Donate | VOMBooks

BELIEFS NAVIGATOR

view posts in the beliefs category

Trouble in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is a state in India. The main religion in India is Hinduism. Different villages in Chhattisgarh have different laws, but more and more villages are passing laws against Christians. The following are laws in some Chhattisgarh villages:

  • Non-Hindu prayers are not allowed.
  • Hindus must get permission from the government before they can become Christians.
  • Christians may not get water from village water sources.
  • Christians cannot hold meetings together.
  • Teachings of non-Hindu religions are illegal.

The chart below explains how Hindu beliefs are different from Christian beliefs.

Comparing Hinduism and Christianity

Hindu Teachings Christian Truths
God
Hindus believe in one main god, called Brahman. Some Hindus pick one god to be their own special god. But Hindu teachings tell of many gods. Hindus are said to have millions of gods. There is one God. “The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Relationship Hindus do not believe that their gods are like fathers to those who worship them. Our Father, God, loves us as His children. “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18).
Holy book Hindus respect many Hindu writings. The Vedas are a collection of sacred writings. The Bhagavad-Gita is a respected book of stories. The Bible is the Word of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Life after death Hindus believe in reincarnation—the belief that after people die, they can come back to life again as other people or animals. Karma is the belief that the way someone behaved in a former life determines what they will be in the next life. After a person’s life on earth ends, there is a judgment. “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Psalm 16:11.)
Salvation Salvation for Hindus means freedom from being reborn again and again. They believe they become part of their main god when their cycle of birth and death ends. Some of the ways Hindus try to get closer to this “salvation” include rituals, good works, meditation, yoga, and the worship of gods. The only way to eternal life is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

September 11 and Terrorists

On September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked two locations in the United States. The 19 terrorists hijacked four planes full of passengers and crashed two of them into New York’s World Trade Center on purpose. They crashed a third plane into the Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the U.S. military in Washington, D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers tried to stop the hijackers. Many died when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed.

The terrorists believed they were following the teachings of strict Islam.

The chart below compares terrorists’ beliefs with Christian responses.

Terrorist Beliefs and Christian Responses

Terrorist Beliefs Christian Responses
Fear
Terrorists use threats and violence to try to force others to do what they want. Terrorism is often carried out against innocent people who are no threat to the terrorists. Terrorists try to control people by scaring them. “Many look at terrorists with fear, others with hate. Jesus fears and hates no one. Like God who gives sunshine and rain to all, so He loves and desires to forgive and save all” (Richard Wurmbrand, founder of The Voice of the Martyrs)
Power Terrorists believe in using anger, hate, greed, and violence to get power. Richard Wurmbrand shared that the secret of real power is love, mercy, goodness, good character, and being a servant, as Jesus taught. (See Matthew 3:1–14 and Romans 12:21.)
Who is in control? Terrorists believe that there are powerful people or groups who cause all their problems. They think getting rid of those people will fix everything. God has placed Jesus “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion” (Ephesians 1:21, NIV) We can trust in Him. (See Proverbs 3:5.)
Success Terrorists think that conquering people in power will mean success. Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul” (Mark 8:36)?
Changing the world Terrorists believe the way to get desirable things is to change the world by acts of terrorism. Christians know that only Jesus has the key to eternal peace. His truth is for all places and all times. Fighting for wrong causes can fail. When someone trusts in God, they cannot fail forever.

Find another chart about terrorist beliefs here.

Additional charts comparing Christian truths with other worldviews are in the Beliefs section of this site.


Learn About Sikhism

A Sikh temple
A Sikh temple

Some adults in India are upset because too many boys are getting haircuts! Sikhs follow the religion of Sikhism. Many Sikhs live in Punjab, a state in India.

Traditionally, Sikh men and boys wear turbans and do not get their haircut. But some youth are rebelling against these traditions.

Another Sikh Tradition
Sikhs celebrate special occasions by reading their holy book, called “Guru Granth.” Each member of a reading team takes a turn reading for one to four hours until the book is finished. A complete reading takes about 48 hours. Try reading a book or books from the New Testament for 15 minutes, taking turns with several other people.

A Sikh Celebration
Sikhs celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak, the man who started Sikhism around the time Columbus traveled to America. In 2013, the celebration will occur on November 17.

Pray that Sikhs will learn about God’s love for them.

Learn more about Sikhs from the chart below. Find a coloring page of Sikh symbols in the “Coloring Pages” booklet under “Other” in the Downloads section.

Comparing Sikh and Christian Beliefs

Sikhism
Christianity
Founder
Guru Nanak, a man born in the 15th century Jesus Christ
House of Worship
Gurdwara Church
Holy book
Guru Granth The Holy Bible
Symbol
A Sikh man wears five symbols of his faith: long hair, short pants worn under other clothing, a steel bracelet, a small sword, and a comb. The cross is a Christian symbol. It symbolizes Christ’s death on the cross, a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
Beliefs about God
Sikhs believe in one god that is seen as more of a “force” than a person. They believe their god is not personal and does not love them. Sikhs believe that all religions really teach the same thing and that there are many ways of reaching their god. Christians believe in the God of the Bible. God is a loving heavenly Father, and humans can have a relationship with Him. Christians do not believe that all religions are means to reaching God (John 14:6). Christians believe that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can know God.

Confucius’ Birthday

People in China celebrate the birthday of Confucius on September 28th. Learn more about Confucius from the chart below.

Comparing Confucianism and Christianity

Confucianism
Christianity
Beginnings
Confucianism was started by Confucius, who lived in China from about 550 to 479 B.C. Confucius did not claim to be a god, but after his death, some of his followers worshipped him. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, His followers were first called “Christians” in the days of Paul (Acts 11:26). Christians follow Christ and worship Him as the Son of God, who came to save the world (John 3:16–17).
Books
Respected writings include The Analects, a collection of sayings made by Confucius’ followers, and five books called The Five Classics. Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
Teachings
Confucius did not talk much about God or about human’s relationship to God. Instead he mostly tried to teach people how to get along with each other. The Bible teaches about God’s love for people and about how God reconciled people to Him through His Son Jesus. (See Romans 5:8–11 and 2 Corinthians 5:18–21.)
Sin
Confucianism teaches that people can be good by their own efforts if they just follow rules of good conduct. The Bible teaches that humans have a sin problem that can only be solved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Influence
Not many people today would call themselves “Confucianists.” However, the teachings still have a strong hold on many in Asia. Self-discipline and other Confucian teachings may have helped many Asians become successful by worldly standards. Pray they will also seek knowledge of God’s eternal standards. The percentage of Christians in countries where there is a strong Confucian influence is as follows: China 7%, Japan 2%, Vietnam 8%, South Korea 32%, North Korea 2%.

Comparing God in the Bible and Allah in the Quran

Allah in the Quran
God in the Bible
The Word
Muslims believe Allah revealed his word to a man named Mohammed through an angel. The words were written down in the Muslims’ holy book, the Quran. God’s Word is a person, Jesus Christ, who reveals God to us and provides believers in Him a way to become children of God (John 1:1–14).
The Father
Muslims do not believe Allah is a father to humans (Quran 5:18). The Quran does not say that Allah seeks to redeem those lost in sin, or that he loves sinners (Quran 4:107). God is a loving heavenly Father. We love Him because He first loved us, even while we were sinners. He sent Jesus to save us. (See Romans 5:8, 2 Corinthians 6:18, and I John 4:19)
The Son
The Quran, which is the word of Allah, says only liars say Allah has a son (Quran 37:152). Many verses in the Quran say Jesus is not the son of Allah. Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:16, Matthew 3:17).
Judgment
Muslims believe Allah will judge people and will approve only those who have done enough good deeds (Quran 7:8,9). God is perfect. He can accept nothing less than perfection. But all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. Jesus’ death on the cross allows us to be forgiven and accepted by a perfect God (Romans 3:21–26).