Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hinduism - Connecting to the Gospel of Jesus #5

The goal for a Christian when witnessing for Christ’s love is to present Christ and his work.  

Starting with the Hindu belief of Karma, the cosmic, moral law of the universe which dictates which direction a person will be reborn after their death, a Christian can share that Christianity also teaches a law that governs the universe, and in fact Christians believe that this law is written on the hearts of all men!  (Romans 1:12-16)  However, the punishment for breaking this law is far worse than the punishment of being born outside the caste system, like the punishment the untouchables have for having bad karma from their previous lives (watch the video in the last blog post).  The punishment for breaking the law of God in Christianity is eternal damnation, separation from God.  And the kicker with Christianity is that all of us have broken this law!  No one is righteous!  (Romans 3:10-18)

Christianity has an even tougher road than Hinduism in that we only get one life on earth.  We only have one life to be found “good” in God’s sight.  And the path to connect with God is through his law, which again is so difficult that none of us can meet its standard.  

Just as in Hinduism, where people are born again through reincarnation, in Christianity there is a way to be born again too!  This birth doesn’t occur at the death of our physical bodies as it does in Hinduism.  In Christianity, we can be born again spiritually, and this happens just once.  Because we have broken God’s law, we are all spiritually dead, until we are born again through having faith in Christ and his work of salvation for us.  

Being “born again” in Christianity is similar to Moksha in Hinduism.  In Moksha, Hindus believe that a person is liberated, set free, from having to follow the law of karma, escaping once and for all the cycle of death, and rebirth in this world, known as samsara, the circle of life.  For Christians, liberation from the law doesn’t come from our following, or obeying God’s law.  It comes from trusting in Christ.  Christ is the incarnation of God.  Colossians 3:15 says, “He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”  Hindus should understand this concept of God taking on flesh, because the Hindu god Vishnu is known to have taken on numerous incarnations in the past, the most popular ones being Krishna and Rama (Watch the video in the blog post entitled, “Hindu Influence in Western Culture #1).  Jesus, taking on flesh, being incarnate, was then able to fulfill the law of God since he fully retained his divinity, yet he was able to fulfill it as a human as well, since he also fully took on a human nature.  

Being a perfect in his obedience to the law, Jesus did not deserve the penalty of death.  He was innocent in accordance with the law of God.  However, Jesus served as a substitute for all of humanity, being an atoning sacrifice for us.  He took the death that we deserve for breaking God’s law in his crucifixion on the cross.  Because of his divine nature, being outside of time, Christ was able to suffer death eternally on the cross, paying, on our behalf, the penalty we deserve.  Because he was divine, and because of his obedience, God the Father saw to it to raise Jesus back to live.  The good news is that when we trust in Christ to be our substitutionary sacrifice, we are seen innocent in accord with God’s law and Christ is seen guilty.  We then are liberated from the penalty of breaking God’s law.  We will die a temporary physical death with these bodies, but be raised to live physically in the end of the age.  

There’s never certainty in Hinduism, about how well a person is following the law of karma.  Liberation from karma and samsara lies solely on the individual.  

There’s certainty in Christianity that no one can fulfill the law of God except God.  Liberation from the law of God on written on the hearts of all men is certain in trusting in the work, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

One is a religion of work and uncertainty, grounded in obscure sacred texts with unknown origins.  

One is a religion of grace and certainty, grounded in a historically reliable account of the person of Jesus Christ. 


  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this and talk out these parallels. These will be very helpful in friendly discussion with Indian friends.

  2. Thanks anonymous. I'd love to know how the discussions go with your Indian friends. Send me a message and let me know sometime. If you have anything to add or share on this topic that you have learned from them, feel free to share it with me and I'll post it for you.

    Peace in Christ,