Introduction: Lakshmi Mehta

member_introductions

(Lakshmi Mehta) #1

Hi everyone!

My name is Lakshmi Mehta and am currently living in the U.S. in the state of Nebraska. I am originally from a Hindu family and came to a faith in Christ about two decades ago in India. When I became a Christian, my family dived deeper into Hinduism and became actively involved with the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. As a result I am often in conversations that require me to defend my faith before my family. Also, recently I have found myself in conversations with other Christians who are being drawn to eastern practices like yoga and meditation. I yearn for a clearer understanding about the philosophical distinctions between eastern religions and Christianity to communicate the gospel better. The radio programs, talks and books from RZIM have helped me immensely to grow in my understanding of Christianity and stand firm in my faith. I hope to meet others with a similar background who may have wrestled with some of the same questions I have through RZIMConnect and learn from them. Looking forward to all that God has in store here at RZIMconnect!


(SeanO) #2

@Lakshmismehta Welcome to Connect! Praise God for His work in your life and the opportunities He has given you to share Christ with those around you. May He grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowledge of Him to understand His Word and communicate it clearly to those who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you! I look forward to seeing you out on the forums.


(Keldon Scott) #3

@Lakshmismehta so glad to have you aboard. I am confident your experiences will be helpful to those of us who are not familiar with Hinduism. I wish you the best in your quest and in your discovery. My maternal side of the family is all from the O’Neill Nebraska area. God bless.


(Meg Cusack) #4

Hi Lakshmi- I very much relate to your statement above. I have a sister who has been into the Self-Realization Fellowship for 30+. It is largely Hindu based and New Age. I find that there are much more resources I’ve come across about how to reason with atheists but I have not found as many concise ones on challenging those involved with New Age and eastern religions. Please feel free to let me know of favorites you have found on this topic so far. Enjoy the forum! Meg


(Lakshmi Mehta) #5

Hi Meg! Thanks for the note. Praying for God’s blessings for your conversations with your sister. I too have had difficulty finding concise resources for answering common questions normally raised by Hindus. Though Hinduism comes in many forms, the concept of maya (illusion), karma, reincarnation and an element of pantheism is common to all and I find it helpful to start with these themes. Some of the resources I find myself going back to - Mark C. Albrecht’s - A Christian critique of New age doctrine (free online), Paul Copan’s - That’s just your interpretation, Ravi Zacharias’s - Jesus among other gods and New Birth or Rebirth, Vishal Mangalwadi’s - Wisdom from India Lectures (on you tube). Several other websites have also helped me for different questions - CARM.org, probe.org, bethinking.org, equip.org, karma2grace.org, cslewisinstitute.org. Though resources are helpful, thought you may like to know that when I came to faith in Christ it was just verses from the Bible that spoke to me! Though I didn’t have all the answers, ideas such as Creator God alone being worthy of worship, absolute definitions for good and evil, grace and unconditional love from God independent of human performance, were sufficient to persuade me. Wish you best in your research! God bless!


(Jimmy Sellers) #6

What a great reminder of the power of the word of God.

But the word is very near you, even in your mouth and in your heart, ⌊so that you may do it⌋. (Dt 30:14)


(Carson Weitnauer) #7

Hi @Lakshmismehta,

I am so glad you have joined. My prayer for RZIM Connect is that it will be a community that is truly global and authentically diverse. As you and @Meg_Cusack mention, the apologetics community has provided an abundance of resources on responding to atheism, but we have work to do in making available and distributing resources on engaging with Hinduism.

Perhaps @Jose_Philip, @tejdor, or @Shalini_Manohar can point us to some of the resources available from the RZIM Asia and RZIM India teams.

I do look forward to seeing many conversations in Connect about how we can grow in Jesus and humbly love our family and friends who are involved in Hindu, New Age, or other Eastern religions. There are thousands of interesting conversations for us to have together on these subjects!


(Lakshmi Mehta) #8

Thanks @CarsonWeitnauer! I look forward to hearing about other resources for dealing with Eastern religious philosophies through Connect. I think the need is urgent as the influence of eastern concepts is growing even in evangelical churches where yoga is being combined with Catholic mystical practices. The apologetic need is no longer just for those with eastern religious background but also for Christians to sort out what is compatible with biblical christianity and what is not. Praying for efforts in this area!


(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #9

Hello @Lakshmismehta. I’m encouraged to hear about you coming to faith in Christ. Looking forward to learn with you in this forum. Welcome to Connect! :slight_smile:


(Jose Philip) #10

Hi Lakshmi, lovely to meet you here and I could not agree more with you. Eastern Mysticism and its practices are becoming very much part of Church in ways that are unhelpful, even harmful.

Douglas Groothuis has written a couple of useful books (1) Unmasking the New Age, (2) Confronting the New Age. He does address some of the misconceptions Christians have bought into concerning yoga. Jonathan D. James (son of the late JD James the Indian evangelist, and the President of Asia Evangelistic Fellowship) has also written a good (short) book on the same topic - The Great Deception.

Hope these resources will prove useful.


(Lakshmi Mehta) #11

Thank you @Jose_Philip. So nice to have feedback. Very much appreciate the resources! Only recently, I read a couple articles of Groothius online and found them useful. I will definitely get a copy of these books. Some christians whom I have come across who do yoga for christian worship feel they are protected from all possible negative influences in Christ and God would honor their good intentions. They tend to dismiss examples from OT on improper worship such as that of Uzzah, Nadab and Abihu or Cain and Abel as we are now in a new covenant in Christ. I am now trying to gather more scriptural support from the NT and other resources. Thank you!