Friday, October 28, 2016

Koto-Nakare-Shugi (=Let’s-Don’t-Rock-The-Boat Principle) : The Root-Issue Of Japanese Churches And Culture





"Koto-nakare-shugi" is said to be an invisible but deep-rooted cultural phenomenon in Japanese society including Christian churches.

Koto-Nakare-Shugi (事なかれ主義 =let’s-don’t-rock-the-boat principle); 
-this idiom means to cause "trouble" where it is not welcome. Causing trouble, or doing/saying something where it would only disturb a situation, that is otherwise satisfactory and "peaceful" as it is.

I have been voicing the gender-feminism issue inside the churches on my Japanese blog for the last two years or so. When I say gender-feminism issue, it includes female ordination issue, homosexual issue, the recovery of headcovering, male headship at home/in the church, creation order, biblical manhood/womanhood and so forth. 

Today, however, I want to confess to you with tears that I am almost on the verge of breakdown because of this particular cultural/spiritual phenomenon called "Koto-nakare-shugi" which is so dominant in Japanese cultural structure. 

This structure looks gentle and polite on the surface but it nonetheless raises a merciless hammer over your head if you dare to go against the cultural tide and say "no!" to its new policies and directions. 

You might wonder, "but, Kinuko, I don't think it is just a Japanese phenomenon. We've seen it in the western evangelical world, too." Yes, you are right in saying that it is seen in everywhere but the peculiarity of Japanese culture is that there is a silent but persistent, overwhelming pressure which suggests we must even avoid pointing out the existence of these controversial issues. 

In the west, on the other hand, whether you are egalitarians or complementarians (or somewhere in the middle), you might feel you are allowed to voice your opinions and discuss these issues freely. And it naturally causes lively and fair discussions and consequently, it helps each of us to listen to both sides of the argument carefully and decide our own course. 

In the Japanese setting, however, it won't happen like that. And if you dare to do, and keep on doing so, then, sooner or later, you are cornered and then start to believe that you are the most weird, eccentric, unmerciful, and obstinate person in the whole world, thus it is better to just shut up your mouth and let the stream go as it wishes.

I ask my dear brothers and sisters to pray for me. My spirit wants to stand up for Him and the Bible truth but my flesh is so weak and powerless. "Koto-nakare-shugi" inside/outside of me discourages/weakens me to go on this gender ideological/spiritual battle and I am almost ready to give up this fighting in the Japanese church setting. I wish I would be a strong soldier of Christ! Thank you for reading this post. May God bless you all.