is the story of Pan Luting, a convert village headman who
had helped the missionaries to increase their fold. He repented,
claiming he had been deceived, and being a topeng actor
of repute, in his performances of masked dramas he now never
misses an opportunity to poke fun at the missionaries and
to express his joy at not being a Christian any longer.
Another soul was lost to the missionaries when a young convert
discovered that the venereal disease he suffered from did
not disappear when he pronounced the magic formula: "
I believe in Jesus Christ," as he had thought it would.
convert who felt himself at the point of death quickly renounced
his new faith when the village medicine-man refused to treat
him, claiming that his magic would be of no avail to a Christian.
He recovered and it is needless to say that he held a great
offering feast of thanksgiving. Stories such as these are
repeated endlessly in Bali, but perhaps the best illustration
of the superficiality of the convictions of the new Christians
is the following conversation between a young convert and
an enlightened official:
" Why did
you renounce your religion? "
" Because I believe! "
" Believe what? "
" I believe in Jesus Christ."
"Who is he? "
" That Tuan (European) with the black coat that comes often
Eventually the disturbances became too noticeable and the
American missionaries had to leave. Until then the Dutch
missions had restrained themselves from further activity
in Bali, but when the news came that rival missionaries
had succeeded in making a few converts, they went up in
the air and are now pulling every rope to have the law modified.
Bitter controversy flared up in the papers in Holland and
Java; the missionaries claimed that the Balinese were finally
ripe for conversion because their religious feeling was,
at last, breaking down.
Dr. Kraemer, head of a Protestant missionary sect, went
to Bali to investigate and, after a stay in the island of
a little over a month, wrote a thick volume in which he
aimed to prove the failings of the Balinese religion, and
the idea that the Balinese really wished to become Christians,
but were opposed by European intellectuals living on the
island. This argument was quickly answered by Tjokorde Gede
Rake Soekawati, the Balinese representative in the Volksraad,
the " People's Court," in Batavia. Dr. Kraemer's
prejudiced " findings " were entirely wiped out
by answers and an analysis of his arguments by the real
students of Bali, men like Bosch, Goris, Korn, Haga, Lekkerkerker,
De Bruyn Kops, and Damste.
Dr. Cons has pointed out that the view of the missionaries
is based on the principle that all peoples are by nature
" no good " and in a hopeless " soul-conflict
" that can only be remedied by the peculiar brand of
religion the missionaries preach. Finding little evidence
of this " soul-conflict " in the Balinese, the
missionaries encourage it or try to create it by stirring
up the natural animosity of the lower classes against the
high castes and by playing on their poverty, thus encouraging
the caste struggle rather than abolishing it, as was their
claim. Curiously enough, the same missionaries who accuse
the Balinese of religious superficiality approve of the
converts made under false pretences who know nothing of
Christianity except rubber-stamp Malay phraseology.
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