Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Other faiths and ideologies to be discussed in this series will include… Cultural Christianity Agnostics/Humanists Wicca Universalism New Age/Hindu Judaism Jehovah’s Witness Mormonism Buddhism Islam
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Today, we will explore: • New Age/Hindu • Judaism
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… We must be prayerful in sharing the gospel…we MUST NOT depend on our own strength, but on the power of the Holy Spirit… “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of salvation…” Rom 1:16 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” Acts 1:8
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Essentials: • We have all done wrong in God’s eyes…Rom3:23 • This wrong doing separates us from God forever…Rom 6:23 • God sent His Son Jesus to take our punishment…Rom 5:8
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Essentials: • Turn away from doing wrong as a way of life…Acts 2:38 • Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord…believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:9
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… The main thing to remember in sharing your faith… in the power of the Holy Spirit, you have to SHARE the plan of salvation…
“You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:35 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
If they reject the message, DO NoT STOP being their friend or loving them…
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • New Age/Hindu
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • New Age and Hinduism is very pervasive in our culture today and is creeping into many evangelical church’s theology…
Hinduism: • Worldwide-est.: • 820 million; India w/over 780 million adherents • US-est.: • at least 1.5 million
Hinduism began about 2000 B.C. with no single founder and is the most diverse (understatement!) of all major world religions.
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Hindus are polytheistic, • (the belief of many gods.) • In fact, there are over 330 million gods within Hinduism. • They are also pantheistic, • (the belief that “everything” is divine.)
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Major beliefs include: The world is an illusion and the goal of humanity is to free the soul from rebirth, (reincarnation) and to be absorbed into the ultimate principle called Brahman.
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… A chief concept in Hindu thought is karma…the idea that deeds, thoughts, and actions have an impact on one’s future fate. In Hinduism, there is positive karma and negative karma.
Hindus believe in reincarnation…an endless repetition or cycles of creation…they believe their karma determines your next stage of life…higher level of species, such as a cow or a rat… Have you ever heard the term, “Holy cow?” This is where it is derived!
Hindus have no concept of rebellion against a Holy God…ignorance of unity with Brahman, desire and violation of dharma (one’s social duty) are the roots to humanity’s problems!
In Hinduism, their belief in astrology, evil spirits, and curses also prevails. Doesn’t this sound familiar?
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Yoga and meditation, especially raja-yoga is one way to achieve “total final self-realization of the truth, (moksha).”
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Hindu sects include: • Hare Krishna • Transcendential Meditation, (TM)
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Witnessing to Hindus…. • DON’T: • Criticize or condemn Hinduism • Argue or debate • Use extraction evangelism… • Speak quickly on hell or that Jesus is the only way
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Witnessing to Hindus…. • DON’T: • Force Christian ideas into passages of Hindu thought, (blend theologies)
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Witnessing to Hindus…. • DO: • Work into your life points of contact…commonality such as humility. • Empathize • Know about their beliefs • Be quick to acknowledge failure, (we’re are not perfect!)
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • DO: • Center on Christ • Be quick to acknowledge mystery of God, “…deep mysteries of God that we cannot fathom…” • Share your testimony what forgiveness and grace means to you. Keep it short!
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Hinduism is the hardest people to evangelize as they may quickly “convert” but not really…do not be too quick to get “the prize” as they will now have 330,000,001 gods now…
Be ready to give an answer but DO NOT be too quick to believe they are saved!! This would be so detrimental to them!
There have been many trips to India to share the gospel to areas with a high concentration of Hindus’ …reports of many people coming to Christ on these trips…
Unfortunately, many of these converts have not come to a true knowledge of God…it sometimes takes years for this to happen!
They are so engrained in their Hindu culture of such things as “reincarnation”… …you cannot talk about being born again… they will not understand the concept!
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… New Age is very similar to Hinduism but has some added ingredients…combines occultic practices, self-help, holistic medicines, and forms of astrology.
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • New Age and Hinduism is very pervasive in our culture today and has crept into many evangelical church’s theology…
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwGLNbiw1gk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FhqBsyCxao
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • New Age Assumptions: • Pantheist…God is all and All is God • Monism…All is One • Reincarnation…you will be reborn again! • You are God and must discover your god-ness • Good and evil do not exist; therefore no absolutes in morality
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Yoga is both New Age and Hindu and should not be practiced by Christians…one of the mantras of yoga is the repetition of “oooommmm” which means, “I am God…” It also is a form of trying to find oneself through clearing of the mind…
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… • Asheville has been recognized: • CBS TV Special • Rolling Stone Magazine • New York Times • USA Today • …as being the New Age mecca…
One writer wrote about her experience coming to Asheville… “I felt it about 20 miles (outside) of Asheville…it’s a feeling of lightness and love that seeems to permeate the physical body…I felt like crying… like I had come home…”
Many New Agers believe the city of Asheville is located in the midst of intersecting vortexes, creating an energy source for connecting with the cosmos. Testimonials talk of a supernatural draw to Asheville, and once people are here, they have no problem finding others of like faith.
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Witnessing to New Agers… Use similar techniques as with Hindu, but also engage them in their beliefs and philosophy… …such thing as there is no such thing as right or wrong…
Many New Agers take offense with the exclusive gospel message that faith is Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. They claim that there is no right or wrong way to God that we are wrong to claim that there is…
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Ask: “If ther is no right or wrong way to God then how can ou claim that our gospel is wrong?” Lovingly point out that their position is illogical because it contradicts itself.
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… Trust in the Holy Spirit to convict Hindus and New Agers of their need for Jesus. Do not get frustrated if you do not see immediate results. Tell about the difference that God makes in your life.
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths… In Asheville area, there are over 300 known adherents to Wicca and brag of having several covens; however, these are very vocal in their practice and occasionally makes the news headlines…
Judaism Background and Data • Jewish Population: • World: 13.1 million • Israel: 5.3 million • US: 5.3 million, (26,000 in N.C.) • 72% of Jews are affiliated with synagogue, but only 10% attend regularly • Tend to be both socially and politically liberal in their views.
Many are involved in secularism, new age, even Buddhism. Israel, for example are mostly comprised of atheists and agnostics.
Three Principal Branches: Orthodox (Traditional): interprets Torah more literally with the Modern and Hasidim offshoots… The Hasidim have the Habad; they are the ones who wear the black suits and wear the yarmulke (skull cap).
Three Principal Branches: Conservative: Largest in the US; they are conservative in religion only, not politics Reform: embrace modernity, liberalism, humanism, feminist, homosexuality, agnostic; sees the Hebrew Scripture as folklore.
Holocaust The challenge to speaking with Jews is the question, “Where was God during the Holocaust?” Many lost their faith in God due to the Holocaust…