CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM
There are two basic kinds of religions in the world: Eastern and Western. The main differences between Hinduism and Christianity are typical of the differences between Eastern and Western religions in general. Here are some examples:
- Hinduism is pantheistic, not theistic. The Christian doctrine that God created the world out of nothing doesn’t even arise. In Hinduism, the world is part of God (pantheism).
- Hinduism believes that there is no absolute morality, no divine law, so no divine will discriminate good and evil. In Hinduism’s end is to purify the soul from desires so that it can attain mystical consciousness. While Christians have two innate senses: the religious sense to worship, and the moral sense of conscience.
- Eastern religions come from private mystical experiences; Western religions come from public revelations recorded in the Book and summarized in a creed. In the East, human experience validates the Scriptures.
- Eastern religions are esoteric, understandable only from within by the few who share the experience. In Hinduism there are many levels of truth: polytheism, sacred cows and reincarnation for the masses; monotheism (or monism) for the mystics, who declare the individual soul one with Brahman (God) and beyond reincarnation (“Brahman is the only reincarnator”). While western religions are exoteric, public, democratic, open to all.
- Individuality is illusion according to Eastern mysticism: we are not distinct from God or each other. Hinduism tells you you are your neighbors. There is no separate ego. All is one. Christianity tells you to love your neighbors.
- Since individuality is illusion, so is free will. If free will is illusion, so is sin. And if sin is illusion, so is hell. Perhaps the strongest attraction of Eastern religions is in their denial of sin, guilt and hell.
- Thus the two essential points of Christianity — sin and salvation — are both missing in the East. If there is no sin, no salvation is needed, only enlightenment. If I am part of God. I can never really be alienated from God by sin.
- Body, matter, history and time itself are not real, according to Hinduism. Mystical experience lifts the spirit out of time and the world. Eastern religions are not dramatic. In contrast, Christianity are dramatically news and events in time
- The ultimate Hindu ideal is not sanctity but mysticism. Mysticism is fundamentally a matter of intellect, intuition, consciousness.— not God’s will, loving God and neighbor.
When C.S. Lewis was converted from atheism, he observed that religions are like soups. Only Hinduism and Christianity are both “thin” (philosophical) and “thick” (sacramental and mysterious). But Hinduism is really two religions: “thick” for the masses, “thin” for the sages. Only Christianity is both.
Hinduism claims that all other religions are yogas: ways, deeds, paths. Christianity is a form of bhakti yoga (yoga for emotional types and lovers). There is also jnana yoga (yoga for intellectuals), raja yoga (yoga for experimenters), karma yoga (yoga for workers, practical people) and hatha yoga (the physical preliminary to the other four). For Hindus, religions are human roads up the divine mountain to enlightenment — religion is relative to human need; there is no “one way” or single objective truth.
There is, however, a universal subjective truth about human nature: It has “four wants”: pleasure, power, altruism and enlightenment. Hinduism encourages us to try all four paths, confident that only the fourth brings fulfillment. If there is reincarnation and if there is no hell, Hindus can afford to be patient and to learn the long, hard way.
Hindus are hard to dialogue with for the opposite reason Muslims are: Muslims are very intolerant, Hindus are very tolerant. Nothing is false; everything is true in a way.
The summit of Hinduism is the mystical experience, called mukti, or moksha: “liberation” “thou art That (Brahman].” At the center of your being is not individual ego but Atman, universal self which is identical with Brahman, the All.
This sounds like the most absurd and blasphemous thing one could say: that I am God. But Brahman is not God the Father. Hinduism identifies with the transcendent human self with the immanent divine self.
Acknowledgement: Kreeft, Peter. “Comparing Christianity & Hinduism.” National Catholic Register. (May, 1987).
You’ve died! Now what?
What happens to your life after death? Hindus believe in reincarnation. Their ethics is admirable but that is really not a religion that connects with one’s Creator.
Reincarnation is either true or it is not true. It cannot be that for one person it is true and for another it is false.
Hindus believe that there is no “evil,” apart from the failings of human conscience, and Satan doesn’t exist. Nowhere does one mention the possibility of repentance or forgiveness.
Believers in reincarnation are left only with tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, a constant returning until they “complete their life plans.” It tends toward moral laxity because no matter how bad someone is in this life, he gets another shot… and another… and another! If people have many different lives to lead, then they can play around a lot more and be a lot more experimental about how they will conduct themselves morally.
The human physical brain has no memory of past lives. We don’t have anything to improve on in that first life because we haven’t had a life yet….have we? I can learn from my mistakes only if I remember them, but there is no continuity of memory.
Is Reincarnation Biblical?
Jesus taught about Judgment and Heaven and Hell. The Bible clearly teaches that righteous people will NEVER suffer torment because they have a confident hope of IMMORTALITY, and that the wicked will suffer in a fire that NEVER goes out: “(He) will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable.” Luke 3:17
When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: “It is appointed for men to die once.” There is no “reincarnation” after death in the Bible: “Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
It is also contradicted by our Lord Himself: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” John 8:23:
“Be ready, for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” Matthew 24:44 loses not only its effectiveness, but its essential meaning.
Is there a particular reason you think God needs to create us to preexist before our lives here on earth? If every soul had once pre-existed with God, then Christ wasn’t anything special to have come from God.
What divine authority on reincarnation claims this? That could just be made up:”I don’t like the idea of Hell so I’m going to choose not to believe in it.” What they see is truly in the eyes of the beholder.
A Distinctive Human Soul
It fails to make the essential distinction between men and animals. Human beings alone are created in the image and likeness of God; and therefore, possess rational and spiritual souls: a human person is a body/soul composite.
Consider a person alleged to have reincarnated; would the person have been himself or someone else, or partly himself and partly someone else? Of course, either alternative is illogical. A human person is a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL BEING with a spiritual soul and a material body.
It is the distinctive human soul that is the foundation of his unique dignity. It is the reason why we humans possess “certain unalienable rights” as our founding fathers rightly said in our Declaration of Independence. Reincarnation either reduces men to the level of animals, or raises animals to the level of humans with “rights” with spiritual souls. Does that make any sense? I believe it only to be wishful thinking.
Reincarnation only signals “the desire to escape the consequences of one’s life choices and modern stress.” The belief in reincarnation expresses the human “inexpressible longing to live forever.”
Why is this Extremely Dangerous?
How opposite is this to our Lord’s teaching in the form of his words to the “rich man”, when God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you… So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20-21
What if you descend into what you might call hell: a descent into each person’s customized human misery, ignorance, and darkness of not-knowing, which would seem like a miserable eternity.
Pascal’s Wager appeals to the instinct for self-preservation, the desire to be happy and not unhappy. Suppose a winning sweepstakes ticket is worth a million dollars, and there are only two tickets left. You know that one of them is the winning ticket, while the other is worth nothing, and you are allowed to buy only one of the two tickets, at random. Would it be a good investment to spend a dollar on the good chance of winning a million?
It is therefore the height of folly not to “bet” on HEAVEN or possible HELL, even if you have no certainty, no proof, no guarantee that your bet will win. Reincarnation is a terrible bet. It gives you no chance of winning the prize: HEAVEN. Heaven is our true destiny, but the choice is ours.
We are like ships that need to get home. The ship of life is moving along the waters of time, and there comes a point of no return, when our fuel runs out, when it is too late. And there comes a time when there are no more tomorrows. Saying “maybe” and “perhaps tomorrow” cannot continue indefinitely because life does not continue indefinitely.
You are already committed [embarked]. We are not outside observers of life, but participants. You must wager. There is no choice.
Let us weigh up the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that HEAVEN exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win, you win everything: if you lose, you lose nothing. Do not hesitate then: wager that HEAVEN does exist.
You should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true. If you believe too much, you neither win nor lose eternal happiness. But if you believe too little, you risk losing everything.
The Mouse’s Search for the Cat
The unproved assumption of this very common mountain analogy is that the roads go up, not down; that man makes the roads, not God; that religion is man’s search for God, not God’s search for man. C. S. Lewis says this sounds like “the mouse’s search for the cat”.
Christianity is not a system of man’s search for God but a story of God’s search for man. True religion is not like a cloud of incense wafting up from special spirits into the nostrils of a waiting God, but like a Father’s hand thrust downward to rescue the fallen.
The Word of God: came to us from the Bible
“In the beginning God made from nothing the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“He made from one blood all nations who live on the earth. He set the times and places where they should live. They were to look for God. Then they might feel after Him and find Him because He is not far from each one of us. It is in Him that we live and move and keep on living.” Acts 17:26-28
“The heavens are telling of the greatness of God and the great open spaces above show the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1
”Lord, You have been the place of comfort for all people of all time. Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, forever and ever, You are God.” Psalm 90:1, 2
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Psalm 14:1
THE FALSE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
One should not accept philosophy of mere speculation and imagination, but of the modest, laborious investigation of facts.
Vain Deceit is, that which is vain and empty, and has no solid foundation, and even deceitful and delusional.
Christianity is not a philosophy, but a life–not knowledge of abstract principles, but a personal knowledge of faith and love of God in Christ.
Many Christians have been given the gift of healing and deliverance to be able to deliver away evil spirits even influencing non-Christians, which cause depression, addictions and illness through all forms of stress. This healing and deliverance is successful only in the Name of Jesus Christ:
HOW IS JESUS STILL ALIVE TODAY?
Jesus is alive today! He heals today (through His followers) and in many cases it is realized immediately. How else can you explain the explosion of Christianity, the world’s largest religion, on earth: 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on Earth.
Christians know and feel His Presence; they communicate with Him personally; their prayers are always answered.
This author has been given the Gift of Healing only because he is a Christian Lay Missionary who travels usually two to three places every year. On his last trip to Columbia he successfully transferred his Gift to five different Spanish translators, who were able to heal as he did. He has healed Muslims to their great surprise. He also delivers away evil spirits along with their healing. All those involved in the healing actually feel a complete physical sense of peace that is unmistakable.
DREAMS AND VISIONS
When God heals in this way, He is giving a message to those being healed for a change of heart even without one’s faith. In His wisdom,, He knows faith will be developed. Dreams or visions often accompany this experience especially among non-Christians.
Hinduism doesn’t address a Personal GOD. Why?
Here is an interesting Conversion Story:
Kosh DahalDahal remembered: The power of the one true living God struck like a current of electricity, which came into me and began to run very fast. I was shocked. I kept saying, ‘Who is this? What’s happening to me? What’s inside of me running very fast?’”It was an experience he had never encountered in his 30 years of worshiping the Hindu pantheon of gods.
I began to say, ‘Wow. Jesus has the power,’” he said. “He really is the God who has mighty power. He woke me up. I cried. I realized that Jesus Christ is real.”
His wife Shobah saw a dramatic change in her husband and decided to follow Jesus too. She was eased to faith when she was miraculously healed in Jesus’ name of a uterine myoma, a benign growth that might have required a hysterectomy.
PROOF OF HEAVEN
WELCOME TO GOD!
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
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