Thursday, April 26, 2012

Communicating Christological terms to Hindus and Muslims in India



 INTRODUCTION:

The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between context and communication of gospel in India, more specifically, the role of context in utterance interpretation.  Using different names – Christological terms convey the different meaning to people according to their religious back group as their world views are determined by their religious ideology. Christological terms emphasis the uniqueness of Christ, the necessity of the church, and the obligation to proclaim the gospel to the whole world. We must emphasize that apologetics within inter religious contexts is a difficult and sensitive matter that must be conducted with wisdom, tact and genuine respect for religious others.

Jesus Christ is the center of Christian life and is the substance of Christ faith. Every Christology is a quest to grasp the content and explain the meaning of the mystery of Jesus Christ, to discover and articulate how God is related to humanity and how humanity is related to God in Jesus Christ. In this context of ongoing life in India where Christians live and work together with neighbors of other faiths, where a deep seated theological tolerance coexists with social intolerance. Any attempt to formulate such a Christology should take into account a fact that acceptance of a sense of mystery and the other the rejection not an exclusive attitude where ultimate matters are concerned.

In today’s pluralistic context, the question of the uniqueness of Christ is constantly being challenged, often from unbiblical presuppositions. However, we should not diminish the value of Christian dogmas, as well as we should make sure that our doctrines should not be hindrance to them to know the love of God.

USING SON OF GOD:

To call Jesus Christ by title the ‘Son of God’ does not mean for Rammohan Roy that He is God. [1] If we describe Jesus as the Son of God, to Hindus, who are majority in India, may understand this term from the perspectives of family concept of Hindu Gods. Consequently, it would confer the erroneous picture that Jesus in one of the member of the God’s family.

Nevertheless it is our responsibility that, we should offer the gospel that Jesus is equal to God and He is one of God head and He called as son of God. Through Him, we can access our God as our own father.  They all are one in substance and differ in functions.

USING THE TERM LORD:

The term Lord is very much similar to the Indian context. Because Indians are bound with the concept of master, jamintar – land lords, Panchait prathan – head of village.

Moreover, this term Lord are known with it s negative connotation, because more of these land lords known for their brutality, injustice, oppression on the low class or caste people. In addition, this term also may convey a wrong picture of imperialism as the Indian were ruled by the British.

It shows the necessity of Jesus as Lord in a proper way without giving any negative annotation.

USING THE TERM CHRIST AS AVATARA;

In terms of using Christ as avatara, Hindus may understand that Jesus as one of Avatara of Vishu who always take human avatara to destroy the evil doers and to establish righteousness. But Jesus came to save the sinners. But we should help the other religious people to distinguish to clear difference between avatara and the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

SON OF GOD IN ISLAM:

Muslims believe that God is one, that there are no gods except the God. And they do believe that Jesus is one of the nabi. To the Muslim, the term Son of God is shirk, blasphemy of the worst kind. 

But Jesus is more than a prophet. He is the Messiah ( John 1:14). Jesus, the Messiah is also the Son of God. Bible, the written Word of God affirms that “last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Heb 1:1-2. Jesus Christ is not simple human – ‘nabi’, but He is truly human and truly Divine. This is the core and kernel of the Christian faith.[2] Subsequently, Quran rejects the Sonship of Christ ( Qur’an 2:116, , 161 / 6: 102 -104/ 10:68 / ). It alleges that the Divine realm is free from human imperfection. Attributing a Son of God is attributing imperfection to the Divine realm. God neither can have a son who is human not become a human himself. A son or a daughter is born as a fruit of the conjugal lobe of a man and woman. [3] Therefore, when Christians use the term in reference to Jesus, they immediately assume that the Christians are committing blasphemy by stating that God has participated in some sort of sexual union with another god – a goddess wife. [4] 

If we sum up, the following of the reasons for Quaranic rejection of the Sonship of Christ:


Ø  “God begets not, nor is he begotten” (Quran 112:3).
Ø  Sonship is nothing but giving God partners and giving up the very idea of monotheism.
Ø  The Transcendent God cannot have a mortal son through sexual relations with a mortal consort.[5]

However it is needed to know that the idea of God in flesh is, also, often expressed in the Injil by the use of the term “Son” on its own, or the term “Son of Man.”

According to my personal experience with my Muslim brothers, it would not be perfect, if you start your conversation with Christ. Instead if you start with God or creation and finish your conversation with Christ, it will pave the way to understand the Christ as Second person of God head. Otherwise it will cause dilemma and religious arguments.

Christ: the redeemer of humanity:

Jesus, the risen one from the dead, has the power to liberate from sin and death of this universe. Jesus is Lord, savior and redeemer through his resurrection: it transforms his exemplary life and his death into a power which can liberate the chains of sin and death, and makes it possible of people to enter into the life of the Son of God.[6]

Significantly, Muslims reject the idea of redemption. For Muslims God is abundantly forgiving. He forgives the repentant sinner. Human repentance and god’s forgiveness are intimately connected.  God’s forgiveness goes even before human repentance. Their understanding human sinfulness and God’s forgiveness do not leave any space for a redeemer. Consequently, they find no reason to see Jesus as redeemer.

Moreover, they do not accept the death of Jesus on the cross. Because, Muslims brothers and sisters believe that God saved him miraculously, because, Cod cannot surrender his own envoy to his enemies.
To the Christian, and according to the Bible, Jesus is the one who alone saves human being from their sins. Because of the totally depravity of the human beings, we cannot earn our way to heaven, perform enough good works to please God, or ever be "sincere enough" in repentance to somehow obtain forgiveness from God.  However God love us though we are sinners. The ultimate love of Ultimate being was showed on cross through the sacrifice of His begotten Son for the redemption of His creation. 

CONCLUSION:

There is always a danger in communicating gospel to the people of other faiths. Therefore when we use this kind of terms, we should know the world views of our audience. Otherwise we will cause negative impact unintentionally. Consequently we will be the hindrance for them to know the love of Christ. Therefore let us make sure that let our communication may bring the proper understanding on God, Jesus Christ. In addition, I vehemently believe that there is no salvation outside the Christ. So our approach on Jesus Christ should be based on the Bible as much as possible.

As we are called to the show the love of God, in fulfilling the commission of God, there is plenty of room for diligence and alertness, but no room for laziness or privilege (Titus 1:5-9). Let us be always extra careful about our communications to our fellow brother and sisters who are yet to experience the love of God.





[1] Mathew Vekathanam, Indian Christology, Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 2004, 363.
[2] Victor Edwin SJ, Prophesy: Christian – Muslim Perspectives, Salaam, October 2007, vol 28, no.4. 189.
[3]  Victor Edwin SJ, Prophesy: Christian – Muslim Perspectives, Salaam, October 2007, vol 28, no.4. 189.
[4]  http://www.carm.org/islam/obj_Jesus_son.htm
[5] http://www.carm.org/islam/obj_Jesus_son.htm
[6] Victor Edwin SJ, Prophesy : Christian – Muslim Perspectives, Salaam, October 2007, vol 28, no.4. 193.
As he referred Christian w. troll, S.J., Muslims ask, Christian Answer, 28

Reactions:

4 comments:

  1. ************************************************************************************************Christianity is a kind of network marketing organisation. There also specify training and demos given on how to communicate and how not to communicate, How to handle the person, if you are not able to them put the person to higher rank, they will talk more intelligent or tell more influencial ways to buy the product or join the network.


    1) Join(Baptise) the persons by careful persuation and telling good about their religion(product features) and bad about other religions(they feel competative products). Talking all lies about other religions(other products) and give some freebies while joining.

    2) Increase the number of person under the person/church and get funds from them(monthly 10% to pay to church) as well as from foreign countries.

    Same in network marketing, as the number of person increase under you, you will get more commission, for what persons under you are selling, and additional grants from company(church).

    3) Now you have to struggle to give birth or join or convert persons so that you will get dividents by creating church or from church, Name and fame and blessing of god. In disguise, they put that intelligently that who ever convert other faith to christianity, you will get heaven and blessings of god, just to increase numbers of christians.

    Please understand his(Jesus, loving messengers) true preaching in Hebrew language, not the old and new testimonies which are compiled ones, not true ones. These two are altered for the need of the day and added those that is not directly told by Jesus itself. like adding additional stories which are to support some theories.

    ************************************************************************************************

    ReplyDelete
  2. you are absolutely right...they want to eliminate the scientific religion of india and bring their dogma here( which can't survive under close scrutiny) for political reasons...that is their sole aim

    ReplyDelete
  3. We need to first eliminate Islam and then tackle the Hindus. Half of Africa has already been converted into Islam. Send money to missionaries in Africa now!

    ReplyDelete
  4. http://resurginhinduism.logspot.com/2013/07/scientific-proof-of-jesus-christ.html

    ReplyDelete