Hinduism Objections and Answers

Ryan Turner
03/04/11
edited by Luke Wayne

The following is a list of some discussion points for our Hindu friends. This list is by no means exhaustive and just covers some of the issues that our friends raise. This discussion is not intended to be offensive or argumentative, but to deal with some of the important questions and objections that our Hindu friends raise to the gospel (good news).

  1. Christianity is a western belief. Hinduism is an Eastern belief. Since I am Eastern, Christianity is not for me.
    1. Christianity was actually born in Jerusalem (in modern day Israel.) Though Christianity spread rapidly in the West during the first few centuries A.D., it first spread through much of the middle east and "Asia Minor" (modern day Turkey), as well as to Ethiopia and other parts of North Africa. While it was spreading west, it was also taking a foothold in the Persia to the east, and there were Christian communities in India within the first or second generation of the faith. Most of the beliefs of Christianity come from a near eastern Jewish culture, not a western culture. Therefore, Christianity is not a Western belief system.
    2. You do not have to give up your culture to become a Christian. Christianity, though it has Jewish influences, is an international religion. Jesus came for people of all nations (John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:5). The Bible also advocates unity among people, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Christians are supposed to take the good news of Jesus to all nations (Mt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8).
    3. Very early in the history of Christianity, there were Jews, Romans, Greeks, Asians, Africans, Arabs, and many other people who converted to Christianity. The Bible does not expect these people to give up their heritage or culture. In fact, even in the first few centuries after Jesus, a number of Indian people converted to Christianity. Indians have been a rich part of Christian History from a very early date. 
       
  2. British Christians persecuted the Indian people for years. Why should we want anything to do with Christianity?
    1. The British subjugation of India was motivated by political and financial gain for the British Empire. It is true that many of the British people who ruled over India claimed to be Christians, but they were not acting on Christian convictions since their practices are against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Mt. 7:12). Would a British person want to be brutally mistreated by another nation? Of course not.
    2. While the British were establishing their occupation of India, not only was it not in the name of Christianity, their policy was often to hinder Christian missionaries from coming to India. Biblical Christianity did not serve the commercial interests of the crown, and the government did not want them in India. This shows that the motivations of the British government were primarily political and financial, not religious. They were acting in the interests of their secular imperialism. In fact, there were many times in the centuries prior when sincere Christians had to flee Britain for other countries because of intense persecution. The British empire may have professed a sort of Christianity, but it was never a "Christian Empire." It's actions in occupying and exploiting India were in no way Christian.
    3. Jesus commanded justice and mercy (Mt. 23:23) and told His followers that they were never to lord authority over others like the nations do (Mt 20:25-28). He taught that we should love all people (Mt. 22:36-40) and treat others like we would wish to be treated (Mt. 7:12). If a person brutally harms another people or country for personal gain, that person is blatantly sinning. Therefore, what the British did was wrong and unchristian.
       
  3. Jesus is not unique. He is one among many avatars.
    1. Jesus said Himself that He was not one among many avatars. He claimed there was only one God (Mark 12:29; John 10:30) and He claimed to be that one true God in the flesh (John 8:58; 10:30; Mark 2). He also asserted that no one could come to God the Father except through Him alone (John 14:6). He said that there was only one true religion (John 10).
    2. There is a significant amount of historical evidence which indicates that Jesus rose bodily from the dead (Please see article: Is the Easter Story of Jesus' Resurrection True?). There are numerous predictive prophecies regarding the nature of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection which were made hundreds of years in advance (cf. Isaiah 53; Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:24-27). Jesus Himself predicted His resurrection (Mt. 12:40; 27:63) and accomplished it (Mt. 28; 1 Cor. 15:3-8). These are not things one can say of a mere avatar, and make Jesus extraordinarily unique.
       
  4. It is irrational to say that Christianity is the only true religion. There are many paths to God.
    1. To say that Jesus’ statements regarding exclusivity are irrational implies that there is a logical contradiction in one of those claims. However, there is nothing illogical about saying that there is only one true religion.  
    2. Truth by nature is narrow and exclusive. To say 2+2=4 is narrow and exclusive, but it is an objective fact. So, too, with the claims of Christianity. There is good evidence to suggest that Christianity is the only true religion. Specific prophecies were made regarding Jesus thousands of years before His life (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:24-27) that all come true. Jesus' verified to His own authority through many great miracles his own miraculous resurrection, for which there is great historical evidence. Jesus taught that there was only one way to God (John 14:6), and there is good reason to believe Him.
       
  5. My whole family is Hindu. If I become a Christian, I will be an outcast. I cannot deny my family.
    1. This is definitely a difficult issue and one which cannot be treated lightly. It is true that following Jesus may cost you prestige, comfort, and even your life. However, it is better to know the true God and have certainty of eternal salvation than to be lost forever for the sake a few happy years and unstrained relationships in this life.
    2. If people treat you as an outcast for following Jesus, that does mean that you have denied them. It is they who have denied you. It still hurts, of course, but you are not guilty of denying or abandoning anyone if they choose to shun you for seeking what you know is true.
    3. Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell," (Mt. 10:28; cf. Luke 12:5).
    4. Are you burdened by this issue? Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest," (Mt. 11:28). It will not be easy, but God Himself will help you.  
       
  6. There are many gods and goddesses. Why should I believe in just one God?
    1. Many of the Hindu gods are said to be born or created by other deities before them who were, in turn, made by gods before them. The entire system points to the necessity of one eternal being from which all lesser beings come, even those beings which you worship as gods. In fact, many in your own faith teach that one ultimate god brought all the other gods and goddesses into existence. The devotees of Shiva claim that Shiva is the supreme being and all the other deities come from his divine nature. Others say the same of Vishnu. The Bhagavata Purana lauds Krishna as the ultimate reality, the other gods being expressions of his perfect essence. Most Hindus speak of Brahman, a transcendent and eternal Being from which all other beings come (including the gods), though there are a wide variety of teachings as to who or what Brahman is. Christians, of course, do not believe that Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Brahman, who any other Hindu deity is the supreme God. We believe that Yahweh alone is God to the exclusion of all others. Hindu teachers disagree with us on who the almighty, uncreated God is, but they are bound by the plain reality that there must be one supreme and unique divine being who is truly God in an ultimate sense.
    2. This logic can be expressed in a classic argument for the existence of God known as the Cosmological Argument, which demonstrates that there can only be one uncaused Cause for the universe. The argument goes as the following:
      • Everything that begins to exist has a cause;
      • The universe began to exist;
      • Therefore, the universe has a cause.
      • It is impossible for there to be an infinite regress of causes. (In other words, it is impossible for there to be a god who sprang forth from another god who is the creation of another god and still another god who was caused by the god before him, etc.)
      • Therefore, there must be one first, uncaused God.
    3. The real question, then, is not if you should believe in one God. The real question is in which God should you believe? The answer to that is Yahweh, the LORD, the true and living God.
    4. Jesus taught that there was only one God. Prophecies, the resurrection, Jesus' miracles, the general reliability of the NT documents, and other evidence demonstrate that He was right. And He was referring to the God of the Bible. This is the one God in whom we should believe, trust, and worship.
    5. Though there is only one God, there are angels and demons which some might call “gods” or "divine beings" in a more limited sense (1 Corinthians 8:4). However, these demons are not really gods in the ultimate sense, nor are they worthy of human worship. They are powerful spirits but are false gods. There is only one true God in all of existence (John 17:3; cf. Isaiah 43:10; 44:8).
    6. For more information, see our article: "Why should I only believe in one God?
  7. Hinduism is scientific.
    1. Scientifically, there is substantial evidence to suggest that the universe had a beginning. Space, time, and matter had a beginning at some point in the past. As such, the Big Bang destroys any notion of an eternal universe or a cyclical infinity of creations and destructions. Therefore, Hinduism’s notion of an eternal, cyclical universe is unscientific.
    2. Scientific evidence against the eternality of the material universe also comes from the law of entropy. This law states that the universe is running out of usable energy. Since we have not run out of all of our usable energy now, the universe must not be eternal. Since usable energy is not eternal and runs out over time, if the universe were eternal, we would have run out of all of our usable energy long ago. Therefore, the material universe cannot be eternal.
    3. Since science has demonstrated that the universe is not eternal, the notion of an eternal universe as taught by Hinduism cannot be true. Therefore, Hinduism is not scientifically accurate.
       
  8. I have great peace as a Hindu. I do not need Christianity.
    1. The issue of religion is not one of feelings but truth. The real question is, “Is Hinduism a true religion?”
    2. Many people have peace believing things which are just utterly false. Some children have great peace believing that Santa Claus exists and brings them candy every Christmas. However, Santa Claus does not exist. So it really does not matter what a person feels, but whether their feelings correspond to reality (truth).1
       
  9. I love being Hindu. I enjoy the rituals and practices. I do not want to be a Christian.
    1. Do you have any certainty that you will reach moksha? Are you going to be in the endless cycle of reincarnations/transmigrations forever? Are these rituals actually going to help you with this process?
    2. Jesus Christ came to give us hope. He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He also said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). Jesus Christ offers you salvation from God’s judgment by faith. It is not by your works, but by faith that you can possess everlasting life (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:5; 5:1). This salvation you can possess immediately and with certainty due to the completed work of Jesus who was the unique God in the flesh.  
       
  10. I am vegetarian and I respect life. Christianity is non-vegetarian and believes in the sacrificing and eating of animals which is cruel.
    1. Christianity is not anti-vegetarian. There are Christians who are vegetarians due to health preferences and even for moral or Biblical reasons. The Bible allows a person to be a vegetarian (see Romans 14). However, it also permits the practice of eating meat (cf. 1 Cor. 8:13; 10:25-28; Rom. 14:2-3, 21).
    2. The Bible does not permit Christians to mistreat or abuse animals. In fact, some of the treatment of animals today by various Western companies is atrocious and wrong. The Bible teaches that man has dominion over animals; and, as such, has the right to use animals to meet his needs, but not to exploit animals.  
    3. Furthermore, the Bible teaches that humans are to respect animals. Humans did not create animals nor did animals emerge through some random chemical process. Instead, animals were created by God (Gen. 1:20-25). Since animals are the creation of God, humans have no right to abuse their God-given dominion over the animals. For example, it is wrong for humans to slaughter animals just for the fun of it.
       
  11. Hinduism is a peaceful religion, but Christianity has a bloody history.
    1. It is true that “Christianity” has had a bloody history. Many have claimed to be followers of Jesus, but have murdered others for their selfish gain. The crusades were a practice advocated by the Roman Catholic Church for reasons that are utterly antithetical to biblical Christianity. Jesus did not advocate killing, but loving and forgiveness. The practices of these so-called “Christians” were against Jesus’ teachings and are a disgrace to the rest of the teachings of the New Testament.
    2. There are many examples of brutal acts by Hindus against their own people such as the practice of widow burning. Or, even against other peoples such as the modern-day persecution of Christians by militant Hindus. These actions by persons claiming to be Hindus do not make Hinduism false. Neither do the actions of these so-called "Christians" make Christianity false. There are always fake adherents to religions who claim to be following the religion's teachings correctly. 
       
  12. Hinduism teaches personal moral responsibility for one’s actions, but Christianity does not.
    1. Hinduism’s insistence that a person pays for the moral debt of previous lives based on the law of karma is irrational. One would not only be suffering for actions which they had no remembrance of committing but actions which, in a very real sense, were committed by someone else before they were born. They may have a supposed spiritual connection to the past person who committed the acts, but they are not the same person in body, will, mind, memory, emotions, etc. One could argue that Karma actually allows one to "pass the buck," so to speak, letting a person in some future life face the consequences for actions I commit now in this life.
    2. It is basically impossible for a person to get out of samsara since they are continually sinning. Christianity has a notion of grace, but Hinduism does not. In Hinduism, one must continually strive to be morally perfect and to never act on any desire. However, such perfection has never been reached by any Hindu. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, was morally perfect. Due to the sinful nature of humans, He offers salvation as a free gift (John 5:24; 6:47).
    3. Christianity teaches that each person is morally responsible for their actions (Matt. 12:36; Rom. 14:12). However, ultimate salvation or liberation only comes as a free gift through the work of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9).  
  • 1. My point in using the Santa Claus analogy is not to say that Hinduism is like believing in Santa Claus. Rather, I am simply using a common cultural metaphor that all humans know to be untrue so as to demonstrate that truthfulness matters more than peaceful feelings.