Some days ago, I replied to my friend Jessica and wrote to her as follows;
Some people say that North American ladies are immodest. But it is not true! And I always tell them so. There are sisters like you, striving to enter the narrow gate day and night. The fight must be harder there, but the reward is also greater! I cheer you up, my dear sister.
My own remarks, however, opened up my longstanding question which I could not find the answer so far. Now that I have many good North American friends out there, I’d like to share with you and honestly ask your thoughts and opinions.
Well, at first, please read the following paragraph;
The findings of the Barna Research Group are corroborated by the statistics of government agencies. For example, the rate of divorce in the Bible Belt is higher than in any other part of America, except for the state of Nevada. In fact, the divorce rate in the Bible Belt is significantly higher than it is in New England, where there are noticeably fewer fundamentalist Christians.*1
What's worse is that the divorce rate among American evangelicals is over 6 times as high as the divorce rate of China, over 18.5 times the divorce rate of Italy, and over 33 times as high as the divorce rate in Sri Lanka!*2
I was so shocked and confused when I first read this. And then I became very sad. I could almost see the mocking and triumphant faces of people who are against our Christian faith, giggling and saying “where is their God?” (Ps 79:10).
"We have become a reproach to our neighbors, A scorn and derision to those who are around us" (Ps 79:4).
And what makes me feel more troubled is that I have seen many obedient, peaceful pagan wives back in Japan. The area where I grew up, for example, was almost 0 % divorce rate and 0 % Christian rate.
I remember my neighbor’s wife very well because I saw her almost every morning on my way to go to elementary school. The door of the house opened and her husband appeared, approaching to his car. Behind him, I saw his wife following him silently and reverentially. When her husband got into his car, she proceeded to the pavement in front of the house. And then she bowed deeply (90 degree) in the middle of the pavement and kept this posture until his car turned the corner and disappeared completely from her sight.
If strangers from other countries see this scene, they might think her husband is a prime minister or something, but in reality, he was a simple worker in the small company. But yes, he was treated and respected deeply like a king at home. And she had a high reputation as a good wife in our area. Amazing thing is that, she could do all these things without the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ladies, please don’t get me wrong. I am not elevating Japanese culture. By no means! Because I believe that Christ culture far exceeds all the earthly cultures. In front of Christ culture, the virtues of earthly culture are just shadows of the real substance and riches in Christ. And I believe that by the power of Holy Spirit, we sisters can be obedient and loving wives, which cause pagan wives to admire and to follow our examples.
So let’s go back to our theme. The statistics seem to indicate that some deplorable things are happening among Bible-believing American Christians right now. My question to you is this; why? I sincerely want to know the root cause of this issue.
Do you know why this issue is important to me as well? Because no other Christians on this globe are as influential as the American Christians. You are very important. The rest of the world―both secular and Christian―is watching you with admiration.
If you compromise one thing in the Bible, the rest of the churches in the world will follow you sooner or later. If you wear immodestly in the church, the sisters in the rest of the world will start to do the same because they see you as their examples. Your conducts and attitudes as Christian sisters are thus vitally important for sisters in Asia, Africa and the rest of the world.
Our dear American sisters, please be our godly examples! I am entreating this from the obscure corner of this earth. My American ladies, please win the battle for us! (Eph 6:10-17) Please glorify Him by your holy and obedient life!
When John Winthrop, a puritan leader arrived at Salem Harbor in 1630, he gave a sermon and said, “We must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.” Yes, my sisters, you are a city upon a hill and the eyes of all people are upon you.
I really want to cheer you up as your fellow pilgrim. I will close this post with the third stanza of Martin Luther’s hymn, A Mighty Fortress (1529).
And tho’ this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure, One little word shall fell him. Amen.
*1.Kingdom That Turned The World Upside Down, p56, Source: National Center for Health Statistics at http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsUS2.shtml.
*2.Ibid. p 57, http://www.divorcereform.org/nonus.html.