Section VI: 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:

Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. Do not bow to any idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring down punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation. [Genesis 20 4] and [Deuteronomy 5-8 to 10]

The Lord said, Do not make idols or set up statues, stone pillars or carved stones to worship. [Leviticus 26-1]

For your own good then, make certain that you do not sin by making for yourselves an idol in any form at all- whether man or woman, animal or bird, reptile or fish. Do not be tempted to worship and serve what you see in the sky-the Lord your God has given these to all other peoples for them to worship.[Deuteronomy 4-15]

Obey his command not to make yourselves any kind of idol because the Lord your God is like a flaming fire; he tolerates no rivals [Deuteronomy 4-24].

Now, all this is an example for us, to warn us not to desire evil things, as they did, nor to worship idols, as some of them did. [I Corinthians 10-6]

So then, my dear friends keep away from the worship of idols. [I Corinthians 10-14]

(A) Majority of Hindus are idol worshippers. Bible strictly prohibits and even advocates destruction of idols. Are these verses conducive for maintaining communal harmony?

The Respondents:

This question is a repeat of earlier questions and therefore the answer provided for the earlier will suffice.

The Memorialists:

(B) Are these verses not violating Section 153-A, 295-A of IPC and Article 25 and 51 A of the Indian Constitution?

The Respondents:

Once again, a clarification has been sought whether the Bible Verses against idol worship is not violative of Sections 153(A) and 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code, and Articles 25 and 51(A) of the Indian Constitution.  We have already given adequate clarification on this question in the preceding points.

The Memorialists:

(C) What is the position of Christian Church vis- -vis Hindus who are all idol worshippers?

The Respondents:

All the Biblical Churches will abide by what the Holy Bible says. We have already clarified the teaching of the Holy Bible in this regard.

The Memorialists:

(D) Does Bible allow worship of idols by non Christians in areas where Christianity is predominant?

The Respondents:

We begin by clarification that all Hindus are not idol worshippers or polytheists. In this the Memorialists are misrepresenting Hinduism. There has been clear denunciation of Idol worship and polytheism within Hinduism.

As for the verses from the Old Testament, we have already clarified the scope and its application. And we have noted that there is not a single verse in the New Testament that calls for a Nation State proscription of idol worship though idol worship is clearly denounced.

Further, we have already clarified by the very words of Jesus that His Kingdom is not of this world.

However, the question is also about whether idol worshippers are ready to allow those who worship God in truth and Spirit (John 4:24) without any attacks unlike those we have seen in Karnataka and Orissa.

The Memorialists:

(E) Is not the erection of statues or idols of Jesus, Mary and other Christian pontiffs in Churches, seminaries, hospitals a direct violation of the principles laid down by Moses and other prophets of Christianity?

The Respondents:

The Holy Bible clearly prohibits any idols erected for worship. If any of these statues/idols have been erected for the purpose of worship, we unconditionally denounce those in the strongest language possible. However, there are statues which the Government of India itself has erected, such as of Mother Teresa, which are not meant for worship, and the Bible does not prohibit such.

The Memorialists:

(F) Can you point any verse in Bible which permits such installation of idols in Churches, seminaries, hospitals?

The Respondents

The Holy Bible clearly prohibits any idols erected for worship. If any of these statues/idols have been erected for the purpose of worship, we unconditionally denounce those in the strongest language possible. However, there are statues which the Government of India itself has erected, such as of Mother Teresa, which are not meant for worship, and the Bible does not prohibit such.

The Memorialists:

(G) Whether you in personal capacity, in capacity of a religious figure and on behalf of your church, are ready to declare that idol worship is no heinous practice and idol worshippers have a right to live, worship idols and do not deserve to be killed for the mere act of worshipping idols?

The Respondents

We can speak no further than what the Holy Bible has clearly taught. The Holy Bible has clearly denounced and proscribed idol worship. But it also clarified in that the legal punishments are not enforceable in the New Testament times so that an act of idol worship does not invite the legal wrath from any Christian institution or places where Christians are predominant though the act is very much heinous and deplorable. We think what we have written in the preceding points makes this point very clear.

The Memorialists:

(H) Is the Christian clergy ready to delete those portions of Bible pertaining to idol worship and which are considered offensive [as the above verses]?

The Respondents:

Respondents are not Christian clergy. Even if they were, they would not have deleted for the reasons explained the previous points.

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

 

{moscomment}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*