Monday, September 27, 2010

Hinduism - Connecting to the Gospel of Jesus #4

The last “connecting” blog post dealt with some key tenants of Hinduism: Brahman, Atman, Maya, Samsara, Karma, and Moksha.  

At first glance, it might be difficult to envision how a connection from these Hindu concepts can be made, but it can be done.  I’d like to be adamant that these connections, in no way mean that Christianity and Hinduism have the same teachings.  That is far from the truth.  All I am doing is pointing out similarities, which can then open the door for presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

For example, it’s very easy to say, “Oh, Christians hold a similar belief.  We believe the same thing concerning ___________, but we don’t believe ___________.  Instead, the Bible teaches _________.”  

Hindu Teaching:

Brahman – Brahman is the divine essence that is at the heart of all things in the universe.  This teaching ultimately says that there is only one divine reality and that we are all united in it, in fact we consist of it. 

Christian teaching:

Acts 17:28 In this verse, Paul is recorded as having said, “For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.”  

Connecting to the Gospel of Jesus
Christians hold a similar view as Brahman in that we believe that it is from God that we live and move and have are being.  Colossians 1:17 even teaches that Jesus holds all things together.  However at the heart of each and every one of us, Christians disagree with the Hindu understanding that all is divine.  Christians however recognize that all things in the universe have come from God, but that all things do not consist of God, because God created the universe out of nothing by speaking it into existence.  This however does not mean that we believe God is far off from us.  Paraphrasing what Paul shared in Acts 17, God is still at the heart of all our lives; we have our being because of him, and he determined the times set for us and the exact places that we should live.  In this way, Christians agree with Hindus that God is at the heart of all things, but we certainly would not say that all things are God.  

This still has not made a connection to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The connection to the Gospel will come in the next blog post by connecting Karma, the cosmic law of the universe in Hinduism, with the Law of God, and Moksha, the liberation from Samsara, with the pardon from the penalty of breaking God’s Law found in the Gospel of Christ. 

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