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Aren’t other religions “doing” the same thing that Christianity is? Could God really condemn non-Christians?
I have a friend who was raised as a Christian, but is being exposed to different religions. One of her new friends is a Hindu. She is confused between tolerance and having an open mind about other religions.. She said, “It seems wrong that they would be thrown into the pit of hell for doing the same thing that we’re doing... I just can’t grasp that..” What do I need to tell her? What kind of Godly advice can I give her? I know God says that he is the only way to Heaven... but she has a good piont... Are there any verses I can give her?
Thank you for the e-mails you send me. I am now in Gorongosa, Mozambique, and sharing some of the materials you gave me with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thanks once again for being a blessing to the christian communities. God bless you!
I do not write with a question but to comment on one: Just How Omnipotent?
The writer asks in part “...can god turns himself into a rock with no power and then turn himself back...” This could be restated as “Can the Creator of the universe turn himself into a part of the creation and then restore His divinity.” Now, to flesh that out, could the Creator of the universe turn Himself into a man, go through the whole human process from birth to death, and then while dead restore His own life and His divinity? In short, the answer to the example the writer gave to the “contradictions” of omnipotence is the very message of the gospel!
Let us know what you think.
Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. My hope is that you will receive some insight so that you can respond to your friend. Remember that it is not you versus her, but an issue of biblical authority: God’s Word versus other religions.
I have a friend who was raised as a Christian, but is being exposed to different religions. One of her new friends is a Hindu. She is confused between tolerance and having an open mind about other religions..
Tolerance is very similar to having an open mind to other religions. Christ, however, was not open to false religions, but stood solidly on the truth (John 14:6). In today’s culture, most students have been taught the religion of secular humanism. This is important in this discussion because your friend is raising herself up to be the judge of religions to then “pick and choose.” Take note of the humanistic view in her sentence:
She said, “It seems wrong that they would be thrown into the pit of hell for doing the same thing that we’re doing... I just can’t grasp that..”
Your friend is setting herself up to be the higher standard by judging God and His Word as being subpar right from the start. Who is she (or any human) to judge our Creator God? This attitude is a humanistic belief, i.e. putting oneself as the ultimate authority, even over God. So, even if she were to say something like “I pick Hinduism,” the religion and “gods” of Hinduism really are not going to be her highest authority. The act of comparing and choosing is sitting in judgment of the religion of Hinduism and the associated “gods.”
By her statement, she is already claiming to be able to also sit in judgment over God and His Word. And so she reveals that she is really a humanist, although she may not realize it. Christians need to be aware that children today are being taught humanism—and they are often imbibing it whether they realize it or not.
Also, take note of another misconception in her statement. She assumes that Hinduism is “doing the same thing we’re doing.” If by “we” she means Christians, then there are two problems.
First, she views Christianity as a religion of works. When she states “doing,” she implies that one can avoid damnation by doing works. This is false. Salvation is a free gift by faith in Christ through grace alone:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Second, the goals of Hinduism are not really close to the goals of Christianity. In other words, even the works for both worldviews are entirely different.
What do I need to tell her? What kind of Godly advice can I give her?
The first thing to do is pray for her. Pray that the Holy Spirit will open her eyes. Then I suggest inviting her to study the Bible with you to show what the Bible really does say about being the One true God’s only fully inspired Revelation (our Get Answers: Bible page may be of help, too). Continually point her back to God’s Word—the only source of Truth—as humans are all fallible.
I know God says that he is the only way to Heaven... but she has a good piont... Are there any verses I can give her?
A final note with regards to Hinduism, God’s Word reveals that He is the only God and that there are no other “gods” besides Him (Exodus 20:2–6). There are many other passages that reveal that, in light of the Bible, Hinduism is a false religion. So, there is no reason—in the eyes of God—to raise up Hinduism or any other religion to be equal to God and His Word or to lower His Word so that fallible sinful human beings sit in judgment over Him.
In Hinduism, there is a belief in “Moksha” or “Mukti,” which is supposed to be the liberation of the soul from the endless cycles of Karma, or the binding life-cycles (also called “samsara”). They often strive to get closer to liberation via several means (primarily devotion to a “god,” good works, or understanding). But the good news of Jesus Christ is that a completed work of salvation has come to mankind once for all.
For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
Those who have been taught Hinduism may be receptive to repentance and the gospel. For such would be ultimate completion to return to the true God. Please be praying that many in Hinduism and other false religions would consider the true and living God and be saved through Jesus Christ. Also, keep in mind that Hindus are not the enemy, but the false philosophy that has deceived our relatives (Ephesians 6:12).
With kindness for the gospel,