Hinduism

 

aaath

 

Right at the outset, I want to say that this is not a mean-spirited attack on Hindus. This is an examination or comparison of what  Hinduism  teaches side by side with what the Bible teaches. I pray it would be helpful to those who desire to share the truth in love with their Hindu friends and eye-opening to  Hindus who may have not seriously considered these issues previously.

 

 

 

 

 

 Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices that originated in India, characterized by the belief in reincarnation, one absolute being of multiple manifestations, the law of cause and effect, following the path of righteousness, and the desire for liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.1 Hinduism practices goddess worship, it probably has the oldest literature on spirituality and mysticism and is the most inclusive of all the world’s religions. Lets contrast and compare the teachings of Hinduism with Christianity, to see how it deviates from the historic Christian faith.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

Definitions and Beginnings of Hinduism

Apart from the other major religions of the world which can trace their origins to a founder, individual or teacher, Hinduism has no founder that can be pinned down historically. Now, although no human founder is attributed to starting Hinduism, Hindus will claim that it was started by God Himself and thus is God-centered while other religions are focused on the founder or man-centered.

 

 

 

The following definition of a basic Hindu was quoted in India’s Supreme Court in 1995 as well: 4

“Acceptance of the Vedas with reverence; recognition of the fact that the means or ways to salvation are diverse; and the realization of the truth that the number of gods to be worshiped is large, that indeed is the distinguishing feature of the Hindu religion.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beliefs of Hinduism

1. Reverence for Hindu Scriptures
2. All-Pervasive Divinity
3. The Three Worlds and Creation Cycles
4. The Laws of Karma and Dharma
5. Reincarnation and Liberation
6. Temples and the Inner Worlds
7. Genuine Respect for Other Faiths

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

1. Reverence for Hindu Scriptures

Hindus believe in the divinity of the Vedas, the world’s most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. These primordial hymns are God’s word and the bedrock of Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion which has neither beginning not end.8  Hinduism does not have a one volume book considered holy but a voluminous collection that is best classified as “holy writings” that consist of Sruti (heard) and Smriti (remembered) texts. Hindus do not believe that the Vedas were originated by human authors but that they exist eternally from the beginning of time and as the priests were in meditation, the Vedas were revealed to them and they in turn, orally passed them down to other priests. The Vedas (which mean “wisdom” or “knowledge”) were developed over a period of approximately 2000 years and originally transmitted orally down through the generations until written down in an ancient Indian language called Sanskrit.

 

The most common of the Hindu writings and their descriptions are as follows:

Vedas – A collection of over 1,100 hymns dedicated to their gods, liturgies, hymns, rituals, mantras, reciting, magic spells and incantations.
Upanishads – Philosophical commentaries on the Vedas on how to live.
Ramayana – An epic tale of good over evil.
Mahabharata¬ – Another epic tale and is the longest poem in the world consisting of approximately 100,000 verses. These writings contain the Bhagavad Gita – the most common and well know of Hindu literature, it’s often called the “Bible of Hinduism.” 9
◦ Agamas – Devotional texts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

Christians consider the Bible to be the Word of God. The word Bible means “book.” The English name came to us from the Latin biblia and from the Greek biblos. It was the original name of the outer skin of the papyrus reed that people used to write upon in antiquity times and around the second century AD, the word was used by Christians to describe their sacred writings. The Bible is made up of 66 separate books and letters, 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament.These two major parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament, could better be called covenants since they are taken from the Hebrew and Greek words that mean “a compact or agreement between two parties.” The Bible was written across a time span of approximately 1,600 years, by more than 40 different people with varying educations, backgrounds and occupations. For example:

◦ David was a king.
◦ Moses and Hosea were shepherds.
◦ Joshua was a military general.
◦ Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah were prophets.
◦ Daniel was a prime minister.
◦ Luke was a doctor.
◦ Peter and John were fishermen.

 

The Bible was written on three different continents, Africa, Asia and Europe in three different languages, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. Yet, in spite of the diversity of the people writing over a span of 1,600 years from different cultures, occupations, continents and languages, the Bible has one consistent message, God’s message of love, grace, mercy, salvation and redemption in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

We can demonstrate that the Bible is divine in origin rather than human in origin, based on the following acronym M.A.P.S. 11

 

Manuscript Evidence - We have what’s called an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the manuscript and transcript evidence in our possession. The number of manuscripts, versions and translations of the New Testament number over 24,000 and combined with the Dead Sea Scrolls which verify the accuracy of the transmission of the Old Testament and the writings of the early church fathers that quote all but 11 verses of the New Testament, the accuracy of the New Testament is amazing as well.

Archeological Evidence - Time and time again, archaeology has confirmed people, places, events and customs that are mentioned in the Bible as historical and reliable. In fact, “25,000 sites within this region and dating to Old Testament times, in their broadest sense, have been located” 12 demonstrating that the Bible is not mythological but historically accurate regarding archeology.

Prophetic Evidence - One of the most compelling and strongest cases for accepting the trustworthiness of the Bible as the inspired Word of God is predictive prophecy. Predictive Prophecy is so convincing that skeptics will conclude that after the events happened, literary editors went back and “doctored” the original events to make them look like they were written before hand.

Statistical Probability Evidence - Anybody with a statistical background or an understanding of the odds involved in the following statistical probabilities would be hard pressed to shrug off the evidence that if we look at just eight of the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ, we can conclude that the odds of their coming to pass are 1 in 1017 or 1 with 17 zeros after it or 100,000,000,000,000,000 chances in one!

Combine these evidences together and it’s overwhelming that the God of the Bible has so inspired His Word that the original autographs were without error since God is without error and as we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


2. All-Pervasive Divinity

Hindus believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.13 The Hindu god is one (Brahman) and yet also many (Kali, Vishnu, Rama, Shiva, Ganesh, etc.) There are 330 million gods and goddesses, which are manifestations of Brahman and a way to approach Brahman. However, Brahman is usually not worshiped in Hinduism but by worshiping one of the 330 million, they are worshiping the one.

 

In Hindu thought, Brahman is the ultimate source, formless, eternal, without qualities and without attributes, impersonal, the creator of the universe. The Hindu trinity (Trimurti) is made up of Brahma, the creator of all life and the universe; Vishnu, the protector or preserver who oversees the cycles of birth and death and Shiva the destroyer, the Lord of the Fire who is also called Hara the Remover, or Death.15  The Hindu pantheon of gods and goddesses consists not only of the Hindu trinity, but also manifestations of Shiva, the Ten Avatars of Vishnu, but also millions of Demigods, Animal gods and even the Nine Planet gods. Hindus believe that the gods are very much alive and live in temples, on snow-capped peaks, in rivers and oceans and in the hearts and minds of the Hindus.16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

The Hindu religion is a complex mixture since a Hindu may believe any of the following: monism (all matter is one substance), pantheism (God is all and all is God), animism (God lives in nonhuman objects such as rocks, trees, rivers, etc.) monotheism (there is only one God), henotheism (there are many gods (330 million), but they only worship one) and panentheism (everything exists inside of God).

Except for monotheism, these aspects are not a Christian worldview of the God of the Bible as He has defined Himself. The Bible teaches that there is one God and not three gods, thirty-three gods or thirty-three million gods.

 

Deuteronomy 6:4 says, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”

Isaiah 44:6 says, “I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.”

Isaiah 45:5 says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.”

John 17:3 says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!”

The Bible also teaches that we don’t have to go through a pantheon of gods to reach or worship the one true God.

1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus”

 

Scripture teaches that God is transcendent of His creation, not part of it or it part of Him. God was before creation (Genesis 1:1) and exists outside of creation and is not in rocks or trees nor do rocks or trees dwell in Him. While God is present everywhere according to Psalm 139:7-8, God is not everything:

 

Psalm 139:7-8 says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”

 

Isaiah 57:15 says, “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit. To revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’”

 

 

Here we see His Transcendence meaning God is above and uniquely different than His creationAnd we see His Immanence meaning God still works and His presence is felt in the lives of believers who repent and live by faith. The Bible warns us about worshiping the creation instead of the creator in Romans 1:25 which says that some “exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…”

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


3. The Three Worlds and Creation Cycles

Hindus believe there are three worlds of existence-physical, astral and causal-and that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.18 The physical (bhuloka) consists of what can be felt and accessed by the five senses - taste, touch, sight, sound and smell. At death, the physical or material body as well as its life-force begins to disintegrate.The astral (antarloka) sometimes is referred to as the subtle or mental aspect of a person. In Hindu thought, the astral contains our mental/thought or wisdom capabilities and it is this aspect that continues to exist after death. The concept of astral projection is said to involve the separation of the astral or subtle body from the physical. The casual (sivaloka or karanaloka), in Hindu thought “contains the very essence of who you are as an individual. The habits and attitudes developed in your previous lives, your likes and dislikes, talents and liabilities, are carried with the casual body like a piece of luggage.”19 It is the casual body that reincarnates.

According to the Vedas, “Now, there are, of a truth, three worlds: the world of men, the world of the fathers, and the world of the Gods. The world of the Gods is verily the best of worlds.”20 Hinduism teaches that the world, the universe, humans and creatures is created, destroyed and re-created over and over again in eternally repetitive endless cycles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

While the creation event is decidedly mythological in Hinduism, the Christian creation event is one that affirms the reality of the material world. One thing we learn from modern philosophy, astronomy and astrophysics is that the universe had a beginning. The Bible teaches the following:

 

Hebrews 11:3 says that “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible

Scholars believe that the Bible tells us that God created “Ex nihilo”, Latin for “from nothing.”

 

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The word created [Hebrew: bara] means “to create out of nothing or of something new.”

Prior to the moment of creation, there was nothing. God spoke into existence all time, energy and matter from nothing.

 

While Hinduism believes that all material is illusory (maya) and part of the Brahman, the Bible teaches that God is separate from His creation. In other words, the creation cannot exist separate from God but God can and does exist separate from creation. In order to create, God had to exist prior to creation or else God would have created Himself which is an illogical absurdity.
We can look at the following Kalam Cosmological Argument to demonstrate that the universe is not eternal, it had to have a beginning and there was a cause for its beginning:

 

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

 

Psalm 19:1-3 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” The Bible speaks of the Creator as a personal being who cares tremendously for His creation.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Laws of Karma and Dharma

Hindus believe in karma-the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words, and deeds-and in dharma, righteous living.23 Karma is the concept that what one sows in this life; they will reap in this or the next lifeIn other words, every action that this life causes, a reaction in this or the next life is inextricably woven into the rebirth or successive lives on earth.

According to Hinduism, depending on our actions, karma will determine the state we will occupy in the next life. This is one reason that the caste system in India is so hard to break out of and why the lower castes are not helped by the upper castes. They believe that those in the lower caste systems are there because of their karma from previous lives and that to provide help would be denying them a chance to learn and move up in their next succession of lives. Dharma is the concept of duty, a virtuous path, unselfish action or the way of action. Many aspects pertain to dharma such as Hindu ritual obligations, one’s social duties and harmony with all. This is the concept that Hindus should do what is right in practice of everyday behavior and ritual. Hindus who master knowledge to the point where karma has no effect and live within accordance to dharma proceed more quickly towards liberation (moksha) from the ever-cyclical reincarnation (samsara).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

 

The New Testament repeatedly states that salvation is a free gift from God – salvation is by grace and grace alone entirely apart from the law or any works:

 

Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

 

Titus 3:5 says that “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us...”

 

Romans 3:20 tells us that “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified [declared righteous before God] in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

 

If a Hindu really wants to work or perform duties (dharma), Jesus addresses that when He said in John 6:29, “This is the work of God, that you believe (trust) in Him whom He sent.” His truth claims (John 14:6) are valid including that He is God (John 8:58) and knows how a person enters heaven (Matthew 7:13, 14). Because of the sinless life He demonstrated, by the miracles He did, and by His resurrection He confirmed that He is indeed the Son of God and therefore had the right to claim that He is the only way to eternal life.

 

 

 

 

 

akarma-vs-grace2

 

 

 

Karma is about retribution and return on investment, but grace is about forgiveness and favor. One deals in payback, the other in peace.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

5. Reincarnation and Liberation

Hindus believe that the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved, and moksha-spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth-is attained. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.24 Reincarnation (samsara) literally means “in the flesh” or “to come again in the flesh” and refers to the cyclical wheel of a person’s soul as it passes into another body after death.

These cycles of reincarnation and karma continue until one attains the spiritual knowledge to become liberated (moksha) from the cycle of birth, life and death over and over again. Reincarnation and karma are not only prevalent in Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism but also the New Age movement here in America. Liberation (moksha) is achieved and the reincarnation process stopped when one reaches a self-realization that one’s self (atman) is one with the Ultimate reality or Brahman and by practicing the disciplines (yogas). This is also known as the way of knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

Dean Halverson explains that “the direction of the Hindu way to enlightenment is from humanity to God, and it is based on one’s own effort. The direction of the biblical way of salvation, on the other hand, is from God to humanity in that it is based on God’s grace, and it is a gift to be received through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 4:10).”25

 

 

The Bible teaches that human beings live once and die once.

Hebrews 9:27 says, “And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”

 

While here on earth, people decide their eternal destiny in one single lifetime.

Matthew 25:46 says, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

Other passages that can be used to refute the false teaching of re-birth or reincarnation:

Philippians 1:21 says, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

The “gain” that Paul is speaking about is his longing to be with Jesus Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

This verse makes clear that to be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord” and not jumping to the next lifetime to do it all over again. As Christians our hope lies in the resurrection of Christ and that one day, not after many births and deaths, we will be raised up with a new body.

 

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye…and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

6. Temples and the Inner Worlds

Hindus believe that divine beings exist in unseen worlds and that temple worship, rituals, sacraments as well as personal devotionals create communion with these devas and Gods.26 According to the magazine, Hinduism Today, “The Hindu temple is a sacred space where man and God commune. It is the home of God and the Gods… If you could view the temple from the inner worlds, you would see a brilliant ray coming from the Third World right into the temple on the physical plane. This ray allows communication similar to a live video conference.”27

The Himalayan Academy says that “It is in the Hindu temple that the three worlds meet and devotees invoke the Gods of our religion. The temple is built as a palace in which the Gods live. It is the home of the Gods, a sacred place unlike every other place on the earth.”28 As stated before, according to the Vedas, “Now, there are, of a truth, three worlds: the world of men, the world of the fathers, and the world of the Gods. The world of the Gods is verily the best of worlds.”29 The way of devotion (bhakti) to the gods of Hinduism is most popular among everyday Hindus to try and achieve liberation from the cycle of life and death that they believe every soul undergoes.

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

The Bible also teaches that there is an unseen realm, a world of powers and principalities and forces we are not privy too:

 

Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”

 

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

 

 

And the Bible explicitly commands us not to contact this unseen world:

Leviticus 19:31 - "Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God."

Leviticus 20:6 - "As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people."

 

 

 

And communion with God comes by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and not by “temple worship, rituals, and sacraments.

 

Psalm 40:6 says, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.”

 

Psalm 51:16, 17 says, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.”

 

John 8:31, 32 and John 15 speak of abiding with Jesus and He will abide with us.

 

The word abide [Greek: menō] means “to stay, to remain, live, dwell.” In John 17:3, Jesus prays for believers and says, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Notice that it doesn’t say “they may know of you” but “they may know you.” The words they may know [Greek: ginōskō] means “a grounded knowledge based on personal experience.” It also reflects a personal intimate relationship since it is also a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.30 Our relationship with the Creator of the Universe is based on a personal relationship with His Son – Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11-13).

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Genuine Respect for Other Religions

Hindus believe that no particular religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God’s Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.45

In other words, if the devotee of any religion is sincere, Hindus believe that all practices are OK since all paths lead to God.Hinduism is what’s called an inclusive religion. Inclusive means to “include everything or much of everything.” This concept that all paths lead to God can be seen in the Hindu religion itself since many differing beliefs are prevalent within. For example, some Hindus are monotheistic while others are polytheistic preferring to worship many gods. One website states that, “Every instinct in Hinduism rejoices in tolerance and in acknowledgement of the many paths, even those that seem to contradict its own. When you believe that God is everywhere, in all there is wherever it is, it becomes impossible to hate or injure or seek to aggressively convert others.”46 Why convert others when “god is all and all is god” and we all are divine beings, part of the whole? Hindus believe that everyone can evolve to the divine irrespective of the religion or the god they follow. Hinduism believes that even though religions like Hinduism, Islam and Christianity differ significantly and drastically on doctrine, they are each valid spiritual paths to the Supreme Being itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biblical Teaching

The Bible teaches that Christianity is an exclusive relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus made incredibility radical exclusivity claims about Himself that a person should consider before outright rejecting Christianity.47

 

◦ I have always existed (John 8:58; 17:5)
◦ I hold the keys to death (Revelation 1:18)
◦ I have never sinned (John 8:46)
◦ I have all authority on heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18)
◦ I and the Father are one (John 10:30)
◦ I must be placed above your family (Matthew 10:37)
◦ I have authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-12)
◦ I am the light of the world (John 8:12)
◦ I am prophesied about in the Scriptures (Luke 24:25-27)
◦ I am from heaven (John 8:23)
◦ I will be resurrected (Mark 8:31)
◦ I am the bread of life (John 6:35)
◦ I will send the Spirit of God Almighty (John 16:7)
◦ I am coming again to the earth (Revelation 22:20)
◦ I am a king (John 18:37)
◦ I give spiritual life (John 5:24)
◦ I am the one through whom you must pray (John 16:23-24)
◦ I raise the dead and heal diseases (John 11:38-44; Luke 13:32)
◦ I will judge the world on Judgment Day (John 5:22-30)
◦ I am the Son of God (Matthew 16:16-17)
◦ I will raise the dead at the end of time (John 5:28-29)
◦ I am the only way to God (John 14:6)
◦ My words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35)
◦ If you reject me, you reject God himself (Luke 10:16)

 

 

 “Truth is true even if people don’t acknowledge it…In fact, truth is true even if no one knows it, admits it, agrees with it, follows it, or even fully grasps it.”48  Around 400 references in the New Testament confirm that Jesus is said to provide the only way to salvation, here are a few…

John 6:40 says, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes (Trust) in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 8:24 says, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am [He], you will die in your sins.”

John 10:1, 7 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber... Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”

John 11:25, 26 says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

 

 

We have about 18 secular sources from about 100-150 years after the time of Jesus that confirms He was an actual historical figure. For example:

Thallus, a historian in the first century, “confirms the Gospel’s accounts of the unusual darkness that engulfed the land when Jesus was crucified (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)”50

Pliny the Younger (AD 61 – AD 112), a Roman Governor wrote that early Christians gathered on a particular day and that they “chant[ed] verses alternately amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god…”51

Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117), Roman senator and historian wrote that “Christus [Jesus], the author of their name, had suffered the death penalty during the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate.”52

Josephus (AD 37 – AD 100), a Jewish historian wrote that “When, therefore, Ananus [the high priest] was of this [angry] disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road. So he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James.”53

Dr. Gary Habermas, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Liberty University, says that “the fact that’s recorded in secular sources more than any other one, about twelve of the eighteen sources tell us that Jesus died, many telling us details, what happened to him, he died by crucifixion, etc…but about two-thirds of the sources tell us he died…we really do have good historical evidence.”54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Just like all other attempts of man to reach up to God by our own works, we will fail. The Bible makes it clear that nothing we can do in the way of works, no good act can merit us salvation based on what we’ve done. We will all fall short of the righteousness required from God and the Bible tells us that over and over again:

 

Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Isaiah 64:6 says, “And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”

 

Our only hope in this lifetime, not many lifetimes like Hinduism teaches, but this one lifetime, lies in the perfect provision of Jesus Christ. The good deeds of Hinduism may focus on such elements as right living, right conduct, wisdom and conduct in a social order or karma and dharma, but it will not lead to salvation as we saw earlier. Not only is Jesus the only way to the Father (John 14:6), but He offers more hope than a works based religion where you never know if you’ve attained enough karma on the positive side to move you along to liberation from reincarnation. Jesus extends salvation to the entire world (John 3:16) and He is the Christ, the Messiah, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)

 

 

 

 

akarma-vs-grace2

 


 

Resources used and recommended reading material:

1. The Spirit of Hinduism, David Burnett, Monarch Books, ISBN-13: 9780825461101

2. The Handy Religion Answer Book, John Renard, Visible Ink Press, ISBN: 068104716

3. AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults & the Occult, Compiled by Mark Water, AMG Publishers, ISBN: 9780899544608

4. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Norman L. Geisler, Baker Books, ISBN: 0801021510

5. Christianity and World Religions, Adam Hamilton, Abingdon Press, ISBN: 0687494907

6. Handbook of Today’s Religions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Thomas Nelson Publishers, ISBN: 0785212191

7. The School of Biblical Evangelism, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, Bridge-Logos Publishers, ISBN: 0882709682

8. The Illustrated Guide to World Religions, Dean Halverson General Editor, Bethany House Publishers, ISBN: 0764228382

Notes

1. //hinduism.about.com/od/basics/p/hinduismbasics.htm accessed May 7, 2010
2. AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults & the Occult compiled by Mark Water (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2006), p. 134.
3. //www.answers.com/topic/hindu-1#cite_note-SCI-14 accessed December 29, 2009
4. AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, pg. 133.
5. The Handy Religion Answer Book, John Renard (Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press, 2002), pg. 249
6. Hindu Gods, Priya Hemenway, (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2003), p. 19
7. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
8. Ibid., Inside cover
9. AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, pg. 137
10. Ibid., pg. 138-139
11. Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), p. 370. – As far as I know, this acronym was first coined by Hank Hanegraaff.
12. Donald J. Wiseman, Archaeological Confirmation of the Old Testament as cited in Norman L. Geisler, Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976), p. 322.
13. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
14. AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, pg. 192
15. Hindu Gods: the spirit of the divine (San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2003), pg. 32
16. AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, pg. 192
17. David Horton, General Editor, The Portable Seminary (Minneapolis, MN: BethanyHouse Publishers, 2006), pg. 357
18. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
19. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hinduism by Linda Johnsen (Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books, 2009), pg. 111
20. //www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3432 accessed March 10, 2010
21. Dr. Raymond C. Hundley, Will the World End In 2012? (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2010), pg. 112-113
22. Dr. William Lane Craig, On Guard – Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publisher, 2010) pg. 93
23. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
24. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
25. The Illustrated Guide to World Religions, Dean Halverson General Editor (Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers, 2003), pg. 89
26. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
27. //www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/wfdownloads/images/screenshots/Chapter25.gif accessed March 12, 2010
28. //www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/pamphlets/GodAndGodsOfHinduism.html accessed March 12, 2010
29. //www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3432 accessed March 10, 2010
30. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for ginōskō (Strong's 1097)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2010. 12 Mar 2010.< // www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G1097&t=NKJV >
31. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
32. Gopi Krishna, “The True Aim of Yoga,” Psychic, Jan.- Feb., 1973, p. 14. As cited in Come Let Us Reason Ministries, //www.letusreason.org/current81.htm accessed March 18, 2010
33. Hinduism Today, Online Issue January/Februry/March2010, The Means to Oneness With God, pg. 9
34. Come Let Us Reason Ministries, //www.letusreason.org/current81.htm accessed March 18, 2010
35. Christian Research Journal, Vol.31/No.02/2008, The Yoga Boom by Elliot Miller, pg. 14-15
36. The Eight Limbs of Yoga, The Core of Yoga, //www.expressionsofspirit.com/yoga/eight-limbs.htm as accessed March 18, 2010
37. Hinduism Today Magazine, //www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=5056 accessed May 11, 2010
38. Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 94–95 as cited by Wikipedia.com accessed May 11, 2010
39. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
40. //www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/essays/animals.asp accessed March 18, 2010
41. //www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/dws/dws_mandala-14.html accessed March 19, 2010
42. Ibid., accessed March 19, 2010
43. Ibid., accessed March 19, 2010
44. Ibid., accessed March 19, 2010 - Bhagavad Gita 13.27-28. BGM, 101
45. Hinduism Today, Issue April/May/June2009, Inside cover
46. //www.lightparty.com/Spirituality/OnHinduism.html accessed March 19, 2010
47. Douglas A. Jacoby, Compelling Evidence for God and the Bible (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishing, 2010), pg. 129-130
48. Lee Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), pg. 236
49. Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), pg. 156-163
50. Gregory A. Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy, Lord or Legend? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books), pg. 122
51. Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1998), pg. 83
52. Gregory A. Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy, Lord or Legend? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books), pg. 126
53. Ibid., pg. 127-128
54. Dr. Gary Habermas on //www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hF5uxjBulA