Section IV: Answers to the Questions of Hindus

Justice BK Somasekhar Enquiry Commission into the incidents of attacks on certain places of worship in Dakshina Kannada and other districts of Karnataka in the month of September 2008. Certain Hindus, Praveen Reddy and Others, submitted a questionnaire before the Honorable Commission seeking answers from the Christians for their theological and legal questions pertaining to the Christian faith. This was brought to the attention of SAN recently and has been informed that the Honorable Commission granted extension of time to answer those. Though not the original recipients, Jerry Thomas and G Bibu answered those questions and submitted their answers, both soft copy and hard copy, before the Honorable Commission. They have also submitted a questionnaire for these Hindu friends to answer.


The Memorialists

Jesus answered him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one goes to the Father except by me. [John 14-6]

2. For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and mankind together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem all mankind. [1 Timothy 3]

The Lord God tolerates no rivals; he punishes those who oppose him. [Nahum 1-2]

(A). Please enlighten the Honble Commission whether salvation can be obtained through non Christian religions also?

The Respondents:

First let us read carefully two of the verses quoted by the Memorialists that pertain to salvation.

John 14: 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The context of this verse is this:

John 14: 1-5 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?

It is very evident from the above verses that Jesus is speaking about the Heaven where God the Father dwells.

The next verse from 1 Timothy is again wrongly referenced to chapter 3. It is in chapter 2. We quote the two verses above the verses cited by the Memorialists.  

I Timothy 2: 3- 5 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”

If salvation according to the Memorialists means being with God the Father, then there is only one way- that is Jesus Christ. And as Christians, we firmly believe that this is the only eternal and real place of joy and peace.

However, if salvation according to the Memorialists means either dissolution into a Supreme Soul, or living in a place of many gods and goddess, the Holy Bible never said Jesus is the way to such a state or place.

If the Memorialists would define salvation, then the answer logically flows from that.

Respondents Questionnaire:

(A) Clarify, what according to you is salvation? Please provide relevant references from the Hindu scriptures for your answer.

The Memorialists:

(B). There are millions of Hindus and Muslims who do not believe in Christianity. Please enlighten whether these persons are eligible to get salvation?

The Respondents:

This question is a rephrase of the previous question. Therefore the answer for the previous question is sufficient. 

The Memorialists:

(c). Please enlighten the Honble Commission as to whether the persons born prior to Jesus Christ have obtained salvation?

The Respondents:

As for the whole world which was born before the incarnation of Jesus Christ, we cannot answer for each and every individual. But for everyone who never had the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ before or after His incarnation, God will be the righteous judge.

However, at this point we want to add for further clarification that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was preached in various ways ever since the first human beings, Adam and Eve sinned.

In fact, we note that the in this sense Christian faith is the oldest faith on the face of the earth.

We note some examples here:

Genesis 3: 14-15 “14 So the LORD God said to the serpent:  Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

Fulfillment of this was on the cross of the Jesus Christ when Jesus Christ bruised the head of the serpent- Satan. So the first man Adam had to believe in this message.

Isaiah 53: 4-6 (Prophet of the Biblical God and contemporary of Buddha)- “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

So let not anyone who is ignorant of the Holy Scriptures think that the message of Jesus Christ began only 2000 years ago. In fact, no faith is older than any other religion.

Respondents Questionnaire:

Padma Purana , Brahma Khanda 25.15–18– “To blaspheme devotees who have dedicated their lives to chanting the holy name of the Lord. The holy name, who is identical with Krishna, will never tolerate such blasphemous activities.”

(B) Clarify if the people who lived during the Vedic times will be punished for their ‘blasphemous activities’ since they never knew the name of Krishna or any of his avatars and the most of the gods whom they worshiped are not worshipped commonly now among Hindus. 

The Memorialists:

(D). As Hindus and Muslims worship other Gods are they going to be punished by Biblical God?

The Respondents:

The Biblical God uncompromisingly gives freedom to human beings. The ultimate expression of this freedom is to choose Him or depart from Him. Those who choose to reject and depart from Him in this life will be allowed to continue with that choice in the life after death also. If that can be called as a punishment, then those who reject the Biblical God, irrespective of any background they are born, will be punished.

We hope that

the Memorialists would themselves agree that no one should be forced to be with the Biblical God if they do want to be, and each choice that they make in this life has its implication in the life after death also.

Respondents Questionnaire:

(C ) Clarify, if you agree that faith in God should never be imposed on anyone?

(D) Clarify, if you agree that the choices one makes in this life has implication in the life after death.

The Memorialists:

(E). Does not the propagation of the above verses go against the secular and scientific temper enshrined in our Constitution?

The Respondents:

As already stated, the secular spirit of the Constitution will be violated by these Bible Verses, only if the State is persuaded thereby, to espouse, propagate, or aid the propagation of these Doctrines.  Everyone knows that such is not the case with the State in India.

The scientific temper of the Constitution is not violated by these Bible Verses. Instead, these Verses stimulate the "Spirit of Enquiry" in matters of religion, a phrase that is listed along with the "Scientific Temper" under Article 51(A-H) of the Indian Constitution.

The Memorialists:

(F). Do these verses deserve to be propagated especially in India which has a large population of Hindus?

The Respondents:

We have already shown that the exclusivity of the claims of the Biblical God is an expression of the logical consistency rather than any narrow mindedness. Further, as we have noted, this stimulates “Spirit of Enquiry” in matters of religion. Therefore, it benefits every Hindu if he/she examines into these claims with the spirit of enquiry.   

Also, we have provided evidences from the Hindu Scriptures, and reformers itself that such exclusive claim for the truth that they uphold is common. Therefore, it follows the Memorialists are singling out the Bible out of their spirit of blatant bias.

Continue reading the next Section V: Answers to the Questions of Hindus.

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