The Protestant Missions — June 11, 2011 at 12:23 am

The Defection of Mr. Kanamori, a member of the “Kumamoto Band”.


Botanical garden 63It will be remembered that a company of young men commonly known as the “Kumamoto Band” had in spite of severe persecution entered into solemn covenant with each other that they would follow Jesus Christ and devote their lives to teaching His Gospel to their countrymen. They had been among the most prominent ministers of the Kumi-ai body and by their earnest labors had built up several churches. One of the most successful was Mr. Kanamori who, after a few years in Okayama and a short period of service as a teacher in the Doshisha, had become pastor of a church in

Tokyo. His views upon some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity underwent such a change that he resigned from the pastorate.

“The Present and, Future of Christianity in Japan.”

Soon after this he published a book entitled “The Present and, Future of Christianity in Japan.” As described by another pastor: “This book stripped Christianity of its super naturalism. It denied miracles, the divinity of Christ, and the atonement.” This defection was perhaps the severest blow that the Protestant churches had yet received. At the time, none of the other leading preachers were ready to assent to his views, but his prominence brought before the Christians at large, doctrines of which they before possessed but little knowledge. The book was, however, more a symptom of theological uneasiness than it was of promoting a cause. Many of the preachers and educated laymen were readers of Western periodicals, and the unrest existing in Europe could not but find an echo in Japan. In that country the results were the more deplorable because the Church had not reached a stage where it was prepared to discuss such questions as now perplexed it. Men who from childhood have been steeped in Christian thought can indulge in intellectual speculations with much less danger than those who have just come out from non-Christian systems of belief, and who are likely to lose all their faith if any part of it is seriously shaken.

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