Asian Christianity

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Asian Christianity
By Justice (Justice) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 09:35 pm: Edit

I do not understand how any Asians can justify converting to Christianity. The religion was ruthlessly forced upon them in the Pacific, spread to stimulate trade and lodging opportunities in China, and generally used to manipulate the peasants into disrupting the sovereignty of their governments.

Furthermore, Christianity's faith clause basically says that all Asian ancestors before you are rotting in the depths of hell. That's right. According to most interpretations of scripture, that dead grandmother of yours in China whom you loved is rotting in hell.

Explain this to me. How can you discard from your soul the very essence of your identity? For what?

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit

For the free Christ Chex that we trixy Christians give away every Sunday...the nicotine makes them taste like happy :) :) :) :) ....

I need more!

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit

Could be they were dissatisfied with the indigenous religion at the time. Take confucianism, which was the official philosophy up to the qing dynasty I think. If you're on the low end of the respect deal --giving all the respect and getting none back-- it might inspire you to pay some attention to the missionaries that were invading China.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, July 26, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

How do Africans justify converting to Christianity?

I think you're being a little unfair in singling out Asians here, but I agree with the essence of your post.

By Hunter1985 (Hunter1985) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 12:17 am: Edit

Again, it's the nicotine laden Christ Chex every Sunday...

tastes like happy!

By Theamazinasian (Theamazinasian) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:31 am: Edit

I'm a second generation christian. ...and I'm happy. Muhahahahahahaha.

By Cornellhopeful (Cornellhopeful) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:50 am: Edit

nowhere in the Bible does it say that our ancestors who didn't practice Christianity or Judaism are in Hell.

By Jimster0489 (Jimster0489) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:55 am: Edit

I'm Asian Indian and I am a 7th generation Catholic. My culture, my actual cultural identity, really revolves around the fusion of my heritage as a Malayalee and the faith of my family, which is that of the Roman Catholic Church.

Some of my friends come from very evangelical Korean Protestant Christian backgrounds. They didn't convert to Christianity because they were on the outskirts of the Korean social ladder. They converted because they heard the Word. When you hear the Word, its amazing, but when you really feel the Word, the feeling is ineffable. Because of the glorious works of the missionaries, the Word was able to come all the way to the banks of Asia.

From a cultural perspective, I do understand the essence of your writing. But from a spiritual sense, those people chose to accept the Word. They chose to deny all their past paganistic beliefs, traditions, and customs for the Lord. They don't express regret at that either.

By Congresssenator (Congresssenator) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 03:41 am: Edit

A little offbeat observation--I haven't seen much adherence to Christianity among the Asian Christians I know; instead, it seems to be more of a social facade, an excuse for cheap lunch and parental bragfests concerning SATs/college.

(Moderator-- see? I made a solid link to collegiate discussion!)

By Crazylicious (Crazylicious) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 04:36 am: Edit

Umm well I'm Filipino (not Chinese). As you all know, the Spaniards ruled the Philippines for quite a bit of time and converted most Filipino's to Roman Catholicism. They were quite succesesful since today: roughly 80% of the population is Roman Catholic, aroung 5-10% is Protestant, 5-10% is Muslim (Southern Philippines), and 2% or so are Buddhist.

The Filipino's generally embraced Christianity (except for the Muslims) so I don't know how much they feel it was "ruthlessly forced upon them." Many Filipino's are very religious.

"Furthermore, Christianity's faith clause basically says that all Asian ancestors before you are rotting in the depths of hell. That's right. According to most interpretations of scripture, that dead grandmother of yours in China whom you loved is rotting in hell."
Can you explain? I'm confused...

By Rono_G (Rono_G) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 05:02 am: Edit

well... basically what that quote means.. you see, the Bible basically says that if you Believe in Jesus - that if you are a devout Christian, your sins are forgiven... You have faith in Jesus and thus you are allowed into God's home... You go to heaven, eternal life. Bah. The End...

however, "That's right. According to most interpretations of scripture, that dead grandmother of yours in China whom you loved is rotting in hell." The dead grandmother in China (when she was alive) probably wasn't a christian. Thereby using chain-of-logic, she didn't believe in Jesus, and therefore she was probably not allowed into Heaven... that is what Justice was trying to say..

I believe that all religions preach the same thing... Look into the core of it - Judgement Day exists in every religion... All mortals are trying to achieve the same thing, Heaven (christianity), Nirvana (buddhism), Bhramha (hinduism).. haha, thats just what I feel, so yeah - don't worry people, the "dead grandmother in china" is probably not rotting in hell...

btw: why is cc turning into a religious debate?? there are so many forums focused on religion, some becoming pretty heated..

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit

Justice -

Please refrain from spreading lies about Christianity. Most major Christian religions (and I can certainly speak for the Catholic faith) teach that people who have never been taught or told about Christ can still attain salvation. The burden is on those who have some level of knowledge concerning Him, yet still reject him. Their souls are in danger. This would probably apply to someone like you, but not to some old grandmother in China who was raised in a different belief and never had the opportunity to know Jesus. Also, keep in mind that Jesus is God, therefore it is possible that belief in God, taking into consideration other circumstances of that person's faith and life, is sufficient for salvation. But that is not for us to judge. We simply have an obligation to spread the Truth as best we can.

By Pookdogg (Pookdogg) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

Second Chavi's insights.

For example, what about those poor unenlightened bush people living in the boonies of Africa? Are they eternally damned just because they were born where there were no Christian outlets? If you know that Jesus was around, and that He died for us, then you well better believe in the Dude. If you didn't know about him, but still practiced what He preached, what's God going to say when you get up to the Pearly Gates? "You led a good life, but since you were born in the wrong place, sorry, it's the big underground microwave for you!"?

It seems to me that while Congresssenator brings up an interesting point in that the Asian church is more social than most, he overlooks the fact that the Church plays a much larger role in the Asian community than in a Caucasian one. For a lot of Asian kids, the overwhelming majority of their friends are fellow churchgoers, and church gatherings are significant community events.

In the long run, Justice (who I am for the sake of argument going to assume is an atheist) probably has some very legitamite points against Christianity. More power to him/her. It's his/her life. But we choose to live ours, and we would appreciate it if you didn't try to dissuade us from our faith.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

Whatever your points against Christianity, you also overlook all the good it has done. As in any faith, culture, organization, etc., there are both good and bad individuals. You can't just point to the few bad ones to write off the whole. There are many, many tales of devout, courageous, charitable, self-sacrificing Christian missionaries to Asia. Many of them were martyred unjustly just for speaking of their faith. These are the ones who really suceeded in converting people, primarily by their Christian example. I find it quite insulting to their memory that you wish to accuse them all of greedy motivation. As intelligent a person as you may be, you are taking a very simplistic view of things.

By Lethalfang (Lethalfang) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 01:50 pm: Edit

"I'm reminded a quote by Steven Weinberg:
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
Pretty funny, but that's not fair either, so I would like to add a little toward the end:
"For evil people to do good things, that too, takes religion."

By Jeank (Jeank) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 03:34 pm: Edit

i dont know about anyone else, but i feel that koreans use church as a social excuse. but then again, ive never been to an american church of any kind so that might be the case at other places as well.

By Justice (Justice) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 09:16 pm: Edit


Most major Christian religions (and I can certainly speak for the Catholic faith) teach that people who have never been taught or told about Christ can still attain salvation. The burden is on those who have some level of knowledge concerning Him, yet still reject him.

Christianity isn't exactly subversive witchcraft. Maybe the "don't know, can't get in trouble" clause would've worked in 300AD, but not in modern society. Plenty of people come into contact with the religion and reject it for various reasons. To say that the dead grandmother had no exposure to Christianity is absurd. 99.99999% of Chinese people know about Jesus in some way. This is why I am speaking specifically about Asia. I do not know nearly as much about Africa.

I'm existentialist with belief in basic creation (simplified deism). I'm not trying to dissaude you from your religion. I respect it completely, and honestly, if I can manage to persaude you to give it up, then your faith is pretty weak. I just think that Asian Christianity is an interesting cultural phenomenon that I don't understand very well. Particularly for a culture that has had thousands of years of ancestor worship, you have to admit that a conversion to Christianity is 100% a disinheritance of that heritage.

By Appliedmath (Appliedmath) on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 09:21 pm: Edit

If you want to be racially superior, convert to Catholic while your Asian and you can be both Aryan and Asian.

That way all the perfect people can be smart instead of idiots.

What I just said made no sense.

By Sixsixty (Sixsixty) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 08:42 am: Edit

i'm an asian Christian and i dare say that my greatgrandmother who died in china isn't in hell. it's somewhere in Romans that people who have not been exposed to the scriptures will be judged on a different scale from those who have. this verse, which i can't recall exactly, is quoted by many Christians when answering the "old remote tribe in africa" quandary taht pookdogg brought up.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 09:59 am: Edit

Yet another "Sky-God" thread.

By Piman3141 (Piman3141) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 11:34 am: Edit

how does the bible justify the concept of persons who have never been introduced to christianity or its doctrines (hermits, or island natives) being sent to hell? This has always troubled me.

By Pookdogg (Pookdogg) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 01:21 pm: Edit

Perhaps this will shed some light on this matter. The concept of one not being able to be introduced to Christ or the Church (a la hermits, island natives) are known as the "invincibly ignorant." In fact, Pope Pius IX, a conservative Catholic, wrote:

"The Catholic dogma that no one can be saved outside the Catholic Church is well-known. Those who obstinately and knowingly reject the authority and definitions of the Church, and persist willfully in remaining separated from the unity of the Church and from the Bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter to whom the charge of the vineyard was committed by Christ, those cannot be saved...We know that those who are invincibly ignorant of our holy religion, and who are prepared to obey God, earnestly observing the natural moral law engraven in the hearts of all men by God, can be saved by living an honest and just life with the help of divine light and grace. For God, who clearly discerns the minds and souls, thoughts an habits of all men, will not, in his goodness and mercy, permit anyone to be punished eternally who is not guilty of voluntary sin."

If the leader of the more condemnatory sect of Christianity says so, then it's a fair conclusion that most of Christian doctrine follows suit.

By Chavi (Chavi) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

But Justice, you also have to take into account the extent of the exposure to Christianity, how strong the person's cultural pressures and ties were, and whether or not this person exhibited Christian love, in spite of not embracing the Christian religion. Paul says in Romans 2:14-16, "When Gentiles who do not have the law keep it as by instinct, these men although without the law serve as a law for themselves. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts. Their conscience bears witness together with that law, and their thoughts will accuse or defend them on the day when, in accordance with the gospel I preach, God will pass judgment on the secrets of men through Christ Jesus." Further, Christianity has a lot in common with the Asian culture. Respect for each other, honoring your parents, praying for your dead ancestors (actually, all the dead). Catholics believe that our deceased brethren in heaven can intercede with God for us, and that our prayers for them can help gain them entrance into heaven from purgatory.

As for socializing with fellow Church members, what the heck is wrong with that? I agree that should not be your primary focus, and that if you attend church strictly for purposes of gaining social or financial status, that is very sinful. But if you are a member of a church, it is only natural that would be a strong source of social support. If a member is not very strong in their faith, socializing with those who are can only help. Church is for sinners too, not just those strong in their faith.

By Sarasote (Sarasote) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

whether u belive it or not most asians have been introduced to Christianity, especially China and Japan have. They have missionaries in almost every province in China, even Tibet. These missionaries have been there for several hundred years so this doesnt explain what Justice was asking.

By Pookdogg (Pookdogg) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 01:51 pm: Edit

Missionaries haven't talked to every single town, village, and person in Asia, Sarasote. And they definitely didn't accomplish that back in the days of our ancestors. I think most Christians will acknowledge that people who have been given the option of turning to Christ and have rejected it, will inevitably be damned. But breaking through that sphere of "invincibly ignorant" is not as simple as just saying His name to non-believers and moving on. Prospective believers cannot be expected to unilaterally convert unless they have been fully exposed to His love. Consequently, the existence of said missionaries cannot be construed as damnation for the Asians

Justice: ultimately, I could just as easily say that it's simply the grace and love of God that allows Asian people to become Christian. Seems like a valid explanation to me.

By Jmatt (Jmatt) on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 02:22 pm: Edit

Like Jimster0489, I'm a southindian christian too. What some people don't know is that St.Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus, came to kerala(our state) around 2000 yrs ago and converted thousands to christians. Some of them were my own ancestors. So basically, we've been christians for longer than even most europeans. So it's not like we were forced into it. I'm not exactly sure as to how it is for oriental asians. (Remember, 'asians' does not just mean the orientals)

By Sixsixty (Sixsixty) on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 01:03 pm: Edit

Romans 2:14-16

i believe that this tells us how God will ultimately judge "bushmen in africa", based on the conscience of their hearts, instead of the laws that He had imposed on Israel.

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