I got lots Hindu friends who believe that all religions contain a core recognition of the same god. They Jesus, Krishna, Rama are the incarnations of a same god. How to navigate conversation with an omnitheist?
@alanjohn10 You may find the following resources from @Lakshmismehta helpful. As Ravi says, world religious are superficially similar, but fundamentally they are different. If you begin to study the Scriptures with your omnitheist friends, that difference will gradually become more clear.
@alanjohn10, Great question! It’s probably the most common objection raised by Hindus. If we ask, on what basis? They may probably respond by saying the purpose of all religions is to teach us to live good moral lives. They’d argue, if a chosen path has helped someone become a better person, its counterproductive to fight over which path is true. But what if they are confusing a symptom of true faith with the purpose of faith? If people can live moral lives without religion, surely the purpose of religion has to be more than that. If man has a soul that outlasts the body, the destiny of our souls becomes important. Must we not then care about the contradictions on the destiny of our souls in different scriptures? For example: Do we lose our conscious existence and merge into the universal Brahman as in Hinduism or do we eternally serve a personal God as in Christianity? Does man get many lives as in Hinduism or does man get one life as in Christianity? Who is right? Jesus or Krishna? The differences in religion are not just differences in style, but substance. By saying all religions are the same, we are just trying to escape facing the reality of contradictions. That position may allow for peace but possibly at the cost of our souls. When man sees morality as the purpose of religion, seeking God becomes just a means toward that end and God becomes secondary. On the other hand, if the purpose of religion is to seek God, then morality is the expected manifestation of true faith in God (James 2:17).
In John 17:3, Jesus says, “This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ you have sent”. Why does he say that? Possibly because there are people seeking other gods. The Hindus are right about there being only one God but that doesn’t mean all gods are one. Rom 1:19-25 explains how God has revealed Himself to all mankind. The moral law is written in the hearts of all men (Rom 2:15) because man is made in the image of the one true God. It would be unreasonable to believe that the true God will change doctrine altogether from one nation to another. The contradictory revelations about God are most likely a result of several attempts of man to reach after the true God. The Bible says man became vain in his imaginations as he suppressed the truth of God. So, even when God reveals Himself, people reject it (Heb 1:1-3, John 1:10-13).
Krishna reveals himself as an incarnation of God in the Bhagavad Gita and Jesus does so in the Bible. Its interesting to see how incompatible their teachings are.
Bhagavad Gita 4:8 In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.
Bible, John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
These statements above by Krishna and Jesus are quite contradictory. Krishna is about establishing moral law of karma and destroying the sinner but Jesus came to destroy sin itself in the hearts of man, to forgive the sinner, thereby canceling the law of karma.
So, we would really have to do away with faithfulness to much of scripture in order to come to a conclusion that all gods are same. In the end, that position of omnitheism causes us to be dishonest to all faiths. I hope that answers your question with some more clarity.
God bless you!
It’s an honor to share my thoughts and response to this.
How to navigate conversation with an OmniTheist?
First, you have to know and be firm on what you believe. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Why?
It’s vital for us Christians that before we start a communication with our friends with other worldview (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc.) We must be equipped and firmed on our faith.
(I’m not saying to have full knowledge before you start a conversation. I’m saying to study the truthfulness and uniqueness of Christian faith)
Second, to navigate conversation with other worldview, always build relationship. Because the platform to which we discuss about belief oftentimes comes from the relationship that has been built.
I remember that I have a friend that is “Iglesia ni Kristo” (INC), a known religion here in the Philippines. Even though they call themselves the church of Christ, they don’t even believe on Jesus Christ as God and His finished work on the cross.
My an INC friend way back when I was in Senior High School, she approached me and asked me if we can talk about our faith. And I agreed, at first she asked me about the Christian faith which I defended and shared well, then she openly shared her belief too.
After that, there was no debate happened, only a healthy conversation, because we knew in the first place that we have built a platform where respect to each other is grounded.
Third, to navigate a conversation with our friends with other worldview, we have to ask them 3 important questions:
- What do you mean? (What do you mean that Jesus, Krishna, Rama are the incarnations of the same god?)
- How do you come to that conclusion? (What are your evidences to prove that?)
- Have you ever consider? (Present your Christian Worldview to clarify their assumptions and answer their questions, and at best win the questioner.)
1.) Be equipped and firmed on the truthfulness and uniqueness of Christian faith.
2.) Build a relationship
3.) Ask these three questions (What do you mean? How do you come to that conclusion? Have you ever consider?)
Don’t miss the opportunity to navigate a conversation with your friends even though they have different worldviews.
Through it, you will never know how God can use you to win them to Jesus Christ.
Thank you for giving your time to read this.
I hope this one helps you.
We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP
I am not convinced we can even share the Word without first binding the stronghold. But the good news is that “The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth”
I agree with you! According to 2 Cor 4:4, the god of this age blinds people from understanding the light of the gospel . We must pray continually against these blinding forces.
Thankyou, I found this is very helpful!!
Thanks Preeti! Glad it helped. God bless you.
Thank you so much!
You are so welcome!