Donate | VOMBooks

BELIEFS NAVIGATOR

view posts in the beliefs category

Comparing Life under Communism and in Free Countries

Life under Communism
Life in Free Countries
Rights The needs of the whole society are more important than the rights of individuals. Individual rights are just as important as the needs of the whole society.
Worship Communist teachings say that God is not necessary. Belief in the God of the Bible is forbidden or strongly discouraged. The government tries to control public worship. People have more freedom to worship God the way they believe is right.
Free Speech
Government officials do not want anyone to say bad things about them, so the government controls newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. People can voice their opinions, even if they want to complain about the government.
Property Communist governments control property. Leaders might decide to let people own some businesses, but they can change their minds, because the government is still in control. People have a right to own homes and businesses.

Comparing Beliefs About God in Many Faiths

Non-Christian Belief
Christianity
Communism A man named Karl Marx spread many of the teachings followed by communists. He believed that there is no God and that religion is “the opiate of the people.” (An “opiate” is a mind-numbing drug.) Christians believe in God. The Bible says it is foolish and unwise to not believe in God. (See Psalm 53:1 and Proverbs 1:7.)
Islam, the religion of Muslims Muslims believe in Allah, who the Quran says is the creator of the world. (The Quran is the Muslim holy book.) Muslims believe that Allah cannot be known. He is not like a father to humans. The Quran does not say that Allah loves sinners or seeks to save them. Because He loves the world, God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost (sinners). God is like a loving Father to His children. (See John 3:16, Luke 19:10, Romans 5:8, and 2 Corinthians 6:18.)
Hinduism Hindus may believe in one main god; and some Hindus pick one god to be their own special god, but Hindu teachings tell of millions of gods. There is one God. “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Buddhism Buddhist teachings do not tell of a supreme creator God; Buddhists may worship many gods. “Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us” (Psalm 100:3).
Secular humanism Secular humanists believe that people are part of nature. They believe people control their own destiny, because there is no God and no life after death. Christians believe God created people in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He controls times, seasons, and even earthly rulers (Daniel 2:21). There is life and judgment after death. (See 1 Corinthians 15:22 and Hebrews 9:27.)
New Age Many of those who follow New Age ideas believe “God” is a power, force, energy, or consciousness. They believe people are part of this power and not separate from it. God created the world and people, and He is separate from them. His children can know Him and have a personal relationship with Him. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). (See also Jeremiah 9:23–24.)
Animism Animists believe many gods and spirits are found in trees, rocks, plants, and other things. Some also believe in a great god who is above all others. If there is a great god, he is far away from humans and does not care about their daily lives, animists believe. God “is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Cast “all your care upon Him, for He cares for You” (1 Peter 5:7).

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).

Comparing the Bible and the Quran

The Bible
The Quran
Beginnings The Bible is the Christians’ holy book. Its writings were inspired by God. (See 2 Timothy 3:16.) The Quran is the Muslims’ holy book. Muslims believe it was revealed by Allah (who they worship) to their founder, Muhammad, mostly through the angel Gabriel.
Contents The Bible contains 66 books divided into two sections: the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). It was written by more than 40 people over a period of 1,500 years in different places and in three different languages. There is amazing agreement among all the books. The Quran is one book written from one source. It contains 114 “suras,” or chapters. The chapters vary in length from three verses to 226 verses.
History The 39 books of the OT were already written when Jesus was born. Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies about a coming of the Messiah. The 27 NT books were written by either Jesus’ disciples who were close to Him during his earthly ministry or someone close to those disciples. Many people say Muhammad could not read or write. The Quran was not put into book form until after his death. It was first recited to Muhammad’s followers who memorized it or wrote it down. Many versions existed until one version was declared official.
Languages The OT was written mainly in Hebrew and the NT in Greek. The Bible has been completely translated into many more languages. The first handwritten English translation was completed in the 1380s. Arabic is the language of the Quran. Muslims believe that it cannot be properly translated into other languages. Many Muslims who do not know Arabic read and memorize the Arabic version. The first English Quran was published in 1649.
Purpose The Bible is the unfolding story of God’s relationship to man and his plan to redeem man from sin. The Bible teaches that God loves the world and sent Jesus to save people from their sins. Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus said, “I am with you always …” (Matthew 28:20). The Quran says that one of Muhammad’s purposes was to warn people. “Therefore give warning. Your duty is only to warn them; you are not their keeper. As for those that turn their backs and disbelieve, Allah will inflict on them the supreme chastisement” (Sura 88:21-24).

To read a skit about Muslims children memorizing the Quran, see page 23 of Learning About Islam in Downloads.


Comparing Ideas about Bible Smuggling

smug•gle
verb

To bring secretly.

Bi•ble smug•gler
noun

Someone who secretly takes or sends Bibles into places where they are against the law or very hard to get.

Some people say, “It is wrong to smuggle Bibles.” Others say, “Sometimes Christians have to smuggle Bibles.”

Read the following chart comparing the two views, then discuss: Should Christians obey the laws of anti-Christian countries that forbid handing out Bibles?

Some people say: “It is wrong to smuggle Bibles.”
Others say: “Sometimes Christians have to smuggle Bibles.”
Bible verses “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities” (Romans 13:1, NIV). Some people say this verse means Christians must not take Bibles into countries where government leaders do not want Bibles. Christ commanded His followers, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “All the world” includes countries where it is illegal to preach the gospel. In that case, “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29, NIV)
The laws and commands of rulers Some people say that Christians must obey all the laws and commands of rulers, even if those laws cause us to disobey God’s Word. The following people in the Bible disobeyed government rulers in order to obey God: Moses’ mother (Exodus 2:2), Rahab (Joshua 2), Daniel (Daniel 6), apostles and others (Acts 5).
Danger for those who follow Christ If Bibles are smuggled into countries where Christians are persecuted, people will read them. Those who then choose to follow Christ will be persecuted. If the smugglers do not take them a Bible, they will not be persecuted. Jesus warned His followers that they will be persecuted (John 15:20). He has promised His persecuted followers that they will received eternal rewards (Matthew 5:11,12).
Loving others Some people say that Christians should show respect and tolerance for the beliefs of those who don’t follow Christ. They say that giving them Bibles does not show this respect for their beliefs. When we tell others the Good News of the way to eternal life, we are demonstrating our extreme love for them. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).