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Switch to Forum Live View Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi
7 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2007 - 1:24PM #11
seekerdrd
Posts: 98
[QUOTE=HinduGuy;39114]David: Our values do differ. For us you don't get a free pass upon conversion, it is your actions in life that will determine your fate. For God, whether you are a hindu, muslim or atheist does not matter. She will treat you the same. Basically you are saying is that first you have to convert otherwise you are going to hell no matter what kind of person I am, those are not my values. Those are the values espoused by a despot.[/QUOTE]


I'm not arguing that our values differ. For me that's one of the great things about this site, coming across those who challenge me to better understand what I believe, while simultaneously learning from them about their beliefs.

I have read and re-read your posts on this thread and another thread, and I may be wrong, but it seems the only form of Christianity you have been exposed to is that of the Exclusivist strain. So often this strain is coupled with arrogance, cultural impositions, and an overall lack of the love God wishes us to show each other. Should this be the case, I wish to take a stand for Christians everywhere, and personally apologize for any and all wrongs done to you in the name of God, and ask your forgiveness for not showing God's love. I am truly sorry.

Having said that,  I would like now to explain a bit about what I see as being the beauty of Christianity. For me, the, as you put it, "free pass" is the beauty and heart of Christianity, and one of the things that truly sets it apart. I don't need to be perfect. God loves me for who I am and what I am. all I have to do is reach out and accept the gift of God's mercy, or as it is sometimes called grace, then God begins the proces of working within me to help me live a life of love, good works, compassion, etc., things which I cannot always do on my own.

That's it. No rituals, no rites, no cleansings other than that of God working in me. How easy, how relaxing to just lie back in God's arms and say mold me, shape me. This is not to say the molding and shaping doesn't hurt, for sometimes it does, but I don't have to worry about being perfect. This does also does not allow me to go and do whatever I want and just say "well, God will forgive me."

By all means no. Instead it is like two lovers. The more I know God, the more I want to live in a way that brings God happiness and joy, as much in the same way, the more I know my wife, the more I wish to bring her happiness, and do things for her that I know she finds pleasing.

As to the issue of hell, just as in Hinduism there are several interpretations as to how to achieve Moksha, so too in Christianity there are several interpretaions of hell. The one you seem most familiar with is Exclusivism which says that no one but Christians are saved, and everyone else will burn for eternity.  Others on this thread seem to espouse universalism which is that all paths eventually lead to God and in the end all will be saved. There is a third interpretaion (all of these have multiple views as to what actually happens, these are just the main threads). This third interpretaion happens to be the one I believe, and it is called Inclusivism.

Inclusivists believe that God, being an entity of love, desires all to enjoy heaven, paradise, a god afterlife, whatever you want to call it. However, God also grants us free-will, and as a result, some will choose not to enjoy the afterlife. How does it work? As I said earlier, Hell is merely separation from God. Our scripture also indicates that God has written laws on the hearts of men, and will credit as righteousness those whose actions follow those laws, but who die without knowing Jesus Christ. The only ones who suffer "Hell" or separation, are those who outright reject God/Jesus after being told, but this is their own choice, and they can change their minds even after death. A poor analogy would be something like an American concert. God is the star, the angels work concessions, etc. The Christian saints and martyrs are all up in the front row areas. The believers follow them. Then further back in the nosebleed/balcony or lawn seats are those referred to in tradition as "righteous pagans." These are people who died without knowing Jesus, but who lived good lives, following as best they could the laws God has written on the hearts of men. There is some fluidity here as all who are concert goers have backstage passes and can meet and talk with God whenever they wish. The only ones who are not a part of this are the ones who actively reject God. They are out in the parking lot kicking bottles and blaming everyone else for their not getting to have a good time. The thing is, the ticket booth is still open, and admission is free, they just need to look up and see it. Unfortuantely for most of them, their mindset won't recognize this, and so they remain outside the good times.

I don't expect this to change anything in your head. I just wanted to share the beauty I see in my belief, and apologize for any mistreatment you may have received from others espousing Christianity.

David
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2007 - 12:28AM #12
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
David:

There are those christians who accept gays, but the bible makes it pretty clear where he stands on this issue. I am not too sure whether your inclusive brand of christianity is supported by scripture or is based on your values, values not supported by christain teachings. That's the point of my post, I am not bending my religion to fit my values.

I am not too sure about how inclusive your values are if even now you give front row access to those who accpet christ. For us hindus, God comes in many forms and with many names. To limit him or her to a particular name is to me a narrow view point of God. A God who created all living things, the planets and all these galaxies with all their endless forms of life is now being cornered by this little group of people on this tiny planet. It really shouldn't matter whether you choose to accept God or not, to say they have a choice is silly. God is like a parent, if one child chooses to reject their parent, does the parent give up on him? The hindu concept of heaven is a heaven open to all good people, not just those who believe in god, it's open to atheist too. They are treated the same as any person with a deep belief in God. It is your character that determines your fate not your beliefs!

You talk inclusiveness but it's still smacks a bit of exclusiveness.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2007 - 4:15AM #13
birwin4
Posts: 583
You. as a Hindu, must be aware that it is not good karma to create straw men then attempt to butn them at the stake
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2007 - 12:56PM #14
smcisaac
Posts: 8,062

HinduGuy wrote:

There are those christians who accept gays, but the bible makes it pretty clear where he stands on this issue.



"Clear?" Are you sure about that? Where? (Please don't cite Leviticus, as most of the Jewish mitzvot do not apply to Christians.)

"Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way."  Gospel of Philip, Logion 72

"Christ will regenerate all things; through Him all things will be purged, and return into eternal life. And when the Son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, all things will be God; that is, all things will still exist, but God will exist in them, and they will be full of Him." Fabius Manus Victorinus, c. 350 AD
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2007 - 9:20PM #15
HinduGuy
Posts: 373
Maybe you should keep up with the times. Recently some congressmen wanted to pass a law that would make attacking gays a hate crime. Guess who is against it? You guessed it, preachers! Christian conservatives!
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2007 - 10:44PM #16
smcisaac
Posts: 8,062

HinduGuy wrote:

Maybe you should keep up with the times. Recently some congressmen wanted to pass a law that would make attacking gays a hate crime. Guess who is against it? You guessed it, preachers! Christian conservatives!



I thought you said you didn't want to play the Godse game.  Guess I heard you wrong.

Godse didn't write the Vedas, and those preachers didn't write the Gospels.  (I wonder if they even read them.)

"Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way."  Gospel of Philip, Logion 72

"Christ will regenerate all things; through Him all things will be purged, and return into eternal life. And when the Son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, all things will be God; that is, all things will still exist, but God will exist in them, and they will be full of Him." Fabius Manus Victorinus, c. 350 AD
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2007 - 11:22PM #17
chris_lg
Posts: 358
For most Protestants, conversion brings salvation. For Roman Catholics, good works must follow and Heaven must be earned. Some Christians believe that non-Christians will not reach heaven, and some believe that everyone will.  Many have a belief somewhere in between. I'd venture to say that most Christians do not understand reincarnation in the same way that Hindus do. One thing I have to say about Progressive Christians. We are truly saddened and bothered by the history of violence and intolerance in our faith. We look back to Jesus himself for inspiration and find no basis for this. Jesus taught acceptance and the value of all people. All that corruption came into the churches later, and Progressives want no part of it. Our faith is a Christianity of Jesus, not about him. We are, for the most part, Universalist, meaning that we believe that Heaven is open to all, and that Christianity is not the only path to God. I see no need to change my faith because some in history corrupted it. I see a need to go back to its source and find the pure spring from which it came.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2007 - 11:51AM #18
Geocorona
Posts: 302
Hinduism grew up as the foundation of a culture, and had a steady supply of followers to keep it "alive" (I believe corporate constructions like religions have an abstract "life").

Christianity started with almost no foundation, and could only remain "alive" through proselytising.

This is not an excuse for this behavior -- merely a reason behind it.

"Do you at times wonder if your faith teaches values that match yours?"

My faith is my faith, and not a pre-packaged product. It cannot teach values that aren't my own.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2007 - 10:37AM #19
Merrill48
Posts: 108
[QUOTE=HinduGuy;43541]David:
but the bible makes it pretty clear where he stands on this issue [homosexuality]..... [/QUOTE]

But does it, really? Consider this....

There a a few verses in Deuteronomy & Leviticus in the Hebrew Bible, and a few verses in one or two of Paul's letters in the New Testament of the Christian Bible that touch on the issue of homosexuality. And if one reads the Pauline verses closely, one can make a strong case that Paul is talking about idolatry in general, not homosexuality in particular. In contrast there are hundreds, if not thousands, of verses in the Christian Bible (aka Old and New Testaments) about (economic/social) justice, mercy, and love. IMHO that comparison of the numbers of verses on the homosexuality versus the number on justice, mercy, and love is trying to tell me something. To wit, justice, mercy, love, and compassion are more important than whom you have sex with.

My $0.02 - please adjust for your local currency....

Shalom,
Merrill
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