What I Don’t Get About Christianity

The comments on my Christmas post are getting to me. I’ll tell you why I’m offended: because I have a close connection with God. I feel God with me in every moment of my life and Christians like Avi do not think that’s possible because they have an exclusive “in” with God. They think they have to pray on my behalf (God: “I was going to send Ambaa to hell for all eternity, but I guess if you say she’s all right, I’ll show her some grace.”) They think that I’m missing out on some profound connection that they have and I don’t. They will never be able to accept that I am already close to God, that my life is filled with grace.

So here are the reasons why I’ve never been able to understand Christianity…

1) So let me get this straight: the rules are that if people screw up, they have to brutally murder an innocent animal. God is omnipotent, so presumably these are his rules. But it’s been changed. Because a couple thousand years ago humans killed a man in one of the most savage manners imaginable  it was enough sacrifice for everyone for all time. What I don’t understand is why a sacrifice was necessary at all. God is only in a forgiving mood when he smells fresh blood?

2) Blind adherence to a book. A book written thousands of years ago by a hodge podge of men with varying political agendas none of whom had met Jesus. A book whose words get twisted to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. It’s been used to justify love, but also to justify murder, hatred, bigotry, and shunning other human beings. I think it’s a problem when your faith is tied completely to a text. It cannot clarify itself, it cannot flow with circumstances.

3) Instead of actions having natural consequences, which is what karma is based on, you can do whatever you want because Jesus got murdered and that made God okay with forgiving anyone who acknowledges Jesus getting murdered.

4) This God of love and forgiveness is fine with condemning human souls to an eternity in hell because they didn’t do exactly what he wanted. Eternity. That’s a long time. And the way I’m supposed to avoid that is by being submissive and kowtow to a God who seems to have wild mood swings?

This God comes across as petty, childish, manipulative, passive aggressive, and a horrible parent. It is claimed that we have free will, but apparently if we exercise it at all, we are going to hell. God: “Well, you can choose not to bow down to me, sure, I gave you the ability to choose that. Of course, I’m going to burn you alive for all time for it.”

That is not any kind of real God. Real God does not need anything from us because He is complete already. He loves us because creation is love. It is born out of love, it is sustained in love, its reason for being is love. A real God doesn’t need animal or human blood sacrifices in order to love or forgive.  I am not a naughty child hanging my head in front of God. God and I are loving friends who navigate through life happily together.

And I know and have met Christians who don’t focus on Jesus dying as the most important bit. I’ve met Christians who love their religion and love God, but don’t judge (or pray for) me just because I use different language to approach and understand the divine. I don’t understand the Christians who think the most important part of the Jesus story is the bloody murder part. Personally I think the teaching love, forgiveness, and compassion are the parts to focus on. But hey, it’s your religion. Do it however you like, but if you try to judge me and tell me that my religion doesn’t make sense, we are going to have a problem.

Sure there are some Hindus who don’t understand their own religion or don’t practice it in a way that is kind and compassionate. But that’s people. I think we all know that there’s just as many Christians doing a terrible job with the whole love thy neighbor thing. And as a Christian, you distance yourself from those people. So I do not take responsibility for the behavior and belief of every Hindu on the planet. I take responsibility for me. I follow divine joy in the direction it takes me and I’ve never felt the presence of God more strongly than while gazing at the serene face of Nataraja.

 

*** I feel like the point of this post is getting missed. When I hear people say “Hinduism doesn’t make sense. I’m a Christian, you should be too” what I think is that any religion that isn’t yours or doesn’t feel right for you is going to seem very strange from the outside. Christianity makes very little sense to people who are not Christian or who are not likely to become Christian. There is no doubt that Christianity is not the right religious path for me. Hinduism makes complete sense to me and is absolutely perfect. ***

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  • Matt Minrath

    In my 47 yrs I’ve never heard it explained so clearly , you are a true follower of Christ .

  • http://www.deafdrummer.org Stephanie Ellison

    The italicized ending? PERFECT! My response to the Christians who don’t get you:

    You see, my experience is free of the three lenses that color your perceptions of your experience.

    1) Language – This affects WHAT you use to communicate with the “head” of your faith.

    2) Religion – This affects HOW you use your language to communicate with the “head” of your faith.

    3) Social rules – This affects HOW you share your religious experience with people around you, through rituals and how you interact with people customarily.

    Basically, a person can be an English-speaking (Language) American (western New-World Social rules) who believes in Yahweh (Religion, in this case a Jewish person).

    My question to the Christian then becomes, “How can I be missing out, if I can experience DIRECTLY what you only experience or perceive through these three lenses of coloration? Can you take those glasses off? Why not? Uh-huh…”

  • http://www.deafdrummer.org Stephanie Ellison

    What if I’m the one who created all this for myself, or that you, I, and others worked together in the ex-mortal (spiritual state) to create this place, because as spirits, we had learned everything, experienced everything, and have been aware with no beginning and no end? We can’t “just simply be,” statically, with no movement. It seems like life on earth as a human is a way to temporarily forget all this knowledge and start over again, experiencing the joys of wonder, surprise, learning something knew, having new experiences, to create all that we have in many different civilizations through endlessly living lives, one after the other, as a way of “keeping us busy.” Perhaps there are people who won’t do the work towards moksha precisely because they want to keep getting these new experiences. It requires, though, some form of memory suppression or dampening during each lifetime; otherwise, what is the point if, at birth, you know what is going to happen next with ISIS’ attempt to install a medieval Caliphate, or you can speak over 100 languages without schooling? You might as well stay in the ex-mortal state and not deal with the rigors and pains of mortal life.

  • bdomcgregor

    Ant- theists give atheists a bad name. What cracks me up about you guys is your almost religious fervor over an absence of faith. And your apostolic mission to get everyone to believe nothing.

  • NDM2014
  • Chante

    I’m 18 years old and so my opinion might not matter to you. I am of Christian faith, but I do not tie myself to any particular denomination. I attend a Jesuit school where we are taught religion in a completely different light. We read God the oldest Question (which is a book I encourage you to read sometime). In this book it was the story of Jesuit priest who, while on his journey through priesthood, began to resent his religion, but at the end discover that he was making the right decision for him. First he tried being an atheist (I tried this too) both he and I discovered that not believing in anything left us with no hope for the future, so at least we started there. I have discovered through reading this book that you and I are more similar than you would think. We are all at the base of the mountain taking different paths, but we will all reach the top together. Hinduism, believe it or not, has helped me deepen my own faith. Through the book and my own research, I discovered that Hindus, such as yourself, view their gods as an “everything in god” rather than a “god in everything” like most western cultures believe. This has helped me see MY God in a new light. When I got to the chapter on Buddhism when they were discussing how they didn’t see objects as solids or distant from us, but rather we are all pockets of energy interacting with each other, this made so much sense for me as a Christian, because I realized that I am not just isolated from everything around me, but interacting with the world and God everyday. I was an active participant in the “good energy” of life.

    I am sorry that Christians have been so horrible to yo. I promise you that we are not all that way. Some of us realize that the closest thing to this great mystery that you and I are both sharing in, but just on different paths, is for us to be tolerant of each and tolerant of the ambiguity of our own religions.

    On the topic of the Bible, I can say that Christian who truly understand there faith are not bound to it.

    The Bible is not a book of facts, there are no facts in the Bible whatsoever; however, the Bible is a book of truths. Like any piece of religious literature, the profit is in the lesson learned, not in the hard details. In fact there are actually many stories that share the same messages and words of wisdom that you also believe in. For example, both our religions stress the importance of being humble individuals, being kind and compassionate individuals, treating others as you would like them to treat you.

    On the issue of a “temperamental God” We Christians have done a great disservice by giving our God human qualities, when God is so beyond our mental capacity. We use these limiting qualities because we can’t even begin to describe him. I personally don’t believe that my God is passive aggressive or demands anything of us. How I see it is that life gives us challenges, but what gets us through them is the hope that things will get better. My hope lies within him. Your hope lies within your gods. The old Testament speaks of God in this way, due to limit in vocabulary and knowledge, to stress the importance that there are consequences to all our actions whether the, consequences are good or bad, similar to your belief on karma (I think, please correct me if I am wrong).

    Again I really am sorry if Christians have offended you in any way. We are not all this way. How I see it, no matter what religion we are all just blind people grappling at an elephant trying to figure out what it is.

    We are in this together. There isn’t much that separates you from me, please trust me.

    Then again I am just a high school student, what do I know anyways. I could be completely wrong. (Every time I feel as if I am one step closer to finally understanding God and then he (she/it/they) allude(s) me yet again, it’s like chasing a horizon line. I just wished that all the religions would see that we are very similar– our core beliefs are the exact same.

    On the topic of Merry Christmas

    I’m sincerely sorry you feel this way, but unfortunately it is a pretty Christian dominated country. When I traveled to a different country I had received their holiday greeting too even though I didn’t celebrate it, but if it makes you feel better even though it’s a Jesuit school we make it a point to have mini parties for Diwali, Saturnalia, Christmas, Ramadan, etc.

    All I want to say is we should be going towards the direction of change, tolerance for one another. There is no use picking the needles out of each others eyes if we have boards right in front of our own faces to fix, right? No religion is perfect, but if we keep working at it together hopefully one day we will get somewhere close, but please, two wrongs really do not make a right.

    • Ambaa

      I am so glad that you are on a path that is bringing you peace and happiness! As much as I struggle with some Christians, I also have many Christian friends and I know it can be a path that fulfills people’s spiritual needs. It doesn’t fill mine, but I am always happy for people who find the path that makes sense to them! :)

  • Zaftiq Gomez

    This is exactly what broke my faith as a child. I used to pray for the devil to be forgiven of his sins, because my interpretation was that no being was beyond forgiveness. I got in so much trouble when my foster mother found out and it struck me as cruel and unfair.

    Anyway, I stumbled across your blog because I am writing a sci-fantasy story with a Hindi main character and got kinda sucked in and am enjoying the read. Hope you are well!

    • Ambaa

      If you need any help with your research, you can get lots of Indian Hindu perspectives by posting questions at my Facebook page!

  • Jimmy Davis

    As a Christian (who is reading your posts because I’m researching Hinduism to better understand it), I would love to discuss this with you. I don’t think blogs like this are the best venue. If you are open to discussing it, please let me know, and we can communicate by e-mail or even phone (assuming you do not live in the greater Houston area).

    You have my word that I will never belittle you, insult you or your faith, and will engage in civil discussion, sharing of information, asking and answering questions, always with respect. I only ask for the same in return.

    • Ambaa

      Thank you for the offer. At this point in my life I am not really interested in such a discussion. I’ve had many wonderful Christian friends in my life and spent many, many hours discussing and considering. Christianity is simply not for me but I’m glad for the peace and joy that it brings to so many people.

      • Jimmy Davis

        That’s too bad. It started out seeming as if you truly didn’t understand these things and was perhaps seeking to get them answered.

        However, based on your reply to an invitation to have a respectful dialogue, it appears that this post was really just you trashing Christianity. You say you don’t understand, and when someone offers to help you understand, you say no thanks. Of course, I guess if you believe you’re god you wouldn’t want to engage in it – you already know everything.

        • Ambaa

          As I said to another commenter, the post is really to show that any religion looks odd from an outside perspective. While Hinduism looks strange and exotic to many people in America, Christianity can also look that way to non-Christians.

          These are the things that I have truly never been able to understand despite YEARS of discussion, Bible Study small groups, Christian retreats, etc.

          I gave Christianity the very fairest chance I possibly could and I know for certain that it is not the right path for me. That’s not trashing it, that’s just pointing out that it does not work for every human being.

          • David Sean Thompson

            That’s all well and good Ambaa but you have clearly missed the point of what he was trying to say.

            You say that you have given Christianity the fairest chance and have come to the conclusion that it isn’t for you yet still write this fallacious article?

            It would be evident to any Christian who understands the gospel that you have not grasped even the most basic concepts of Christianity. The points you have made are not unique and have been repeated by Hindus who haven’t put in any effort into understanding the Christian belief.

            I would be more than happy to engage you on any of the issues you have raised in the above. I would also be more than happy for you to post the results of said discussion on your blog as a true representation of the Christian belief.

            The ball is in your court.

          • Ch Billy

            I am glad you are up for a discussion. Please answer the following three issues I have with Christianity and I will seriously consider Christianity:

            1) Separation of God and creation:
            First of all, there is no quantitative equivalence between man and God and when Ambaa says I am God, she means she is qualitatively equivalent to God but not quantitatively. God is infinite and human is infinitesimal. A human has all God like qualities like emotion, power to create, innovate and destroy but to an infinitesimally smaller extent compared to God. Also, I agree with Ambaa when she says there is no molecule in this universe that is not God and God is just not the sum total of universal existence but much more in the sense that universal existence is still an infinitesimal part of God. I hear common Christian arguments ranging from “Humans are not God because they are imperfect” to arguments like “is rat shit and human being the same because you say everything is God?” and arguments like “If a man creates a television, does that mean television is same as man?”.
            Humans are imperfect because they are infinitesimal forms of Gods covered in Maya which is God’s illusory energy. Also, yes a television created by man is different from man because there exists a lot of things different from a man in this universe. But, it can’t be true for God and His creation because there is nothing different from God. If God and creation are different, is God just another man like figure who stumbled upon certain materials which He used to create universe like how a man stumbles upon certain materials which he uses to create something like television? If so, what are the source of these materials that God used to create universe? Is there a higher God than God who is the source of these materials? So, are Abrahamic religions polytheistic? You see the stupid logic in this argument? My argument to all those who dismiss Hinduism saying rat shit and human cannot be equal is that they are not equal but have the same source i.e., God. We as humans create certain beautiful things and also we excrete. Are both our excrement and our beautiful inventions the same? No. But they have the same source, that is us. Please counter this logic.

            ___Because the comment will be too long, I will split it into three comments for three issues i.e., the subsequent two comments deal with my other two issues with Christianity___

          • Ch Billy

            2) Concept of karma and reincarnation:
            When you say we have only one life and only one chance of salvation, do you say that the people born with disabilities and bad social and economic situations are so because God arbitrarily and whimsically decided they should have a bad life. Or do you believe that bad social and economic situations and disabilities are all illusion. If yes, that is fatalistic. If no, God is whimsical according to you. In karma, your actions in this life or past lives (reincarnation) are responsible for your current situation, so there is a valid reason why people are born with difficulties and according to karma, you alone are responsible for your consequences. So, to come out of bad consequences, you have to take the necessary action (karma) right now without blaming or complaining. This is both not fatalistic and makes a lot of sense. Is God according to Christianity above common sense? Why did He give us common sense and make people with common sense so successful? Can you answer this?

          • Ch Billy

            3) Salvation through only Jesus Christ (exclusivity):
            How about this? If you follow Jesus Christ’s path by avoiding the sins he asked us to avoid mentioned in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then there is salvation even if you don’t believe Jesus Christ is son of God. However, if you do a ritualistic acceptance of Jesus Christ as the son of God and savior and continue with your nonsense of sins, then there is no salvation. Anyone who said the opposite of this is just deluding you. There is no free lunch. But Christianity says even if you avoid sins, as long as you don’t accept Jesus Christ as savior, you will go to hell. Why?

            Also, I have second thoughts about eternal life in heaven as salvation. Anything, good or bad, if done in excess, will eventually become painful. For example, if you like a food item, start eating it day and night and you will see that you will get bored of it and be done. Then imagine what will happen to you if you are in heaven enjoying the same beautiful things for eternity. The real salvation is the salvation by knowledge or freedom by knowledge called mukti. Once you get mukti i.e., ultimate knowledge, you are neither looking for enjoyment nor escaping from misery. You transcend the realms of enjoyment and misery to a higher reality.

            My argument comes from a position of utmost respect to Jesus Christ. All Hindus respect and revere Jesus Christ for his ideals. My quest is to glorify his teachings which the Christians have either destroyed or heavily undermined. I will demonstrate why I say this in two simple questions: Can any practicing Christian say Jesus Christ loves you and wishes the best for you irrespective of whether you accept him as the son of God? Can any practicing Christian say that if it were up to Jesus Christ, he will send all those people to heaven who have never heard of Jesus Christ or Christianity but follow all his teachings nevertheless coming from a different source? No practicing Christian can say this because practicing Christians think it is essential to make Jesus Christ a jealous, needy and unreasonable person just to get more converts. Although I am not a Christian, I love Jesus Christ. I will boldly tell any person that one does not have to formally accept Jesus Christ as the savior and only path to God to get Jesus Christ’s love. I will tell any person that Jesus Christ will be most happy if one follows his teachings regardless of whether one formally declares allegiance to him. It is sad irony that a symbol of love like Jesus Christ left a legacy of hate mongers called Christians. In this matter, I am sure I am not wrong. Why are you doing this to Jesus Christ? to repeat Gandhi, it is not the Christ we Hindus have a problem with but it is the Christians. What do you say about this?

            _____End of three issues____

          • Ch Billy

            I have more issues with Christianity like unethical treatment of animals. Why does God say in the Bible that animals are made for humans, when it is so obvious that animals have their own complex emotions and desires independent of humans? Why is their exploitation rationalized despite the bad effects both ecologically and health wise of rampant meat eating? Isn’t this a sign of God telling us we are doing wrong? Anyways, first reply to the above three issues and I will consider asking further questions later.

          • David Sean Thompson

            The Bible does not give Christians any leverage to be unethical to animals at all. That is just an outright lie.

            Let me clarify the biblical position:-

            God told humans to “have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) It is reasonable to conclude, then, that God views humans as superior to animals.

            This conclusion is reinforced by a significant statement made just before the scripture quoted earlier. The Bible says that “God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”—Genesis 1:27.

            Because humans were created “in God’s image,” we are unique in how we display godly qualities, such as wisdom, justice, and love. Humans also have an innate capacity for morality and spirituality. Animals lack such human abilities because they were not created “in God’s image.” They are inferior and not intended to be treated in the same way as humans are.

            Does this mean that humans have the right to mistreat animals? No.

            In his Law to the Israelites, God ensured that animals would be given rest, food, help when distressed, and protection from injury.—Exodus 23:4, 5; Deuteronomy 22:10; 25:4.

            So is it wrong to kill animals?

            WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS:-

            God allows people to kill animals to protect human life or to provide clothing. (Exodus 21:28; Mark 1:6) The Bible also says that humans may kill animals for food. “Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you,” says Genesis 9:3. Even Jesus helped his disciples to catch fish that they later ate.—John 21:4-13.

            Nevertheless, the Bible says that God “hates anyone who loves violence.” (Psalm 11:5) So it stands to reason that God does not want us to harm or kill animals merely for pleasure or for sport.

            The Bible indicates that God places a high value on animal life.

            The Bible says that at the time of creation, “God went on to make the wild animals of the earth according to their kinds and the domestic animals according to their kinds and all the creeping animals of the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”—Genesis 1:25.

            Furthermore: “To the animals he gives food.” (Psalm 147:9) God created an ecosystem that provides more than enough adequate food and shelter for animals.
            King David of Israel said in prayer: “Man and beast you preserve, O Yahweh.” (Psalm 36:6) During the global Flood, for example, God preserved eight individuals and all kinds of animals before destroying the wicked people.—Genesis 6:19.

            Clearly, God approves of his animal creation, and he expects humans to treat animals with due regard.

            “The righteous one takes care of his domestic animals.”—Proverbs 12:10.

            On a final note, your scientific understanding of nutrition is very much off. Meat can very much be a healthy aspect of your diet. If you abuse it then yes you can suffer from health concerns.

            Anyway, you’re position is rather hypocritical considering the practices of certain Hindu sects in their awful sacrificial rituals of slaying animals in the most brutal and evil manner. I am not saying you do this. You are just being a hypocrite. Christians have never practiced animal sacrifice. We do not need to.

          • Ch Billy

            Here is your response on animal cruelty “The Bible does not give Christians any leverage to be unethical to animals at all. That is just an outright lie.
            Let me clarify the biblical position:-
            God told humans to “have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) It is reasonable to conclude, the n, that God views humans as superior to animals.
            This conclusion is reinforced by a significant statement made just before the scripture quoted earlier. The Bible says that “God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”—Genesis 1:27.
            Because humans were created “in God’s image,” we are unique in how we display godly qualities, such as wisdom, justice, and love. Humans also have an innate capacity for morality and spirituality. Animals lack such human abilities because they were not created “in God’s image.” They are inferior and not intended to be treated in the same way as humans are.
            Does this mean that humans have the right to mistreat animals? No.
            In his Law to the Israelites, God ensured that animals would be given rest, food, help when distressed, and protection from injury.—Exodus 23:4, 5; Deuteronomy 22:10; 25:4.
            So is it wrong to kill animals?
            WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS:-
            God allows people to kill animals to protect human life or to provide clothing. (Exodus 21:28; Mark 1:6) The Bible also says that humans may kill animals for food. “Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you,” says Genesis 9:3. Even Jesus helped his disciples to catch fish that they later ate.—John 21:4-13.
            Nevertheless, the Bible says that God “hates anyone who loves violence.” (Psalm 11:5) So it stands to reason that God does not want us to harm or kill animals merely for pleasure or for sport.
            The Bible indicates that God places a high value on animal life.
            The Bible says that at the time of creation, “God went on to make the wild animals of the earth according to their kinds and the domestic animals according to their kinds and all the creeping animals of the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”—Genes is 1:25.
            Furthermore: “To the animals he gives food.” (Psalm 147:9) God created an ecosystem that provides more than enough adequate food and shelter for animals.
            King David of Israel said in prayer: “Man and beast you preserve, O Yahweh.” (Psalm 36:6) During the global Flood, for example, God preserved eight individuals and all kinds of animals before destroying the wicked people.—Genesis 6:19.
            Clearly, God approves of his animal creation, and he expects humans to treat animals with due regard.
            “The righteous one takes care of his domestic animals.”—Proverbs 12:10.

            On a final note, your scientific understanding of nutrition is very much off. Meat can very much be a healthy aspect of your diet. If you abuse it then yes you can suffer from health concerns.
            Anyway, you’re position is rather hypocritical considering the practices of certain Hindu sects in their awful sacrificial rituals of slaying animals in the most brutal and evil manner. I am not saying you do this. You are just being a hypocrite. Christians have never practiced animal sacrifice. We do not need to.”

            My response:
            First you say that animals are inferior to humans which I do agree in the sense that humans have the sense of spirituality. You also qualify that just because animals are inferior, it does not mean we treat them badly. Very good. Then you say Bible says it is okay to kill animals for food. This is problematic. Let me explain you why. If God has sanctioned eating animals for food, why do animals try to fight back or cry when you are about to kill them for food? Why do chickens make such loud noises while being killed for food and why do cows cry incessantly when they are lined up for slaughter? Why did God give them survival instinct and consciousness and then sanctioned that we eat them? Is He playing games with us? Also, if yous ay that wild animals also eat other animals, din’t you just say we are better than animals and hence, can’t we use our wise judgement and not kill animals? Also, wild animals killing other animals is not an ecological disaster whereas human meat consumption is an ecological disaster that is ruining environment more than automobile industry. read the WHO report.

            Regarding your claim that my scientific understanding is weird, I dare you to find one scientific research that says meat consumption is more healthy than vegetarian diet. There are researches that say it is either worse or equal but never better than vegetarian diet. Now, we as humans are given better sense of morality according to you. We do not kill 99.99% of the plants for their food. We either take the fruits and vegetables without killing the plants and actually help in spreading seeds and in reproduction or we harvest only after the plants die like we do with food grains i.e., rice, wheat, corn etc. The only plants we kill are those that have to be uprooted for their vegetables. there are some Hindus and Jains who do not eat such root vegetables. However, even those who eat do so because the pain faced by dying plants is much less compared to animals which is proved using scientific research. Now, with our God-gifted sense of morality, isn’t it our responsibility to choose plant diet because it is the less harmful way and either gives equal or better nutrition compared to meat? Food for thought.

            I am glad you brought up the Hindu sacrifice ritual. Let me explain the process and philosophy behind it. Hinduism does not advocate banning anything because it is natural tendency of humans that if something is banned, people will rebelliously go after it. So, instead we use education. Animal sacrifice is one such form. If a person is adamant to eat meat despite it being bad, then that person should actually kill the animal he/she eats. This itself is a big deterrent to meat eating because a lot of studies show that meat consumption has increased across the world because people don’t see any moral conflict when somebody else is killing animals for you and packaging the meat in a neat manner. Apart form killing the animal oneself in the Hindu sacrifice ritual, one should whisper in the ear of the animal that in the next life, the animal will be the human and the person will be the animal and the reverse slaughter can take place. This should scare the life out of the person killing the animal because the more animals he kills, the more lives he takes as animals who will be slaughtered. So, animal sacrifice ritual in Hinduism is a great educative experience. Now has it been misused? Of course it is. Once it was misused during the 6th century BC when Lord Buddha came and stopped it. Despite Lord Buddha going against the Brahmanas in this case, Hindus took the side of Lord Buddha because He was correct. Also, there were many cults like the famous thuggie cult who used brutal animal sacrifices but these are fringe cults and their actions do not warrant criticism on Hinduism itself. This is like criticizing entire Christianity for the actions of the Christian suicide cults of the 1970s. What do you think?

          • David Sean Thompson

            1) God gives us the choice. If we are to kill animals for food it is to be done humanely and quickly. It is preferential to pray for the animal and bless it before God. I agree that inhumane treatment of animals is morally wrong. Many Christians in the world are vegetarians and refuse to eat animals for your exact reasoning. The point is we have free will. If we kill for food then it is not considered sinful. If you would rather not eat meat. Great. Again, you are not attacking doctrine but rather individual tastes. Its an ad hominem attack more than anything else.

            2) Your education argument is just plain moronic. I will let you come to your own conclusion as to why it is. You are an intelligent person.

          • Ch Billy

            1) It is yoga that is influencing most western Christian today to take up vegetarianism. Here is a journal article on that:
            “Innes KE, Vincent HK. The Influence of Yoga-Based Programs on Risk Profiles in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM. 2007;4(4):469-486. ”
            2) Please give me a logical argument to say it is moronic. Have some scholarly rigor for God’s sake.

            So far, you have posted all your proofs from Christian apologists and none of my proofs were from Hindus or Hindu apologists. My proofs are from neutral third party observers who are academically reputed. Please make some effort in the scholarly direction if you want to win an argument. Please.

          • David Sean Thompson

            I do not know a single Christian who practices yoga at all. The increase in yoga is mostly through secular atheists and the increase in New Age movements.

            On a similar note, I know plenty of Christians who are naturally vegetarian and I know a hell of a lot of Hindus who eat meat. Again, the evidence is that it is personal choice. I personally only eat fish rather than all meats. Personal choice, nothing to do with Eastern influence. It is interesting however, that there is a particular Hindu sect that are cannibalistic (Aghori) and eat human flesh. So there are clearly a mish mash of Hindu beliefs that do not agree with your interpretation. The problem with your stance is that you have no hard core historical evidence to prove that your viewpoint is more true than theirs.

            “Please give me a logical argument to say it is moronic. Have some scholarly rigor for God’s sake.”

            Actually no I don’t have to do anything of the sort. It is an inherently barbaric and evil practice to kill an animal and watch it suffer the most brutal death, whether or not it is considered educational. It doesn’t even deserve a response because only an irrational person with no sense of moral code would put forward something so stupid. We have been given divine law. That is your education. You do not need to test it out yourself. It’s nonsense.

            Anyway, back to the reincarnation debate. So far you have yet to provide any sort of empirical evidence for its reality. I would like to point you to Reincarnation Refuted by Stephen Blake (I know its a book..sorry) which highlights the precise mathematical and scientific irrefutable objections to its existence. There is even a chapter dedicated to refuting Dr. Ian Stevenson’s pseudoscientific arguments. Its a good read. You should try it.

            ==> https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reincarnation-Refuted-Evidence-Logic-Common-ebook/dp/B00JD09MZW

          • Ch Billy

            “I do not know a single Christian that practices Yoga at all”: Are you friends with all Christian on earth? 36.7 million Americans whcih is 15% of adult population practice Yoga as of 2016:
            https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2016/03/15/how-yoga-is-spreading-in-the-u-s/#45f1fcdb449f
            None of the 36.7 millions are Christians? What about those who practice Christian yoga?

            Even if there are Christian vegetarians and Hindu meat eaters, can you refute the fact that Bible authorizes killing animals for food and all Hindu scriptures forbid people from eating meat. It is not practitioners who say what religion is but the scriptures. For example, if many Christians are practicing yoga, will you say that Christianity allows yoga? So, please do not conflate what the people practice with what religion recommends. I dare you to find one Hindu scriptural evidence where it is recommended to eat meat. Aghoris are fringe people. You are doing the same thing again. There are Christian suicide cults even today. Can I say that Christianity that everybody commit suicide? Also, Aghoris do not use violence of any kind. They eat the dead bodies in the graveyard. The topic was about harming animals in the form of meat eating. Do not deviate from the topic please.

            ” Actually no … whether or not it is considered educational.”: So, according to you it is okay to pay someone (meat industry) to kill millions of animals for meat production but it is not okay for someone to kill one animal himself even if the end result is that the meat industry will continue to destroy the environment and the sacrifice ritual will end up disgusting the person performing it who might never even think of killing animals again? I can clearly give an award for this argument as the stupidest argument anyone has ever made. This is not far from saying it is bad to kill someone but it is okay to pay someone to commit mass-murder. Let me remind you that your divine law is destroying the planet. Meat consumption is the biggest green house gas producing phenomenon on earth. Kudos to your divine law.

            I gave you research articles on reincarnation that appeared in peer-reviewed journals with high impact factor. You are giving me a book as a counter evidence. Even a person who says aliens are on earth writes a book and makes excellent scientific arguments. Why doesn’t the world take such a person seriously? Because in academia, you need experts verify and accept for you to publish in a journal of high standard whereas to write a book you need to have pen and paper and a publisher who is interested. Do you see the difference?

          • David Sean Thompson

            People in the West practice Yoga like they practice Muay Thai. For Leisure. I too have dabbled in Yoga but to be honest it is nothing compared to the instant divine lift a Christian gets when he connects with God and is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. Yoga, through man’s efforts can not match it.

            Nope, there a zero Christian suicide cults. The Branch Davidians et al. were never Christian, they just hijacked and essentially abused people into joining their cult. Nothing about what they said or did resembled Christian doctrine. The leaders of said cult were not religious men whatsoever. They were motivated by power. On the other hand, the Aghoris follow what they believe Shiva would expect them to do and they do it in a spiritual and religious way.

            Excuse me.. Where did the divine law allow for mass genocide of animals? The horrendous meat industry is in no way related to Christianity, it is the result of rampant corporatism. It is precisely why I do not eat meat myself. Again, you have set up another fallacious straw man argument. You are very good at arguing from logical fallacies.

            Yes, Ian Stevenson’s arguments have already been dismantled for terrible scholarship. His views are not accepted by the wider scientific community. Stephen Blake is also an expert in his field with far more scientific kudos behind him than Stevenson. I know how you like to argue from authority so there you go.

            Again, I repeat, show me the empirical evidence for reincarnation before we can accept it as our basis.

          • Ch Billy

            I see you conveniently left out my main question. I will keep asking till you answer. Here I go again. There are 2.1 billion Christians in the world today. Most of them eat meat. If Bible had forbade them from eating meat, this would not have happened. Hindu scriptures forbid people from eating meat. Despite many not following the scriptures, 40% of India is vegetarian today. This is by far the largest in the world. Second highest is Sweden which is 10% (not even close). What is even more fascinating in India is among the 60% meat eaters only 30% consume regularly. So, Christian law is contributing to large number of people eating meat (by not forbidding them) and hence, contributing to an ecological disaster. Hindu Dharma is saving the ecology by forbidding people from eating meat. Do you refute any of this? All these are verifiable facts. If you refute, you will be shooting yourself in the foot.

            So, if Branch Davidians say they are Christians, they have hijacked Christianity whereas if Aghoris say they are Shaivites, they are actually Shaivites. Why can’t it be the other way round? Why can’t Aghoris be hijacking Shaivism and Branch Davidians be actually Christian? May be because you are a super unreasonable and biased person. Food for thought.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Because the meat industry has nothing to do with Christian doctrine. It isn’t Christians who are driving the industry. It is secular businessmen. People who choose to make profit from the meat culture. Let’s also not forget to mention that meat eating in the world existed long before Christianity became mainstream.

            Anyway, just to engage with you for one second. According to the World Animal Protection Index, which assesses countries on their treatment of animals over a wide range of criteria, the United Kingdom (where I am from) has received a grade A listing, the highest possible score. India has scored a C grade which is demonstrably lower. In fact, the highest scoring countries are ALL Christian dominated countries. You can review the scores yourself at this link:-

            https://www.worldanimalprotection.org/

            But anyway, I digress and again you are trying to divert the debate away from doctrine and objective truth. Let’s move back on topic. I posted a response to your Krishna evidences. Can you please re-upload and comment?

            I wouldn’t even say they hijacked Christianity. They were a supposed reform movement off the Seventh Day Adventists (which again is a non-biblical distortion of Christian theology with a completely different holy book). David Koresh, who clearly was not religiously motivated but was motivated by power hijacked the reform group for personal gain exploiting the naive. The Aghoris, however, can justify their theology through Shiva. There is nothing contradictory about what they do because Hinduism allows for relative ideas of worship and divine manifestations. It is a natural consequence of such a theology and therefore can not be dismissed. They are also spiritual persons who hold to the teachings of Hinduism. In fact this one Hindu commentator seems to hold them in high regard:-

            http://globalpress.hinduismnow.org/featured/sacred-secrets-aghori-sampradaya/

          • Ch Billy

            Please stop using the meat industry as an alibi. If 2.1 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims stop eating meat from the meat industry and buy from butchers or kill the animals themselves, the fate of the environment will not be different in any way. Don’t use a scapegoat to defend your dastardly divine law. Quran and Bible are responsible for destroying environment today by killing millions of animals because they authorized meat eating and did not forbid it. Period. To give a small dose of how dastardly the law is,see this video:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3HEgJgJ5fE&t=452s
            In this video of Verity Baptist Church, Pastor Jimenez makes Gandhi a prophet (which he is not) and debunks him and in the process, encourage Christians to eat meat calling vegetarianism stupid. I am not blaming Christianity for this pastor. This pastor does not represent Christianity. I agree. But he used Bible verse to justify meat eating. If Bible had forbidden meat eating, millions like him and his followers would not be destroying environment and animals today.

            So, you use a London located and UK registered charity organization to say UK and other Christian countries are the best in treating animals? Your argument must be that although the Christian countries kill millions of animals (much more than India does for its population), they treat the remaining animals very nicely. Also, they kill those millions of animals very humanely. This is hilarious. I will give you an extreme parallel to this argument to demonstrate the stupidity of your argument. Say, North Korea sets up a human rights organization and ranks them first and all the dictatorial regimes at the top. Their argument will be that although they kill millions of people who oppose the authoritarian regimes, they treat the remaining people who support the regimes much better than other countries. Also, they kill those millions of people who oppose the regimes very humanely. Do you see how hilarious is this?

            I have given one response of your Krishna post and the other is coming soon.

            It is so sad that you show promise by withdrawing your “hijacked” statement but immediately disappoint again by calling Seventh-day Adventists as non-Biblical when they are a globally accepted Christian protestant denomination which subscribes to theological beliefs like Trinity and infallibility of scriptures (including Bible) like any other protestant denomination. This shows the inherent tribalism in Christianity. the urge you guys have to say “my way or the highway” is fascinating. Unless people subscribe to all the beliefs that you do (to the t), they are either hijacking Christianity or at least non-Biblical. Very unfortunate and regressive. I will not disown Aghoris. The problem we have with Aghoris is that they take the philosophical understanding of “everything is divine” to an extreme where they consider human corpses and excrement also divine and hence consume it to keep them grounded. This practice is extreme and unsavory but nevertheless not harming any humans or animals and so, we definitely do not disown them as you see it in India. This is similar to Jains who take the concept of ahimsa or non-violence to extreme when they fast to death instead of taking medicine (which is produced by harming animals in labs) or pluck their beard hair by hand instead of using scissor to avoid killing lice. Again, this practice is extreme but we do not disown Jains as long as they themselves do not disown us (because they think we should also be impractically non-violent). So, Hindus are not tribalistic at all. In fact all people on earth who follow any religion are welcome to continue since we say:
            “ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti (truth is one but the sages call it in many names)”

          • David Sean Thompson

            “Please stop using the meat industry as an alibi. If 2.1 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims stop eating meat from the meat industry and buy from butchers or kill the animals themselves, the fate of the environment will not be different in any way. Don’t use a scapegoat to defend your dastardly divine law.”

            Here is an article showing that India is the global leading exporter of beef.. Holy cow! Doesn’t look like Christianity is responsible here:-

            http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/05/news/economy/india-beef-exports-buffalo/index.html

            “So, you use a London located and UK registered charity organization to say UK and other Christian countries are the best in treating animals? Your argument must be that although the Christian countries kill millions of animals (much more than India does for its population), they treat the remaining animals very nicely. Also, they kill those millions of animals very humanely. This is hilarious. I will give you an extreme parallel to this argument to demonstrate the stupidity of your argument.”

            What about their criteria do you not like? Please provide a rebuttle rather than fallacious argumentation. Also, review my above comment on India being the worlds largest beef exporter. So much for animal rights!

            “It is so sad that you show promise by withdrawing your “hijacked” statement but immediately disappoint again by calling Seventh-day Adventists as non-Biblical when they are a globally accepted Christian protestant denomination which subscribes to theological beliefs like Trinity and infallibility of scriptures (including Bible) like any other protestant denomination. This shows the inherent tribalism in Christianity. the urge you guys have to say “my way or the highway” is fascinating. Unless people subscribe to all the beliefs that you do (to the t), they are either hijacking Christianity or at least non-Biblical.”

            The Branch Davidians aren’t Seventh Day Adventists. They just took control of one of their reform movements.

            I already told you I do not subscribe to any denomination, you only need to follow the gospel to know the truth. Your “tribe” is not important. Do the Branch Davidians follow the gospel? No, therefore they are not Christian.

            Precisely, the Aghoris are a perfect example of how easily manipulated Hinduism can be with perfect “spiritual” justification. This just goes to show that it can not be divinely inspired. I rest my case.

          • Ch Billy

            “Here is an article showing that India is the global leading exporter of beef.. Holy cow! Doesn’t look like Christianity is responsible here:-”
            Why are you misleading people when this is already taken care of our government by banning sale of animals in the market for slaughter? 90% of the animals used in beef export are purchased in these markets. The beef export is about to come down drastically. Read this article by Shelley Goldberg in Bloomberg:
            https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-20/india-is-about-to-upend-the-global-beef-trade
            What is even more fascinating is what Shelley says in this article:
            “In the long term, the ban will likely be reversed or relaxed. For one, not all of India is Hindu. Beef has been an important part of the diet and culture for Christians and Muslims…”
            You can see here as to who should be blamed if India is producing, consuming and exporting beef. Definitely not the Hindus.

            “What about their criteria do you not like? Please provide a rebuttle rather than fallacious argumentation. Also, review my above comment on India being the worlds largest beef exporter. So much for animal rights!”
            The criteria do not include the effect of mass killing of animals by the meat industry at all which is clearly an agenda to get better ranking. There is no indicator for how many animals are killed! This is dastardly. What is worse is that this is a pseudo animal rights organization which does not attempt to prevent animals from being taken into captivity, prevent animals from being used for recreation or prevent animals being used in scientific research. Their indicators are “protection of animals in captivity”, “protection of animals used in recreation”, and “protection of animals used in scientific research” which is like saying that it is okay for us to do horrible things with animals as long as we are nice and protective while we are at it. This is just horrible! So, what I said in the previous comment makes a lot of sense.

            “The Branch Davidians aren’t Seventh Day Adventists. They just took control of one of their reform movements.
            I already told you I do not subscribe to any denomination, you only need to follow the gospel to know the truth. Your “tribe” is not important. Do the Branch Davidians follow the gospel? No, therefore they are not Christian.
            Precisely, the Aghoris are a perfect example of how easily manipulated Hinduism can be with perfect “spiritual” justification. This just goes to show that it can not be divinely inspired. I rest my case.”
            Now that I pointed out your bad attitude towards Seventh Day Adventists, you are separating the Branch Davidians from seventh Seventh Day Adventists. So you see the manipulative and tribalistic attitude here?
            It is quite ironic when you say “tribe” is not important while you are defining your tribe as those who follow the Gospel. This is lack of basic common sense.
            Aghoris are not manipulating, they just have a different form of practice. This freedom should be allowed for human thought to progress (again as long as they do not harm either animals or humans as ahimsa is most important). Anyways, how will Christians understand this? The world was once an amazing place with different regions in the world having their own philosophies and unique contributions to spirituality. There were Mayans, Incas and Aztecs in South America, there were Norse people, pagans, followers of Greek Olympian religion, followers of Roman Ancient Religion, followers of Wicca etc. You Christians used every trick in the book from manipulation, bribery, treachery, wars and outright religious violence to almost wipe off these religions completely. You used your Church propaganda to label all these people as barbaric so that you justify your violence on them. You even appropriated some of them like pagan practices after destroying their religion. Many of these civilizations like Greek, Roman and Aztec and Incas reached peaks doing wonders in science and building pyramids etc. Now, Greece is a racist hell, South America is a drug-ridden hell etc. Thank God many of these people are using reason today and seeing the atrocities of the Christians in the past to go back to their original faiths. The pagan movement and the wicca movement is growing rapidly in Europe getting more and more ex Christian back. I hope this goes on with much more vigor.

          • Ch Billy

            Here is your deleted response to this. This response of yours is so appallingly racist to both Hindus and those people of the religions Christianity destroyed. I have a lot of pagans and wicca friends and I want them to see this response of yours. You also threatened that Hinduism will be exterminated by Islam and you wished that Hinduism rather be exterminated by Christianity. I want the world to see the sinister designs of Christians:

            “”Why are you misleading people when this is already taken care of our government by banning sale of animals in the market for slaughter? 90% of the animals used in beef export are purchased in these markets. The beef export is about to come down drastically.”
            I am not misleading anybody. Your assertion is pure speculation. The Hindu-driven meat industrialists will find, as always, another way around the law to keep up with their barbaric practices.
            “What is even more fascinating is what Shelley says in this article: “In the long term, the ban will likely be reversed or relaxed. For one, not all of India is Hindu. Beef has been an important part of the diet and culture for Christians and Muslims…” You can see here as to who should be blamed if India is producing, consuming and exporting beef. Definitely not the Hindus.”
            You have just shot yourself in the foot. Not only is it implying that the ban will be lifted (which puts your first argument to shame) but if you had actually read her statement in its context, its implication is that Hindus drive the trade and Christians and Muslims supplement it. Furthermore, the fact that the Hindu-driven meat trade primarily goes into Asia and the Middle East is evidence that it is a Hindu-Muslim-Chinese coalition rather than driven by Christians. Not only is your argumentation fallacious, but you can not even win when challenged on your fallacies. This is poor academic scholarship indeed. This leads us back round in a circle and back to my first point. Hindu Indians dominate the world trade of beef and therefore are guilty of a gross barbaric mass extermination of animal life for profit and gain.
            “The criteria do not include the effect of mass killing of animals by the meat industry at all which is clearly an agenda to get better ranking. There is no indicator for how many animals are killed!”
            This is fair enough. Though as previously demonstrated, Hindus are guilty of mass murdering cattle and buffalo for personal gain. Not to mention the horrific conditions and techniques in which this is carried out. The UK would pale in comparison to the Hindus unethical killing spree in India.
            Not only do Hindus like massacring animals. They also like killing humans and the environment too:-
            -https://news.vice.com/artic…
            -https://www.theguardian.com…
            -http://www.breitbart.com/na…
            -https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…
            -http://www.all-about-india….
            -https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…
            It seems to me that Hindus can be a pretty backward bunch. Oh wait.. you guys eat rotting human flesh, drink cow urine and pretend to wipe the menstrual blood of a goddess on your faces. Clearly a god worth worshiping! haha You guys have clearly gone backwards since the days the British came to help you out.
            “Th eir indicators are “protection of animals in captivity”, “protection of animals used in recreation”, and “protection of animals used in scientific research” which is like saying that it is okay for us to do horrible things with animals as long as we are nice and protective while we are at it. This is just horrible! So, what I said in the previous comment makes a lot of sense.”
            Yes but even according to just these standards India still scored demonstrably lower? haha what is your point? On all counts Hindus treat animals worse than the British.
            “Now that I pointed out your bad attitude towards Seventh Day Adventists, you are separating the Branch Davidians from seventh Seventh Day Adventists. So you see the manipulative and tribalistic attitude here?”
            I don’t have any bad attitude towards Seventh Day Adventists. They have added to the gospel which as I said before is unnecessary. They push the separation, not me. I am non-denominational as I have said. The Branch Davidians also separated themselves, hence why they call themselves Branch Davidians lol come on man..
            “It is quite ironic when you say “tribe” is not important while you are defining your tribe as those who follow the Gospel. This is lack of basic common sense.”
            No it isn’t. To be a Christian you follow the truths of the gospel. It makes perfect sense. My friend, you are evidently losing the debate and are now clutching at straws.
            “Aghoris are not manipulating, they just have a different form of practice. This freedom should be allowed for human thought to progress (again as long as they do not harm either animals or humans as ahimsa is most important).”
            This is all well and good but proves you worship a false god(s) that allow cannibalism and fornication of dead corpses. Lets not get into the thousands of other weird, disgusting things Hindus do.
            “You Christians used every trick in the book from manipulation, bribery, treachery, wars and outright religious violence to almost wipe off these religions completely. You used your Church propaganda to label all these people as barbaric so that you justify your violence on them.”
            That’s not true. Christianity spread peacefully and through lone missionaries. It was the truth of the gospel and the grace of Christ that softened the barbarians hearts and pulled them away from fertility cults, killing infants, eating and drinking cow piss and faeces etc. Its been a true blessing to the world. It is Christians who have always been the persecuted minority. Even today. See above.
            ” Thank God many of these people are using reason today and seeing the atrocities of the Christians in the past to go back to their original faiths.”
            Not true, Christianity is still the fastest growing faith in Africa, The Middle East and many parts of Asia. India unfortunatetly will soon be overrun by muslims. Better us than them. Trust me, they don’t take too kindly to polytheists!
            Anyway you have failed to provide any evidence to continue this debate. I have disproven Krishna as a myth and you have yet to respond. If you can not bring this debate back to objective truth and historicity. Please resign respectfully and acknowledge defeat. I don’t have time for any more of your distractions and attempts at derailing the debate.”

          • Ch Billy

            My response to your post:
            “I am not misleading anybody. Your assertion is pure speculation. The Hindu-driven meat industrialists will find, as always, another way around the law to keep up with their barbaric practices.”
            It is not my assertion. Shelly Goldberg has made that assertion in the article. you need to read it. 18 states have banned beef in India and some for decades now. there is no sign of going back. This is true despite change in government multiple times in each state. The slaughter ban is not going anywhere. Also, only 50% of the large meat industrialists in India are Hindu:
            http://archive.siasat.com/news/out-six-largest-meat-suppliers-india-four-are-hindus-854481/
            I will not support those 50% of Hindus just because they are Hindus. They are going against Hindu ideals to make easy money and I condemn them. Besides, in this article you can see that Christians and Jews are the worlds largest consumers of meat by an large. you can verify this fact anywhere. Let me teach you some simple economics. It is demand that drives supply and not the other way round. If Christians and Jews weren’t this driven to meat eating, no industrialist would sell meat let alone Hindus. Food for thought.

            “This is fair enough. Though as previously demonstrated, Hindus are guilty of mass murdering cattle and buffalo for personal gain. Not to mention the horrific conditions and techniques in which this is carried out. The UK would pale in comparison to the Hindus unethical killing spree in India.
            Not only do Hindus like massacring animals. They also like killing humans and the environment too:-”
            I busted your Hindus killing spree myth by using simple economics as to who drives the demand. There are always greedy people who supply when there is demand and many of them are Hindus who are going against Hindu ideals and I condemn them. BTW all the links you posted are on general issues which are there in every country (not just India) and I can do the same to your country like mass riots that took place in 2011 but I know better than that. Also, not everything related to India is related to Hinduism. There are people of other religions in India in large numbers compared to Hindus. You cannot even say all atrocities of Christian nations are related to Christianity despite the percentage of people of other religions being very small. There is a difference between nation and religion.

            “I don’t have any bad attitude towards Seventh Day Adventists. They have added to the gospel which as I said before is unnecessary. They push the separation, not me. I am non-denominational as I have said. The Branch Davidians also separated themselves, hence why they call themselves Branch Davidians lol come on man..”
            Adding to the gospel does not make Seventh-Day Adventists non-Christian. The fact that you are making such a statement shows your tribalism and proves my point. Branch Davidians are Branched from the Seventh Day Adventists (Davidians) and hence, the “branch”. They never claimed they are not Christians. You are reinterpreting “Branch” here.

            “No it isn’t. To be a Christian you follow the truths of the gospel. It makes perfect sense. My friend, you are evidently losing the debate and are now clutching at straws.”:
            You yourself said Seventh Day Adventists added to the Gospel. They did not remove or discredit the Gospel. They just added to it. The fact that you don’t want anyone to add anything shows your tribalism. My school of Vaishnavism has 5 main books and more than 100 secondary books. there are other schools of Vaishnavism and also, there is Shaivism and Shaktism and Smartism. the total number of books is innumerable. that is how many options we give to people and this is how much we value scholarship which clearly Christianity does not if they are not tolerating adding anything to the Gospel. I am not clutching the straws. You are contradicting yourself here.

            “This is all well and good but proves you worship a false god(s) that allow cannibalism and fornication of dead corpses. Lets not get into the thousands of other weird, disgusting things Hindus do.”:
            You went full racist here. Where is evidence for fornication? Are you dreaming? Also, do Aghoris kill humans and eat? Then, why should they be ridiculed? “Weird, disgusting things”: Everything Christians do is weird for Hindus but we do not call them disgusting because we are not barbaric racists like you (not Christians but you). “false god(s)”: Dictatorial tendencies start showing up as soon as any Christian or Muslim is cornered in a discussion. Not surprised.

            “That’s not true. Christianity spread peacefully and through lone missionaries. It was the truth of the gospel and the grace of Christ that softened the barbarians hearts and pulled them away from fertility cults, killing infants, eating and drinking cow piss and faeces etc. Its been a true blessing to the world. It is Christians who have always been the persecuted minority. Even today. See above.”:
            I have not seen any rational person claiming Christianity spread peacefully. Native Americans (both north and south) and native religions in Europe have too many horror stories to recount which debunk your egregious claim. Stop desecrating the native cultures. You have not stopped even after performing untold atrocities on them. I really want my pagan and wicca friends to see this.

            “Not true, Christianity is still the fastest growing faith in Africa, The Middle East and many parts of Asia. India unfortunatetly will soon be overrun by muslims. Better us than them. Trust me, they don’t take too kindly to polytheists!”:
            We are not intimidated by threats. We are not a proselytizing religion and yet we are surviving being the oldest of all religions. That is because eternal truths do not die. You can continue all your violence and compete with that of Muslims. We will be the non-violent bystanders. We always like that position. You admitted that Hinduism is not polytheistic and now, you are saying it only to satisfy your desire for denigrating other cultures. This is in the DNA of proselytizers.

            I am posting the Krishna historicity and I am not answering your posts anymore after that. I want public to see our discussion and observe how you selectively reply to certain paragraphs only in my comments whereas I reply to every paragraph. You go for convenience because you are hell bent in hiding truths that may expose you. You don’t want your proselytizing machinery to stop. This is a logical reasoning I am providing as to why you always try to bend truths. The evidence of your bending of truths can be seen in your posts. I have reposted all your deleted posts and responded because I am not scared in hiding anything. Good luck with your proselytizing while we Hindus will keep inspiring people to choose the faith that is best suitable for them irrespective of what it is.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Wow.. I am sorry but this entire post clearly shows me your misunderstanding of the entire Christian belief. I do not even know where to start. Let me attempt this.

            ” Salvation through only Jesus Christ (exclusivity):
            How about this? If you follow Jesus Christ’s path by avoiding the sins he asked us to avoid mentioned in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then there is salvation even if you don’t believe Jesus Christ is son of God. However, if you do a ritualistic acceptance of Jesus Christ as the son of God and only savior (nicene creed and original sin) and continue with your sins (only to repeatedly confess), then there is no salvation.”

            The above makes no sense at all? Is this what you think Christians believe? You have completely missed the point and I think dabbled a little bit into Catholicism (which isn’t actually Christianity but a distortion of it.)

            Christians do not believe you are saved by works but through Grace alone. The point is this. Human beings are fallen and imperfect beings. Though we are in the image of God, through free will we create sin and stray from the divine path i.e. reconnection with him eternally (heaven). Those who “sin” stray from that path and will not reconnect with the divine spiritually but will perish in flesh through personal choice. (hell)

            Now, because human beings take on an imperfect, sinful form, none of us can perfectly uphold the divine laws of God and none of us can perfectly replicate in his nature. It does not matter how many good things we do or how self righteous we think we are (like in Hindu belief) if one strays from EVEN ONE universal/divine law then that person will perish in flesh as he has proven he is not God-like and therefore can not enter the spiritual/divine existence. God knew this when he created humanity. However, because God is perfect and God is love he created us in his image and gave us free will knowing that we would stray from the path and create sin. So right in the beginning (Bereshit), God gave us the solution. Through prophets and events throughout history God revealed his solution to all the nations, some chose to follow him and embrace it whilst others chose to ignore it and worship idols or themselves as gods.

            God told the nations of the world that there would be a Messiah, who would come in the form of a man and would be the spiritual saviour of humanity. God did not just leave it there. He revealed the identity of this Messiah through different prophets thousands of years ago through many individuals and nations. God revealed intricate elements and details of this persons life long before he would even be born so that the world would recognize him when he came. I will highlight some of these prophecies now.

            In the beginning God told the world that the messiah would be born of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10), that he would be born in a town called Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that he would be the spiritual saviour of the world, would live a perfect life spreading the divine law and preaching love and peace yet would be rejected by his own people, tortured and put to death (this would be the atonement) (Isaiah 52:53), and that he would come before the destruction of the second temple of Jerusalem (which happened in 70 AD) (Daniel 9 24:27). In the most amazing revelation through Isaiah, God even tells us that the identity of the Messiah would be God himself:-

            “For unto us a Child is born,
            Unto us a Son is given;
            And the government will be upon His shoulder.
            And His name will be called
            Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
            Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
            7 Of the increase of His government and peace
            There will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

            The reason Christians believe in Yeshua (Jesus) is because of the historical evidence we have of him from within the gospels and the extra-biblical sources. No serious historians even contend his existence and even the most secular of historians accept he at the very least claimed the very things he did in the gospel. Yeshua, fulfilled every single one of the hundreds of messianic prophecies. He was even rejected by his own, the Jewish people, and tortured and killed on the cross. The historical evidence is precisely why we believe what he said and what he taught.

            He is the only person to have ever upheld the universal law perfectly and it is through him as our intercessor and atonement that we are granted everlasting life. It is through his grace that Christians follow in his path. We are not saved through our good works but through grace alone. It is through the acknowledgement of this grace and our changing that good works follow. This is the testimony of millions of people around the world. I would know, 12 months ago it happened to me and my life has now been changed. Knowing that God loves us all regardless of religion, race, creed or our downfalls brings peace and goodness to ones heart. All we have to do is truly acknowledge it and you will immediately feel that change. That is why I challenge you my brother. The reason why the Hindus believe in reincarnation is because they inherently know that humans can not attain salvation on their own. So they prolong the process by saying it takes a lot of cycles to complete. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. You only have one life and the gift of eternal life is a free gift. Let the Messiah change your life, our living God who showed himself to us and carries us even in our darkest hour. A God who came to us and dwelt among us and suffered for us and with us. Now that is true love. That is the God I believe in. Best of luck brother.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Ok I gave a very extensive reply to this and it has also been deleted. I can’t be bothered with this censorship to be honest. It is clear the blogger is here just to bash other religions. If this is the Hindu way then I am glad I am not a part of it. Take care guys.

          • Ch Billy

            Please do not fret about censorship. I have all your comments (I get emails when you comment) and I will post paragraph by paragraph response to each of your comment in he next two days. Please do not worry. I am really enjoying this discussion.

          • David Sean Thompson

            That is a very good question and one that many people, regardless of religion have struggled with since the beginning of time. Let me respond to you using several illustrations.

            The Lord is God of the physically healthy and the mentally strong, but He is also the God of the physically disabled and the mentally handicapped. He is sovereign over the fragile and feeble as well as over the adroit and mighty. The Bible teaches that every person conceived in this world is a unique creation of God (see Psalm 139:16), and that includes the disabled and the handicapped.

            A natural question is why God allows some people to be born disabled or handicapped or why He allows accidents that bring about a disability or handicap later in life. This issue falls under the umbrella of a theological/philosophical debate known as “the problem of evil” or “the problem of pain.” If God is both good and omnipotent, why does He allow bad things to happen? What is the point of someone losing his sight or being forced to walk with a prosthesis? How can we reconcile God’s goodness and perfection with the fact that so much of His creation is broken and wounded?

            Before we proceed, we should acknowledge that we are all disabled or handicapped in some way. The need for eyeglasses indicates impaired or “handicapped” vision. Dental braces are a sign of imperfect teeth. Diabetes, arthritis, rosacea, a “trick” knee—these can all be considered disabilities to some extent. The whole human race lives with the reality of imperfection. Everyone experiences less-than-ideal conditions. We are all broken in some way. The handicaps we live with are simply a matter of degree.

            When a person is disabled or handicapped, to whatever degree, it is a symptom of original sin, when evil came into the world. Sin entered the world as a result of man’s disobedience to God, and that sin brought with it sickness, imperfection, and disease (see Romans 5:12). The world was blemished. One reason God allows people to be disabled or handicapped is that such conditions are the natural result of mankind’s rebellion against God. We live in a world of cause and effect, and it is a fallen world. Jesus said that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). This is not to say that every disability is the direct result of personal sin (Jesus countered that idea in John 9:1–3), but, generally speaking, the existence of handicaps and disabilities can be traced back to the existence of sin.

            Another basic reason that God allows some people to be disabled or handicapped is that God will glorify Himself. When the disciples wondered about the man born blind, Jesus told them, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). When the same disciples later wondered about Lazarus’ sickness, Jesus told them, “It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). In both instances, God was glorified through the disability—in the case of the man born blind, the temple rulers had incontrovertible proof of Jesus’ power to heal; in the case of Lazarus, “many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him” (John 11:45).

            Another reason why God allows disabilities or handicaps is that we must learn to trust in Him rather than in ourselves. When the Lord God called Moses in the wilderness, Moses was reluctant at first to heed the call. In fact, he tried to use his disability to excuse himself from service: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent. . . . I am slow of speech and tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). But God knew all about Moses’ problem: “The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say’” (Exodus 4:11–12). In this amazing passage, we see that all human ability—and disability—is part of God’s plan and that God will help His obedient servants. He doesn’t call the equipped so much as He equips the called.

            Joni Eareckson Tada suffered a diving accident as a teenager, and for the past four (almost five) decades she has lived as a quadriplegic. In her booklet Hope . . . the Best of Things, Joni imagines meeting Jesus in heaven and speaking to Him about her wheelchair: “The weaker I was in that thing [my wheelchair], the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. It never would have happened had you not given me the bruising of the blessing of that wheelchair” (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2008). How can she speak of her “bruising” as a “blessing”? Only by the grace of God. With that sentiment, Joni echoes the apostle Paul who accepted Christ’s sufficient grace for his thorn in the flesh with these words: “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

            Another reason why God allows some to be disabled or handicapped is that, in His overarching plan, He has chosen the weak things of this world for a special purpose: “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

            God doesn’t need human might or skill or fitness to accomplish His work. He can use disability and handicap just as well. He can use children: “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). He can use anyone. Remembering this truth can help handicapped believers to maintain focus on who God is. It’s easy to “curl up in a ball” and have pity parties when life makes no sense, but Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

            In a sense, when Jesus came into this world, He became voluntarily disabled. He handicapped Himself as He left the perfection of heaven to live among the sinners on earth. He laid aside His glory to wrap Himself in inglorious humanity. At the Incarnation, Jesus took on human flesh in all its frailty and vulnerability. “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). The Son of God took part in our human condition and suffered on our behalf. And that is why “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15); rather, we have an Intercessor who understands our weakness, relates to our disability, and identifies with our pain.

            God promises that disabilities and handicaps are temporary. Those conditions are part of this fallen world, not the world to come. God’s children—those who by faith in Christ are made children of God (John 1:12) —have a bright and glorious future. When Jesus came the first time, He gave us a taste of good things yet to come: “People brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24). When Jesus comes the second time, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:5–6).

            Joni’s wheelchair-bound perspective is enlightening: “Maybe the truly handicapped people are the ones that don’t need God as much” (The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus, Zondervan Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003). The position of weakness, disability, and handicap—the position of having to trust God in this world—is a position of honor and blessing indeed.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Unfortunately, my view of Karma given that there is no evidence for reincarnation is that it is a fatalistic belief system.

            With no proof, you claim that those born with illnesses and disabilities essentially deserve it. That belief is not only morbid but reflects in the ancient societies and attitudes who embraced the Hindu philosophy. It was used by the Royals and Rulers, the Upper Class and controllers of Indian history to subjugate and oppress those who were born poor, into the wrong families and who were handicapped in order to justify the deliberately enforced socioeconomic differences between the classes and caste. There is no reflection of common sense whatsoever in this belief and it is one of the many reasons why Indian society has struggled with poverty and innate discrimination for generations.

            Again I can respect all beliefs, but please if you want to consider your position as one of common sense provide me with historical documentation/proofs of the existence of reincarnation in order to justify that grotesque philosophy?

          • Ch Billy

            Here are my answers to all the questions you asked in this comment:

            1) Yes, karma and reincarnation was misused by the people to develop rigid birth based social hierarchy. But who should we blame for that? The people who made the social hierarchy or the Hindu scriptures themselves? Actually, if you use logic, you can blame Hindu scriptures if Hindu scriptures recommend birth-based caste system. Here is what Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (4:13):
            “The four varnas (orders of society) are created by me based on the qualities and actions of individuals”.
            So, basically it means that if one has the qualities of an engineer and is trained in engineering activities (actions), one can be put as engineer. Isn’t this common sense? I dare you to find me one Hindu scriptural proof where caste system is recommended to be birth based. But yet, it was misused. So whom should we blame? I will give you an analogy to this in Catholicism. We all know how horrible violence was spread through inquisition by Catholics in South America and also in other parts of world like Goa in India. Whom should we blame here? Catholics who performed inquisition or Bible? Logically speaking, we can blame Bible if Bible recommends killing those people who do not accept Christianity. But the Bible does not. So, you blame the Catholics. Do you see what I mean here?

            2) Another stark proof that the concept of karma and reincarnation are not themselves responsible for the rigid birth-based caste system is their acceptance in other religions like Buddhism and Jainism where there is no concept of caste system. Why do you think that they embraced the concept of karma and reincarnation and yet don’t have a birth-based caste system? Because birth-based caste system is the product of corrupt minds who misused their power. There is no relation between birth-based caste system and the concepts of karma and reincarnation.

            3) You asked for a proof of reincarnation. I recommend to you Dr Ian Stevenson’s research on reincarnation. He was a psychiatrist from University of Virginia School of Medicine. He was and is a very respected academic who is a neutral third party observer because neither was he born or brought up in Hindu-Buddhist culture nor he had any Hindu-Buddhist leanings. He carried out his research over a large number of years and documented 3000 real cases of past life experiences across the world and showed with proof and logical arguments that these cases of past life experiences were in fact real. You asked for proof and here you have it.

            4) There is no my view and your view in terms of what anything actually means. If you want to know what karma actually means, then you should read Hindu scriptures. You don’t make your own imaginary versions of karma. Hindu scriptures say that karma literally means action and karma philosophically means every action has a reaction. Since every action has a reaction, the reactions of your past actions may have put you currently in a very bad position. The only way out of the bad situation is that you take charge currently and correct your present actions so that the resulting reactions that may occur from now on may not be harmful anymore. This is a dynamic way of living always in the present instead of worrying about the past or speculating about the future. You cannot say your view of karma is fatalistic when karma is factually not fatalistic. It is like saying my view of earth is that it is a cube which is unreasonable because earth is factually a sphere.

            5) So, you say the common sense position is the one that reflects accurately in history. Based on the brutal massacres in wars during crusades, millions of people beheaded during the inquisition and brutal destruction of advanced civilizations like the Greek civilization (which is all history), can I make a common sense statement that Christianity is the most violent religion in the history of mankind and the Bible is the most violent scripture ever produced? I presume you would say no. I see how illogically bent you are if you use an argument to attack the concept of karma although the same argument can be used to discredit Christianity. The fact is any concept can be misused and you blame those who misused the concept and not the concept itself unless the concept is not a misleading one. Karma is not a misleading concept.

            And finally, since you never said anything about why people are born with physical disabilities or in bad socio-economic situations if they have only one life, I assume that you agree with me that Christianity projects God as a whimsical person. I would say this projection is utter disrespect to God. Hence, no God-loving person will accept Christianity and even if a God-loving person accepts Christianity, he/she will lose love for God immediately because of the disrespect. Very unfortunate.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Hi again, I actually did provide a very long and in depth answer to the physical disabilities question but it appears Asmaa has tried to delete it. Luckily I have this answer saved and I’m posting it again.

            The Lord is God of the physically healthy and the mentally strong, but He is also the God of the physically disabled and the mentally handicapped. He is sovereign over the fragile and feeble as well as over the adroit and mighty. The Bible teaches that every person conceived in this world is a unique creation of God (see Psalm 139:16), and that includes the disabled and the handicapped.

            A natural question is why God allows some people to be born disabled or handicapped or why He allows accidents that bring about a disability or handicap later in life. This issue falls under the umbrella of a theological/philosophical debate known as “the problem of evil” or “the problem of pain.” If God is both good and omnipotent, why does He allow bad things to happen? What is the point of someone losing his sight or being forced to walk with a prosthesis? How can we reconcile God’s goodness and perfection with the fact that so much of His creation is broken and wounded?

            Before we proceed, we should acknowledge that we are all disabled or handicapped in some way. The need for eyeglasses indicates impaired or “handicapped” vision. Dental braces are a sign of imperfect teeth. Diabetes, arthritis, rosacea, a “trick” knee—these can all be considered disabilities to some extent. The whole human race lives with the reality of imperfection. Everyone experiences less-than-ideal conditions. We are all broken in some way. The handicaps we live with are simply a matter of degree.

            When a person is disabled or handicapped, to whatever degree, it is a symptom of original sin, when evil came into the world. Sin entered the world as a result of man’s disobedience to God, and that sin brought with it sickness, imperfection, and disease (see Romans 5:12). The world was blemished. One reason God allows people to be disabled or handicapped is that such conditions are the natural result of mankind’s rebellion against God. We live in a world of cause and effect, and it is a fallen world. Jesus said that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). This is not to say that every disability is the direct result of personal sin (Jesus countered that idea in John 9:1–3), but, generally speaking, the existence of handicaps and disabilities can be traced back to the existence of sin.

            Another basic reason that God allows some people to be disabled or handicapped is that God will glorify Himself. When the disciples wondered about the man born blind, Jesus told them, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). When the same disciples later wondered about Lazarus’ sickness, Jesus told them, “It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). In both instances, God was glorified through the disability—in the case of the man born blind, the temple rulers had incontrovertible proof of Jesus’ power to heal; in the case of Lazarus, “many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him” (John 11:45).

            Another reason why God allows disabilities or handicaps is that we must learn to trust in Him rather than in ourselves. When the Lord God called Moses in the wilderness, Moses was reluctant at first to heed the call. In fact, he tried to use his disability to excuse himself from service: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent. . . . I am slow of speech and tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). But God knew all about Moses’ problem: “The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say’” (Exodus 4:11–12). In this amazing passage, we see that all human ability—and disability—is part of God’s plan and that God will help His obedient servants. He doesn’t call the equipped so much as He equips the called.

            Joni Eareckson Tada suffered a diving accident as a teenager, and for the past four (almost five) decades she has lived as a quadriplegic. In her booklet Hope . . . the Best of Things, Joni imagines meeting Jesus in heaven and speaking to Him about her wheelchair: “The weaker I was in that thing [my wheelchair], the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. It never would have happened had you not given me the bruising of the blessing of that wheelchair” (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2008). How can she speak of her “bruising” as a “blessing”? Only by the grace of God. With that sentiment, Joni echoes the apostle Paul who accepted Christ’s sufficient grace for his thorn in the flesh with these words: “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

            Another reason why God allows some to be disabled or handicapped is that, in His overarching plan, He has chosen the weak things of this world for a special purpose: “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

            God doesn’t need human might or skill or fitness to accomplish His work. He can use disability and handicap just as well. He can use children: “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). He can use anyone. Remembering this truth can help handicapped believers to maintain focus on who God is. It’s easy to “curl up in a ball” and have pity parties when life makes no sense, but Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

            In a sense, when Jesus came into this world, He became voluntarily disabled. He handicapped Himself as He left the perfection of heaven to live among the sinners on earth. He laid aside His glory to wrap Himself in inglorious humanity. At the Incarnation, Jesus took on human flesh in all its frailty and vulnerability. “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). The Son of God took part in our human condition and suffered on our behalf. And that is why “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15); rather, we have an Intercessor who understands our weakness, relates to our disability, and identifies with our pain.

            God promises that disabilities and handicaps are temporary. Those conditions are part of this fallen world, not the world to come. God’s children—those who by faith in Christ are made children of God (John 1:12) —have a bright and glorious future. When Jesus came the first time, He gave us a taste of good things yet to come: “People brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24). When Jesus comes the second time, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:5–6).

            Joni’s wheelchair-bound perspective is enlightening: “Maybe the truly handicapped people are the ones that don’t need God as much” (The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus, Zondervan Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003). The position of weakness, disability, and handicap—the position of having to trust God in this world—is a position of honor and blessing indeed.

          • David Sean Thompson

            1) I’ve also asked you to provide me evidence for reincarnation. I don’t want you to just cite a book and name the author. This is a logical fallacy known as arguing from authority.

            Please highlight the key points of this book as empirical evidence for the existence of karma.

            You have also quoted Lord Krishna as an example against birth based caste systems. I am sorry but the idea of Lord Krishna is relatively new is it not compared to a lot of other Hindu scriptures? I am certain that the class divides existed historically and were already in place before the myth of Krishna was created. I can only see this as a revisionist attempt to alter belief systems. A good revisionist attempt I might add but still a change to the belief.

            2) I know catholics have done terrible things. I am not a catholic however and have many problems with that religion. I don’t believe in the teachings of Catholicism whatsoever so fire away.

            3) You have deliberately re-invented history e.g. the Crusades to try and justify your position. That is also a fallacy. But the topic of the Crusades is neither here nor there so we will leave that one alone.

            My request was simple. Please provide evidence for reincarnation in this post. I do not want a book. I want you to summarize the evidence as you have accepted to debate me on this. On top of that you will need to justify the hindu position of cause and effect through karma using historical/empirical evidence. If the evidence is acceptable I will by all means read the book. Kind regards.

          • Ch Billy

            My response to each of your points:
            1) What I quoted is not a book. A psychologist conducts a field study, assimilates results and draws conclusions based on the results and publishes them in a reputed journal. Dr Ian Stevenson published many such journal articles on reincarnation. But, since you are requesting, I will name an article in a reputed scientific journal “Journal for Scientific Exploration” which has a very high impact factor. This is the citation for this article:
            Stevenson, I. (1990) “Phobias in children who claim to remember previous lives,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 4, 243-254.
            I will put the abstract of the article here in full so that you don’t blame me that I am lifting sentences from the article out of context:
            “In a series of 387 children who claimed to remember a previous life, phobias occurred in 141 (36%). The phobias nearly always corresponded to the mode of death in the life of the deceased person the child claimed to remember. They usually manifested between the ages of 2 and 5, and sometimes the child showed the phobia in early infancy before it had begun to speak about a previous life. The phobias did not derive from imitating another member of the family or from any postnatal traumatic experience.
            They seem to require some paranormal explanation of which, however, reincarnation is only one.”
            Let me reiterate that it is not just these 387 cases he studied. He studied a total of 3000 cases across the world but published results in many journal articles. He used 387 of those cases in this research article. As a Ph.D. myself, I have taken all precautions here to not make my claim a logical fallacy. I have provided you scientific research supporting reincarnation published in a reputed scientific journal (citation given) and have quoted the abstract in full to avoid any blame of lifting sentences out of context. This is called scientific rigor. Do you still have a problem?

            Although I do not agree with the projected history of Hinduism today, I have decided to be very fair to you in this debate and hence will temporarily accept it. Although Lord Krishna is not a myth and not a later revisionist projection, I will still go along with you. Now according to any version of perceived history of Hinduism, Rig Veda is the first scripture. Let’s see what Rig Veda (Purusha Sukta RV 10.90.11–12) says about caste system:
            “11. When they divided Purusa how many portions did they make? What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
            12. The Brahman was his mouth, of both his arms was the Rajanya made. His thighs became the Vaishya, from his feet the Shudra was produced”
            Does this explicitly mean a birth based caste system? No.
            So, next come the other Vedas and Upanishad according to perceived history. Let’s see what Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.4.11-1.4.15 and 1.3.1) says about caste:
            “By birth, we are all brahmins or all sudras”
            Clearly, this means the caste is not decided by birth. Then comes the Puranas according to perceived history. Let us see what Skanda Purana (volume 18, book 6 (Nagar Kanda), chapter 239, verse 31-34):
            By birth one is a sudra (lowest caste), ||31||
            By the purificatory process one becomes a dvija (higher caste) ||32||
            By study of the Vedas one becomes a vipra ||33||
            One who knows Brahman is a brahmana ||34||
            So, birth-based caste system is rejected since the inception of Hinduism. Is your argument that only a revisionist version of Hinduism rejects birth-based caste system busted? Also, the accepted date of Bhagavad Gita (from which I quoted Lord Krishna before) is fifth century to the second century BCE which is still well before Christ appeared.

            2) You know that there was only Catholicism until 1527 when all forms of reformation started right? It is rich for you to claim you know the truth but Catholics don’t despite the fact that your existence began only nearly 1500 years after Christ. Also, it is quite hypocritical if you say Lord Krishna is revisionist and hence not acceptable while you yourself are revisionist version of Catholicism. However, I have decided to be very fair to you in this debate and hence, I will not bring up Catholicism again. Let me make my point mentioned in my previous comment again using Protestants instead of Catholics. So, it is a well known fact that Protestants in America justified slavery of African immigrants using verses from the Bible. Whom do you blame for this? The Bible or those who misused the Bible? Of course you will say it is those who misused the Bible. it is the same argument for those who misused karma.

            3) What do you mean by reinvented history of the Crusades? Do you deny the Crusades ever happened? Please enlighten me. How can you be so vague and still call what I said a logical fallacy? Please elaborate.

            There is an even stronger evidence than historical or empirical evidence to prove Hindu position on karma as cause and effect which is Hindu scriptures themselves. If you trust Bible more than history books, how can you use different logic for Hinduism? Chapter 3 and Chapter 5 of Bhagavad Gita talks all about karma and you can see for yourself that it is in fact cause and effect. I can give you examples of people in Mahabharata and Ramayana who are in fact history figures but you will call them myth. I can call Christ myth and then end the discussion but I want to be fair to you and hence I am giving you scriptural proof instead. I have been very fair to you in my responses here.

          • David Sean Thompson

            1) I don’t even know where to start with this.

            Here is a video showing the differences between Krishna and Jesus. The commentator makes the argument that the Krishna myth actually was taken from Christianity contrary to Hindu propaganda. We have zero evidence to prove anybody worshipped Krishna before the 1st century. None.

            :>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6vtA5O5Ako

            2) You have history completely wrong. Catholicism did not exist until the third century. The followers of the Messiah were around from the moment he was crucified and resurrected. The were originally known as Nazarenes. The denominations are irrelevant. I follow the gospel. Here are more videos for you to get up to speed with true history.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rml5Cif01g4

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJdTXb8J6PI

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYEzxD2kcGQ

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCp-ayAp7fE

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l0Say2wMw0

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIdCRanZZyw

            Lets get you up to speed first then we can continue!

          • Ch Billy

            1) You see I will give you the citation of a book belonging to a world renowned scholar Professor Jeaneane Fowler who was formerly Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Newport:
            “Fowler, Jeaneane D (2012), The Bhagavad Gita: A Text and Commentary for Students, Eastbourne: Sussex Academy Press”
            In this book, Professor Fowler considers second century BCE to be the likely date of composition of Bhagavad Gita which is the word of Lord Krishna. Isn’t this before Christ? Fowler is not a Hindu. In fact, many Hindus hate her for her wrong interpretations of Hindu texts. So, when she is saying, there is more credibility because she is a neutral third party observer. Whereas you post a youtube video made by a Christian apologist as proof of your claim. You see the bias and fallacy in your argument? Please have some scholarly rigor. I beg you.

            2) I will use the same argument again. Please give me the source of a respected third party observer (non-Christian) who attests that the manuscripts actually do not side with the Catholic view instead of posting youtube videos from Christian apologists. That is called scholarly rigor.

          • David Sean Thompson

            1) Incorrect it is mostly understood that prominent aspects of the Bhagavad Gita were written and re-written up until the 2nd Century. Well after Jesus. Some sources even date certain Christ like stories to come as late as the 4th to 6th Centuries. We have no idea who the author(s) are either. As Ive said before. There is no historical evidence to support the worship of Krishna in the 1st Century. We have plenty of 1st Century evidence of Jews and Greeks worshiping Jesus.

            2) What do you mean by the Catholic view? The gospels were written long before Catholicism became mainstream in Rome. It had spread to the Greeks first who were never Catholic. I don’t understand your point here?

          • Ch Billy

            There is a comment of yours showing all testimonies from outsider historians about Jesus Christ you asked me the same for Lord Krishna. You asked the same in the above comment too.

            There are actually several evidences which I can not put in one comment. I will post some of them here. Apart from testimonies from outsider historians, there are physical proofs like coins found in Greece and pillars found in India with inscriptions that can be carbon-dated to BCE. These physical evidences are stronger than historian testimonies. Here I go:

            Greek Historian Megasthenes:
            Megasthenes, a Greek ethnographer and an ambassador of Seleucus I to the court of Chandragupta Maurya towards the end of 4th century BCE, made reference to Herakles in his famous work Indica. This text is now lost to history, but was quoted in secondary literature by later Greeks such as Arrian, Diodorus, and Strabo. According to these texts, Megasthenes mentioned that the Sourasenoi tribe of India, who worshipped Herakles, had two major cities named Methora and Kleisobora, and a navigable river named the Jobares. According to Edwin Bryant, a professor of Indian religions known for his publications on Krishna, “there is little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged”. The word Herakles, states Bryant, is likely a Greek phonetic equivalent of Hari-Krishna, as is Methora of Mathura, Kleisobora of Krishnapura, and the Jobares of Jamuna. Later, when Alexander the Great launched his campaign in the northwest Indian subcontinent, his associates recalled that the soldiers of Porus were carrying an image of Herakles.

            Buddhist Pali Canon (written in Sri Lanka, 29 BCE):
            The Buddhist Pali canon and the Ghata-Jâtaka (No. 454) polemically mention the devotees of Vâsudeva and Baladeva. These texts have many peculiarities and may be a garbled and confused version of the Krishna legends.

            Jain texts (5th-4th century BCE)
            The texts of Jainism mention Krishna tales also with many peculiarities and different versions, in their legends about Tirthankaras. This inclusion of Krishna-related legends in ancient Jaina literature suggests that Krishna theology was existent and important in the religious landscape observed by non-Hindu traditions of ancient India.

            Patanjali the Sanskrit Grammarian:
            The ancient Sanskrit grammarian Patanjali in his Mahabhashya (4th century BCE) makes several references to Krishna and his associates found in later Indian texts. In his commentary on Panini’s verse 3.1.26, he also uses the word Kamsavadha or the “killing of Kamsa”, an important part of the legends surrounding Krishna.

            Indo-Greek coinage:
            Around 180 BCE the Indo-Greek king Agathocles issued some coinage bearing images of deities that are now interpreted as being related to Vaisnava imagery in India. The deities displayed on the coins appear to be Vishnu’s avatars Balarama-Sankarshana with attributes consisting of the Gada mace and the plow, and Vasudeva-Krishna with attributes of the Shankha (conch) and the Sudarshana Chakra wheel. According to Bopearachchi, the headdress on top of the deity is actually a misrepresentation of a shaft with a half-moon parasol on top (chattra).

            Heliodorus pillar:
            A pillar with a Brahmi script inscription was discovered by colonial era archaeologists in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Using modern techniques, it has been dated to between 125 and 100 BCE, and traced to an Indo-Greek who served as an ambassador of the Greek king Antialcidas to a regional Indian king. Named after the Indo-Greek, it is now known as the Heliodorus pillar. Its inscription is a dedication to “Vasudeva”, another name for Krishna in the Indian tradition. Scholars consider the “Vasudeva” to be referring to a deity, because the inscription states that it was constructed by “the Bhagavata Heliodorus” and that it is a “Garuda pillar” (both are Vishnu-Krishna-related terms). Additionally, the inscription includes a Krishna-related verse from chapter 11.7 of the Mahabharata stating that the path to immortality and heaven is to correctly live a life of three virtues: self-temperance (damah), generosity (cagah or tyaga), and vigilance (apramadah).

            Rajasthan inscriptions:
            Three Hathibada inscriptions and one Ghosundi inscription, all located in the state of Rajasthan and dated by modern methodology to the 1st century BCE, mention Samkarsana and Vasudeva, also mention that the structure was built for their worship. These four inscriptions are notable for being some of the oldest-known Sanskrit inscriptions.

            Mora stone of Mathura:
            A Mora stone slab found at the Mathura-Vrindavan archaeological site in Uttar Pradesh, held now in the Mathura Museum, has a Brahmi inscription. It is dated to the 1st century CE and lists five Vrishni heroes: Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Samba. Another terracotta plaque from the same site shows an infant being carried by an adult over his head, similar to the legend about Krishna’s birth.

            Do you need more evidence?

          • David Sean Thompson

            ” Apart from testimonies from outsider historians, there are physical proofs like coins found in Greece and pillars found in India with inscriptions that can be carbon-dated to BCE. These physical evidences are stronger than historian testimonies. Here I go:”

            According to who is this stronger evidence? Have you ever studied the historical method of determining the historicity of a person? No historian would agree with your assertion.

            “According to Edwin Bryant, a professor of Indian religions known for his publications on Krishna, “there is little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged”. The word Herakles, states Bryant, is likely a Greek phonetic equivalent of Hari-Krishna, as is Methora of Mathura, Kleisobora of Krishnapura, and the Jobares of Jamuna. Later, when Alexander the Great launched his campaign in the northwest Indian subcontinent, his associates recalled that the soldiers of Porus were carrying an image of Herakles.”

            Ok, so how is this direct evidence of the historical Krishna in any way? There is an inference to a tribe. That is like me saying we have evidence of Jews existing ergo Jesus exists. Not to mention that this story comes from secondary evidences indirectly mentioned as the original was lost. The fact that Herakles, a known Greek mythological figure is mentioned doesn’t help your case. Herakles was never a real historical person, only a myth. Can I therefore infer that Krishna is a myth? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend you did not submit this as evidence.

            “Buddhist Pali Canon (written in Sri Lanka, 29 BCE):
            The Buddhist Pali canon and the Ghata-Jâtaka (No. 454) polemically mention the devotees of Vâsudeva and Baladeva. These texts have many peculiarities and may be a garbled and confused version of the Krishna legends.”

            This is not evidence at all. It is just more proof that these stories were likely to be fabrications rather than based on a real historical figure.

            “Jain texts (5th-4th century BCE)
            The texts of Jainism mention Krishna tales also with many peculiarities and different versions, in their legends about Tirthankaras. This inclusion of Krishna-related legends in ancient Jaina literature suggests that Krishna theology was existent and important in the religious landscape observed by non-Hindu traditions of ancient India.”

            No better than the above. So far we have only myth. No historical figure for Krishna. No proof of followers either. Which stories were mentioned? Far too vague.

            “Patanjali the Sanskrit Grammarian:
            The ancient Sanskrit grammarian Patanjali in his Mahabhashya (4th century BCE) makes several references to Krishna and his associates found in later Indian texts. In his commentary on Panini’s verse 3.1.26, he also uses the word Kamsavadha or the “killing of Kamsa”, an important part of the legends surrounding Krishna.”

            Again, this is not evidence for the historical person of Krishna. Has anyone ever seen him?? So far, you have only shown me the evolution of the Krishna myth over time. Easily fabricated. Where is the historical person?

            “Indo-Greek coinage:
            Around 180 BCE the Indo-Greek king Agathocles issued some coinage bearing images of deities that are now interpreted as being related to Vaisnava imagery in India. The deities displayed on the coins appear to be Vishnu’s avatars Balarama-Sankarshana with attributes consisting of the Gada mace and the plow, and Vasudeva-Krishna with attributes of the Shankha (conch) and the Sudarshana Chakra wheel. According to Bopearachchi, the headdress on top of the deity is actually a misrepresentation of a shaft with a half-moon parasol on top (chattra).”

            So? The Greeks also had mythological minotaur coins. I’m almost certain minotaurs did not exist. More legend no historicity of his existence.

            “Heliodorus pillar:
            A pillar with a Brahmi script inscription was discovered by colonial era archaeologists in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Using modern techniques, it has been dated to between 125 and 100 BCE, and traced to an Indo-Greek who served as an ambassador of the Greek king Antialcidas to a regional Indian king. Named after the Indo-Greek, it is now known as the Heliodorus pillar. Its inscription is a dedication to “Vasudeva”, another name for Krishna in the Indian tradition. Scholars consider the “Vasudeva” to be referring to a deity, because the inscription states that it was constructed by “the Bhagavata Heliodorus” and that it is a “Garuda pillar” (both are Vishnu-Krishna-related terms). Additionally, the inscription includes a Krishna-related verse from chapter 11.7 of the Mahabharata stating that the path to immortality and heaven is to correctly live a life of three virtues: self-temperance (damah), generosity (cagah or tyaga), and vigilance (apramadah).”

            This is still not evidence he was a historical person. Nobody yet has seen him. Nobody yet has seen his followers.

            “Rajasthan inscriptions:
            Three Hathibada inscriptions and one Ghosundi inscription, all located in the state of Rajasthan and dated by modern methodology to the 1st century BCE, mention Samkarsana and Vasudeva, also mention that the structure was built for their worship. These four inscriptions are notable for being some of the oldest-known Sanskrit inscriptions.”

            This is not evidence for Krishna at all.

            “Mora stone of Mathura:
            A Mora stone slab found at the Mathura-Vrindavan archaeological site in Uttar Pradesh, held now in the Mathura Museum, has a Brahmi inscription. It is dated to the 1st century CE and lists five Vrishni heroes: Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Samba. Another terracotta plaque from the same site shows an infant being carried by an adult over his head, similar to the legend about Krishna’s birth.”

            Ok still no evidence for the Krishna story but we are clearly seeing an evolution of the myth over time and we are stating to see a resemblance to the story in the 1st Century (when Christianity had already started to flourish). This is still not evidence for a real historical person however so that point is irrelevant.

            Where are the eye witness accounts? Third party historians meeting Krishna or at least any of his followers? Any accounts that his teachings were actually established doctrines? Come on. This has just strengthened my position on the idea that Krishna was nothing more than a mythical figure.

          • David Sean Thompson

            I responded to this answer. It has been deleted. Can you please re-upload so we can continue the discussion.

            Furthermore I uploaded a long post about Christian theology which was also deleted. Can you also re-upload that for the public to see. Many thanks.

          • Ch Billy

            Hi David. I uploaded both the posts as you requested for the public to see. Here I make my first of the two long responses to your comments in the Krishna v/s Jesus topic:

            I am responding to all your posts in Krishna v/s Jesus topic starting from first. There is literally not even a nanometer of similarity between Lord Krishna and Jesus Christ. In the video you posted on Krishna v/s Jesus, the commentator is refuting a Zeitgeist video. Zeitgeist is a communist propaganda group who spew lies completely to brain wash people. Kudos to the commentator for exposing many of their lies of similarities between Krishna and Christ. But, unfortunately the commentator is also a propagandist but for a different cause i.e., Christianity. So, he did not expose all lies. He retained those lies about similarities with which he can prove that Krishna was inspired from Jesus. Let me debunk all those stupid similarities by my knowledge of Krishna based scriptures. You can verify all my debunking for yourself. If you look at the Jesus v/s Krishna video you posted, these stupid lies about similarities are told from 3:48 to 4:46.

            At 3:58, the stories related to birth, childhood and divinity of Krishna are inspired form that of Jesus whereas in reality, they are totally different from that of Jesus. Firstly, Krishna does not have stories, He has pastimes. Krishna was not born to a virgin mother. In fact Krishna was not born. Krishna descended from Vaikuntha (not heaven) in the 4 handed form as a baby and when requested by His mother, He took up the two-handed form. He was given off secretly to adoptive parents immediately after birth by His father and there were no wise men visiting like in the case of Jesus. Krishna’s childhood pastimes are not mundane like that of Jesus (son of a carpenter) nor is it in misleadingly and mysteriously less detail like that of Jesus. Krishna’s childhood is full of pastimes like playing with Radha and the other Gopis, stealing the butter, playing the flute and escaping from mother Yashoda. Jesus’ divinity is limited because he is part flesh i.e., material. Krishna’s body is transcendental. Krishna’s body encompasses entire universe (BG Ch 11) and Krishna says those who realize (not merely believe) that Krishna’s birth and activities are transcendental, will achieve liberation for sure (not heaven) (BG Ch. 4 verse 9). So, Krishna is completely spiritual and not materialistic at all and so, fully divine and transcendental. He does not have the partial divinity of Jesus Christ (who is part flesh and part spirit). So, clearly neither the birth nor the childhood nor the divinity of Krishna is same as that of Jesus.

            At 4:08, the commentator takes the name of William Jones as authority. William Jones was a linguist and not a theologist. Just like an expert in Hebrew does not mean an expert in Bible, an expert in Sanskrit does not mean an expert in Hindu scriptures. Besides, many scholars like Arthur Schopenhauer have debunked him for his demeaning of Indian culture due to malice born of colonial prejudice. At 4:16, it is said that Krishna’s victory over Kalia is a travestied version of Jesus’s victory over satan. Kalia was a bhakta of Krishna in previous life and he got liberated after being killed by Krishna. Was satan a bhakta of Jesus Christ or did satan have past lives? Do Christians have the concept of bhakti or of reincarnation? Serpents are not evil in Hinduism. Hindus are not animal haters like Christians. So, this argument is also moot.

            At 4:38 in the video, it is said that Krishnaism is indebted to Christianity on the grounds that the worship of Krishna as a sole deity was a post-Christian phase in Hinduism, and the legend of his birth and the celebration of his birthdays, the honor paid to His mother and His life as a herdsman, all showed Christian influence (Weber XI p. 131). First of all, there is nothing called Krishnaism and there is only Vaishnavism. No Vaishnava on earth including the Hare Krishnas worship Krishna as a sole deity. They worship all expansions of Lord Vishnu like Lord Narasimha, Lord Varaha and Lord Rama as equally important dieties. They also honor Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti as secondary expansions of Lord Vishnu and do not call them false Gods like Christians do to all non Christian deities. In fact, no Hindu, whether Vaishnava or not, will accept a concept of false Gods. This concept of false Gods which is frankly bastardization of religion is taking religion to dictatorial levels. I already explained how there is no birth but descent or appearance of Krishna and that is different from birth of Jesus. In terms of celebrations of birthday, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated by bhaktas in the form of a whole day fast that ends at 12 midnight, the auspicious time at which Krishna appeared. At 12 AM, Krishna’s deity is offered fire (arati) and He is also offered His favorite food item i.e., butter and bhaktas accept the offered butter. How is this in any manner similar to Christmas celebrations of any form? Krishna paid more honor to His adoptive mother Yashoda who raised Him than His mother Devaki. He freed Devaki from the prison of her brother Kamsa after killing Kamsa. This is in no way similar to Jesus and Mary. Krishna was a cow-herder and Jesus was not. Krishna was actually a Kshatriya King although he was raised as a cow-herder which Jesus was not. So there is no similarity between Jesus and Krishna as a herdsman. So, contrary to what Weber says, there is not a hint of Christian influence in Krishna’s pastimes. So, this argument is also moot.

            At 4:46 in the video, it is said that Hopkins says considering these similarities in tales, it is obvious that Krishna was inspired by Jesus but not in name. What similarities? There are anything but similarities. Contrary to what the video says, the only similarity is the similar sounding names Krishna and Christ. But I agree with the commentator that this is not a similarity because Krishna means all attractive and I am sue that is not what Christ means. Also, it is inherently offensive that a stupid philosophy like Christianity which is so intolerant that it makes the concept of false Gods, preaches exclusivity in spirituality like dictatorship and invents the concept of original sin to project someones’s individual sins on entire humanity is said to have inspired Krishna who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

            So, let us establish here that there are no similarities between Jesus and Krishna. There are no similarities in philosophy or in pastimes. So, please stop the stupid propaganda of leftists that Krishna inspired Jesus or of Christians that Jesus inspired Krishna. Regarding the evidences of Krishna’s date, I will write another comment because this is already very big.

          • David Sean Thompson

            I have no problem with your response for the most part. I do not personally think there are any similarities either.

          • Ch Billy

            Now that you agree that there is no similarity between Jesus Christ and Krishna, your argument of Krishna’s pastimes being stolen from life of Jesus is moot. Now, I will talk about the date of Krishna’s appearance and proof for it.

            Lord Krishna appeared between 3300 B.C. and 3200 B.C, precisely 3227 B.C. Now, during this period there were no movement of people from one culture to another and even of there was, it was not to document the events of other culture but just for trade. Besides, there is no person who witnessed Krishna and was not liberated. Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad Gita that on both sides of the war, anyone who saw Him will be liberated which happened.

            Also, personal testimony is a very flimsy proof for anything. It involves the possibility of people lying and misleading. The personal testimonies you gave for Jesus Christ was from Rome, Greece, Jewish region (Jerusalem under Roman Empire) and Babylonia. All these regions were in a short time taken over by Christianity which dominated each of these regions for sometime at least (except Babylonia where it was mostly Jewish but had a strong Christian presence and a large part was ruled by a Christian Bishop). Now, these testimonies could easily be fabricated by the Christians who came later to these regions. The only way such fabrications can be disproved is if you have manuscripts claiming these testimonies either during the time of Jesus or in the time immediately after his death before Christians took over the region. Such manuscripts can be verified using carbon dating. I don’t claim that there are no such manuscripts. If you know any, please provide me as proof and I will accept that as conclusive proof. Otherwise, your testimonies as proof is moot.

            Now, not only there is lack of foreign travelers during the birth of Krishna but also a lack of writing tradition because at the time in the Indian subcontinent, the tradition was to remember everything and transmit information orally to pass on to next generations. This tradition of oral transmission can be verified by the non-Hindu country of Sri Lanka which started recording all the Buddhist texts of the Pali canon from 29 B.C. during the fourth Buddhist council when they decided that their 500 years of oral transmission since the death of Buddha was under threat due to plausible foreign invasions. So, without any manuscripts or any personal testimony, is there a way of proving the appearance date of Lord Krishna. Yes, there is. In Hindu scriptures any event is marked by astronomical dating which is basically dating based on position of Sun (Surya), Moon (Chandra), the various recognizable stars (Nakshatras) like pole star, the various constellations (Rashis) and visible planets (Grahas) like Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The combinations of their positioning is so unique that one particular specific relative positioning happens only once in several millenia. This is a great way to record important dates. This is great because of the possibility of its verification using modern technology. Today, we have huge astronomical observatories which digitally record relative movements of planets, stars, constellations, Sun and Moon everyday and predict trajectories defining their relative motion. These trajectories are available in planetorium softwares which in turn can be used to verify the dates of Hindu events using the recording of astronomical events in the scriptures based on the relatice positioning of the planetary bodies. Using this, the date of beginning of Kali Yuga or the date of disappearance of Lord Krishna can be concluded to be 3102 B.C. which is the accepted date by Hindus mainstream scholars. Lord Krishna was on earth for 125 years and so, His appearance date is 3227 B.C. You can find out details of the procedure in this academic video from a famous astronomer:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2h6Cr6_GMc

            Now, if you look back at the oldest carbon dated copies of Mahabharata which is in the Gupta period of 300 to 400 C.E., you can find a record of the astronomical event and verify yourself using any planetorium software. They did not have digitally recording telescopes and computers in the Gupta period to manufacture a verse in the manuscript by predicting an astronomical event of 3102 B.C. So, the verse is genuine and the birth year is indeed 3227 B.C. You have only two options here. Either you believe Guptas had computers and large telescopes connected to them or you believe Lord Krishna did appear in 3227 B.C. I don’t think the choice is hard. This is called a solid scientific proof because it can be verified by anyone using a carbon dated manuscript and a planetorium software without relying on personal testimonies which are very prone to being false and manufactured.

            Also, I have given carbon dated evidence of inscriptions on coins, pillars and structures in my previous comment to prove name Krishna existed before Jesus Christ. I would like to point out that my Megasthenes reference is better than your personal testimonies because it came from Greek culture which has always been alien to Hindu culture. The fact that he named Shourasenis despite not knowing Lord Krishna was from Sharaseni line of warriors
            shows that there was no agenda to manufacture any truths here.

            Now, you could argue that proof of birth of Krishna in 33rd century BCE does not mean the pastimes also belong to that period. You can say the pastimes may have been manufactured later and based on Jesus Christ stories. I have two counter arguments for that:
            1) Jesus Christ’s life and Krishna’s pastimes have no similarities. Not just that. There is no recorded story or ancient myth that is similar to that of Lord Krishna’s pastimes. So, the copy part is out of the question.
            2) The entirety of Buddhist scriptures written in Sanskrit from the Gandhara region (modern Afghanistan) in the manuscript form exists among British museum scrolls. They were placed there by collector R. Senior. These have been carbon dated to 1st half of the 1st century CE which is during the life of Jesus Christ. These contain Buddhist versions of Krishna and Balaram pastimes where the details of birth and childhood and war are same but the philosophy is interpreted in the Buddhist style. Also, the entirety of Pali Canon which is all Buddhist texts in Pali language was commissioned to be written in 29 B.C. in Sri Lanka during the fourth Buddhist council which was 71 year before the birth of Christ. Palis scriptures also contain Krishna and Balaram stories. So, even if Krishna stories were manufactured and not in 3227 B.C. (I do not believe this but you may argue so), the plausible manufacturing is also before birth of Jesus.

            In summary,
            1) Lord Krishna’s appearance was in 3227 B.C. and it can be verified scientifically without relying on plausibly manufactured testimonies.
            2) The pastimes of Krishna were preserved using oral traditions and hence no carbon dated manuscripts can be found for 3227 B.C. But the earliest available version of writing is before Jesus Christ. Also, there are no similarities between Christ and Krishna in any form and so, there is no question of copying.

            Quod Erat Demonstrandum

            Now, you gracefully accept defeat. Also, if you respond I will read but not respond further anymore because I am pretty sure you will deny all the inconvenient facts in this and fight on petty issues. I am happy how this discussion has turned out and I will let it be this way for public to see. Also, I have posted all your accidentally deleted responses and will do so in the future too. So, don’t worry about censoring.

            Finally, it is Ambaa and not Asmaa. It takes 2 seconds to see the name at the top of this page. Please do that.

          • Ch Billy

            Your accidentally deleted response to the above comment:
            ” Apart from testimonies from outsider historians, there are physical proofs like coins found in Greece and pillars found in India with inscriptions that can be carbon-dated to BCE. These physical evidences are stronger than historian testimonies. Here I go:”
            According to who is this stronger evidence? Have you ever studied the historical method of determining the historicity of a person? No historian would agree with your assertion.
            “According to Edwin Bryant, a professor of Indian religions known for his publications on Krishna, “there is little doubt that the Sourasenoi refers to the Shurasenas, a branch of the Yadu dynasty to which Krishna belonged”. The word Herakles, states Bryant, is likely a Greek phonetic equivalent of Hari-Krishna, as is Methora of Mathura, Kleisobora of Krishnapura, and the Jobares of Jamuna. Later, when Alexander the Great launched his campaign in the northwest Indian subcontinent, his associates recalled that the soldiers of Porus were carrying an image of Herakles.”

            Ok, so how is this direct evidence of the historical Krishna in any way? There is an inference to a tribe. That is like me saying we have evidence of Jews existing ergo Jesus exists. Not to mention that this story comes from secondary evidences indirectly mentioned as the original was lost. The fact that Herakles, a known Greek mythological figure is mentioned doesn’t help your case. Herakles was never a real historical person, only a myth. Can I therefore infer that Krishna is a myth? I will give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend you did not submit this as evidence.
            “Buddhist Pali Canon (written in Sri Lanka, 29 BCE):
            The Buddhist Pali canon and the Ghata-Jâtaka (No. 454) polemically mention the devotees of Vâsudeva and Baladeva. These texts have many peculiarities and may be a garbled and confused version of the Krishna legends.”
            This is not evidence at all. It is just more proof that these stories were likely to be fabrications rather than based on a real historical figure.

            “Jain texts (5th-4th century BCE)
            The texts of Jainism mention Krishna tales also with many peculiarities and different versions, in their legends about Tirthankaras. This inclusion of Krishna-related legends in ancient Jaina literature suggests that Krishna theology was existent and important in the religious landscape observed by non-Hindu traditions of ancient India.”
            No better than the above. So far we have only myth. No historical figure for Krishna. No proof of followers either. Which stories were mentioned? Far too vague.
            “Patanjali the Sanskrit Grammarian:
            The ancient Sanskrit grammarian Patanjali in his Mahabhashya (4th century BCE) makes several references to Krishna and his associates found in later Indian texts. In his commentary on Panini’s verse 3.1.26, he also uses the word Kamsavadha or the “killing of Kamsa”, an important part of the legends surrounding Krishna.”
            Again, this is not evidence for the historical person of Krishna. Has anyone ever seen him?? So far, you have only shown me the evolution of the Krishna myth over time. Easily fabricated. Where is the historical person?

            “Indo-Greek coinage:
            Around 180 BCE the Indo-Greek king Agathocles issued some coinage bearing images of deities that are now interpreted as being related to Vaisnava imagery in India. The deities displayed on the coins appear to be Vishnu’s avatars Balarama-Sankarshana with attributes consisting of the Gada mace and the plow, and Vasudeva-Krishna with attributes of the Shankha (conch) and the Sudarshana Chakra wheel. According to Bopearachchi, the headdress on top of the deity is actually a misrepresentation of a shaft with a half-moon parasol on top (chattra).”
            So? The Greeks also had mythological minotaur coins. I’m almost certain minotaurs did not exist. More legend no historicity of his existence.
            “Heliodorus pillar:
            A pillar with a Brahmi script inscription was discovered by colonial era archaeologists in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Using modern techniques, it has been dated to between 125 and 100 BCE, and traced to an Indo-Greek who served as an ambassador of the Greek king Antialcidas to a regional Indian king. Named after the Indo-Greek, it is now known as the Heliodorus pillar. Its inscription is a dedication to “Vasudeva”, another name for Krishna in the Indian tradition. Scholars consider the “Vasudeva” to be referring to a deity, because the inscription states that it was constructed by “the Bhagavata Heliodorus” and that it is a “Garuda pillar” (both are Vishnu-Krishna-related terms). Additionally, the inscription includes a Krishna-related verse from chapter 11.7 of the Mahabharata stating that the path to immortality and heaven is to correctly live a life of three virtues: self-temperance (damah), generosity (cagah or tyaga), and vigilance (apramadah).”
            This is still not evidence he was a historical person. Nobody yet has seen him. Nobody yet has seen his followers.
            “Rajasthan inscriptions:
            Three Hathibada inscriptions and one Ghosundi inscription, all located in the state of Rajasthan and dated by modern methodology to the 1st century BCE, mention Samkarsana and Vasudeva, also mention that the structure was built for their worship. These four inscriptions are notable for being some of the oldest-known Sanskrit inscriptions.”
            This is not evidence for Krishna at all.
            “Mora stone of Mathura:
            A Mora stone slab found at the Mathura-Vrindavan archaeological site in Uttar Pradesh, held now in the Mathura Museum, has a Brahmi inscription. It is dated to the 1st century CE and lists five Vrishni heroes: Balarama, Krishna, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and Samba. Another terracotta plaque from the same site shows an infant being carried by an adult over his head, similar to the legend about Krishna’s birth.”

            Ok still not evidence for the Krishna story but we are clearly seeing an evolution of the myth over time and we are stating to see a resemblance to the story in the 1st Century (when Christianity had already started to fluorish). This is still not evidence for a real historical person.
            Where are the eye witness accounts? Third party historians meeting Krishna or at least any of his followers? Any accounts that his teachings were actually established doctrines? Come on. This has just strengthened my position on the idea that Krishna was nothing more than a mythical figure.

          • Ch Billy

            You accidentally deleted comment for public to see:
            Early Extra Biblical Evidences:-
            Evidence from Tacitus
            Let’s begin our inquiry with a passage that historian Edwin Yamauchi calls “probably the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament.” Reporting on Emperor Nero’s decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in A.D. 64, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:
            Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. . . .
            What all can we learn from this ancient (and rather unsympathetic) reference to Jesus and the early Christians? Notice, first, that Tacitus reports Christians derived their name from a historical person called Christus (from the Latin), or Christ. He is said to have “suffered the extreme penalty,” obviously alluding to the Roman method of execution known as crucifixio n. This is said to have occurred during the reign of Tiberius and by the sentence of Pontius Pilatus. This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus.
            But what are we to make of Tacitus’ rather enigmatic statement that Christ’s death briefly checked “a most mischievous superstition,” which subsequently arose not only in Judaea, but also in Rome? One historian suggests that Tacitus is here “bearing indirect . . . testimony to the conviction of the early church that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave.” While this interpretation is admittedly speculative, it does help explain the otherwise bizarre occurrence of a rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal. How else mig ht one explain that?
            Evidence from Pliny the Younger
            Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. In one of his letters, dated around A.D. 112, he asks Trajan’s advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians. Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity .
            At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned about these Christians:
            They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food–but food of an ordinar y and innocent kind.
            This passage provides us with a number of interesting insights into the beliefs and practices of early Christians. First, we see that Christians regularly met on a certain fixed day for worship. Second, their worship was directed to Christ, demonstrating that they firmly believed in His divinity. Furthermore, one scholar interprets Pliny’s statement that hymns were sung to Christ, as to a god, as a reference to the rather distinctive fact that, “unlike other gods who were worshipped, Christ was a person who had lived on earth.” If this interpretation is correct, Pliny understood that Christians were worshipping an actual historical person as God! Of course, this agrees perfectly with the New Testament doctrine that Jesus was both God and man.
            Not only does Pliny’s letter help us understand what early Christians believed about Jesus’ person, it also reveals the high esteem to which they held His teachings. For instance, Pliny notes that Christians bound themselves by a solemn oath not to violate various moral standards, which find their source in the ethical teachings of Jesus. In addition, Pliny’s reference to the Christian custom of sharing a common meal likely alludes to their observance of communion and the “love feast.” This interpretation helps explain the Christian claim that the meal was merely food of an ordinary and innocent kind. They were attempting to counter the charge, sometimes made by non-Christians, of practicing “ritual cannibalism.” The Christians of that day humbly repudiated such slanderous attacks on Jesus’ teachings. We must sometimes do the same today.
            Evidence from Josephus

            Perhaps the most remarkable reference to Jesus outside the Bible can be found in the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. On two occasions, in his Jewish Antiquities, he mentions Jesus. The second, less revealing, reference describes the condemnation of one “James” by the Jewish Sanhedrin. This James, says Josephus, was “the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ.” F.F. Bruce points out how this agrees with Paul’s description of James in Galatians 1:19 as “the Lord’s brother.”{15} And Edwin Yamauchi informs us that “few scholars have questioned” that Josephus actually penned this passage.
            As interesting as this brief reference is, there is an earlier one, which is truly astonishing. Called the “Testimonium Flavianum,” the relevant portion declares:

            “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared”
            We read that he was a wise man who performed surprising feats. And although He was crucified under Pilate, His followers continued their discipleship and became known as Christians. When we combine these statements with Josephus’ later reference to Jesus as “the so-called Christ,” a rather detailed picture emerges which harmonizes quite well with the biblical record. It increasingly appears that the “biblical Jesus” and the “historical Jesus” are one and the same!
            Evidence from the Babylonian Talmud
            There are only a few clear references to Jesus in the Babylonian Talmud, a collection of Jewish rabbinical writings compiled between approximately A.D. 70-500. Given this time frame, it is naturally supposed that earlier references to Jesus are more likely to be historically reliable than later ones. In the case of the Talmud, the earliest period of compilation occurred between A.D. 70-200. The most significant reference to Jesus from this period states:
            “On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald . . . cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to a postasy.”
            Let’s examine this passage. You may have noticed that it refers to someone named “Yeshu.” So why do we think this is Jesus? Actually, “Yeshu” (or “Yeshua”) is how Jesus’ name is pronounced in Hebrew. But what does the passage mean by saying that Jesus “was hanged”? Doesn’t the New Testament say he was crucified? Indeed it does. But the term “hanged” can function as a synonym for “crucified.” For instance, Galatians 3:13 declares that Christ was “hanged”, and Luke 23:39 applies this term to the criminals who were crucified with Jesus. So the Talmud declares that Jesus was crucified on the eve of Passover. But what of the cry of the herald that Jesus was to be stoned? This may simply indicate what the Jewish leaders were planning to do. If so, Roman involvement changed their plans!
            The passage also tells us why Jesus was crucified. It claims He practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy! Since this accusation comes from a rather hostile source, we should not be too surprised if Jesus is described somewhat differently than in the New Testament. But if we make allowances for this, what might such charges imply about Jesus?
            Interestingly, both accusations have close parallels in the canonical gospels. For instance, the charge of sorcery is similar to the Pharisees’ accusation that Jesus cast out demons “by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” But notice this: such a charge actually tends to confirm the New Testament claim that Jesus performed miraculous feats. Apparently Jesus’ mira cles were too well attested to deny. The only alternative was to ascribe them to sorcery! Likewise, the charge of enticing Israel to apostasy parallels Luke’s account of the Jewish leaders who accused Jesus of misleading the nation with his teaching. Such a charge tends to corroborate the New Testament record of Jesus’ powerful teaching ministry. Thus, if read carefully, this passage from the Talmud confirms much of our knowledge about Jesus from the New Testament.
            Evidence from Lucian
            Lucian of Samosata was a second century Greek satirist. In one of his work s, he wrote of the early Christians as follows:
            The Christians . . . worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.
            Although Lucian is jesting here at the early Christians, he does make some significant comments about their founder. For instance, he says the Christians worshipped a man, “who introduced their novel rites.” And though this man’s followers clearly thought quite highly of Him, He so angered many of His contemporaries with His teaching that He “was crucified on that account.”
            Although Lucian does not mention his name, he is clearly referring to Jesus. But what did Jesus teach to arouse such wrath? According to Lucian, he taught that all men are brothers from the moment of their conversion. That’s harmless enough. But what did this conversion involve? It involved denying the Greek gods, worshipping Jesus, and living according to His teachings. It’s not too difficult to imagine someone being killed for teaching that. Though Lucian doesn’t say so explicitly, the Christian denial of other gods combined with their worship of Jesus implies the belief that Jesus was more than human. Since they denied other gods in order to worship Him, they apparently thought Jesus a greater God than any that Greece had to offer!
            Let’s summarize what we’ve learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources. First, both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise. Second, Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher. Third, both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover. Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus’ resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus’ followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate tha t Christians worshipped Jesus as God!

            I hope you see how this small selection of ancient non-Christian sources helps corroborate our knowledge of Jesus from the gospels. Of course, there are many ancient Christian sources of information about Jesus as well. But since the historical reliability of the canonical gospels is so well established, I invite you to read those for an authoritative “life of Jesus”
            Now that we have a good list of early non Christian historian evidences, can you please provide me the same for Krishna? Pplease show EARLY non hindu historian s verifying the historical person of Krishna. Preferably no later than the 1st or 2nd century? Please respond.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Response to proofs of reincarnation:-

            I’m afraid there are plenty of issues with Dr. Stevenson’s methodology. The below response is more than enough evidence for me to dismiss his claims as pseudoscience. Anybody who has ever spent any of his life researching under the scientific method would be able to tell you that these problems are not rectifiable. See below.

            “There are several problems with Stevenson’s method. He often worked with translators in countries about which he knew very little. Questioning anybody is tricky, but questioning children is especially tricky. “Interviewer bias is the central driving force in the creation of suggestive interviews” (Bruck, Ceci, and Helmsbrooke 1998; quoted in Mills and Lyon: 303). Questioning children and adults via a translator introduces another element of uncertainty regarding the bias of the questioning technique. Most of the interviews took place in countries where reincarnation is an accepted belief. So, the translator would be “typically imbued with the cultural expectations that past-life recall is a valid phenomenon” (Mills and Lynn: 303). Stevenson, being non-fluent in the language and the culture, was in no position to assess the reliability of the questioning by the translator.

            There is also the obvious problem of confirmation bias. The ideal, according to Stevenson, was to seek out PLE stories and then try to confirm them. Failure to confirm, however, did not count against the reincarnation hypothesis. In fact, nothing could be discovered using Stevenson’s methods that could ever disconfirm the reincarnation hypothesis. Many scientists would consider this a fatal flaw in his methodology.

            Another problem is that there seem to be alternative, non-paranormal, explanations for all of his data. Stevenson was aware of the fact that many of the features he was detailing were culturally driven. He wrote:

            Critics of the cases have therefore suggested that a child’s fantasies, perhaps of an imaginary playmate, may become shaped by its parents and peers, through their questions and suggestions, until the child assumes an identification with a deceased person. In this way the child becomes the subject of a factitious case suggestive of reincarnation.

            This argument has considerable force, and its cogency can hardly be denied when we consider the numerous cases in which the subject of a case and the deceased person with whom he or she identifies belong to the same family or same village. However, it will not suffice to explain the smaller, but not negligible number of cases in which the two families live widely separated and, from all the evidence, have had no acquaintance with each other before the case developed. Moreover, in the stronger of such cases the child has furnished specific details (sometimes written down before verification) about the deceased person; there can be no question in such cases of imaginings, confused memories, and pseudo-identification. In examining the cases of this group we are almost forced to believe that the child has somehow acquired knowledge about a deceased person by other than normal means. If this be granted, one has still a choice among several explanations all of which suppose some paranormal process; and reincarnation is only one of these. (Stevenson 1989).

            We need not grant that these cases can only be solved by appealing to a paranormal explanation, however. Coincidence, faulty investigation, deception, and other normal explanations are available. “Wilson (1982) proposed that people reporting PLEs are motivated by a desire to identify with a higher social class” (Mills and Lynn: 294). This concern seems especially relevant when dealing with cases in India and Sri Lanka. Sometimes cases Stevenson considered “solved”, when examined by others, turn out to be less than pristine. For example, Stevenson found many claims by Sunil Dutt Saxena of Bareilly that matched events in the life of Seth Sri Krishna of Budaun. Both cities are in northern India. Ian Wilson notes, however, that a local doctor had explained to Stevenson that Sunil had been coached by Sheveti Prasad about the details regarding Krishna, whose family rejected Sunil as the reincarnation of their relative (Kelly: 91; Wilson 1989). Stevenson rejected the evidence against his case and considered it “solved.”

            It would be pointless to go through each of the 2,500 anecdotes collected and try to debunk, say, the top 100. Little would be gained by such an exercise. (For an example of a debunking of the case Stevenson thought was the best in his Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, see Leonard Angel’s deconstruction of the case of Imad Elawar.) We can admit before the investigation begins that reincarnation is possible, even if we have no idea how it might occur. But even the best story could be contaminated and Stevenson’s methods of collecting and validating data leave much to be desired. For example, Imad Elawar claimed that he was Mahmoud Bouhamzy, a truck driver who died of tuberculosis 25 years earlier and who had a wife called Jamilah.

            The best past-life candidate Stevenson found [for Imad Elawar] was not named Mahmoud Bouhamzy, did not have a wife named Jamilah, and did not die as a result of an accident at all, let alone one that followed a quarrel with the driver. Yet Stevenson does not give sufficient information for the reader to know what exactly the parents or the boy himself said that entitled Stevenson to discount the original claims as interpreted by the parents and instead present the very different claims given in the tabulation [he produced]. (Angel 1994)

            Stevenson came up with a list of 57 items that he said were produced by the parents or the child prior to his attempted verification.

            But the form in which they were originally recorded is not given. Inspection of the items of the tabulation makes clear the need for a record of just what the parents said, how Stevenson recorded their data prior to verification, and how it was or was not subsequently reorganized for presentation in tabular form. (Angel 1994)

            Stevenson’s method is reminiscent of the kind of subjective validation process that goes on during cold readings. For example,

            Under Stevenson’s “Comments” we find “Mahmoud Bouhamzy was an uncle of Ibrahim Bouhamzy.” (Ibrahim Bouhamzy is the apparent past-life of the boy, according to Stevenson.) Thus it is taken as verified that a name the boy mentioned corresponded to a real person in the past-life’s family, as though it is clear that the boy had been mentioning a name by way of referring to that uncle.

            ….the boy referred to a full well and an empty well at the home of the past-life. This is taken as confirmed by the fact that there were two vats used for storing grape juice. “During the rainy season one of these vats became filled with water, but the other, shallower vat did not, because the water evaporated from it. Thus one would be empty while the other was full”. Does a five-year-old Druse village boy not know the difference between a vat and a well? (Angel 1994)

            Stevenson himself admitted that he hadn’t provided compelling evidence for reincarnation. What might be of some value, however, is to examine his data for recurrent features.

            One of the things he found was

            a high incidence of violent death in the persons whose lives the children remember. This feature occurs in the cases of all ten cultures for which we have examined groups of cases; although the incidence of violent death in the cases varies from one culture to another, it is far higher among the cases than in the general populations from which they are drawn. (Stevenson 1989).

            One explanation for this might be that a violent death is easier to remember than a quiet one. On the other hand, if you’re going to remember having died and the whole thing is a story, it makes sense that the death be violent to add drama to the story. A better explanation, however, would seem to be that violent deaths are more likely to be reported in the media, the pubs, the shops, and the like, and are thus more likely to travel around from village to village where they could be overheard by children. But whatever the explanation, the curious fact remains of excessive violent deaths in reported PLEs.

            Some recurrent features were found by Stevenson to vary considerably from culture to culture, including the occurrence of dreams in which a deceased person seems to announce to the dreamer the intention of being reborn (usually in the family of the dreamer).* Stories of prophetic dreams in which an announcement is made by a spirit, an angel, an ancestor, are found in many cultures. Instead of seeing this as magical thinking and indicative of a pre-scientific worldview, Stevenson takes these dreams seriously and literally.

            He also found that males report many more PLEs than females: 63% to 37% (Mills and Lynn: 292). He found that older children and adults generally forget the PLEs they reported as children (Mills and Lynn: 293).

            In addition to his claim that he thought some current fears, likes, and dislikes could be explained by the personalities or experiences of past lives, Stevenson believed that birthmarks and birth defects occur with undue frequency in children who remember past lives. In 43 of his 2,500 collected cases, Stevenson found “a medical document, such as a postmortem report, indicated the location of the wound on the deceased, which sometimes appeared to be strikingly close to the location of the birthmark or birth defect in the child” (Mills and Lynn: 294). He also claimed that there are birthmarks or birth defects in about one-third of the cases of children who report a PLE and that some of these are not genetically explicable (Mills and Lynn: 298). Stevenson constructed a grid for the average adult body that divides the skin into 160 squares of 10 centimeters each. He then calculated the odds of finding a birthmark that would correspond to a wound in a previous body as 1/160. Two corresponding wounds would have odds of 1/25,600. He had 18 cases of the latter. Even so, I think that he would have to admit that this kind of measuring is not rocket science but guesswork. These data are interesting, but we have nothing to compare them to. So, we don’t know what these odd facts mean. Also, Stevenson had no explanation for why bodily wounds would carry over to the body of a personality that was reincarnated or why an experience in one life would carry over to a phobia or philia in another. To the disinterested observer, such ideas are clearly in the realm of magical thinking.

            Finally, there is the claim that Stevenson made that xenoglossy provides evidence of reincarnation. We have already noted that he was no expert on the problems of experimenter bias and expectancy bias in interrogation. Nor was he an expert in the languages and cultures where his stories originated, necessitating his use of translators whose flaws he was not qualified to observe or identify. He was not an expert on languages. Hiring a linguist to listen to a tape, as Stevenson did with the best of his xenoglossic reincarnates, was a good idea. But he might have considered that Uttara Huddara, a Marathi woman in Mumbai (Bombay) who could speak Bengali, could have acquired her ability by natural means. In any case, it is not unusual for someone to speak several languages in a country that is populated by people from many language groups. Linguist Sarah Thomason noted that Bengali and Marathi are closely related languages, the woman had a life-long interest in Bengali language and culture, and had many Bengali acquaintances, and people in Bombay often see films that were made in Bengali. The rest of Stevenson’s cases, according to Thomason, involved people whose linguistic display was minimal and could be explained by casual exposure (Thomason 1987; Kelly 2004). A person may be able to utter 100 or so words in a non-native language, but that hardly counts as speaking or understanding that language. Stevenson listened to a tape where a woman uttered some German words while hypnotized but couldn’t answer questions in German and didn’t indicate any knowledge of grammar, and he declared this is evidence for reincarnation. He blamed her poor language skills on her poverty and illiteracy in a previous lifetime. A linguist listened to the same tape and noted that even the poor and the illiterate use some grammar. She declared that the woman’s understanding of German was minimal and consistent with a casual acquaintance with the language (Kelly 2004: 95).

            What possesses a man of Stevenson’s intelligence to chase after chimeras and produce thousands of pages of detailed reports that amount to a heap of rationalizations? As Michael Shermer succinctly put it: “Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.”* Stevenson spent about half his life trying to find support for his beliefs in reincarnation and their relationship to medicine. The beliefs came first. The intelligence was applied to confirming the beliefs. I don’t think he is unique in this regard. Those of us who are skeptical of Stevenson’s work might like to think that we are exercising more critical judgment on these investigations than he did because we have chosen to be disinterested and objective in our research and he chose to be biased. Any of us could have ended up as Stevenson did, however, had we his intelligence and had we not been led down a different path by many accidents over which we had no control. I can only speculate what other path Stevenson might have traveled had the American Society for Psychical Research rejected his essay in 1958 when he entered a competition for work on survival of personality after death (Wilson 1982: 2). If, instead of awarding him first prize for his entry based on the work others had done collecting stories of past life experiences, the Society had told him that this line of inquiry was a colossal waste of time and that he was foolish for even considering these stories credible evidence for life after death, would he have been inspired to spend the rest of his life tracking down such stories?

            Few critics will be willing to spend much time poring over his detailed anecdotes and tedious reports. (One journalist, Tom Shroder of the Washington Post, spent a year following Stevenson around, assisting him in his investigations, and came back to write a book about it and how it made him a believer. Old Souls is an interesting read but the author is not very critical in his observations. He takes a lot at face value and seems not to understand the dangers of confirmation bias. Mary Roach went on location with one of Stevenson’s fellow PLE story collectors and came back asking: “is he investigating reincarnation, or merely hunting for evidence in its favor? How can he remain unbiased?” (2005: p. 48).)

            Those who want to believe in survival of a personality after death will likely ignore the weaknesses in Stevenson’s methods and praise him for his meticulousness, his devotion to detail, his zeal to get every claim verified or disproved. For my part, I have to agree with Stevenson’s own assessment of his work: he’s provided evidence, but no compelling evidence for reincarnation. I see no way to move forward using his methods or his data, so I see his work as a colossal waste of time. On the positive side, however, I agree with him that past life regressive therapy, which uses hypnosis, is rife with methodological problems, not the least of which is the problem with suggestion contaminating any evidence that might be uncovered for a past life. Hence, past life regression cannot provide good evidence for reincarnation. Neither can collecting more stories from children who claim to have lived previous lives unless better methods of documentation, questioning witnesses and alleged experients, and verifying claims are developed.”

          • Ch Billy

            “For my part, I have to agree with Stevenson’s own assessment of his work: he’s provided evidence, but no compelling evidence for reincarnation.”: Hahaha. So, the person who is rebutting Stevenson admits that there is evidence for reincarnation, although not compelling, and says that Stevenson’s methods are flawed. He calls for further research in a different methodology to find out more about reincarnation. He does not dismiss the possibility of reincarnation in any way. He dismisses those who rely on reincarnation solely based on Stevenson’s work. His conclusion is that past life regression therapy is useless and Stevenson’s methods are flawed and not that reincarnation is false. Please do yourself a favor and read what you post before you embarrass yourself like this.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Read again. He agrees with Stevensons assessment of his own work but not that it is evidential of reincarnation. i.e. that using his methodology one can extrapolate to Stevensons conclusion. The point is Stevensons methodology is flawed and gives no possibility for reincarnation to be disproven. Therefore it was a pointless undertaking from the beginning. It’s a pretty shoddy piece of pseudoscience to be fair.

          • Ch Billy

            Says who? Who is this unknown author? What is this author’s qualification? Ian Stevenson is a Ph.D in psychology, a renowned professor in a reputed medical school, a psychiatrist for 50 years and he published several articles in famous peer reviewed journals. What did this author do? Please enlighten.

          • David Sean Thompson

            The authors of said criticisms are all highlighted in my above response. Read it again.

            His qualifications do not matter whatsoever if his methodology is off. I also hold a medical degree from a prestigious school but that sort of argumentation from authority is nothing more than a logical fallacy. See below:-

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

            From what I can find on Ian Stevenson, nobody in the mainstream even takes his claims seriously. I took a brief glimpse at some of his work today and I am sorry his scholarship is just bad. You can not set up a methodology that is severely hampered by confirmation bias and has no way of disproving the hypothesis. It is not even worthy of scientific merit. Furthermore, just because he is a qualified Psychiatrist does not make him in any way qualified to scientifically measure the meta-physical. As I’ve said before it is nothing more than pseudoscience and until there is solid, verifiable and empirical evidence to the contrary, his claims do not hold up.

          • Ch Billy

            How can his qualifications not matter? Let me ask you a simple question. Can you review a journal article in a reputed journal without a qualification? Can you write something without a qualification and get it published in reputed journals? No. This shows the stupidity of your argument.
            There were very famous qualified psychiatrists who reviewed Stevenson’s articles and allowed them to be published in famous journals. Those who do not have such qualifications and who are essentially charlatans write internet articles and books to fool people like you.

            Also, did you are just quote a wikipedia article on “argument from authority”? Do you know that it is common knowledge that wikipedia is not supposed to be quoted anywhere because anyone can write wikipedia articles? The irony is rich.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Just because somebody has an article in a scientific journal does not make it empirically true nor does it mean his methodology is good scholarship. There have been plenty of terrible clinical studies and articles written by large pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals in order to justify treatments and medications that are just dangerous. It is the academic critique of the work after which is important, not that it is published. As I’ve said most mainstream academics have dismissed his claims as pseudoscientific and from looking at his methodology I can comfortably conclude that his work is not empirical evidence for the existence of reincarnation. Even Stevenson admits this.

            I quoted wikipedia to show you the definition and the definition in wikipedia is correct. However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, where would you like me to source the definition from? I will be more than happy to oblige.

          • Ch Billy

            Do you understand the concept of peer-reviewing? I do not suppose you do. The reason why publication in peer-reviewed journals get a high credibility is that your articles are reviewed by your peers most of whom are highly qualified and your competitors. Because they are your competitors, they highly scrutinize your articles before allowing them to publish. “There have been plenty of terrible clinical studies and articles written by large pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals in order to justify treatments and medications that are just dangerous.” Since, you do not have any idea how publishing works, let me school you. When you do spurious research in the field of pharmacology and publish it and if someone proves that your results are not reproducible, whether the consequences of your spurious research are harmful or not, you will be imprisoned and your publications withdrawn with immediate effect. So, do not shoot your mouth if you do not know how things work. Remember that Stevenson’s work in journal articles has not been withdrawn yet.

            It is true that some academicians have criticized Stevenson. It is also true that some have come in his support and defense. if you search in google for “criticism of Ian Stevenson”, you only get those articles that criticize him. This is called confirmation bias ironically. Stevenson himself replied to all those people who accused him of confirmation bias in three ways:
            1) Most children who show symptoms of remembering past lives do so in their very early age. In cultures who do not believe in reincarnation, these symptoms are ignored or diagnosed as some other psychiatric problem.
            2) Stevenson published a book documenting all the European cases of reincarnation in his 2003 book “European Cases of the Reincarnation Type” where he used the same meticulous procedure of documenting each case in full complex detail and verifying them using independent sources. Except that these cases were from cultures that do not believe in reincarnation. He even showed in each case that it took a lot of time for parents to understand it is past life memories and phobias because of their unfamiliarity of the concept.
            3) Stevenson published his own critique of the people that detracted him. Paul Edwards, a philosopher, was one of his main detractors. Robert Almeder, another philosopher, published a critique of Paul Edwards’ critique.

            So, this is a raging debate and no one has conclusive evidence to dismiss Stevenson’s work as pseudoscience. To prove it as pseudoscience, you need to show conclusive evidence that in all his cases, he was either wrong or misleading which even his best detractors could not do. So, they started demeaning his methods so that his strong cases lose credibility. This is the hallmark of agenda driven critics. They might shout at the top of their was criticizing procedures but cannot provide actual evidence of wrongdoing. That is why Stevenson’s work has not been withdrawn from journals.

            Now, while we are at it, can you provide one scientific or empirical evidence for eternal after life either in hell or heaven?

          • David Sean Thompson

            Peer reviewing is not the be all and end all. It has the potential to carry many problems. You should read this article published by Richard Smith in the Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine describing its vast limitations and how it is often abused. Dr. Ian Stevenson’s work was hardly the outcome of scholarly critique:-

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/

            “Since, you do not have any idea how publishing works, let me school you. When you do spurious research in the field of pharmacology and publish it and if someone proves that your results are not reproducible, whether the consequences of your spurious research are harmful or not, you will be imprisoned and your publications withdrawn with immediate effect.”

            I agree that this should be the outcome. However, it is demonstrable in many individual cases that this has not happened. Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to pick and choose clinical trials that they wish to publish. They can not be prosecuted if nobody knows the work was never done. This tactic is often used to “prop up” the therapeutic effects of a particular product whilst hiding away borderline and clinically insignificant results. Anyway, pharmaceuticals is besides the point. I was just drawing parallels as an analogy for my position. Let us not get distracted and back on track.

            In conclusion, Stevenson’s theories have been thoroughly debunked. It is pseudoscience for the final time due to the fact his methodology was sloppy and his hypothesis could not be proven or disproven. Stevenson himself accepted you could not accept reincarnation as objective truth from the work he put forward. I have already provided a rebuttal as to why you can not trust his work. The only reason you align yourself with him is because it plays to your confirmation bias. I have also put forward Stephen Blake, an authority in his field who thoroughly debunks reincarnation as a mathematical and scientific impossibility.

            Now unless you can provide any actual historical or empirical evidences that prove reincarnation as true it is probably best you accept your loss graciously within this segment of the debate.

            “Now, while we are at it, can you provide one scientific or empirical evidence for eternal after life either in hell or heaven?”

            Firstly, what do you mean by “eternal after life” and “hell or heaven”? Will you be using my definitions which fall in line with my theology? Or will you be creating a fictitious straw man theology to attack like you and Asmaa seem to like doing?

            If you mean prove that we only have one life then I am not required to provide empirical evidence for that. It is observable that we have one life cycle according to human history and our senses. You are the one making the claim that we reincarnate therefore the burden of proof lies with you to provide us with significant evidence for it. So far you have failed to do so.

          • Ch Billy

            Here is your deleted response:
            “Peer reviewing is not the be all and end all. It has the potential to carry many problems. You should read this article published by Richard Smith in the Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine describing its vast limitations and how it is often abused. Dr. Ian Stevenson’s work was hardly the outcome of scholarly critique:-
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go
            “Since, you do not have any idea how publishing works, let me school you. When you do spurious research in the field of pharmacology and publish it and if someone proves that your results are not reproducible, whether the consequences of your spurious research are harmful or not, you will be imprisoned and your publications withdrawn with immediate effect.”
            I agree that this should be the outcome. However, it is demonstrable in many individual cases that this has not happened. Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to pick and choose clinical trials that they wish to publish. They can not be prosecuted if nobody knows the work was never don e. This tactic is often used to “prop up” the therapeutic effects of a particular product whilst hiding away borderline and clinically insignificant results. Anyway, pharmaceuticals is besides the point. I was just drawing parallels as an analogy for my position. Let us not get distracted and back on track.
            In conclusion, Stevenson’s theories have been thoroughly debunked. It is pseudoscience for the final time due to the fact his methodology was sloppy and his hypothesis could not be proven or disproven. Stevenson himself accepted you could not accept reincarnation as objective truth from the work he put forward. I have already provided a rebuttal as to why you can not trust his work. The only reason you align yourself with him is because it plays to your confirmation bia s. I have also put forward Stephen Blake, an authority in his field who thoroughly debunks reincarnation as a mathematical and scientific impossibility.
            Now unless you can provide any actual historical or empirical evidences that prove reincarnation as true it is probably best you accept your loss graciously within this segment of the debate.”

            My response:
            I gave both evidences of Stevenson’s critique of his critics like the book “European cases of reincarnation type” which you conveniently ignored. I told you about philosopher Robert Almeder’s defense of Stevenson. You ignored that too. You have made a decision to look the other way whenever any evidence is provided to consider your position. Then, why discuss? You are the “my way or the highway type proselytizer. Every reasonable argument will fall on deaf ears.

            I am not saying to accept reincarnation as objective truth from Stevenson’s work. This is good preliminary evidence that warrants further research to get big conclusions. But, you have made your judgement already. Why are you so hostile to the scientific process?

            Why should I accept the concept of heaven or hell without proof? Having one life does not prove we go to heaven or hell after the one life is over. This is false implication and again proves your penchant to avoid reasoning and logic.

          • Ch Billy

            Your accidentally deleted response:
            “That is a very good question and one that many people, regardless of religion have struggled with since the beginning of time. Let me respond to you using several illustrations.

            The Lord is God of the physically healthy and the mentally strong, but He is also the God of the physically disabled and the mentally handicapped. He is sovereign over the fragile and feeble as well as over the adroit and mighty. The Bible teaches that every person conceived in this world is a unique creation of God (see Psalm 139:16), and that includes the disabled and the handicapped.

            A natural question is why God allows some people to be born disabled or handicapped or why He allows accidents that bring about a disability or handicap later in life. This issue falls under the umbrella of a theological/philosophical debate known as “the problem of evil” or “the problem of pain.” If God is both good and omnipotent, why does He allow bad things to happen? What is the point of someone losing his sight or being forced to walk with a prosthesis? How can we reconcile God’s goodness and perfection with the fact that so much of His creation is broken and wounded?

            Before we proceed, we should acknowledge that we are all disabled or handicapped in some way. The need for eyeglasses indicates impaired or “handicapped” vision. Dental braces are a sign of imperfect teeth. Diabetes, arthritis, rosacea, a “trick” knee—these can all be considered disabilities to some extent. The whole human race lives with the reality of imperfection. Everyone experiences less-than-ideal conditions. We are all broken in some way. The handicaps we live with are simply a matter of degree.

            When a person is disabled or handicapped, to whatever degree, it is a symptom of original sin, when evil came into the world. Sin entered the world as a result of man’s disobedience to God, and that sin brought with it sickness, imperfection, and disease (see Romans 5:12). The world was blemished. One reason God allows people to be disabled or handicapped is that such conditions are the natural result of mankind’s rebellion against God. We live in a world of cause and effect, and it is a fallen world. Jesus said that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). This is not to say that every disability is the direct result of personal sin (Jesus countered that idea in John 9:1–3), but, generally speaking, the existence of handicaps and disabilities can be traced back to the existence of sin.

            Another basic reason that God allows some people to be disabled or handicapped is that God will glorify Himself. When the disciples wondered about the man born blind, Jesus told them, “This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). When the same disciples later wondered about Lazarus’ sickness, Jesus told them, “It is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). In both instances, God was glorified through the disability—in the case of the man born blind, the temple rulers had incontrovertible proof of Jesus’ power to heal; in the case of Lazarus, “many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him” (John 11:45).

            Another reason why God allows disabilities or handicaps is that we must learn to trust in Him rather than in ourselves. When the Lord God called Moses in the wilderness, Moses was reluctant at first to heed the call. In fact, he tried to use his disab ility to excuse himself from service: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent. . . . I am slow of speech and tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). But God knew all about Moses’ problem: “The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say’” (Exodus 4:11–12). In this amazing passage, we see that all human ability—and disability—is part of God’s plan and that God will help His obedient servants. He doesn’t call the equipped so much as He equips the called.

            Joni Eareckson Tada suffered a diving accident as a teenager, and for the past four (almost five) decades sh e has lived as a quadriplegic. In her booklet Hope . . . the Best of Things, Joni imagines meeting Jesus in heaven and speaking to Him about her wheelchair: “The weaker I was in that thing [my wheelchair], the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. It never would have happened had you not given me the bruising of the blessing of that wheelchair” (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 2008). How can she speak of her “bruising” as a “blessing”? Only by the grace of God. With that sentiment, Joni echoes the apostle Paul who accepted Christ’s sufficient grace for his thorn in the flesh with these words: “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

            Another reason why God allows some to be disabled or handicapped is that, in His overarching plan, He has chosen the weak things of this world for a special purpose: “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

            God doesn’t need human might or skill or fitness to accomplish His work. He can use disability and handicap just as well. He can use children: “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). He can use anyone. Remembering this truth can help handicapped believers to maintain focus on who God is. It’s easy to “curl up in a ball” and have pity parties when life makes no sense, but Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

            In a sense, when Jesus came into this world, He became voluntarily disabled. He handicapped Himself as He left the perfection of heaven to live among the sinners on earth. He laid aside His glory to wrap Himself in inglorious humanity. At the Incarnation, Jesus took on human flesh in all its frailty and vulnerability. “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). The Son of God took part in our human condition and suffered on our behalf. And that is why “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15); rather, we have an Intercessor who understands our weakness, relates to our disability, and identifies with our pain.

            God promises that disabilities and handicaps are temporary. Those conditions are part of this fallen world, not the world to come. God’s children—those who by faith in Christ are made children of God (John 1:12) —have a bright and glorious future. When Jesus came the first time, He gave us a taste of good things yet to come: “People brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24) . When Jesus comes the second time, “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:5–6).
            Joni’s wheelchair-bound perspective is enlightening: “Maybe the truly handicapped people are the ones that don’t need God as much” (The God I Love: A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus, Zondervan Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003). The position of weakness, disability, and handicap—the position of having to trust God in this world—is a position of honor and blessing indeed.”

            Since this response is too big, I will give my response in the next comment.

          • Ch Billy

            My response to your long comment on why there are physical disabilities and bad socio-economic situations at birth if there is only one life:

            “The Lord is God … includes the disabled and the handicapped.”: This paragraph seems far too problematic to me. There is no religion on earth that says God is only God of the mentally strong and adroit. Non-abrahamic religions that understand and accept karma don’t have to provide this strange justification at all. Regarding your statement on every creation of God is unique, let us use an analogy here. When an ordinary chef makes several pancakes, each pancake is unique. And some pancakes will be weirdly shaped and some torn in pieces which are all imperfections. But this is an ordinary chef. If an expert chef makes pancakes, every pancake is unique and yet no pancake has imperfections. You say God is perfect and yet, he makes imperfections in humans? Is God less perfect than an expert chef? However I will look into your next paragraph as to what reason you give for why God makes imperfections.

            “A natural question is why God allows … much of His creation is broken and wounded?”: Again, to reiterate, non-Abrahamic religions that accept karma do not have a theological/philosophical debate of the “problem of pain”. If you understand the cause and effect principle, this is logically obvious. you don’t need a discussion for it.

            “Before we proceed, … We are all broken in some way. The handicaps we live with are simply a matter of degree.”: This is a super fatalistic philosophy. I will logically explain you why. When you say everyone is disabled in some way or other, you are accepting the end result and hence, you will take no further action. When a philosophy urges you take no further action, it is static and fatalistic. Whereas if you understand karma, you will accept the cause and not the end result. You will accept that my disability is my own making which is the cause and will take action to come out of disability. When a philosophy urges you to accept cause and not end result and urges you to change the end result through action, it is dynamic and not fatalistic. Also, there are Hindu monks you say that body is inherently problematic whether it has disability or not. This is still dynamic and not fatalistic. I will explain why. Now, these monks understand that body is just a dress. It is not our real identity. Our real identity is the soul. So, when they say body is inherently problematic, they use the same body (disabled or not) to take all possible actions to come out of the cycle of reincarnation or samsara (repeated birth, death, old age and disease) i.e., to achieve liberation. So, this is urging them to take actions which is still dynamic and not fatalistic.

            “When a person is … the existence of handicaps and disabilities can be traced back to the existence of sin.”: Again, to reiterate, the projection of the sins of Adam and Eve to entire humanity is nothing but birth based caste system. Your philosophy is so inconsistent. You say sin entered humanity through Adam and Eve and we suffer only because we are successors of Adam and Eve who sinned. Tell me how can this not extend to if my father commits a murder I should be jailed too. In fact, I have spoken to many ex-christians and most of them said they left Christianity because they cannot accept the concept of original sin where we are suffering for someone else’s sins.

            “Another basic reason … who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him” (John 11:45).”: This argument is acceptable if Jesus Christ stayed for the entire period since Adam and Eve and up to now and healed every disabled person ever. But that did not happen. For a small period, he healed and for that glorification, you say God created disabled persons for the entire period of time. Is God that unreasonable and unjust according to Christianity? Also, in Hinduism, God is beyond the physical problems. God will be glorified by the spiritual knowledge he gives to His devotees for their self-realization and not by healing illnesses and physical disabilities. Even doctors heal illnesses and physical disabilities. Are they the same as God?

            “Another reason why God allows disabilities or handicaps is that we must learn to trust in Him … that God will help His obedient servants. He doesn’t call the equipped so much as He equips the called.”: This is another exposition of childish philosophy. Please stop degrading God to a level where He is so selfish and needy that He gives pain and suffering to people until they trust Him and become His obedient servants. You have destroyed the concept of a loving God. No wonder there are so many atheists today. Our pain and suffering in physical world is our own making. God is not at all responsible for this. We cannot even begin to connect with God as long as we identify with our physical reality. We have to transcend the physical reality to understand the love of God. In the physical world, we have to take our own initiative for our physical health and well-being instead of outsourcing this responsibility to God. God is not interested in our physical suffering or well-being. Please do not make Him the villain who gives us the physical suffering and please do not make Him our servant who relieves our physical suffering. Both these ideas show how lacking your love is for God.

            “Joni Eareckson Tada suffered a . . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).”: Her story is inspiring. However, if a physically disabled person trusts that God will heal the physical disability, they are bound to be disappointed as God is not interested in one’s physical well-being. What about those quadriplegics who do not have the means to obtain a wheelchair? Should they not recognize the love of God? How will they do it if they identify with their bodies which are totally immobile and with no wheelchair assistance? Being grateful with whatever you have is excellent. I totally agree with that. But by identifying yourself with your physical reality, you will be forced ultimately to have some sort of material expectations. No material expectation can help you grow spiritually. I genuinely appreciate Joni for her resilience. She has a lot of potential to come out of physical reality. By noticing how happy she is compared to the strong and able people, she can really see the futility of physical reality. In this way, her “bruising” can actually be a “blessing”. It is essential to trust God. But you cannot misplace that trust thinking God will help our physical well-being. I knew a Christian army man who lost his leg in the war and went to church for 4 to 5 decades faithfully praying to God to give his mobility back. It did not happen and he became a very cynical, atheistic, hard-hearted person and died that way. Do you see the problem with identifying yourself with physical reality? King Janaka in ancient times had a Guru called Ashtavakra who was extremely disfigured. None of his disciple even acknowledged the disfigurement because nobody identified their Guru with the Guru’s body. Ashtavakra remained an extremely revered figure throughout his life. You see the difference? People are not only avoiding showing pity towards him but are revering him. That is the true respect disabled people (if qualified) deserve. I am partially disabled myself and I detest pity. Again, only way to avoid pity is to come out of idea of physical reality.

            “Another reason why God allows … so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).”: The current age of Kali is such that even the beggar is proud of his possessions in comparison to another beggar. The current age is such that the strong and able do not see the weak and disabled and immediately understand physical reality is meaningless and we have to transcend physical reality. Not everyone is Lord Buddha. If God’s plan was to give humility to the strong and able by making some weak and disabled, it is clearly failing terribly. So, I don’t think that it is God’s plan. Besides, how did he choose whom to give weakness and disabilities if it is not based on karma? If all the disabled people are such that they understand that disability is a blessing, then I will believe you that this is in fact God’s plan. But that is not true. There are disabled people who cry everyday and are not seeing the disability as a blessing at all. So, why did God choose them to give disabilities? Are they guinea pigs for God? I do not think so. So, this is definitely not God’s plan. Our disabilities are our own making.

            “God doesn’t need human might or skill or fitness to … but Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).”: I kind of agree with this completely. A better way to put this is God does not consider a living being through his/her physical self but through his/her spirituality. God transcends the physical self.

            “In a sense, when Jesus came into this world, He became voluntarily disabled …. identifies with our pain.”: When Jesus performed miracles on Earth, doesn’t that mean he gave up his handicap. If he performed miracles and humans cannot, doesn’t that mean he still has the perfection from heaven but others don’t? You see there is a lapse of logic here. Besides, whenever you say relate, I remember a famous saying in Hindu philosophy: “You must follow great personalities but not imitate them”. We need to follow the ideals of Jesus Christ and not imitate him. The moment people find Jesus Christ relatable, they will tend to imitate him instead of following him. If they understand he is divine and much beyond a man’s reach, they will follow him instead of imitating him. Imitating is dangerous because there are so many charlatans today who say they are blessed by God and that they can perform miracles because they tend to imitate. An example is Benny Hinn. There are also many Hindu charlatan holy men like Kalki Bhagawan. So, imitating is dangerous.

            “God promises that disabilities and handicaps are … Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:5–6).” and “Joni’s wheelchair-bound perspective is enlightening … is a position of honor and blessing indeed.”: I agree that disabilities are temporary. But I cannot agree that if we just trust God, we will have a better after life. Trusting God is essential but not sufficient condition. There is a lot of spiritual practice that one must do for trust to become realization. Trusting people don’t get liberation but realized people get liberation. The process from trusting to realizing involves getting rid of all anarthas (misconceptions and false identities) from “I am an engineer/doctor etc.” to “I am an American/British etc” to “I am a man/woman etc.” to “I am the body”. Without a lot of spiritual practice, these anarthas that are so deeply ingrained in us for the past millions of lifetimes will not go away. Our only true identity is that we are part and parcel of God who is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss (sat-chit-ananda). There is no free lunch in the sense that mere trust cannot give us liberation. You may not believe this but this is my strong conviction based on my life experiences. I am truly inspired by Joni’s perspective. It would be great if she goes further and says love for God begins by not identifying ourselves with our physical selves.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Your rebuttals are nonsensical. Try reading the entirety of my response within the context of what I wrote and within the context of my theological position. I have explained all of this already in the deleted posts. Instead of listening to what I have to say you are reverting back to your fallacious understanding of Christianity.

          • Ch Billy

            Look David. I am sure you are a spiritual person. I appreciate it. But, when I responded to your comment, I gave logical arguments with examples of why I am rebutting everything. You are just making statements here that I am nonsensical without giving a logical argument for why I am nonsensical. I have posted all your deleted comments. There is nothing missing here. If you think my understanding is fallacious, enlighten me with logical arguments instead of repeating words like “childlike” and “nonsensical”. I hope you understand what I mean and bring in the civility of an actual spiritual person into this discussion.

          • David Sean Thompson

            I gave you a perfectly logical response. You do not understand my theological position and are creating fallacious straw man arguments. That is my point. Re-read my lengthy deleted post about Christian theology, which might I add has not been put back up again. Cheers.

          • David Sean Thompson

            Hi there,

            I don’t have many issues with how you define God to be honest. The Christian belief is that we are made in the image of God which in certain Hindu sects is agreeable. Your point about humans being infinitesimal compared to God in my books is ok to a certain extent. I do not believe human beings are truly divine, however, because to be divine would be to be able to uphold the divine standard (which human beings clearly do not.) We are, however, all still reflections of the divine in our image and likeness to him. Our consciousness is also a reflection of God (which again I believe Hindus agree).

            The Christians who have made those counter arguments to your beliefs clearly are approaching the Hindu belief with oversimplistic childlike processes. Again, from what you have written it seems to me that your vast understanding and respect for Hinduism has not carried over into your investigation into Christian beliefs. You have oversimplified Christianity into a childlike mythology very much like your Christian opponents have done to your religion.

            I do not see Hinduism as monotheistic. It is pantheism in its truest form. I would consider Christianity in certain regards to be a weak panentheism. What I mean by this is that God is greater than the universe in essence but chooses to freely operate within it and within and around creation. The separation is not God’s doing. Separation comes from our free will through God’s love. Because God is love, he does not force himself on us. We can freely choose to follow in his divine nature or separate ourselves to only follow the material and flesh.

            I find your argumentation and belief system to be fascinating however. Can you show me any historical evidences to help proof your claims?

          • Ch Billy

            This is your response:
            “Hi there,
            I don’t have many issues with how you define God to be honest. The Christian belief is that we are made in the image of God which in certain Hindu sects is agreeable. Your point about humans being infinitesimal compared to God in my books is ok to a certain extent. I do not believe human beings are truly divine, however, because to be divine would be to be able to uphold the divine standard (which human beings clearly do not.) We are, however, all still reflections of the divine in our image and likeness to him. Our consciousness is also a reflection of God (which again I believe Hindus agree).
            The Christians who have made those counter arguments to your beliefs clearly are approaching the Hindu belief with oversimplistic childlike processes. Again, from what you have written it seems to me that your vast understanding and respect for Hinduism has not carried over into your investigation into Christian beliefs. You have oversimplified Christianity into a childlike mythology very much like your Christian opponents have done to your religion.
            I do not see Hinduism as monotheistic. It is pantheism in its truest form. I would consider Christianity in certain regards to be a weak panentheism. What I mean by this is that God is greater than the universe in essence but chooses to freely operate within it and within and around creation. The separation is not God’s doing. Separation comes from our free will through God’s love. Because God is love, he does not force himself on us. We can freely choose to follow in his divine nature or separate ourselves to only follow the material and flesh.
            I find your argumentation and belief system to be fascinating however. Can you show me any historical evidences to help proof your claims?”

            My response:
            “I do not believe human beings are truly divine, however, because to be divine would be to be able to uphold the divine standard (which human beings clearly do not.) ”
            I did not say human beings are truly divine. There is a fundamental difference between the understanding of self among Hindus and Christians. In Hinduism, I am not a human being or a plant or an animal or any other living being. Those bodies are just dresses that I wear in different lifetimes. In Hinduism, I am the soul unlike Abrahamics who say “I have a soul” which means the real identity is not the soul. It is the soul that is Brahman and truly divine. the soul is covered in Maya of which body is a part and hence, the imperfections. Maya is the illusory energy of God that gives us the imperfections.

            “I do not see Hinduism as monotheistic. It is pantheism in its truest form. I would consider Christianity in certain regards to be a weak panentheism.”: If you have not grasped it already, Hinduism or Vaishnavism ( the Hindu school I practice) is panentheism in its purest form. I have clearly told God is the entire universe and much more and universes (there are multiple of them) are just infinitesimal parts of the God like how a mustard seed is to human body. This is text book definition of panentheism. It is not pantheism if it is clearly saying that the universe itself is not God. There is no weak panentheism or strong panentheism. The question is if Christianity is panentheism or not. Christianity is not because for humans to be suffering from original sin, they have to be separate from God. Since, humans are part of universe and separate from God, there is something apart from God in Christianity which is definitely not panentheism.

            “What I mean by this is that God is greater than the universe in essence but chooses to freely operate within it and within and around creation. The separation is not God’s doing. Separation comes from our free will through God’s love. Because God is love, he does not force himself on us. We can freely choose to follow in his divine nature or separate ourselves to only follow the material and flesh.”: If God is freely operating within and around creation but not part of creation in Christianity, then Christianity is definitely not panentheism as in panentheism, God is the entire creation and much much more. Also, it is unjust and illogical to say God separated from us out of love because we wished so. It is Adam and Eve who wished and not me. Even if you believe we are all successors of Adam and Eve, you cannot justify why we are put in a creation separate from God. This is like birth-based caste system. If my father is an atheist, will I be never receiving the grace of God because out of love, God is keeping away from my father and also me because I am his successor? This is the same problem I have with original sin which is why should I suffer for the sins of my ancestors? This makes no sense at all unless you believe in birth based sin transfer system like caste system which is extremely unjust.

            “I find your argumentation and belief system to be fascinating however. Can you show me any historical evidences to help proof your claims?”: All my argumentation are taken from Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. In chapter 9, verse 15 of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna explicitly mentions:
            ‘Those who are engaged in the cultivation of knowledge, worship Me, the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, diverse in many, and in the universal form but all three are minor aspects of Me as a whole.’
            When Lord Krishna says “one without a second”, He means the all-pervading spiritual effulgence called Brahman which pervades through entire existence. When He says “diverse in many”, He is talking about the different expansions of Himself. When He says “the universal form”, He means the entire universal existence which He reveals within His body to His disciple Arjuna in the 11th chapter. So, this is a clear proof that Vaishnavism is panentheism because Lord Krishna says there is all pervading Brahman, my different expansions and the universal existence which are my parts nevertheless but I am much more than that. Also, Vaishnavas like any other sect of Hinduism are not exclusivists. We definitely don’t have any problem with Christians practicing their religion at all. This is because Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (4.11):
            “To all of the living beings, the way they approach Me, I will respond accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.”
            So, if you show genuine love of God as a Christian, you will be approached by the God in the form of Yahweh. Even if you are an atheist, if you are following your natural law (Dharma) properly, you will be rewarded accordingly. It is actions and more precisely practice that determines the end result in all of Hinduism and not belief like in Christianity or other Abrahamic religions which is why they are all religious exclusivists.

          • David Sean Thompson

            “I did not say human beings are truly divine. There is a fundamental difference between the understanding of self among Hindus and Christians. In Hinduism, I am not a human being or a plant or an animal or any other living being. Those bodies are just dresses that I wear in different lifetimes. In Hinduism, I (the self) am the soul unlike Abrahamics who say “I have a soul” which means the real identity is not the soul. It is the soul that is the true identity and soul is Brahman and truly divine. However, the soul is covered in Maya of which body is one part and hence, the imperfections. Maya is the illusory energy of God that gives us the imperfections.”

            Incorrect. The soul in essence is who we truly are. The soul is our spiritual essence. Sure, some people say we have soul and that in itself is not incorrect either. In the world, we consist of body as well which is our outermost as well as our soul which is the reflection of God’s image in our likeness. You are just using language differences to appropriate your argument without truly digging into true Christian theology. Childlike as a said before.

            “If God is freely operating within and around creation but not part of creation in Christianity, then Christianity is definitely not panentheism as in panentheism, God is the entire creation and much much more. Also, it is unjust and illogical to say God separated from us out of love because we wished so. It is Adam and Eve who wished and not me. Even if you believe we are all successors of Adam and Eve, you cannot justify why we are put in a creation separate from God.”

            Again, incorrect and childlike. You are attempting to interpret God on the human level rather than the divine level. You have missed basic Christian theology. Panentheism is the belief or doctrine that God is greater than the universe and includes and interpenetrates it. This is exactly what Christianity is from a theological point of view. Just because you can not grasp our concept of the divine does not mean our interpretation is illogical. I used to think the exact same way you do. My entire side of my mothers side is Hindu so I understand both concepts of God. The problem with your view of God is that it is too simplistic and brought down to the human level. Hindus have created a God based on human emotion rather than objective truth.

            Furthermore, I explained the concept of original sin in one of my previous posts. Had you read it, which you clearly haven’t and had the post not been deleted you would not be in a position to make such a fallacious argument. Again childlike.

          • Ch Billy

            The expression “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” is attributed to C.S. Lewis, a 19th century Christian apologist. Here is the proof:
            https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/01/the-spiritualist-origins-of-you-dont-have-a-soul-you-are-a-soul
            This statement did not exist in Christianity before. Whereas Adi Shankara in the 9th century C.E., told “aham brahmasmi” which means I am Brahman of which Atman or soul is a part. Clearly, we can see who copied from whom.

            How can you say God and creation are separate in Christianity and say God “includes” universe (panentheism: God includes and interpenetrates universe) in the same breath? This is contradictory. Please explain.

          • David Sean Thompson

            “The expression “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” is attributed to C.S. Lewis, a 19th century Christian apologist. Here is the proof:”

            Incorrect. Had you read any of Paul’s epistles dating to within the 1st Century you would see that my position on this is correct.

            Going back thousands of years before that, in Ezekiel 18:4 the language being used is such that the implication is that we ARE a soul.

            This issue is language orientated rather than theologically driven.

            “How can you say God and creation are separate in Christianity and say God “includes” universe (panentheism: God includes and interpenetrates universe) in the same breath? This is contradictory. Please explain.”

            If you understood the Christian position, it makes perfect sense. Now I know you don’t like videos but this should help you again. Apologies for not wanting to type this out.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xki03G_TO4

          • Ch Billy

            Don’t tell me to read Paul’s epistles. Quote and explain. Let us see.

            Ezekiel 18:4 says:
            “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.”

            What does soul “of the” father mean? The use of “of the” here shows the identity is not soul. When it is said “the soul who sins”, is it mentioned that it is the actual identity of the living beings? No. Don’t make convenient implications please.

            I refuse to accept someone’s convenient interpretation as the whole Christianity’s understanding with regards to panentheism. If I make a video on how islam is panentheistic, giving a convenient explanation, will it become panenetheistic? No. Also, if all Christian scholars unanimously agree that Christianity is panentheism, then I will accept. The truth is only a fringe group of Christians argue that Christianity is panentheism and they are trying to make a case for it so that they convince other Christians:
            https://philipclayton.net/files/papers/TheCaseforXtianPanentheism1.pdf

          • Ch Billy

            Your accidentally deleted response:
            “You do a great disservice by ripping verses out of context. It is very dishonest and poor academic scholarship. Do you know the context of the Old Testament? You can not attempt to read into the scripture with your own biased understanding of the world. Christians believe we are body and soul. Though we are in unison all these things, Our essence is not just physical but non-physical also i.e. the soul or spirit. Our body is simply the physical manifestation of our being whilst the soul is the spiritual manifestation which lives on after physical death.
            “What does soul “of the” father mean? The use of “of the” here shows the identity is not soul. When it is said “the soul who sins”, is it mentioned that it is the actual identity of the living beings? No. Don’t make convenient implications please.”
            “Soul of the father” simply refers to the spiritual aspect of the father’s being making a distinction between the physical body and the spiritual soul. It does not infer that the soul is a simple fragment. This is your misunderstanding once again of Christian theology and your attempt at misdirecting the language. This is strengthened by the statement “the soul who sins” suggesting that the authoritative action, one’s ability to sin through free will, comes through the spirit or soul. This actually proves that human beings ARE the soul or spirit. Though we have a distinction in body and spirit in terms of dimensional separation, we are still one through the unity of our essence.
            “I refuse to accept someone’s convenient interpretation as the whole Christianity’s understanding with regards to panentheism. If I make a video on how islam is panentheistic, giving a convenient explanation, will it become panenetheistic? No. Also, if all Christian scholars unanimously agree that Christianity is panentheism, then I will accept. The truth is only a fringe group of Christians argue that Christianity is panentheism and they are trying to make a case for it so that they convince other Christians”
            Again, you are using the logical fallacy of arguing from authority. It is largely irrelevant what “most” people think. I could make the argument that “most” uneducated Hindus truly believe you worships millions of different animal gods and therefore your religion is polytheistic. However, I am not that disingenuous and will not misrepresent your personal belief. The philosophical terms used by man and created by man are just our best attempts to understand the concept of the divine God. When we look directly at scripture, and from the beliefs of early Christian philosophers and sources (as highlighted in the video) we can quite comfortably suggest that God’s most likely nature is the one described best by Weak Panentheism. Again, I do not believe it is wrong or heretical to suggest that God can be explained by simple dualistic theism but that would be to ignore scripture and oversimplify the concept of an already limitless and unfathomable God within the three dimensional physical realm. As I’ve said before, just because you are used to imagining a God that has been brought down to the human level and is simplistic for human understanding does not make it objectively true. In fact, I would argue that the difficulty and unfathomable nature of Christianity’s God actually strengthens it’s contention that it is objectively true.”

            My response:
            I did not take the verse out of context. It is you who provided me Ezekiel 18:4 as proof. Please read your own previous comment. Also, when you say “Christians believe we are body and soul”, you are contradicting yourself. Body ends at death and is temporary. The fact that body is temporary proves that you are not actually body but you are soul. “I am soul” and “I am soul and body” have totally different philosophical implications.

            “Again, you are using the logical fallacy of arguing from authority. It is largely irrelevant what “most” people think. I could make the argument that “most” uneducated Hindus truly believe you worships millions of different animal gods and therefore your religion is polytheistic.”
            I will agree with this argument of yours if most of the Christian lay men think Christianity is not panentheism but all reputed Christian scholars think Christianity is panentheism because only lay men who are uninformed think Hinduism is polytheistic but almost all respected scholars do not agree with polytheism statement. However there are many respected scholars of Christianity who do not consider Christianity as panentheism and these scholars outnumber those few who think Christianity is panentheism. So, I do not agree with this argument.

            Also, the fact that you use a qualifier “WEAK” with panentheism suggests you are trying to adjust Christianity towards panentheism. It is either panentheism or not. There is no reason for qualifiers.

  • Ambaa

    I always wonder what is actually wrong with idol worship? I don’t see why it’s a problem.

  • Ch Billy

    Hinduism specifically says to clear the minds of skeptics like you that Truth is one but there are multiple paths to it. Agreed that it does not mean every path is correct but there are multiple paths. There is a verse from Rig Veda that will shock you :

    “Who really knows?
    Who will here proclaim it?
    Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
    Did the gods come afterwards, with the creation of this universe?
    Who then knows whence it has arisen?” — Rig Veda

    This is the seeker skepticism you are looking for and here you find it in a so called organized religion.

    Hinduism is as honest as a religion can get. Period. If a bunch of Hindus give you ridiculous instructions, blame them and not Hinduism. I wish to repeat what Gandhi said to the Christians: “Condemn the sin and not the sinner”.

  • Govind

    As a hindu , who may have acquired little bit of maturity, I would like to say this.
    “Mysterious are the ways of God and man acts as his tools . God alone knows how to sort and resolve his mysteries, man is but a witness”. Today west has access to so much of hindu religious ideas and practices, whether they are interested in following or not. Why did this not happen 2000 years back. No one can answer. Why did christianity come only 2000 years back and not earlier. No one can answer. Why did islam come up only 500 years after christianity. No one can answer. Why do these last two religions become more popular in the last 1000 years, no one can answer. What I would like to say here is, God acts in ways we dont comprehend. Sometimes he comes up with religious that are the need of the hour for a given set of people for a given period and according to what the people deserve ( based on their own good and bad deeds ). Hence we can never say some religion is absurd or wrong. We can only compare in narrow terms. That is say that one practice of a religion relative to another practice in a different religion, is more universal or more specific .We can only say that one practice of a religion relative to another practice of a different religion is likely to be followed for a longer time. I believe that all religions were engineered by one and same God. He chose to create differences because he thought that was sufficient for the practitioners of that religion. He knew who would be exceptions and he knew when they would need to deviate from the core practice of their religion.
    Whether or not the founders of the different religions was god himself or his chosen representatives, the religions came in with a divine purpose. Otherwise millions of people would not be following or benefiiting out of it. It is important to share a continuity in practice with the religion of our birth, whether we choose to follow a different religion or not. It is important for us to evolve together with our family rather than be too individualistic. As Krishna says, it is more important to follow our own dharma, even if it is imperfect rather than follow dharma of others however perfect it may be . Peace

    • Ch Billy

      I am a practitioner of Bhakti tradition and I am totally with you on the narrative that nothing happens without God’s will. But I do not agree with your last statements:
      “It is important to share a continuity in practice with the religion of our birth, whether we choose to follow a different religion or not. It is important for us to evolve together with our family rather than be too individualistic. As Krishna says, it is more important to follow our own dharma, even if it is imperfect rather than follow dharma of others however perfect it may be . Peace”

      Here is why:
      In chapter 4, verse 13 of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says “I created the 4 varnas in society according to the qualities acquired by people and the activities they are naturally inclined to engage in. ” So, clearly one’s Dharma is not based on birth. Also, Dharma has two meanings according to Bhagavad Gita. Dharma can mean the inherent nature of a person or a thing. For example, the Dharma of sugar is to taste sweet. The Dharma of a Kshatriya is to be heroic and courageous. Dharma can also mean the natural duty of a person. For example, the Dharma or the natural duty of an intelligent person who has natural propensity for intellectual work is to be a Brahmin. So, when Krishna says “it is more important to follow our own dharma, even if it is imperfect rather than follow dharma of others however perfect it may be”, he means that one should not forcibly change one’s inherent nature or natural duty. He does not mean that one should not change one’s birth faith or birth caste etc. As Hindus, we should embrace a person born in an outside faith if he/she is naturally drawn towards Hinduism (as long as he/she is sincere) as fervently as we should let go of a born Hindu who is naturally drawn towards Christianity or Islam or any other religion (as long as he/she is sincere). By “sincere”, I mean that a person should not be drawn towards any religion due to material benefits but he/she should be drawn towards a religion by honest spiritual self-inquiry only. This is the core of Hindu philosophy.

      • Govind

        There is a problem with this interpretation even though it seems popular these days. 99% people do not understand their inherent nature. In this context, I am less concerned about caste or occupation. But I would like to highlight the word ‘religion’. I feel that the family traditions, the gods we worship , the teachings we follow we carry forward as a baggage right from birth. We just cannot abandon our family members just because they are different from us. We cannot abandon our community just because they are different or ignorant. We cannot abandon the sacraments or duties towards our religious organization, just because it is no longer suitable. Hinduism never prevents people from adopting ideas, thoughts and even the gods no matter where you live. However, we should understand that we cannot be individualistic . We should move forward together as a family, and some compromise will need to be made. There is no other option. This is what God would like. If someone thinks Hinduism is superior, the right approach would be to start integrating the ideas, symbols and scriptures within the family and then within the community to extent possible. If we feel that the others are not being cooperative well, with divine guidance some degree of cooperation can most certainly be achieved. There is lot more effect and far unselfish if we make a change within rather than just walk away and live the way we like.

        • Ch Billy

          Here are my thoughts about your comment:
          1) I agree 99.999% of people do not understand their inherent nature. That is why we need a Guru. We need to seek for an enlightened Guru who will take us as a disciple, give enough time to understand our inherent nature and guide us accordingly. Finding a Guru is everyone’s life Dharma.

          2) If family traditions inspire you, then it is best to follow the family religion. I do not disagree. However, I hope you won’t deny how badly the family traditions have been corrupted for various reasons. How about a person whose parents themselves do not put enough effort to inspire their children into family traditions. Should the children still follow them? Taittiriya upanishad says “matrudevobhava pitrudevobhava acharya devobhava athtithi devobhava” but immediately in the next verse says you don’t have to follow matru or pitru or acharya or athithi if they are wrong or misleading. This is very important because in the previous yugas, following family traditions and religion was the norm and in this yuga, not following or following with half-heart is the norm.

          3) Not following parents’ tradition does not mean abandoning them. We have to do our duties towards them whether we follow their tradition or not. Do not conflate the two. I have a very different idea of abandoning community and religious organization. If we succumb to their antics even if they are not continuing with proper inspiration and for right reason, then it is abandoning them. But, if we find a different tradition and follow it properly and inspire them, may be they will reform their practices and become proper again in their own tradition. This is coming from my personal experience. Also, you could follow the family tradition itself in a more proper way to inspire others. I am not saying here that either following a different tradition is best or following the family tradition is best. I am saying we should do what inspires us and others around us. That is a part of the Hindu dynamic thinking.

          4) When you sThere is no other option. This is what God would like.ay there is no other option and this is what God would like, I can’t help but assume you have a fatalistic idea of the concept of karma. My parents had the same till I had a long discussion with scriptures in our hands to convince them that their idea of karma is wrong. Yes, you are born in a particular tradition out of karma but that does not mean you have to succumb to it no matter what the circumstance. This is like people who say we should not go to the doctor when we have a disease because it is our karma. The point about karma is more of “your present situation is your making only and no one else is responsible”. If no one else is responsible for your present condition, then no one else will be responsible for your future condition. Hence, you must be proactive and take the correct decision at every point to better your condition whether it is going to hospital to get treated for your disease or if it is changing your religious path because your family tradition is not inspiring you any more.

          • Govind

            Personally I believe every religion has within it , all the seed needed for it to reach God though wisdom may be bit too scattered in many cases. If we take that path within the religion of our birth, it is lot more beneficial for the people around us and they would reform in the right way. Just walking away from your family religion will not reform many people around you, who still believe in native religion. Some people’s background is such that they share no dependency with the community of their birth, their social connections remain unaltered. Their family too might not be too steeped in any religion. Such person can consider themselves as exceptions and make more flexible choices not otherwise.

          • Ch Billy

            “Some people’s background is such that they share no dependency with the community of their birth, their social connections remain unaltered. Their family too might not be too steeped in any religion. Such person can consider themselves as exceptions and make more flexible choices not otherwise.”: Exactly. My argument is that most Indian families in today’s metro cities are hardly following tradition or religion. If the family is not following, the children have the right to go out of tradition if they are interested in spirituality. If they are not interested in spirituality, they can remain non-followers altogether like their parents. This freedom has to be there in a not so perfect society.

  • Ch Billy

    Avi, with all due respect, since you honestly tried Hinduism and took Hinduism classes, can you show me one scriptural proof that Hindus consider idols as Gods (idolatory)?

  • Govind

    Also I would like to stress something here. Ambaa is certainly influenced positively by christianity with or without her knowledge. Though she like hinduism, my religion, she can make far more difference integrating hinduism and her native family tradition. This way indirectly hinduism would get more converts without the need for a formal conversion. This way more people would be influenced by hinduism overtime and we would have better bridge between hinduism and christianity. There are traditions in christianity which are also worth the time and effort . Possibly Amba’s parents being unitarian were already on right track?