Japan Holiness Church
The Japan Holiness Church (Japanese: 日本ホーリネス教団, Nihon Hōrinesu Kyōdan) traces its origins to the early evangelistic work of One Mission Society (formerly known as OMS International and, before then, known as the Oriental Missionary Society), organized by Juji Nakada (1870–1939) and by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cowman in 1901. Nakada had become acquainted with the Cowmans during a period he spent at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (1896–1898). Although One Mission Society began as a nondenominational evangelistic movement, it changed shape over time until it became the Japan Holiness Church in 1917. From an initial membership of 1,600 and forty-six churches, it grew rapidly to a membership of 13,523 in 1932.It is a member of the Japan Evangelical Association (JEA).
A controversy erupted the following year in 1933 around a shift in Nakada's teaching regarding eschatology, bringing the phase of growth to an abrupt halt. Apparently Nakada had received a new revelation from God during a special visitation of the Holy Spirit. Tetsunao Yamamori summarizes the change in doctrine as follows:
- The doctrinal emphases had always been placed on justification, sanctification, divine healing, and the Second Coming of Christ. to this list, Nakada now wished to add a fifth point, that Christ's Second Coming would be possible only through the restoration of Israel. therefore, he admonished the members to pray for this to take place. to many it seemed as though Nakada believed that by praying for the salvation of the Jews the Japanese race might be saved. This was in direct conflict with the traditional view that salvation was an individual matter.
As Bishop of the Japan Holiness Church, Nakada expected all seminary teachers and pastors to accept his new vision, but many leaders rejected his authority, which in turn led to a schism within the ranks. Ōtsuki Takeji was among those who remained loyal to the end. Nakada Jūji was a charismatic individual whose impact on Ōtsuki was enormous. Indeed, to this day Ōtsuki refers to Nakada as his teacher and great prophet, adding that before meeting him he had understood nothing of the Bible's teaching's regarding personal sanctification, the restoration of Israel, and the Second Coming of Christ.
The Japan Holiness Church, under pressure from the wartime government, joined the United Church of Christ in Japan. After the Pacific War, They withdrew from the UCCJ in 1949 and Reverend Kurumada Akitsugu was chisen to be its chairman. In the 1970s leadership passed to a new generation, and the current chairman is Rev. Murakami Nobuchi. Dr. Koyabashi Kazuo serves as president of the denomination's school, Tokyo Biblical Seminary (東京聖書学院). The denomination has eighteen districts actively engaged mationwide in church planting. In 1990 there were 157 churches.
Notes and references
- Yamamori, Church Growth in Japan, 118-19. Apparently, Nakada's interpretation of various passages in the Bible "included the idea that the Japanese people were probably a part of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Thus at the Second Coming of Christ the Japanese, too, would enter into the same blessings promised to the Israelites with the restoration of their nation." See John jennings Merwin, "The Oriental Missionary Society Holiness Church in Japan, 1901-1983"
- リバイバルの軌跡 (The tracks of Revival), edited by Satō Toshio, pp.66-67
- Cho, Chongnahm. "Theological roots and emphasis of the OMS-Holiness Church". godislove.net
- Official website (Japanese)