Christian Worldview VS. Hinduism
Valerie L Sanders
Both a Christian worldview and Hinduism discuss questions of origin, identity, the meaning and purpose of life, views on morality and what destiny means. When understanding Christian worldviews and other forms of religion in this case, Hinduism it is often best to avoid syncretism. Which, “in context with worldviews, is the blending and unifying the ideas and concepts from different or opposing worldviews.” (Weider, L., 2014, pg. 128.)
In the beginning, with a Christian worldview, God created the heavens and the earth. As it says, in 2 Peter 1:21, “Prophecy didn’t come by will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (HCSB). We came from somewhere because God has created us. Psalms 139: 13-16 it states, “(13) For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. (15) My bones were hidden from You when I was made in secret when I was formed in the depths of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (HCSB) The Bible is telling us that God has a plan for us even before we were born. And we are in the Heavens before we were made in secret.
As Hindus believe it the universe undergoes countless cycles of creation, dissolution and preservation. They think in spiritual advancement while on the righteous path. “Hinduism, the Eternal way or Sanatana Dharma, has no beginning, therefore will certainly have no end. It was never created, and therefore it cannot be destroyed.” (Hinduism Today, Oct-Dec 2006, Pg. 50). The origins of the soul pass through one life to another until spiritual maturity has been achieved. Those who take solace in it will become evolved.
Identity is a more laborious subject to define. The Bible tells us that what a man sows he will reap. But, also in Genesis 2:15 it says, “The Lord took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work and watch over it.” (HCSB). What we work for we then get in return whether it is working the land, maintaining a family (stay at home mom or dad), or working in a corporate office. Everyone works for what they get. David Hume (1739), once said, “You can never find it (vice or fault) till you turn your reflection into your own breast, and find a sentiment of disapprobation (disapproval), which arises in you, towards this action.” (Weider, 2014, Pg. 132). Which means; that identity is determined by the individual and not by society as a whole or in part.
The meaning of being human to Hindu’s is sacred, and revered and as considered a noninjury. Noninjury is “not involving or causing injury.” (Merriam-Webster, 2018.). Without the use of external influences, Hindu’s believe that they work out their beliefs from the inside of their soul. “Hinduism is unique because God and man, mind and God, instinctive mind and superconscious mind can emerge as one, according to the evolution of the individual.” (Hinduism Today, 2006, pg. 49.). It is the belief that they will have the freedom of rebirth, guided by Karma with the ultimate goal of Self Realization. This way of thinking pertains to every individual, and no one is exempt.
The meaning and purpose of a Christian worldview are to obey the commands of the Lord and to love and worship him with all your heart. We are instructed not to hold any grudges, but to love our neighbors as we would love ourselves. In John 17: 3 the bible states, “This is eternal life; that they may know You, the one only true God, and the One You have sent-Jesus Christ.” (HCSB). Essentially, if we follow the commandments as God has commanded to us, we will have eternal life. We are given the tools in the Bible to do these things and to look at cultural relativism which, “views things the way they are, as opposed to the way they ought to be.” (Weider, 2014. Pg. 129). Also, the Bible clearly states this in the commandments.
In Hinduism, you have to adopt dogma; but also study and adapt to the teachings to life from within oneself. “…he worships these beings as greater beings than himself, and he maintains a subjective attitude toward them, wondering if he is attuned with these grand forces of the universe if his personal will is in phase with what these great beings would have him do.” (Hinduism Today, 2006, Pg. 44.).
Morality by Christians is defined by showing faithful love to all the generations and to those who faithfully keep His commandments. We are all born in sin, from the time of conception. 2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,” (HCSB) If we follow His will we will be less sinful.
Hinduism believes that with morality you don’t have to die to be saint worthy, but that you do that while you are alive on this earth. They have “…a great tolerance for those who strive and a great forgiveness for those who fail. It looks in awe at those who succeed in living a life according to its own strict ethics.” (Hinduism Today, 2006, Pg. 43). There is also the belief that if one doesn’t behave according to the natural laws and Hindu ethics – he will suffer in a future life(s) or could have a so-called inferior birth.
As a Christian, if we follow Him out destiny is predetermined. Ephesians says that “We are His creation, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:10, HCSB). Meaning we are and should be determined to walk in His footsteps. We are taught in the Bible to honor the Messiah, our Lord in our hearts and to be ready with reason when the time comes to defend ourselves.
Destiny with Hinduism comes with the totality of all actions and with commitment reactions that determine their futures. Experience and responses can either be a downfall or bring them up. They also believe in reincarnation that way they come back, and the cycle is birth, death, and rebirth. They think they are an immortal soul that inhabit the human body. And whatever their previous life tendencies where it gives them the conditions and rights of the next life. When karma is resolved, liberation is attained then your cycle ends. “He does not take death to be the end of existence; nor does he look up on life as a singular opportunity to be followed by eternal heavenly existence for those souls who do well, and by unending hell for those who do not.” (Hinduism Today, 2006, pg. 41.). “Karma is not fake, for man acts with free will, creating his own destiny.” (Hinduism Today, 2007, pg. 18.)
There is the concept of the Bible and the commandments as a guide of how we are supposed to live as Christians and to develop our own Christian worldview based on those aspects, and there is pure living and finding inward truth as the Hindu’s believe. It is up to you how you wish to think, but please keep an open mind. The views about origins, identity, meaning and purpose, morality and destiny just may surprise you.
Hinduism Today. Jan-Mar 2007., A Hindu primer. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7;sid=eb0d8fa1-ee7c-4ea4-bce6-dbdeea67ce1b%40sessionmgr4008Hinduism Today. Oct-Dec 2006., Joys of Hinduism. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=8;sid=eb0d8fa1-ee7c-4ea4-bce6-dbdeea67ce1b%40sessionmgr4008″noninjury”. Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d., Tue 9 May 2018.
Weider, L. (2014). Finding your worldview. Thinking Christianly about the world. Nashville, TN: B;H Publishing. ISBN: 9781932213898.