the kingdom of God?

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He is hurting people eardrums spouting his ridiculous beliefs. I would also be against a gay person blasting pro gay stuff through a megaphone on a street.

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short

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Who knows how it will all end up. One thing is for certain is that the Christ story is not one thought up in a shoet historical period. It was from God in the beginning to the omega,the end. One word for creation and a book for humanity. Try explaining yourself to an ameoba.

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Just curious steve, what do you believe in?

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Preach it, brother! Praying for all my brethren in Japan....

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According to repentjapan's post above Heaven will be an empty deserted place if all those peoples are excluded which I would say covers about 99.997% of Humanity.

Yup, you are right on the money. The road that leads to life is a path that most have no desire to follow by ones CLEAR CHOICE not by God's designed will. (John 3:16)

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and MANY enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and ONLY A FEW FIND IT." (Matt 7:13-14)

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According to repentjapan's post above Heaven will be an empty deserted place if all those peoples are excluded which I would say covers about 99.997% of Humanity.

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no sexual immorality (whatever that is - what goes on in the privacy of my bedroom is no one's concern but mine),

Would you say that about everyones sexual issues? Would pedophilia that is done in the privacy of someones bedroom be no ones concern also?

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Haha, you don't need religion to control people. The zeitgeist tells us that too.

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I get rather annoyed that i am enjoying Christmas with my family and people have to bring religion into it.

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It seems very strange to me that at this day and age, people still believe religion. Haven't you seen the Zeitgeist? All religions are made for controlling uneducated masses. Wouldn't all mighty God know, sending different religions would create a problem among humans?

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cleo@

no sexual immorality (whatever that is ...)

Oh, perhaps that was a mistype, just one letter shy: immortality. Cheers to the dinner wine and the smuggery is rather good

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The list includs drunkenness, all forms of sexual immorality, drugs, prostitution, anger, rage, spouse abuse, rape, extortion, murder...

If I don't need saving from any of them, does that mean I don't need your Jesus?

Never killed anyone, never extorted anyone, never raped anyone, never abused my spouse, never raged, only ever indulged in righteous anger (some things it is right to get angry about, that's how wrong things get put right), no links at all to prostitution or drugs, no sexual immorality (whatever that is - what goes on in the privacy of my bedroom is no one's concern but mine), and the occasional glass of wine with dinner or bedtime tipple is a joyous appreciation of the bounty of Nature, nothing I'd want to be 'saved' from....

OK, you got me with the Deadly Sin of prideful smuggery.

Seriously though, not 'getting' God doesn't mean a person needs to be saved from him/herself. It's pretty insulting to suggest that anyone who doesn't pop a wafer in on Sunday is potentially a debauched, raging, raping drunken, drug-crazed, wife-beating murderer on the game.

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For me, Im enjoying the discourse, I could talk/listen to it all day.

I wish I had all day to answer questions and concerens. Sadly, many Christians do a poor job defending and expaining what they believe in a way that is meaningful to none-believers. That's what I am trying to do on this tread...explain....although it may seem like evangelism to some.

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I meant "to be morally rescued" ;)

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@ GW,

Being "saved" actually means 'to me morally rescued' in the Greek text (look it up)

I know MANY people who have been saved from a lifestyle of all forms of wicked sin through Jesus and NEVER go back to it again.. The list includs drunkenness, all forms of sexual immorality, drugs, prostitution, anger, rage, spouse abuse, rape, extortion, murder...and the list goes on.

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but you could associate it with birth of a child.

Thats EXACTLY what the bible calles it...being "born again" and yes it requires submission to Jesus and a willingness to be transformed by the word of God.

This is where, despite the suggestion that I may be coming at it from the wrong end, and that non-believers from that angle cannot sin

It's a nice thought.. but the bible makes it clear ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our conscience confirms it even if we deny it.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

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Paul of Tarsus :)

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Can anyone give an example of someone who has been "saved"?

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Yes well quoting that not all believers will enter the kingdom of God, its okay, I think you sin too. Discredit, no. In Time, though, economics and lies,values, will force a hand to be dealt.IMO...in a way it already is. On a one on one basis, it is easy to handle, cover a community even and there is always chaos. Jumping countries is out of my league : )

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To all the JT detectives: God - Jesus, Allah and etc. will reveal themselves to you. It might be tomorrow or in the future but God does show himself to everyone. It's your choice to believe or not believe. Even some believers will not enter the kingdom of God.

I'm not going to preach but God reveals himself in many ways.

Some people believe in Luck or God. Let them decide for themselves.

I respect all religions and faiths. i CANNOT say which is the correct faith/belief or not. Don't try to discredit any of them.

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Values: well i guess for a non-believer, getting to Jesus isnt easy, but you could associate it with birth of a child. Honouring the love that creates a child. The process of birth. Is there any such other season where this is done? This is where, despite the suggestion that I may be coming at it from the wrong end, and that non-believers from that angle cannot sin-I was trying to appeal to an inner sense of right, I wasnt talking about heaven and hell. For me, Im enjoying the discourse, I could talk/listen to it all day.

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I have to ask you a favor, could you learn how to use the word "their", please?

Noted. Thats a huge flaw for me. Thanks for being patient Peacewarrior.

BTW, I've actually enjoyed reading about your ideas and as strange as they sound to me, you represent a large portion of the world's population and it's good for those of us who don't feel a need to believe to see how you think.

Thank you. I just wanted people to understand that the Gospel is not just "heaven" or "hell" but it is also a lifestyle in the here and now. It transforms a person into one that loves there neighbor as themselves and Loves God above all else. Personally I enjoy seeing less selfish wickedness in this world.Thats not such a bad thing right?

If you do evangelism and you use the BDL evangelism materials, wouldn't you agree that it is easy for us to 'falsely' think you are part of the BDL?

I agree and in most cases its not a problem if they do. I am not ashamed of BDL. They are a partner with my ministry so in many ways we work together and most likely always will.

@plasticmonkey

I never claimed my discourse to be civilized. I am not terribly civilized in this particular context, and for that I apologize.

It is not a problem dude.... this kind of discussion people tend to be hot and passionate about and that's ok. I appologise if I insulted you in any way. We all can learn from each other if we listen. I felt some of the things you were saying about my BDL brothers (and christians in general) was not useful at promoting understanding of my faith. I hope you have better dialogs with christians in the future over topics of faith and values.

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repentjapan: I never claimed my discourse to be civilized. I am not terribly civilized in this particular context, and for that I apologize. I aim to be rational and honest to what we humans can positively share. You may take it for what it's worth, but I want to find a place of common understanding and growth. You are not a fool. I hope I am not, and strive not to be.

I wish you peace in your convictions.

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repentjapan,

I have to ask you a favor, could you learn how to use the word "their", please? Usually the Mods do that in the case of loose vs. lose but this time it seems that they are letting it slide.

Just a favor before I go to bed.

BTW, I've actually enjoyed reading about your ideas and as strange as they sound to me, you represent a large portion of the world's population and it's good for those of us who don't feel a need to believe to see how you think.

If you do evangelism and you use the BDL evangelism materials, wouldn't you agree that it is easy for us to 'falsely' think you are part of the BDL?

Good night

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Plasticmonky,

I guess you are trying to say that I am part of BDL? you would be wrong (and you just broke a commandment against me called "bearing false witness) I do evangelism in much the same style as BDL so I know the group very well and they have supplied me with my evangelism material. I have seen there whole operation and I have much respect for them. They don't deserve the black mark you are trying to paint them with.

I mentioned my daughter to prove a point. You said that kids are "roped" into doing evangelism as if they were victims of some wicked form of child abuse. Ridiculous assumption and very slanderous on your part.

You talk about the bible and God and yet try to tie the hands of any believer that wont go along with your simpleton explanation of scripture by demonizing them. Yet you insist that you discourse is civilized. hmmmm really?

Have you sacrificed any goats recently?

Didn't you "christian" parent teach you that Jesus, the Lamb Of God is the final sacrifice for sin? If not let me educate you a little with some scriptures.

“God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21)

"Such a high priest [JESUS] meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." Hebrews 7:26-27

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@repentjapan: I'll repent before I go to bed, and after I brush the sins off my teeth. You say you're not trying to evangelize in this thread. Then you are here to defend against blasphemy or apostacy?

You are also obviously not telling the truth about your involvement with BDL. We go from:

I personally know the BDL folks

to

my own daughter choses not to participate

to

My purpose on this tread is to discuss about BDL

to

Im not trying to evangelize in this thread

You clearly are breaking (or at least flaunting) one of the more relevant commandments here.

BTW I repent a lot. To people who are close to me, to people that I have harmed, to people I must mend broken ties with. And I do it because I want to, because it's important to us. I do not repent in fear of an imaginary God who throws a hissy fit when people disobey an erratic set of iron age laws (see Deuteronomy). Have you sacrificed any goats recently?

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And I can tell you there are many christians I know that are against BDL.

Yes there are. My question to them is this :

What is to about the bible being spoken about in public that bothers you? Perhaps because your not living what you believe it and dont want others to know about it? If so.. REPENT!

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Standard reply.

So bow out and let the thread run its course. I am done here.

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Zenny,

Funny it looked like a BDL evangelist in the photo...was this a thread for rocket scientests and I messed up? If so Mea culpa!

The more you mention your views the more you push them onto peoples and tend to drive them away. Not about what you decline to mention, etc.

This tread is for ALL... not just the ones agaist this type of evangelism. I could care less if people are "driven away". Im not trying to evangelize in this thread. I

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And I can tell you there are many christians I know that are against BDL.

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repentjapan.

The more you mention your views the more you push them onto peoples and tend to drive them away. Not about what you decline to mention, etc.

Most people here don't care about BDL nor want to hear about it. So much has been made clear.

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If that is your view & actions I respect them but your posts here show otherwise.

My purpose on this tread is to discuss about BDL and try to explain why Christianity is relevant against some really hateful criticism. I have purposely avoided topics on atheism and any other "ism" as I know it is just a bated trap for someone to flex an overactive inflated sense of personal intelligence.

@plasticmonkey

There's really no use having a reasonable discourse with you if all you can come up with is Bible quotes.

Reasonable discourse? You have made widely inaccurate claims against Christians. The BDL of Japan, the bible, and against God Himself and you want me to reasonable and not quote from the book your defaming???...give me a break! You may have grown up in a "christian" home (and I doubt that) but I don't think you have ever understood the first thing about Christianity. Only those with incredibly simple minds would think that Christianity is just about heaven and hell. No disrespect intended, but I think you really have nothing to teach me at all sir.

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repentjapan.

If that is your view & actions I respect them but your posts here show otherwise.

Just an observation. I have found the same attitude with many guys christian, Soka gakkai(sic), etc.

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I am an evangelist & a missionary but I'm not out to convince anyone that has there mind made up that there is no God. I don't wring my hands and pace up and down the street wondering what to do. I don't beg, gravel, change my tactics or water down the bible in order to "save" someone that just does not care. I

I'm out on the street for the one person who needs me, not the 99 who say they don't.

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illsayit.

You got it by the wrong end.

If I don"t follow christianity I CANNOT commit sins as that is a christian concept. Same as if I don't recognize God, Jesus, etc it also means I don"t recognize the Devil as it part of the same parcel and package.

So the christian concept of heaven, hell, sins, etc means zilch to the non-believer. Many christians think it does as they overlay their thinking onto non-believers.

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More sins (you name it, its been done) has been commited in the name of Jesus (buddha, jehovah or whoever you believe in).

@ Adam B.......If I do a sin in your name does that make you to blame? Should I say Adam B made me do it? Of course not!...everyone is responisble for there OWN sin by there OWN CHOICE. The God of the bible is not to blame. He never commanded such things in his word!

it killed the most progressive people and scientists, it stopped development of the world for many years, it makes people obsessed...

Dude, Im not sure where you come up with stuff. Christinity has helped develop every country that has adopted it (An asian example is Korea). The early founders of American procliamed this all the time and why we have "In God we trust" on our money. Have you ever cracked open a history book?

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All those knocking Christ, think they dont sin-or in lamen terms, they dont do wrong. Trying to be good still doesnt get you 100%, if you want to be rationale. It really is logical if you read up a bit. I think freedom of speech is important, this is what this photo portrays. I also think that a church is important, because that's where people who believe in Christ can congregate. It's the next step after you study, in case you were interested-which it seems like cause you really seem to be searching for a meaning for Christians, when you let everyone know that you can walk past and let people have freedom of speech.

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what is so attractive for Japanese people in Christianity

Meiji era japanese looked at how much more advanced the West (Europe, and the relatively new American nation)were and concluded that xtianity played a significant part in the difference.

"it killed the most progressive people and scientists"

Honestly, do you realize how silly that statement looks?

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Sorry to rain on your parade repentjapan. Jesus doesnt save us from anything. More sins (you name it, its been done) has been commited in the name of Jesus (buddha, jehovah or whoever you believe in). Just as l beleive there is no god and you believe there is. I cant prove too you im right as you cant prove you are right. This doesnt make either of us wrong it is just what we believe in. And quoting from a book does nothing to change that opinion

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What is he saving us from, then?

Jesus saves us from sin!

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he is the one who will save his people from their sins." (Matt 1:21)

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@repentjapan: There's really no use having a reasonable discourse with you if all you can come up with is Bible quotes. You are simply unable to question the validity of the Bible as heaven-sent truth. And what you are quoting to us here is irrelevant.

You're saying that myself and other non-believers choose not to believe because we love darkness? That is just utter baloney! Speaking for myself and probably most others, I can say with utter honesty that I wish to do good in this world. I do not believe in Christianity because I have a brain, and I cannot turn it off.

I have a question for you. The only two motives for belief in Christ can be these: 1) you believe Christ will make you a more loving person 2) you want to get a reward (in heaven)

The first is clearly debatable (witness GW Bush and the tens of thousands needlessly killed in Iraq, as one example). The second reason I find horribly selfish. Which is it for you?

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this sign said NOTHING about hell.

What is he saving us from, then?

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That doesn't mean religion is flawed, it means we're flawed.

Junnama, yeah but who created religion, man did.........

We have met the enemy and he is us...

You got that one right imo!

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Again, This man holding this sign said NOTHING about hell. Why all the fixation on hell? Someone explain it to me?

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I walk by the people pushing christianity as I walk by past people pushing Hare Krishna, Jehova"s witness, Soka Gakkai, Islam, etc.

Simple reason. Religion is a PERSONAL choice and not something to be pushed onto you, may it be from parents, etc. This is the way I was taught.

It is personal and ONLY affects YOU and nobody else. Neither do I care if you are christian, muslim or worship the Jedi or the Flying Spaghetti monster or whatever.

I take you for the person you are and you should do the same, regardless of what I belief and practice in the privacy of my home.

Just my view.

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"BDL has been giving Christianity a very negative image in this country."

Why people are offended at the bible is a spiritual problem, not a presentation problem. We could be holding signs that says "Jesus wants to make you rich" and people are STILL are offended. Why? The bible answers it in this passage:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither will they cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (John 3:19-20)

There you have it... sinners wont come to the light because they don't want to be exposed and they don't want to submit to truth, not because we didn't make the message "acceptable" enough by dipping it in honey. Compromised truth is no truth at all.

I sincerely encourage you to find a more effective method of evangelism.

BDL does not care about being effective in human standards but rather being BIBLICAL in God's standards. To them thats all that matters.

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I'll put my two yen in: In the days before serious religion people killed each other plenty good: for the easiest reason: they are different. People get killed because they have different skin or hair or live on the other side of the river. That's the weakness of people. Using religion as a reason to kill others is human weakness. That doesn't mean religion is flawed, it means we're flawed.

We have met the enemy and he is us...

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well i havent heard the trucks or of bdl, but i think them talking about Jesus is needed, because there is too many so-called Christian Japanese, that often mistake the Holy Spirit for some weed-like nature proverbs; they turn into locusts, which highly resemble the police and the sogogakkai

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"BDL has been giving Christianity a very negative image in this country."

To me, it's about the noise pollution. I'm fine with a guy standing holding a placard, but when the sound trucks come around, ... I don't care if they're political, religious, or commercial, I HATE THEM ALL.

repentjapan, ever hear the old honey/vinegar argument phrase about winning flies? Maybe a better tactic would be to not piss people off. The right-wingers use sound vans as intimidation. Is BDL aiming for something different?

Again, I'll just repeat what plastic monkey said, "BDL has been giving Christianity a very negative image in this country."

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It's the Holy Spirit that convinces people of truth, not human wisdom.

So is it like Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Islam means 'submission', and radical Muslims also shun human reason for blind subservience to scripture. I'm sure they lay claim to the "truth" with as much heart as you do. Which way should non-believers follow?

I am a moral person and I do my utmost to do good for others. Reward or punishment in the afterlife should be irrelevant in the equation. I grew up in a very religious household and wrestled deeply with these issues for many years. Religion simply divides people into clubs. Some people need that. I do not. I have become a better person having shed my Christian shackles.

You're going to convince very, very few people just by quoting scripture. Of course you are entitled to continue doing so if it makes you feel better. While I don't agree with your belief and calling, I sincerely encourage you to find a more effective method of evangelism. BDL has been giving Christianity a very negative image in this country.

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Wolfpack,

My point is simple, an awful lot of people have died because of religion in the past & more likely will in the future as well, it doesnt matter one bit if some twist teachings, lie or do whatever........I just pointed out that there is a lot death caused by religion.

Try to wiggle out however you wish but it wont change things unfortunately. Do you really think those killed wud feel better that their killers had twisted their religions & werent really following teachings properly, man that wud certainly provide comfort to the dead & their survivors, actually likely not but....

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The good news of the Bible is enough? Well, I guess that takes a big load of responsibility off you, then. No need to use your noodle to convince anyone of the truth. Just throw some scripture at the wall and see what sticks?

Jesus said HE is the way, THE TRUTH and the life. It's the Holy Spirit that convinces people of truth, not human wisdom. Anyone who bends there knee to JESUS is truly wise.

I do feel sorry for those kids who are roped into working for a cause I doubt they truly grasp.

I do believe kids can grasp the truth better than you. They submit to the truth and you just fly the middle finger at it. Also, all evangelism is not a "cause" it's a commandment by Jesus himself. Its not a protest nor a way to harass people its our religious expression protected by the Japanese constitution. In addition, all evangelism done within BDL is volunteer..nobody is 'roped' into it, kids included (my own daughter choses not to participate)

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Wolfpack: Of course there is no proof that God does not exist, just as there is no proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist. It is up to the believer to offer convincing evidence that God does exist. Standing on a street corner holding up signs of Bible verses -- written aeons ago by fallible humans -- is not convincing to anyone but the desperate and delusional.

@repentjapan: I don't sneer at you BDL folks. I do feel sorry for those kids who are roped into working for a cause I doubt they truly grasp.

The good news of the Bible is enough? Well, I guess that takes a big load of responsibility off you, then. No need to use your noodle to convince anyone of the truth. Just throw some scripture at the wall and see what sticks?

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YongYang:

There is no god, the sign is worthless.

I have not found any reasoned argument by anyone - atheist or otherwise - that proves that there is no God.

Note that the absence of proof that God exists is not proof that he does not exist. It would be quite difficult for you to prove that the guy carrying the sign is not right about God. Here is an example to prove my point: Scientists did not discover Pluto until 1930. Which of course does not mean that Pluto did not exist before then. It was thought that due to irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, that another planet must exist further out in the solar system. Therefore, based on observations humans decided that another planet must exist. Adherents to religion use this same reasoning (and others) to explain that God does in fact exist. I think they make a good point. However, I am simply waiting for the year when the discovery is actually made before I say that God does in fact exist.

Oh, and the irony about Pluto is that the calculations that led to it's discovery were later found to be incorrect.

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GW:

Sorry wolfpack, the above is what is refered to as having yr cake & eating it too.

I think you have your proverbs mixed up or you just missed my point. What I am saying is that the bad that is done in the context of religion is done by people who purport to adhere to that religion and not by the teachings of that religion. There is a difference between what people do and what a religion expects people to do. This is where human self interest and/or interpretation comes in - which is up to people, not the ink on a piece of paper.

Religion cant just take credit for the good it does( & it does do good), it also has to take credit/responsibility for the bad & the ugly!

If by bad you are referring to my earlier mention of war begun for the sake of religion, then I think you are off base. In fact, you may also be misinterpreting religious texts as justification for war just as those who started such wars have done. For Christians, I don't think the Bible is telling people to wage war on anyone for religious reasons. I would even hazard to guess that the vast majority of believers and experts of religious texts would say that there is nothing in the Christian bible that states that man should wage war on other men. In fact, it encourages people to to the opposite. Here is a quote: 'But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you'. And most famously, 'turn the other cheek' to paraphrase a verse in the Bible. I am not even a Christian but I know that religious teachings themselves do not encourage war.

By your standard, any individual that is a member of an organization that does something wrong while in the service of that organization must be doing so because the organization itself is causing him to do so. All one has to do is find some line in some official document - or an omission - and twist it's meaning to suit whatever nefarious purpose one might have. We see the spin-meisters for political party's do this kind of thing to each other every day.

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Their trucks look not much different from the right wing thug-mobiles.

There trucks look MUCH different than the right wing thugs. They are black and white it bible verses. This is a HUGE difference that the black with iron coverd glass windows and HUGE flags you see on right winger trucks. Nationalist dont even like the BDL folks!

The voice over the PA is monotone and carries not one ounce of good cheer. BDL uses a PA voice and tone that can carry a long distance. They want to be heard and thats it. They are not our to manipulate human sences with "good cheer". The good news of the bible is "good cheer" enough.

Almost all these BDLJapan people look miserable. Try standing on your feet for 12 hours in the COLD while holding a sign while people like you snear at them, cuse them out or just plain ignore them. Then maybe you could understand why maybe they dont cast a smile your way and be of "good cheer"

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As for free expression, let`s allow this sort of thing at designated places and times. Even support it with PA systems etc... but keep it off the random streets and out of the lives of people who are not interested.

Then you are not advocating for free speech but controlled speech. A hallmark of a democracy is free speech without any regulation or a "designated" place even if hecklers don't like it.

A hallmark of a dictatorship is to control speech, suppress it and outlaw all speech except for that which is "approved". Maybe you would like to live in a dictatorship?

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I just know that religion has done a lot of good for humanity. Those that point to wars waged with religion as a pretext are confusing religion with human nature

Sorry wolfpack, the above is what is refered to as having yr cake & eating it too. Religion cant just take credit for the good it does( & it does do good), it also has to take credit/responsibility for the bad & the ugly!

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They're in my neighborhood too, and they wear fatigues and drive Jeeps. They scowl a lot too, I run into them in Lawson's sometimes. Absolutely cheerless...

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It's Christmas time. I thought Christians were supposed to feel joy. Almost all these BDLJapan people look miserable. Their trucks look not much different from the right wing thug-mobiles. The voice over the PA is monotone and carries not one ounce of good cheer.

People are allowed to believe what they believe, and say what they say, including me. I have never insisted that these people be barred from proselytizing, or that religion should be wiped out as was tried in the Soviet Union and China. But I don't like the idea that these BDL people can spread their joyless monotone message and everyone else is just supposed to shut up about it. That's one-sided and it is not productive. I believe in good honest debate, and there has been some on this thread, which I'm happy about.

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Religion should be private. Believe whatever you want to believe. God, Allah, Scientology, Flying Spaggetti Monsters. It should not matter to anyone other than you and your loved ones which diety or mysticism you believe in.

Where I have a problem with both religion and atheism is that both often claim to know the truth and go out of their way to impose that belief upon others. Often in bloody and repressive ways.

What the world really needs is freedom from and freedom of religion to hold equal sway. So in short you can believe whatever you want, but you cannot impose it on anyone else. We all show equal respect by keeping our religion to our private personal worlds and not in the face of others.

As for free expression, let`s allow this sort of thing at designated places and times. Even support it with PA systems etc... but keep it off the random streets and out of the lives of people who are not interested.

I am an agnostic. I cannot prove or disprove the existence of any spiritual reality. I am anti-religious based upon my study of history and the role religion has played in world history. I also support and would defend the rights of anyone to believe in any religion as I think it is the right of people to do so. But I also don`t want to be bothered by religion in my life and think that it should not be imposed upon me on the street.

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grafton:

As a fellow middle-aged person I have put in a lot of serious and sometimes tormented thought about religion over the years. I think that your "atheist evangelist" phrase is exactly the type of thing I dislike about the opposition to religion. It just took you two words to say what I was trying to say in two paragraphs.

People get a lot of benefit from their beliefs - why actively seek to tear them from that even if you believe it to be a dillusion? I do agree that Christian evangelists at the train station can be annoying. As for myself, a few times I have found it difficult to get help with directions at a train station when Japanese folks look at me and assume that I am trying to spread the word. I get brushed off before before I can get to ".... doko desu ka?"

Atheism is basically an absence of belief. Advocates of atheism essentially are arguing for people to believe in nothing. That doesn't make much sense to me. It makes better sense for them to argue against using religion as a tool for injustice than for any religion at all. Whatever your views on any particular issue, most of what religion teaches and pursues is positive and a benefit to society. Where I part from you is that as an agnostic, I don't see how atheists can be so sure that their non-belief is any truer than the belief of a religious person. To my mind, an absence of proof sufficient to satisfy a non-believer does not make belief in a supreme being false.

As a citizen in a free - yet increasingly less so - society, I must tolerate a lot of other peoples points of view. I may not like them all, but I am sure everyone else doesn't like all of my views either.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays!

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What I hate about these evangelicals is that they often play messages featuring threats of Hell and other horrors if you don`t drop your beliefs and take up theirs. Often doing so near shrines at New Years.

These bible thumpers feel the need to impose their fear ridden faith on others to help validate it for themselves. Having read the bible and studied it as a child, I cant imagine how anyone believes in such a psychopathic diety who seems as like to smite one as to forgive one. It defies reason. And yet, here these nutters are trying to put theFear of God` into Japanese who are doing just fine without this ancient middle east created nonsense.

If Japanese need a reason, beyond simple rational thinking, to reject this insanity, all they need do is study the history of the faith and all the violence and insanity is has unleashed in the west. That alone should prevent it from ever taking hold in Japan.

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Woflpack.

The above was in answer to your 2-20 post but you got in with another one before I chance to answer. Damn your quick!

I know what you are talking about when say that the empty space needs filling with something, not from something within me, but from good, close friends with whom I have talked. For myself I can only say that after 40 plus years I still can’t feel that need, no it is not a new thing.

One thing that I suspect we might agree on it a distaste for those “atheists evangelists” that are “believers” in not believing, if you follow my odd reasoning.

Also agree that it is an interesting discussion.

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Woflpack.

Well said.

I may not agree with the idea that there is a human need for spirituality, but I do agree that it is wrong to hold “religious wars” against any religion. Human beings do have a habit of using whatever means come to hand for killing each other and religion has been used as a mechanism for moving the masses the way a particular leader wanted them moving. That is not the belief that is at fault but the man behind the belief. In that sense it is too simplistic when the religion is held to blame.

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grafton:

I have no religion and feel no need for any spiritual dimension to my life. An atheist yes, but not one of those atheists that seem to treat what they don’t believe in almost like a religion. It is neither an opposition nor an empty space being filled with something else. Religion is not something that we are born with, it is something that gets added and if it doesn’t get added we live normal lives.

I was like you for a long time myself. I started out as a Catholic only because my parents were. I later felt that I couldn't believe in all of the miracles about Christ and God that I was reading and hearing about. At that point I became an atheist. For a while I also didn't have that "empty space" that you refer to that needed to be filled. However, that didn't last for too many years. I began to feel that there is something else about being human that isn't just flesh and blood, chemicals and neurons. I do feel that there is a space inside that needs to be attended to - I just don't know what to do about it yet. The fact that so many different peoples originating in different parts of the world within such different cultures all seemed to develop a spiritual belief system is telling to me. Interesting discussion.

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I have no more problem with this guy advertising for his God than I do seeing someone advertising for KFC. What's the big deal? There are so many people that just plain hate Christians. Ironically, these are the same people that tell those that do not think the way they do that they are intolerant. Just the pot calling the kettle black.

stevecpfc:

Really, we should all be hoping men like this and all followers of religion will die out soon as we learn more about our past and future.

To think that religion will die out is to misunderstand human nature. It is a futile hope that will never be fulfilled. Even those that are strongly anti-religion usually believe in some form of human spirituality. This is in itself a belief in something that they cannot fully explain or understand. You may think that humanity has learned a lot and that science and reason can wipe away religion and spirituality; I don't think that is ever likely to occur. A tremendous amount of phylosophical and scientific brain power has been harnessed over centuries in an attempt to provide a full understanding of ourselves and the world around us and all we have been able to achieve is to create two more questions for every one we answer. There is also no possibility that a belief in government aided by science and reason will ever be able to compete with religion and/or spirituality. It failed in the Soviet Union and it will fail in China and is failing now in several socialist counties in Western Europe.

As an Agnostic, I have reached the conclusion that I just don't know if there is a God. I am unable to believe in the mystical teachings that nearly all religions and phylosophies provide. I just know that religion has done a lot of good for humanity. Those that point to wars waged with religion as a pretext are confusing religion with human nature. Wars waged with religion as it's rationale are wars that would still be waged by the same aggressors against the same foes based on the human propensity to attack and take from those that are different from themselves or out of fear. Religion is just one of many differences among people or groups that has been a misused force for uniting people against others. Holy books do not wage wars, it is the tyrants that misconstrue it's meaning to suit their own selfish goals that are the culprits. Look no farther than the Islamic jihadists that are currently using the Koran to justify their own war on the West and so-called Muslim apostates.

Enjoy the "spirit" of Christmas everyone - and Merry Christmas JT!

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Repentjapan, it might help if you take the time to actually read what I said before replying. Where did I say the guy holding the sign was an indication of radicalism? I actually used him as a counterpoint, implying as long as he quietly puts out his message, we should respect him.

Grafton: Religion is not something that we are born with, it is something that gets added and if it doesn’t get added we live normal lives.

Good point, and that is probably the point that differs between religious people and non-religious people. Religious people would probably argue the opposite. If I understand it right, Christians believe that the "normal life" we leave is given to us under the grace of God, hence that we are born with it, even if we choose not to recognise it or accept it. Who's right? It can't be proven one way or the other as it takes the nature of a relationship and it's up to each of us to make up our own minds about it.

On that note, I'm out of here. Merry Christmas, happy holidays or hope you have a good (non-important) day! You can choose which is most appropriate for you!

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I have no religion and feel no need for any spiritual dimension to my life. An atheist yes, but not one of those atheists that seem to treat what they don’t believe in almost like a religion. It is neither an opposition nor an empty space being filled with something else. Religion is not something that we are born with, it is something that gets added and if it doesn’t get added we live normal lives.

But, any excuse for a party or a fiesta, so, hope you are all having a good holiday.

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Caption says:"An evangelist holds a sign in Tokyo’s Ginza district."

Is he? One doesn't have to be an evangelist to become a Christian.

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Xmas to me is a time to be with friends and family and look forward to the new year. Nothing religious about it for me. Jesus, if he existed, probably wasn't even born in the winter. The biggest problem here is having to listen to Mariah Carey's song inside every damn shop, day after day.

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Plastic Monkey, there will be no gloating. That is not what is meant by my post and that is NOT what Christianity is about. However, there are people who come on here gloating about NOT being Christian. Why don't you direct some of your resentment toward them? It's fine for them but believers are supposed to remain silent? Nowhere in the bible does it say that if you are a Christian you automatically go to heaven. There's a whole lot more to it than that. Please read my post one more time and re-read the Good Book while you're at it. Having knowledge of something and truly understanding it are two entirely different things. I don't think you understand at all. God is not sadistic.

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Really, we should all be hoping men like this and all followers of religion will die out soon as we learn more about our past and future.

Learning more about our past is definitely a good thing, then we'd also learn that religion has been an integral part of the development of our society and our value system. Last time we tried to wipe that out, when the enlightenment was hijacked by the more radial atheist agendas (as apposed to atheists who don't believe in religion but respect other people's views), we ended up with almost a century of bloodshed and the end result was more people turned to religion than believed in it beforehand. Dictionaries in the post-enlightenment period defined it as a failed concept.

Radicalism, whether in religion, atheism, politics or whatever, only leads to immeasurable problems. As long as people like the guy in the photo quietly holds up his sign, then I'm willing to respect him for that. We should be trying to live together peacefully and with respect. This, to me, is the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas all.

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Happy holidays? what holidays is that?

Mithra (Born today 1400 BC). Have a happy Mithra day!

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After all these years of doing this, don't they realize how counter-productive this is? The quotes look silly out of context, especially if you don't know anything about Christianity. "God" is called "kami神", which is a Shinto term for "nature sprite" (they inhabit trees, rocks, caves, etc.). Also, they use very low quality speakers which just cause a headache (which is actually my main complaint).

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Merry Christmas Everyone, even the mods(ah that hurts haha)

While personally I obstain from religion, I am fine with it as long as its not intrusive, but I gotta say if there really is a god(s) he/she/its got to have one sick sense of humor if they want anything to do with mankind except for their own entertainment.

I mean come on humans are the most destructive, combative bunch of SOBs on the planet, we are a plague, literally, IF we really think about whats going on & what WE all do. So again if there is a god we must have been created to give god a diversion from more important work, we must somehow be entertaining for the powers that supposedly be!

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Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I don't want my boyfriend sleeping with other women just because he wants me to do the same. :/ I don't think that this saying is really so clear-cut.

To be honest, I have no issue with religion and even peddling it doesn't really bother me. I don't mind a good debate sometimes, and if I don't want to listen I have the option to refuse as well. What turns me off, though, is the insistence on submission. I can't imagine submitting to anyone. I have little enough control over my life as it is, I couldn't even conceive of turning everything over to someone else. I suppose this isn't the best place to discuss it, but I just don't understand the need to place yourself in the service of another, or to rely on them for everything. Once I became an adult I lost the need for anything but the occasional helping hand, which I am glad to give as well as receive when needed.

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This guy is my image of Christmas in America.

You got some weird ideas then man.

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This guy is my image of Christmas in America.

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I think it is good that a Japanese Christian is talking about Jesus. There is no way Judaism would work for Japan, or anywhere else I guess. Repent Japan, and sincerely take Christ into your heart. And the full meaning of this season.

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Papasmurfjapan:

" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That one phrase pretty much sums up true Christianity, and is a universal truth found in most religions. No-one can argue with the wisdom of those words. "

In most. Alas, not in all. And that is the problem.

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Thank you papasmurfinjapan. Finally, a decent post. I was wondering what I should write, but you summed it up perfectly.

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Happy holidays? what holidays is that? try CHRISTmas!

Moderator: Please do not bombard this thread with posts. You can make your point in one message.

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Prayer and going to church is not enough to go to heaven. A man must SUBMIT in humbleness to the bible being the truth and Jesus being the only way and follow Jesus even unto death to be a true Christian.

This is why the man was holding this yelow sign up. To "call" upon Jesus is to realse you need help from a God that cant fail you.

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I think it is necessary to make a distinction between Christians and religionists. Just because a person calls himself Christian or attends church doesn't make him so - they are religionists - followers of a dogma specific to the religious organisation they have chosen to follow.

"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate"

Real Christians are more concerned about living Golden Rule than being hypocrites by preaching damnation when they know they themselves are far from perfect.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That one phrase pretty much sums up true Christianity, and is a universal truth found in most religions. No-one can argue with the wisdom of those words.

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Everyone is ranting and raving over this guy holding up a simple bible verse. Amazing... he is not hurting anyone...let him be.

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Many Christians commit awfull crimes, indeed i have witnessed the IRA carnage in my home town London when young.

Indeed those who have called themselves christians have commited awful crimes.....but the TRUE christian sumbmitts himself to God and rejects sin and seeks to become Christ like in word, thought and deed... thus they violenty against any crimes against there neighbor.

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Hopefully, we will evolve. The belief systems just don't work anymore but that doesn't mean there isn't a spiritual way albeit full of pitfalls, snake oil salesmen, carpetbaggers, etc. But it is the way for us and if we can get past the next 200 years without wiping ourselves out, we have a chance. Peace to all.

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Call me, call me on the telephone... Hey, enjoy the festive season but it let it sit as it does in Japan i.e. without all the mumbo-jumbo and supernatural trimmings. Have a good atheist day of celebration. Peace.

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Interesting that Jesus wasn't born on december the 25th anyway.

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Mike Huntez:

" Hey I'd rather these guys hold their signs around town than be hidden with backpacks or vests that would explode and kill people that don't subscribe to their beliefs. Or riding the trains with poison gas or biological agents as far as that goes. "

Exactly! As long as they preach their beliefs without trying to get to paradise by killing me, it is no skin off my nose.

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As for the question about what will happen to those before Christ:

"Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

-Romans 2:14~16-

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That depends what denomination you belong to, but I think most don't condemn them to hell.

Limbo

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Wait, since when does the Bible have 'Acts'? Does that make it a play? I thought it was more like Psalms, or, y'know, chapters and verses. Whatever, Happy Holidays one and all. Believe in whatever you want, just don't push it on me.

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the wicked WILL be judged!

Quick question. Are the wicked those who don't believe in your god?

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The sorriest thing is, at some point in the future many will regret they were poking fun at these people, but it will be too late for them to admit they were wrong.

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So what happened to all the people who lived before Jesus and could not "call on Jesus"?

That depends what denomination you belong to, but I think most don't condemn them to hell.

I don't really agree with this guy's proselyting methods, nor necessarily what he believes in, but if he isn't hurting anybody what's the fuss? I'd rather him on the street than the uyoku.

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Hahahah, the stuff Christians are coming out with here, especially the lasy one had me laughing out loud, great start to the day.

Really, we should all be hoping men like this and all followers of religion will die out soon as we learn more about our past and future. Religion is a dated belief system used to control the masses and give hope and meaning to lives in olden, poorer times. Hopefully we can see a world with less conflict and people free to be themselves away from the shackles of organised religion.

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Baah, stop spreading Christianism in Japan, please!

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I find standing on a street corner and telling people they're going to hell extremely insulting and arrogant, especially when it comes from a pre-recorded message delivered over a megaphone.

You should try listening harder next time. 99% of the pre recorded message has nothing to do with hell but rather hope. But make no mistake, the wicked WILL be judged!

Hey I'd rather these guys hold their signs around town than be hidden with backpacks or vests that would explode and kill people that don't subscribe to their beliefs. Or riding the trains with poison gas or biological agents as far as that goes.

amen to that!

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I think that the guy on the right is already calling Jesus!

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Hey I'd rather these guys hold their signs around town than be hidden with backpacks or vests that would explode and kill people that don't subscribe to their beliefs. Or riding the trains with poison gas or biological agents as far as that goes.

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@Mocheake--I understand Christianity very well and I don't believe it. I believe it is nonsense. That is my right to say, as it is your right to express your belief. I am not 'trampling' on these people. I find standing on a street corner and telling people they're going to hell extremely insulting and arrogant, especially when it comes from a pre-recorded message delivered over a megaphone. Would you be happy to hear the same sort of thing from a group of Muslims? Hari Krishnas? Satanists?

One day, we'll see who's right!

Well, if that happens, then you can gloat all you want with your true Christian spirit and be glad you got with the winning team and didn't end up in hell with people who didn't sign on the dotted line. As for me, if there really is a God who is that simple minded and obviously sadistic, my sense of morality will refuse servility to him.

Happy Holidays!

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Will someone PLEASE point out to me on the sign where it says anything about hell?

A good rule stick to judge your spiritual condition by is that is if you think a message of hope is about hell then thats where you probably are heading.

The sign simply says "all that call on Jesus will be saved" and its from the first Christian sermon ever preached by the Apostle Peter in Acts chapter 2. No where in that passage does Peter mention hell but rather he appeals to Jews over there guilt over crucifying Jesus and tells them to "call" upon Jesus and repent for there crimes against God's Son. Simple enough and rational.

*

These people are all over Tokyo. They belong to BDL Japan and they're really creepy. It's all about using the prospect of hell to scare people into believing Jesu*s.

I personally know the BDL folks and you don't know the first thing about them. None of them use hell to scare people into believing in Jesus. They do present that Hell IS real and is a valid biblical doctrine taught by Jesus himself, but they don't use it as an evangelism tool alone, and if they did they would be unbiblical .

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I'm not a big fan of Christ. Most people don't pay attention to the signs. They don't celebrate birth of Jesus on Christmas but they want to enjoy Santa Claus things during Christmas.

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Just because some of you don't believe, don't want to believe or just don't want to understand, doesn't give you the right to trample on someone who does. One day, we'll see who's right! May The Lord have mercy upon ALL of us. Happy CHRISTmas

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These people are all over Tokyo. They belong to BDLJapan and they're really creepy. It's all about using the prospect of hell to scare people into believing Jesus. Brainwashed miserable weirdos who use their kids to hold up signs and speakers and put a damper on the Christmas spirit.

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Maybe it is better to believe in something these days. Merry Christmas to JT and all the other readers.

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So what happened to all the people who lived before Jesus and could not "call on Jesus"? I guess they are doomed to spend eternity in Hell for no fault of their own.

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Lessee, what's today...Saturday December 25, 2010... hey, Merry Christmas!

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Good for him that Toyotomi Hideyoshi is not around...

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According to him we will all burn in hell...

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The evangelist was later shocked and confused to discover that Christians worldwide use Christmas Day as a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. He stormed out of KFC vowing to "find out more about this!"

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I am doomed then I suppose :)

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Ginza Mitsukoshi - natsukashii. Funny this gets more of my attention.

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