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Hindu, why should I consider becoming a Christian?

Comparing Hinduism and Christianity is difficult, in part, because Hinduism is a slippery religion for Westerners to grasp. It represents limitless depths of profundity, a rich history, and an elaborate theology. There is perhaps no religion in the world that is more variegated or ornate. Comparing Hinduism and Christianity can easily overwhelm the novice of comparative religions. So, the proposed question should be considered carefully and humbly. The answer given here does not pretend to be comprehensive or assume even an "in-depth" understanding of Hinduism at any particular point. This answer merely compares a few points between the two religions in effort to show how Christianity is deserving of special consideration.

First, Christianity should be considered for its historical viability. Christianity has historically rooted characters and events within its schema which are identifiable through forensic sciences like archeology and textual criticism. Hinduism certainly has a history, but its theology, mythology, and history are so often blurred together that it becomes difficult to identify where one stops and the other begins. Mythology is openly admitted within Hinduism, which possesses elaborate myths used to explain the personalities and natures of the gods. Hinduism has a certain flexibility and adaptability through its historical ambiguity. But, where a religion is not historical, it is that much less testable. It may not be falsifiable at that point, but neither is it verifiable. It is the literal history of the Jewish and eventually Christian tradition that justifies the theology of Christianity. If Adam and Eve did not exist, if Israel did not have an exodus out of Egypt, if Jonah was just an allegory, or if Jesus did not walk the earth then the entire Christian religion can potentially crumble at those points. For Christianity, a fallacious history would mean a porous theology. Such historical rootedness could be a weakness of Christianity except that the historically testable parts of the Christian tradition are so often validated that the weakness becomes a strength.

Second, while both Christianity and Hinduism have key historical figures, only Jesus is shown to have risen bodily from the dead. Many people in history have been wise teachers or have started religious movements. Hinduism has its share of wise teachers and earthly leaders. But Jesus stands out. His spiritual teachings are confirmed with a test that only divine power could pass: death and bodily resurrection, which He prophesied and fulfilled in Himself (Matthew 16:21; 20:18-19; Mark 8:31, 1 Luke 9:22; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians 15).

Moreover, the Christian doctrine of resurrection stands apart from the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation. These two ideas are not the same. And it is only the resurrection which can be deduced convincingly from historical and evidential study. The resurrection of Jesus Christ in particular has considerable justification through secular and religious scholarship alike. Its verification does nothing to verify the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation. Consider the following differences:

Resurrection involves one death, one life, one mortal body, and one new and immortally glorified body. Resurrection happens by divine intervention, is monotheistic, is a deliverance from sin, and ultimately occurs only in the end times. Reincarnation, on the contrary, involves multiple deaths, multiple lives, multiple mortal bodies, and no immortal body. Furthermore, reincarnation happens by natural law, is usually pantheistic (God is all), operates on the basis of karma, and is always operative. Of course, listing the differences does not prove the truth of either account. However, if the resurrection is historically demonstrable, then distinguishing these two after-life options separates the justified account from the unjustified account. The resurrection of Christ and the larger Christian doctrine of resurrection are both deserving of consideration.

Third, the Christian Scriptures are historically outstanding, deserving serious consideration. In several tests the Bible surpasses the Hindu Vedas, and all other books of antiquity, for that matter. One could even say that the history of the Bible is so compelling that to doubt the Bible is to doubt history itself, since it is the most historically verifiable book of all antiquity. The only book more historically verifiable than the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible) is the New Testament. Consider the following:

1) More manuscripts exist for the New Testament than for any other of antiquityβ€”5,000 ancient Greek manuscripts, 24,000 in all including other languages. The multiplicity of manuscripts allows for a tremendous research base by which we can test the texts against each other and identify what the originals said.

2) The manuscripts of the New Testament are closer in age to the originals than are any other document of antiquity. All of the originals were written within the time of the contemporaries (eyewitnesses), in the first century A.D., and we currently have parts of manuscript as old as A.D. 125. Whole book copies surface by A.D. 200, and the complete New Testament can be found dating back to A.D. 250. Having all the books of the New Testament initially written within the times of eyewitnesses means that they did not have time to devolve into myth and folklore. Plus, their truth claims were held accountable by members of the church who, as personal witnesses to the events, could check the facts.

3) The New Testament documents are more accurate than any other of antiquity. John R. Robinson in Honest to God reports that the New Testament documents are 99.9% accurate (most accurate of any complete antique book). Bruce Metzger, an expert in the Greek New Testament, suggests a more modest 99.5%.

Fourth, Christian monotheism has advantages over pantheism and polytheism. It would not be fair to characterize Hinduism as only pantheistic ("God is all") or only polytheistic (having many gods). Depending on the stream of Hinduism to which one ascribes, one may be pantheistic, polytheistic, monistic ("all is one"), monotheistic, or a number of other options. However, two strong streams within Hinduism are polytheism and pantheism. Christian monotheism has marked advantages over both of these. Due to space considerations, these three worldviews are compared here in regards to only one point, ethics.

Polytheism and pantheism both have a questionable basis for their ethics. With polytheism, if there are many gods, then which god has the more ultimate standard of ethics for humans to keep? When there are multiple gods, then their ethical systems do not conflict, do conflict, or do not exist. If they do not exist, then ethics are invented and baseless. The weakness of that position is self-evident. If the ethical systems do not conflict, then on what principle do they align? Whatever that aligning principle is would be more ultimate than the gods. The gods are not ultimate since they answer to some other authority. Therefore, there is a higher reality to which one should adhere. This fact makes polytheism seem shallow if not empty. On the third option, if the gods conflict in their standards of right and wrong, then to obey one god is to risk disobeying another, incurring punishment. Ethics would be relative. Good for one god would not necessarily be "good" in an objective and universal sense. For example, sacrificing one’s child to Kali would be commendable to one stream of Hinduism but reprehensible to many others. But surely, child sacrifice, as such, is objectionable regardless. Some things by all reason and appearance are right or wrong, regardless.

Pantheism does not fare much better than polytheism since it asserts that ultimately there is only one thingβ€”one divine realityβ€”thus disallowing any ultimate distinctions of "good" and "evil." If "good" and "evil" were really distinct, then there would not be one single, indivisible reality. Pantheism ultimately does not allow for moral distinctions of "good" and "evil." Good and evil dissolve into the same indivisible reality. And even if such distinctions as "good" and "evil" could be made, the context of karma voids the moral context of that distinction. Karma is an impersonal principle much like a natural law such as gravity or inertia. When karma comes calling on some sinful soul, it is not a divine policing that brings judgment. Rather, it is an impersonal reaction of nature. But morality requires personality, personality which karma cannot lend. For example, we do not blame a stick for being used in a beating. The stick is an object with no moral capacity or duty. Rather, we blame the person who used the stick abusively. That person has a moral capacity and a moral duty. Likewise, if karma is merely impersonal nature, then it is amoral ("without morality") and is not an adequate basis for ethics.

Christian monotheism, however, roots its ethics in the person of God. God’s character is good, and, therefore, what conforms to Him and His will is good. What departs from God and His will is evil. Therefore, the one God serves as the absolute basis for ethics, allowing a personal basis for morality and justifying objective knowledge about good and evil.

Fifth, the question remains "What do you do with your sin?" Christianity has the strongest answer to this problem. Hinduism, like Buddhism, has at least two ideas of sin. Sin is sometimes understood as ignorance. It is sinful if one does not see or understand reality as Hinduism defines it. But there remains an idea of moral error termed "sin." To do something deliberately evil, to break a spiritual or earthly law, or to desire wrong things, these would be sins. But that moral definition of sin points to a kind of moral error that requires real atonement. From where can atonement rise? Can atonement come by adherence to karmic principles? Karma is impersonal and amoral. One could do good works to "even the balance," but one cannot ever dispose of sin. Karma does not even provide a context whereby moral error is even moral. Whom have we offended if we sin in private, for example? Karma does not care one way or the other because karma is not a person. For example, suppose one man kills another man’s son. He may offer money, property, or his own son to the offended party. But he cannot un-kill the young man. No amount of compensation can make up for that sin. Can atonement come by prayer or devotion to Shiva or Vishnu? Even if those characters offer forgiveness, it seems like sin would still be an unpaid debt. They would forgive sin as if it were excusable, no big deal, and then wave people on through the gates of bliss.

Christianity, however, treats sin as moral error against a single, ultimate, and personal God. Ever since Adam, humans have been sinful creatures. Sin is real, and it sets an infinite gap between man and bliss. Sin demands justice. Yet it cannot be "balanced out" with an equal or greater number of good works. If someone has ten times more good works than bad works, then that person still has evil on his or her conscience. What happens to these remaining bad works? Are they just forgiven as if they were not a big deal in the first place? Are they permitted into bliss? Are they mere illusions, thus leaving no problem whatsoever? None of these options are suitable. Concerning illusion, sin is too real to us to be explained away as illusion. Concerning sinfulness, when we are honest with ourselves we all know we have sinned. Concerning forgiveness, to simply forgive sin at no cost treats sin like it is not of much consequence. We know that to be false. Concerning bliss, bliss is not much good if sin keeps getting smuggled in. It seems that the scales of karma leave us with sin on our hearts and a sneaking suspicion that we have violated some ultimately personal standard of right and wrong. And bliss either cannot tolerate us, or it must cease being perfect so that we can come in.

With Christianity, however, all sin is punished though that punishment has already been satisfied in Christ’s personal sacrifice on the cross. God become man, lived a perfect life, and died the death that we deserved. He was crucified on our behalf, a substitute for us, and a covering, or atonement, for our sins. And He was resurrected proving that not even death could conquer Him. Furthermore, He promises the same resurrection to eternal life for all who have faith in Him as their only Lord and Savior (Romans 3:1023, 6:23; 8:12; 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:21).

Finally, in Christianity we can know that we are saved. We do not have to rely on some fleeting experience, nor do we rely on our own good works or fervent meditation, nor do we put our faith in a false god whom we are trying to "believe into existence." We have a living and true God, a historically anchored faith, an abiding and testable revelation of God (Scripture), a theologically satisfying basis for ethical living, and a guaranteed home in heaven with God.

So, what does this mean for you? Jesus is the ultimate reality! Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. God offers all of us forgiveness and salvation if we will simply receive His gift to us (John 1:12), believing Jesus to be the Savior who laid down His life for us – His friends. If you place your trust in Jesus as your only Savior, you will have absolute assurance of eternal bliss in heaven. God will forgive your sins, cleanse your soul, renew your spirit, and give you abundant life in this world and eternal bliss in the next world. How can we reject such a precious gift? How can we turn our backs on God who loved us enough to sacrifice Himself for us?

If you are unsure about what you believe, we invite you to say the following prayer to God; β€œGod, help me to know what is true. Help me to discern what is error. Help me to know what is the correct path to salvation.” God will always honor such a prayer.

If you want to receive Jesus as your Savior, simply speak to God, verbally or silently, and tell Him that you receive the gift of salvation through Jesus. If you want a prayer to say, here is an example: β€œGod, thank you for your love for me. Thank you for sacrificing yourself for me. Thank you for providing for my forgiveness and salvation. I accept the gift of salvation through Jesus. I receive Jesus as my Savior. Amen!”

Have you made a decision to trust Jesus as your Savior because of what you have read here today? If so, please click on the β€œI have accepted Christ today” button below.

Keith
Why I left Hinduism

I have an obc surname which gives my caste away instantly (related to the occupation we did). When I was in class 5, we were discussing a history chapter, and the teacher unintentionally told what work the people of my caste did. For the next two years, my classmates would refer to me by a derogatory name which means slave/farm labourer. I was very young then, I didn't know what that or caste meant, but it still hurt a lot since my parents were middle class people who struggled a lot in life.

Then after we came to class 10, it was very common for people to brag about their caste (Kshatriya, Brahmin, Bania, Thakur). I don't have any caste to brag about, and I was a victim of it everyday for one year. I've had to hear "bhangi" thrown around many times too, casually. My accent and way of speaking were mocked. My house and family were too. So how do I get over this? I became a very bitter person. No god who looks down on the poor and downtrodden can be a good.

There were a few students in my school who came from poor families (they were there as part of a government programme), they had it much worse than me. My classmates would refuse to sit with them, saying them smell of shit (it was a lie they had no smell). A group of beggars used to live in a slum near the school, during break time my classmates would mock them and throw slurs.

I left Hindusim a year ago. I looked at many options, like Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism before I finally decided. Around 20% of muslims in India practice untouchability compared to 30% in Hindus, so the stigma of caste is still there. On top of that muslim women have to live under other restrictions like a burqa, which to me seem worse than Hinduism. I was drawn towards Buddhism and Christianity, but in the end I didn't want to cause controversy by converting. I became an atheist.

Keith

Why does God allow natural disasters?

Why does God allow earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, mudslides, wildfires, and other natural disasters? Tragedies like the 2023 earthquake in Turkey and Syria cause many people to question God’s goodness. It is distressing that natural disasters are often termed β€œacts of God” while no β€œcredit” is given to God for years, decades, or even centuries of peaceful weather. God created the whole universe and the laws of nature (Genesis 1:1). Most natural disasters are a result of these laws at work. Hurricanes, typhoons, and tornados are the results of divergent weather patterns colliding. Earthquakes are the result of the earth’s plate structure shifting. A tsunami is caused by an underwater earthquake.

The Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ holds all of nature together (Colossians 1:16-17). Could God prevent natural disasters? Absolutely! Does God sometimes influence the weather? Yes, as we see in Deuteronomy 11:17 and James 5:17. Numbers 16:30-34 shows us that God sometimes causes natural disasters as a judgment against sin. The book of Revelation describes many events which could definitely be described as natural disasters (Revelation chapters 6, 8, and 16). Is every natural disaster a punishment from God? Absolutely not.

In much the same way that God allows evil people to commit evil acts, God allows the earth to reflect the consequences sin has had on creation. Romans 8:19-21 tells us, β€œThe creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” The fall of humanity into sin had effects on everything, including the world we inhabit. Everything in creation is subject to β€œfrustration” and β€œdecay.” Sin is the ultimate cause of natural disasters just as it is the cause of death, disease, and suffering.

We can understand why natural disasters occur. What we do not understand is why God allows them to occur. Why did God allow a tsunami to kill over 225,000 people in Asia? Why does God allow hurricanes to destroy the homes of thousands of people? For one thing, such events shake our confidence in this life and force us to think about eternity. Churches are usually filled after disasters as people realize how tenuous their lives really are and how life can be taken away in an instant. What we do know is this: God is good! Many amazing miracles occurred during the course of natural disasters that prevented even greater loss of life. Natural disasters cause millions of people to reevaluate their priorities in life. Hundreds of millions of dollars in aid is sent to help the people who are suffering. Christian ministries have the opportunity to help, minister, counsel, pray, and lead people to saving faith in Christ! God can, and does, bring great good out of terrible tragedies (Romans 8:28).
Keith

@ Missy Mitwah,

Have you view the video you post in its entirety? If you had you would understand Ms. Sara big question was "Where was God in all this violence, massacre, etc.? Which lead to her deconstruction.

The question of where God is in the midst of destruction and suffering is a profound and deeply philosophical one that has been contemplated by theologians, philosophers, and individuals of various faiths throughout history. Different people and religious traditions have offered diverse perspectives on this matter, and there is no single, universally accepted answer.

  1. Theological Perspectives:

    • Theodicy: Many religious traditions grapple with the problem of evil and suffering, seeking to reconcile the existence of an all-powerful, all-loving God with the presence of destruction and suffering in the world. Various theological explanations and theodicies have been proposed to address this issue. Some suggest that suffering serves a greater purpose, such as moral growth, soul development, or a means for free will to exist.

    • Mystery: Some religious traditions and theologians emphasize the mystery of God's ways. They believe that humans may not fully comprehend God's plan or why certain events unfold as they do. In this view, faith and trust in God are paramount, even in the face of destruction and suffering.

  2. Philosophical Perspectives:

    • Atheism: Some atheists argue that the existence of destruction and suffering in the world is evidence against the existence of a benevolent and all-powerful deity. From this perspective, God is not present because God does not exist.

    • Deism: Deists believe in a distant, non-intervening God who created the universe but does not actively intervene in its affairs. From this viewpoint, God may be seen as separate from the destruction, as the world operates according to natural laws.

  3. Faith Perspectives:

    • Faith and Hope: Many individuals, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof, find solace and meaning in their faith during times of destruction and suffering. They may believe that God is with them in their struggles, providing strength, comfort, and hope.

  4. Human Responsibility:

    • Some perspectives suggest that it is the responsibility of humans to act as agents of positive change in the face of destruction and suffering. Regardless of one's belief in God's direct involvement, humans are often seen as capable of addressing and mitigating the consequences of destructive events.

Ultimately, where one sees God in the midst of destruction is a deeply personal and subjective matter, shaped by one's religious beliefs, philosophy, and individual experiences. People may find meaning and understanding in different ways, ranging from finding purpose in suffering to questioning the existence of God altogether. The answer to this question can vary greatly depending on one's perspective and worldview.

Keith
Last edited by Keith

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