4 Realities in Jakarta That Expose Western Judgments of Christianity

May 26, 2023 by

By N Gray Sutanto, TGC.

Isn’t the Christian faith just a Western, white man’s religion? Don’t Christians suppress natural human desires for authenticity and replace them with a colonialist, heteronormative, and narrow vision of sexuality? Isn’t Christianity an oppressive belief system?

I studied in the U.S. and the U.K. before spending four years in pastoral ministry at Covenant City Church in Jakarta, Indonesia. At the tail end of 2021, I returned to the States to take up a teaching post at Reformed Theological Seminary When I arrived, I was intrigued by this new line of objections against the Christian faith. The objections weren’t of the same sort I encountered here a decade ago. They were also different from those I heard in my home city of Jakarta.

Several realities I experienced in Indonesia can speak to the objections Western people raise about the faith. Learning from the global church helps believers in the West zoom out, put aside their assumptions, and see afresh the relevance and power of truths that may no longer seem relevant and powerful. Consider these four realities from Jakarta.

Religious Pluralism
Indonesia is a remarkably diverse nation with many faiths, and the city of Jakarta is a melting pot of different religions. Growing up, I attended a Christian school, celebrated the breaking of fasts with Muslim friends during Ramadan, and visited temples recreationally in Bali.

Read here.

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