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. ***

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Jeramy

    Your religion makes as much sense as any other religion does. At least it has the bonus of having a sweet-ass monkey god :-D

    • abhishek

      @ Jeremy hinduism makes much more sense than any other religion because in hinduism nobody was converted by force. and it does exist since more than ten thousand years ago. like Muslims and Christians killed n raped people and then convert them to christian hindus never did.

      • Ambaa

        Let’s not start that! Hindus have done some despicable things in the name of their religion. I don’t agree with those actions and I don’t judge all Hindus based on them, but every religion has had bad things done in its name.

        • 5w_haul

          you are misinformed hindus (if word mean anything) never did anything on name of religion and god. its dharma not religion so don’t have any agenda attached to it.
          some people may have done things for their own self interest.

          • Jeramy

            Thuggees may have perverted Hinduism to justify their atrocities, but don’t all extremists pervert their religions to some degree to justify their bile?

            That was found with minimal searching on my part. Every philosophy can be twisted. To say that Hinduism is above such things is naivete at best.

          • Ambaa

            Well, of course it was their own self interest. But they have claimed it was for Hinduism. The Hindu nationals never do anything that scare you?

            Here’s the point: I do not stand for a “holier than thou” attitude. None of our religions/peoples/cultures is above reproach. They have all had bad things done in their name by lunatics.

        • Ashish Pandey

          Could you please elaborate on this , i also want to know what wrong has been done by the Hindu People?

        • pagansister

          I’m so glad to see you write that. There are many who feel that their religion has done nothing “bad”, and if it did , it was in the “name of their God, who was, of course, always on their side.

  • Avi

    Seriously though… This is such a superficial stereotypical understanding of what Christianity is, much of which is terribly inaccurate. I could explain every single “point” you made but I simply don’t have the time (maybe I should start my own blog haha) and some of it I’ve already clarified in my comments on the other post. All you’ve done with this post is spread your misconceptions with other Hindus and if I even bother explaining anything it won’t make a difference and you will all surely pounce on me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t question your relationship with God and I was never judging you or condemning you. Your right in saying that I shouldn’t compare your Hinduism with that of other Hindus just as you shouldn’t compare my Christianity with that of other Christians. I didn’t know praying for you was so horribly offensive so sorry about that, won’t happen again. I also apologize for starting this whole thing… Jesus loves you regardless of whether you’ll ever love Him back, have a nice day Ambaa!

    • Ambaa

      And your understanding of Hinduism isn’t stereotyped and superficial?

      The point is, you may think my religion doesn’t make sense, but I don’t think yours does either!

      • Avi

        Alright, I guess that’s fair. It’s just that I’ve never seen a post on any other Patheos blog (even the atheist ones) about the author’s problems with a SPECIFIC religion.

        • Ambaa

          It may be wrong of me to call out a specific one.

          I try to keep an open inter-faith dialog, I really do. But I’m telling my story and writing about how I see the world. I have a lot of trouble with my experience as a non-Christian living in a country dominated by Christians.

          In America Hindus represent 0.4% of the population. My post about Christmas was only to explain that that is something I struggle with.

          • Kiki

            Then own your struggle and don’t project it onto others.

          • Ambaa

            How am I projecting onto others? I’m sorry, I don’t understand your comment.

  • Breanna

    Your second point about blind adherence to a book written thousands of years ago, yet hundreds of years after Christ is a really really valid one. As a Christian I have read the Bible and studied its passages (not as much as others, but I have done it), but as a history major in college I can also look at it as a historical document and not just a religious text. The bible was written by men in a time where rulers had absolute power, freedoms were not rights, and women were little better that cattle. I believe the bible was divinely inspired. God inspired the men he did to write down his stories and share his teachings in a way that would last. However these men didn’t sit down and interview God. The can’t quote him. Because it was divinely inspired and not divinely written there are going to be political, economic, and cultural influences in the text. It is a great tool to learn about history and about religion, but your religion has to be more than a book written by men thousands of years ago. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, if you blindly follow a book that contradicts itself and never question who wrote it, when it was written, why it was written, or what it talks about you are doing it wrong. The biggest problem with Christianity is that it hasn’t been allowed to grow except in ceremony and numbers for hundreds of years. Some Catholics will argue with me against that, that the Catholic church keeps adding saints and holy people, but I still don’t see the basic religion changing or growing. That is what I mean. Religion needs to adapt to the time and place it exists. What was good for people a hundred years ago isn’t good for people now. This is why organized religions are loosing practitioners every day. I have found my path to God through Christianity, specifically Lutheranism, but I won’t blindly follow the Bible. Jesus didn’t blindly follow the Torah and Pharisees, he questioned them and the religion and forced the religion to grow and change. Good practitioners of any religion will make their religion grow with them and their worship. Blind adherence just makes sheep, not men. And not very caring tolerant sheep at that.

    • Ambaa

      Yes! Exactly! And I’m sad that Christianity has struggled to grow or evolve.

      I didn’t know you were Lutheran, my dad’s family are Lutheran!

  • N. B.

    “I don’t understand the Christians who think the most important part of the Jesus story is the bloody murder part.”

    This bloody murder may have to do with the obvious , Humans are blood and their flesh decays and becomes dead stink but good fertilizer for the future ,the “untouchables” die like fleas living their offspring in the carpet so God becoming like them then descending to hell show their is a bottom to the botomless pit for the untouchables, mercy , grace for the forsaken
    The philosophy behind this was when that great big nose master of human psychology roamed the earth into all man’s affairs and then reported to the heavenlies those who you call good are only good because of all the pleasures you give them. Take away these pleasures and watch they they were curse you of Higher heavenly. Thus the book of Job was written . the added treat was watching the pleasure perfect righteous judge the “untouchable” one in extreme torment.
    When Christians become rich living in rich nations and feel” righteous” before God ,Jesus not be so interested in them anymore , if they have lost their compassion towards the untouchables

  • 5w_haul

    the jesus died for you part was later added when people were suffering under romans so that they can connect with jesus suffering.
    its said by a Anglican priest in bbc documentary

    • N. B.

      Yes good point How do people endure suffering ? and that helped them get through the torment and the murder of their family members how do you not become hopeless in despair?

      Also, this is the prophecy written 600 years before Jesus showing suffering people needed ways to endure their torments and it was that way for thousands of years

      Isaiah 53
      He was despised and rejected by mankind,
      a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
      Like one from whom people hide their faces
      he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

      4 Surely he took up our pain
      and bore our suffering,
      yet we considered him punished by God,
      stricken by him, and afflicted.
      5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
      he was crushed for our iniquities;
      the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
      and by his wounds we are healed.
      6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
      each of us has turned to our own way;
      and the Lord has laid on him
      the iniquity of us all.

      7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
      yet he did not open his mouth;
      he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
      and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      so he did not open his mouth.
      8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
      Yet who of his generation protested?
      For he was cut off from the land of the living;
      for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
      9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
      and with the rich in his death,
      though he had done no violence,
      nor was any deceit in his mouth.

      10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
      and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
      he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
      and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
      11 After he has suffered,
      he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
      by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
      and he will bear their iniquities.
      12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
      and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
      because he poured out his life unto death,
      and was numbered with the transgressors.
      For he bore the sin of many,
      and made intercession for the transgressors.

      • Avi

        I like you dude… These people may not believe in the Bible but they can’t argue with the fact that the Old Testament WAS written long before the New Testament and the birth of Jesus and that there are hundreds of prophesies of the Messiah all of which Jesus of Nazareth fulfills.

        • N. B.

          Dear Avi.
          I believe when Isaiah wrote those words his mind and heart was on his own suffering. Those people who suffer may also see themselves in Isaiah 53. Also keep in mind the doubting Thomas how doubt is allowed to the person searching and then the record say doubting Thomas needed to put his fingers into the holes of Jesus wounds to get him to stop doubting.
          Now this white Hindu , she may be up there with Holy Mary the Mother of God. This may seem to be a leap of faith but faith is a gift from God the believer always on alert that the stranger maybe an angel or chosen by God as i read in the stories of Abraham how angels came to him to show him he was favored by God and in the story of little young Mary how a great angel came to her
          Who know who the other is here on the internet ? But you are allowed your doubts

        • Mike Perry

          Nazareth didn’t exist when Jesus supposedly lived and anyone can fulfil prophecies if they’re vague enough, which most are.

  • http://myownashram.com Niki Whiting

    I always thought that the focus of Christianity ought to be on the Incarnation and the Resurrection. The Crucifixion was the result of human inability to bear truth-speaking; it was (in my social justice reading of the Gospels, what occurs when humanity flees from the power of compassion, truth, and power-with (as in Emmanuel, ‘God with us,’ rather than power-over others). The theological potency of the Incarnation – god in matter, god as one of us (which many strands of Hinduism can relate to, with the concept of avatars) and of the Resurrection – love is stronger than death and we always have an opportunity for grace and resurrection in every moment – is so often overlooked in favor of the brutality of judgment. In a way, Christians do to other what was done to Jesus: crucifixion based on judgment and condemnation.

  • 5w_haul

    @ jeramy well mate thugs were simply Dacoit not people of religious order or backed by any institution.Thugs might be Hindu, Muslim, or sometimes Sikh in their gang.
    notable people also says that it was a colonial imaginings a means to tighten their hold in the country and early historical work was done by people of Islamic empire in india the could have called patriot a thug to justify the biggest holocaust in the world history and forced mass conversion which happened between 1000-1740 ad and killed millions of indians.
    mate indian history is very bloody but thats not the point of this article or blog and we should not discuss it here.
    last thing there is no extremism in Hinduism.

    • 5w_haul

      @ambaa sorry for dragging your blog in this history debate but its important to tell people that worst things happened in this world which even troubled soul of Adolf Hitler couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams.

      • Ambaa

        A lot of very bad things have happened in the name of Christianity and I know that. But just as I don’t want to be judged based on the actions of, say, the guy who claimed that he wouldn’t let a black man touch his groceries because the Vedas said so, I know that the majority of Christians do not do these terrible things and don’t want to be associated with them. The forced conversion makes me furious, it does. But the people who force conversions are lunatics. They don’t represent every Christian. I may have trouble with a lot of Christians, but I also want to be fair to them. It isn’t their religion that tells them to treat others poorly. Quite the opposite. Any madman can twist any doctrine to justify what he does. Madmen of all races and creeds do it. There’s a lot of good in Hinduism and in Christianity and there are some horribly ignorant people in both who do things that would never be condoned by the majority.

        • 5w_haul

          well i don’t have anything against christian or any other groups but with time every religion gets corrupt as ego and human tendencies takes over thats why from time to time dharma needs to be reestablished and a divine beings come.
          as you mentioned above varna system became caste system and pakhandi (hypocrites) starts ruling.

          this Verse sums it all :-
          yada yada hi dharmasya
          glanir bhavati bharata
          abhyutthanam adharmasya
          tadatmanam srjamy aham.

          • Ambaa

            I totally agree! With time, every religion gets at least a little corrupted and needs to be refocused.

    • Ambaa

      There are Hindu extremists. You might not consider them to be Hindus, but they consider themselves to be Hindus.

      • 5w_haul

        the vedic way of knowing god
        http://goo.gl/9Zdoa

      • Ashish Pandey

        Hi ,
        I think it is very easy to take this attitude that i do not represent all the Hindus on this Planet. I have never heard anyone say that hindus have killed in the name of religion .
        The Misconception about Hinduism comes from Indian History written by British Historians and So called Secular writers. Indian History is one of the bloodiest History , Most of the people have no Idea what Hindus have to suffer just to keep there traditions, there culture and there religion alive.
        Food for thought , Islam was in India almost for 700 Years and Christianity for 250 Years , why still India is still a Majority Hindu country ? because people here were ready to die to save their traditions their culture and their religion.
        Having opinions is not bad , but to say anything just for the sake of saying without cross verifying is not good and that is what i see is happening.
        There is a genuine problems that Hindus face today and that is the attitude of People with other faiths
        “We will attack but you do not have right to retaliate”
        Fighting for Dharma is recommended in Geeta and that is what every Hindu should strive to do .
        Fighting for Dharma means fighting against injustice.

        धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः

        • Ambaa

          Do you think that the 1984 Sikh massacre was dharmic?

          You put me in a strange position of defending Christianity, a religion I have no love for!

          I love Hinduism very deeply. But I know that even Hinduism can be corrupted in the hearts of ignorant people. It doesn’t happen a lot, but we would be foolish to say that it cannot happen. That Hinduism alone is above all that sort of thing.

          It isn’t the religion itself that protects us from doing evil, it is people understanding the religion and choosing the dharmic way. They don’t always.

          • Ashish Pandey

            Hi,
            1984 Sikh Massacre was not Dharmic ( there is no doubt about it , period ).
            How come Hinduism gets dragged into all this?

          • 5w_haul

            1984 sikh massacre happened after assassination of indra Gandhi by the people of so called SECULAR ruling party congress. prominent congress leaders led the party PERSONNEL to kill sikhs not by hindus.
            the statement of rajiv gandhi in response to murder of 2700 sikhs in delhi by personnel of his ruling party Indian National Congress :-
            “Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indiraji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little.”
            every buddy know that nehru-gandhi dynasty is certainly not a hindu family.
            i reckon you don’t know indian history properly.

          • Ambaa

            I reckon I know plenty about history and you accusing me of not knowing history over and over again is really getting irritating.

            When it turned into an “us v.s. them” who were the two sides? “They killed our leader.” The “they” was a religious group. Hindus turned against any Sikh that they saw. A Hindu leader was murdered and retaliation was based on religion not political affiliation. Now, politics and religion are more closely tied in India than in America, but there was a religious dimension to this from my point of view.

            I don’t want to go hunting through history looking for all the worst that has been done by people in my religion. I really don’t. And so I won’t.

            Suffice it to say, my position is that there is no one religion that is so superior to all others that no one ever behaves badly in its name. Hinduism is a wonderful religion and it is definitely the right one for me, but I will not say that it is the only “good” one available.

          • HARRY

            @ Ambaa

            This was political issue rather then religious one. You are right when you said that there were hindus involved with this but don’t forget there were also others too, who weren’t hindu either. Any time you get secular violence in India based on political difference people always drag in religion, when you and I know religion has nothing to do with it. I think this is some what different then what is happening in norther Irland now, because if you were wrong kind of christian in a wrong area, then you will be killed, and this is a fact, because I have friend who is Irish from norther Irland who told me this.

            I think this is gone out of focus in terms of it’s argument on your blog, when we should be talking about religion rather then political differences.

            First: If you were or are truly religious Hindu or christian then you will never be involved in using violence as mean to control others.

            Second: People who carries out violence they just need an excuse to blame others or on something else like a religion. It’s same as what killers and criminals do. These sort of people are not religious kind, because if they were, then they would not have done what they did in first place.

            finally: Avi is only trying to convert you back to christianity, so that he can earn few brownie points from the church, and you can’t blame him for that, but he has forgot one thing, you can’t turn an apple in to an orange. He’s argument is a kind of shallow, where he is proclaiming that his wife is the best wife in the world, and he is telling us that the other men’s wives are not real.

            Most of the argument he has made are some what questionable. We can tell this by the comments he has written, where he has not been able to differentiate the difference between the culture and religion. He has also told as that he’s mother is an Indian if that is true then he should know the difference. Most of his argument are also petty too from somebody who is half so called Indian Hindu’s child, who now does bible bashing and is willing to use the stick of respect when it suits him fine, but he is not willing to respect others faith.

            HARRY

          • Ashish Pandey

            Hi Ambaa,
            I am sorry if my comments are irritating you. Before coming to Patheos , If you remember i have left many comments on your blog regarding not comparing Abhramic Faith and Dharmic Faith. This is what is happening again , to legalize doings of Abhramic faith , we are again bringing down the Dharmic faith to there level.
            “Suffice it to say, my position is that there is no one religion that is so superior to all others that no one ever behaves badly in its name.”
            I am in complete agreement with the above statement, however we should not justify the wrong of others by giving wrong examples of ours, believe me Hinduism is in no way involved in Anti Sikh Riots of 84.
            Riots based on religion didn’t even exist 100 years ago, it is a curse of British Empire in India.

          • Avi

            @Harry first of all, I have nothing to do with this conversation about Indian history/ politics and religion so idk why you even brought me up. Second, BOTH my parents are Indian and I was born in India but have been raised in the US. My mom is an Indian Hindu and my dad is in Indian Catholic. As I said before, I was taught both religions but not pushed into either and I chose for myself what I would believe. I was never trying to convert Ambaa, I have no problem with people who don’t agree with Christianity as long as it is for the right reasons. As in, if you are going to be actively against it, be informed on it’s actual teachings and doctrines. I admit I was wrong in that I should have stuck to defending my own faith than attacking yours so sorry about that (as if you haven’t done the same). You know nothing about me so why don’t you lay off on the personal attacks and Christianity because now you’re just being a pretentious douche. Good day sir.

          • pagansister

            Ambaa: This comment is in response to your Feb. 1,2013, 11:32 AM post as a reply to someone else. I just want to say I agree with your last paragraph! My thoughts are exactly the same.

  • Avi
  • http://amarchotoprithibi.blogspot.com Andrea

    You will find people of every religion who have a very simplistic view of their faith. Others have a firm conviction and a humble heart and are seeking the truth. I have little patience with those people of any faith who disrespect me and mine because they think I am wrong. If their faith calls for patience and long-suffering, I suggest they try to emulate that. And I’m not just talking about Christianity here; I have heard the same from Hindus who insist I need to do this thing or that thing or say prayers to this god or that when I don’t even get close to understanding it. Their way is not my way but they seem to think it should be.

    This is common with all people who understand their faith fully, I think – because if they understand it fully, they have come to the limit of their own abilities and have no incentive to go deeper! For me, faith and mystery are hand in hand. It is a fact that we do not know everything there is to know about the physical universe yet; how can we know everything about the metaphysical?

    I left Christianity because of its firm conviction that it is the only exclusive way. But that was my interpretation thereof and I was unable to change it within that framework. So I changed the framework :) And I know that if I can conceive of such a thing, then God probably has also thought of it too! But again, my path is not for everyone. There are plenty of people who find peace and fulfillment in a Christian faith. I sometimes wish I could; it would be easier. But the person God has made me is not that person.

    And if the god that exists is the kind of god that would throw me to the pits of hell for trying to find a better way to understand Him/Her/It, then it’s not a god worth worshipping.

  • N. B.

    I thought I mention the massacre in the main temple on May 21st 1520.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_massacre_in_the_Main_Temple

    Watching the people dance decorated with gold this made the Christians watching frisky . The good news holy Mary Mother of God on Dec 9th 1531 came to the peasant Juan Diego
    speaking Nahvati (1.5 million people still speak this language today big miracle knowing about the frisky) The mother of God look about 15 or 16 and might have converted to the Aztec religion at least for a few years from seeing the horror of the frisky doing their slaughter.
    The more good news she is still doing miracles there today healing of the hopeless sick she now called the lady of Quadalupe

  • Pratheesh

    I have gone through all the comments here and found out that the debate has been getting into religion bashing rather than constructive criticism.In my opinion one has the right to question the belief of other but it should be in a manner which would not hurt the sentiments of others.for ex:don’t abuse others beliefs and God’s as Jeremy’s comment.As a Hindu I am open to questions relating to my religion and beliefs and i would give answers to clarify the thought process of that person.And my focus to convince him that my religion or culture is as good as his.
    I have no interest in proving mine as superior and others are inferior,If I do then I am ceased to called as a Hindu.

    • Ambaa

      Exactly! “I have no interest in proving mine as superior and others as inferior.” That’s what I’m trying to get across, though I think I’m failing. I think I best leave it be. I simply wanted to say that religions other than one’s own often don’t seem to make sense from the outside. Shrug.

    • Ambaa

      I also want to say that Jeramy is a dear and close friend in real life and he sometimes teases me and my spiritual pursuits, so sometimes his comments may sound insensitive when he means them in a loving jest kind of way.

  • seeker

    You go, girl! There’s a real warrior in you that is willing to put your ideas out there and engage in a debate. You’re an inspiration.

    • Ambaa

      Thank you :)

  • sandeep

    Just 1 point Amba how u dragged hinduism in 1984 Riots even sikhs never felt or say that.you will be surprised to know in punjab where sikhs &hindus r 50%-50% there never a riot happened.84 was state sponsered masscare done by secular congress party after Indira gandhi death,if you read the writer khushwant singh (sikh) book about 84 you will come to know major hindu organisation like RSS, ShivSena were rescuing sikhs in delhi ,maharastra.. you should know for most of the hindus sikh gurus are most respectable figures..Gurus died for hindus and fought with moguls to save hindu..in 1948 a state sponsered masscare was done by same congress party to masscare bhrahmins after gandhis death..today also sikh party has alliance with hindu party like BJP….

  • InfiniteSpace

    Ambaa, As a hindu, I would like to give you an advice(not a criticism).

    Do “comparative religion” only if you have something positive to say about others
    Don’t do “comparative religion” if you have negative to say because it is akin to hate speech

    As a hindu, it is not my job to save the christians/muslims and nor do we think in those lines

    The entire “jesus died for our sins” narrative is ridiculous but christians who have had faith in jesus for all their lives will not like it when you say that to them. Many christians/muslims will start rolling on the floor when they hear about hundreds of gods or concepts of reincarnation and dharma.

    Again, how the christians/muslims practice their religion is for them to decide, we are no judges. The game is for anyones taking in the short run but only the wise will outlast in the long run.

    For now, watch the fun in how some christians are trying to incorporate elements of dharmic traditions(yoga, transcendental mediation, krishna etc) into dogmatic religions. These christians might look funny now but they are going to be the pioneers who will sustain christianity in this atheistic political world.

    • Ambaa

      You are right and I should no better. My intention was to show that all religions look odd to an outsider. We all follow a religion that works for us and when we look at the religions that don’t work for us, we can’t make sense of them.

  • Steven

    Every one please read and watch this.

    http://www.myvillagechurch.org/skepticsforum2011.

    This will answer all your questions about religion.

    • Ambaa

      Really? Answer all my questions about every religion? Somehow I doubt that.

      I’ve heard all the Christian ideas and I am not interested in any of them. There are many Christians I love and respect, but their religion will never be the right one for me. Never.

  • Joseph Jacob

    Look at you pointing fingers on each others religion, its beliefs and its people…for once stop and go after reason and reality, everything you know about any religion was created by flawed men and their thoughts…and all they required was an abundance of lower lives who would swallow everything they said without asking questions back at them. As an atheist all I’d say is, “Keep fooling yourself that YOUR Religion and YOUR God is the truth”(while those cunning leaders of yours are looting millions in the name of a particular religion). “There will come a day when your next generation will get fed up of the stupidity of their elders and come out and live their life not as a worshiping slave to any God i.e if you don’t destroy their future in the name of your God(psst the Muslims aren’t reading this, right?…..Kaboom :D Im sorry, Im sorry it was funny)”

    • Ambaa

      I believe I’ve said several times that the point of this post is that any religion seems a bit absurd from the outside. It was prompted by someone saying “I’m Christian and Hinduism doesn’t make any sense. Why would you be a Hindu?”

      • Avi

        Well it seems I inspired your highest-traffic post so… you’re welcome haha.

  • Kevin McKee

    I am a Christian, an Anglican priest and a human being. Conservative Christians call me liberal, and Liberal Christians call me fundamentalist (so I must be doing something right). I found your article interesting, but it only represents one of the views within Christianity. I would be glad to enter a conversation on each of your points, but not here on line as it would take up to much space. I will simply say this. First, yes I pay attention to Scripture because I believe it i guided by God, but I also recognize it is transmitted through humans and therefore we have to look at the circumstances in which the words are written, and we must find the underlying truth. Second, the crucifixion is a historical event, which needs to be reported, especially by those who believe that Jesus was God, to avoid it would be ludicrous. Do we revel in the death? no, I am deeply saddened that the response to Jesus was to execute him. I personally believe that this act demonstrated that human beings have a fundamental flaw which keeps them from enjoying a full relationship with God. As a result, when combined with the belief in the resurrection of Jesus, this proclaims a powerful truth about who Jesus, was and is and each person must choose to believe it or not believe this. Third, I do not believe that Scripture other than allegorically and metaphorically refers to God condemning people to eternal Hell. What they are trying to describe I believe is the ultimate existence of those who of their own free will reject God’s offer of a relationship with God. I believe the basis of that offer is in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Ultimately I believe each of us faces God and is offered the choice. Do you recognize that God is God, or do you want to be God yourself. If you do, then the natural end of the discussion is to allow you to choose an existence for eternity in which you are God for yourself (and only yourself), to me that is the anguish of hell. Thank you for a provoking article.

    • Ambaa

      I’ve definitely seen people experience Christianity in a way that avoids these issues that I find some troubling. It’s sad to me that so often mainstream Christians will say those people are not “real” Christians. :(

  • http://theoldadam.com/ theoldadam

    God is a perfect and righteous being.

    We are not. we refuse to love God and our neighbor as ourself.(we put ourself first)

    God cannot have such a selfish being in His realm. So to show what it really is to be an authentic human, selfless, He sent Jesus. He lived, loved, laughed and cried with us. He was selfless and unlike us, totally obedient to the Father. He exposed self-centered, self-focused, self-justifying religion (in the religious leaders of the place and time).
    For this he was killed. But He knew that was going to happen. He knew he would be killed. But from the cross, he forgave his murderers, and that includes us. He loves and forgives sinners. All of us. By trusting in that death (for us) and in that forgiveness, we are made right with Him, through faith. Not by anything that we do, or don’t do.

    But many rejected him, then. And many still do. He is after faith…trust in Himself. That’s it.

    The Bible is and was just a recalibration of that Word. Of that story of salvation through Christ Jesus. It is available to all. Some hear the story and believe. Others do not, and will not. That’s just the way it is.

    But nonetheless…that death was for you. His forgiveness is for you.

    That’s the gospel.

    • Ambaa

      Jesus showed us what unselfish love looked like, yet we didn’t learn that lesson because people are still selfish, eh?

      In my belief system, we are perfect. We are God.

      We don’t realize it and so we operate out of a fear of being hurt because we just don’t know that we are divine and nothing can hurt us.

      • Avi

        Sorry, but we’re not perfect. If we were perfect and divine then we would be living in a perfect world which is clearly not the case. We’re flawed and sinful creatures. God created us in His perfect image but sin has polluted us. To call yourself God is a grave sin (I’ve never even heard that as Hindu teaching… Doesn’t it teach that God lives within us, not that WE are God?) and the highest form of idoltary and pride. We are Temples of the Holy Spirit (God) but we are NOT God ourselves. Jesus paid our price and offers us redemption. We are not made for this world, we are made for Heaven and this life is minuscule in comparison for the Eternity with God that awaits us.

        • Ambaa

          None of that is what I believe.

          And it’s fine that you believe it. I believe we are perfect and the world is perfect, exactly as it should be. The ups and downs of good and evil are part of the illusion, all a game played by a joyful God.

          It is not pride and idolatry to say that we are God. So are the trees, so are the pavements, so are the stones. There is not a single molecule in all of creation that is not God.

        • HARRY

          @ AVI

          I have said this before and I will say it again, it’s about choice. Before I began my comment in past, I said that I was happy for you on what you have chosen, but you are seem to be hell bent on saying that yours (religion) is the best, and it’s above all. Well one thing I will say to you is, good luck to you. Instead of calling people names because they don’t agree with you, you should concentrate on your personal faith.

          First, this article is NOT about which one (religion) is better or who is better. Second, this article is about what you guys are doing ( Intimidating ) to others when they don’t agree with you on your faith. This is the part no body likes, even if guys are right. This blog is about a person’s own experience on how she feels about christianity, and what she has faced in the past, and nothing more. If you don’t like what she writes, then don’t come here. It is all about choice. Stop intimidating her, and others on this blog. She is too polite to say this to you, but I will.

          We don’ live in the perfect world is because that’s the world you guys ( Christian ) have created, by not giving others choice in what they wanted to practice in terms of faith. History speaks for it self, and I am sure I don’t need to open this can of worms.

          If we were not divine, then what you have written at the botton of the paragraph above doesn’t apply to us or even you.

          If you believe that sins have poluted you, then it has. But I don’t feel the same way, and I don’t need to, and neither does any one else.

          If you think that calling your self a god is a sin, then that is your opinion and on one elses. If you think that it’s not part of hinduism then you are wrong because it is and I don’t have to prove it you. You are busy bible bashing that is why you don’t know it. Being a son of a Hindu mother does not make you a Hindu, same as pilots son is not a pilot and is not allowed to fly the plane. Simple. You are a son of catholic father. Period.

          We are divine, that is why god lives with in us, otherwise he wouldn’t, and because he does, and is part of us and we are part of him, that kind of makes us same as him thus we are god. Because if we weren’t, then he wouldn’t have anything to do with us.

          Jesus paid price for your redemption and no one elses. It’s like, I will pay price for my children and no one elses. And my final question is this, if you weren’t part of this world, then why are you even here in the first place, and if your god was all the forgiving and mighty then you should be allready in heven for eternity, if you see my point.

          Do I need to say anymore, because now we are going in circle. The thing that makes us civilize is our ability to chose and feel in our heart to see right from wrong. Now you can call me what ever you like because I know you will. May I suggest one thing (clue), to all the good christian ( including your self AVI ), read this article again and you will know what she is talking about from start.

          HARRY

  • Avi

    Listen “Harry” I don’t recall ever addressing anything to you, so I don’t know why you keep going after me and only me (there are a good amount of other Christians in these comments too). I never said my religion is “better” than anyone else’s, go ahead show me where I said Christianity is better than Hinduism. I accept that other people adhere to certain beliefs for various reasons. I wasn’t aware that I was “intimidating” anyone…

    Are you seriously making the claim that we don’t live in a perfect world BECAUSE of Christianity. That sounds like a “my religion is better than yours” attitude if anything. You probably don’t even realize everything the Catholic Church for the modern world and even your everyday life. The Church started the first hospitals and colleges. She is the largest charitable source of worldwide relief. Bl. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) was a Catholic nun and I’m sure you know how much she helped the poor in India. The Church developed the scientific method and laws of evidence. A Catholic priest first hypothsized the Big Bang Theory and a Catholic philosopher proposed evolution before even Darwin did. Even many miscellaneous things you would never even think of attributing to the Church. Bl. Pope John Paul II was instrumental to the fall of Communism in Europe. Ever thank the Church for bowling? How about pretzels? What about music notation? These are facts, not a “my religion is better than yours” rant. The Church shaped the world you live in and you don’t even realize it!

    And don’t tell me my opinion is mine and “no one else’s” perhaps not of those in this conversation but why don’t you ask the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world in addition to the total Christian population of 2 billion. Not to mention Hinduism is the only major world religion that condones idolatry. I don’t know why you keep saying I’m Bible bashing, I only cited the Bible once and stopped after Ambaa used a crude word to describe her feelings toward it. I know having a Hindu mother doesn’t make me a Hindu (I haven’t called myself a Hindu in years and I never will again) and having a Catholic father ISN’T what makes me Catholic.

    Jesus paid the price for the redemption of the WHOLE WORLD whether you choose to accept it or not. We are made for Heaven and earth is a sort of test. We are here on earth in order to know and to love God, to do good according to His will, and to go someday to Heaven. That is our purpose. He is a patient lover who yearns for us to love him back.

    I don’t know why you bother taking the time to send me these long comments and prompting me to do the same but I have nothing against you, so hopefully we can find some peace here. You just really push my buttons sometimes haha!

    • Pratheesh

      You might know what was the the stand taken by the catholic church on scientific matters,whether it is Galileo or Magellan.Church was always against science.just a few years back church had changed its stand against Galileo.About the music notations all the civilizations preceding to Christianity had a very clear knowledge of music.For ex:Ragas of Hindustani and Carnatic music has been derived much before Christianity,so as the knowledge of dance.
      About theory of evolution what was church’s opinion was well known.so my advise to you is before commenting you should devote sometime to understand other cultures,it might help you to broaden your mind.after all having a Hindu mother and catholic father,you seems to be very conservative and I am very much surprised.Those who born to a couple from different faiths should have a open heart to accept everything but that is missing in you.

    • Pratheesh

      “Not to mention Hinduism is the only major world religion that condones idolatry” I think you are delusional or living in a place which is cutoff from rest of the world.idolatry means praying to an idol and yes Hinduism supports idol worship and i don’t want get into the theological details of it.
      my question to you is can you say the catholic church is totally free from idol worship.if you are saying “YES” then your idea about your own faith is minimal,because Catholics are also following idol worship and if you look around you will know.at least ask some elders or your father regarding this.

      • Avi

        You, sir, have a very outside perspective of the Catholic Church. Bl. Pope John Paul released an official apology for wrongly persecuting Galileo. I’m sure you also didn’t know that, though he was persecuted, Galileo remained a very faithful Catholic til the end of his life. Things like the Galileo incident, and the Inquisition only happen when the Church gets too much political power which corrupts its leaders. I’m not saying the Church invented music, I meant they developed the music notation used in the Western World, the same notations used by Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, etc. Oh and by the way, the Gregorian calendar that the world modern world uses also came from the Catholic Church. The Church teaches that is is okay to accept the theory of evolution as long as you don’t fall into the heresy of human evolution, as in that humans are a result of random biological processes. I would say I’m quite knowledgeable on other cultures FYI and my parents religion has nothing to do with mine. I only brought that up because “Harry” kept saying I know nothing of Hinduism when actually I was raised under a Hindu tradition, took Hinduism classes, etc. I CHOSE to be Catholic by myself, not anything my father did, at my Confirmation when God revealed to me a glimpse of His real Glory and in the months following He showed me His immense love and I learned where the truth lies. Catholicism IS free of idolatry, you’ve already proven yourself to have very minimal knowledge of the Catholic faith. Although we do use images, we do NOT worship them or consider them to be God. We don’t perform rituals to coconuts, a Catholic mother would never scold her child if they dropped a statue or something, we don’t give high value to our images or religious objects, and we certainly do not call OURSELVES God. Maybe you should go educate yourself on the Catholic faith (and don’t tell me to do the same with Hinduism because I have, I look at all options before I choose my beliefs) before you attack it with public opinion and what you heard on the media. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church if you care to learn about ACTUAL Catholic beliefs, or better yet, spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament and who knows what will happen.

  • Captain_Dg

    You can understand Christianity without becoming Christian. It would be nice if you did.

    • Ambaa

      I tried. I fell deeply in love with a Christian man when I was in my twenties and I really tried hard to understand it. But I couldn’t.

      I know it looks here like I’m not respecting it and that is not my intention. This is only to say that a lot of people who are Christians think Hinduism is super weird and all I’m saying is that any religion you look at from the outside is going to look weird.

  • Vandana

    I am a Hindu myself. But Sanatana Dharma does not teach we are God. If we were God how could we have fallen into illusion in the first place? We are part and parcel of God. In quality yes, but not in Quantity. Like the ocean and the drop of water. Or the sun and the ray of light.
    Jesus in fact was a perfect Dharma master. He showed to do the will of God. To love. As the ray of light is never separeted from the sun, so we are never separeted from God. But we forgot our relation. We are in kali yuga and people pervert the man made religions. There was a time when the whole earth was dharmic. And anyway Krishna says himself that among thousands only one is interested in finding Him.

    • Ambaa

      Well, it somewhat depends on the branch of Hinduism you are following.

      In Advaita there is no doubt that we are God. Our true self is God, but God chose to participate in the illusion. All of creation is God, there is no other substance, in my beliefs.

      I think it’s interesting that Jesus also said that few are those who will find God.

      Luckily, with reincarnation, we have infinite time to get there. We will all realize our true nature eventually.

  • Aeolus13

    This is what cracks me up about the faithful. They’re all perfectly capable of seeing the obvious bullshit EACH OTHER’S religions, but when it comes to their own, their skepticism vanishes completely.

    • Ambaa

      I think the fact that I don’t find my own religion to be ridiculous is the very reason why it is clearly the right one for me!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X