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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2004

Hinduism

How good is your memory? Can you remember the names of all 50 states and their capitals? How about the thousands of video games you find in the stores? To us, a million sounds like a big number. But consider the Hindu religion, which is described as a religion of 330 million gods! In Hinduism, people can have as many gods as they want. Hinduism, which is the third largest religion in the world, involves worship that centers on sacrifices, idols, and mystical tales.

How does this religion compare with Christianity? Hinduism is an ancient religion; some people even claim it is the oldest. Actually, no one knows who started it or why they did so. Today, the Hindu religion boasts a following of a billion people, with the largest population living in the country of India. The Hindu followers believe in gods that control almost every part of their lives. They have a god of creation, a god of destruction, a sky god, a fire god, and…the list could continue at great length. Most of the time, Hindus worship these gods with sacrifices and by praying to idols. When you compare Hinduism to the Bible, it is obvious that Hindus do not understand who God is or how to worship Him.

The Bible says “that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:4). This verse makes it clear that we are to worship only one God, not millions of other gods. In addition, it says that an idol, which is made by a human, is nothing special. An idol, most of the time, is only a lump of clay, metal, or wood that sits silently on a table. The Bible also says that Jesus came to Earth and died an awful death for our sins (Hebrews 10:10-12). In the Old Testament, the Jews offered sacrifices much like the Hindus do today, but as Christians we have a better sacrifice. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the one perfect sacrifice that the world needed. The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament are not needed today, because they do not compare to Christ’s loving sacrifice.

The Christian has a wonderful hope and an important message to share. Hinduism is not a religion that is in agreement with God’s will, but God does want Hindus to know the Truth. It is the Christian’s job to find the people who need help, and to show them the answers that the Bible contains (read Mark 16:15-16).



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