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Christianity Why do I believe in Jesus? An ex-sikhs journey in faith

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Rajs, Aug 6, 2004.

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  1. Rajs

    Rajs
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    Why do I believe in Jesus? (An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith)

    What makes Christianity different from all other religions in the world? Why is Jesus different from the likes of, Mohammed, Buddha, Guru Nanak, Krishna and Rama? Let me begin by emphasizing that I am not going to get into the details and specifics of various religions in the world today, but primarily concentrate on the basis of a faith. In monotheist religions, such as, Islam and Sikhism the basis of faith is one central figure, who had a direct interaction with God and becomes a channel to deliver God’s message; Mohammed for Muslims, Guru Nanak for Sikhs. In other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, god(s) comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes.

    Now, let’s take a look at various chosen individuals from other religions and see what sets Jesus apart from all of them.

    Buddha:
    Gautam Buddha (500 BC), the founder of Buddhism, gave up materialistic world at the age of thirty to become a monk. He left his kingdom, young wife and a child to pursue a spiritual journey. During his search, he went from one extreme of fasting and forsaking all form of pleasures to taking food in moderation, and then finally, one day under a tree he received spiritual enlightenment. Later, his wife and son also became monks and at the age of eighty HE DIED of an illness, after eating some unclean food!

    Mohammed:
    Mohammed, referred to as, the Prophet in Islam, was born in 570 AD. He grew up a charitable person, given to much praying and fasting. As a young man he was hired by a widow, who later married him and bore him six children, of which, all died save for a daughter. At the age of forty, Mohammed, had a visit from an angel (Gabriel) and received a divine message from God to tell others that, “there is no other god but Allah.” Mohammed initially encountered great opposition from people but later found acceptance all over the Arab world. He went on to lead many expeditions and wars in Mecca and Medina region, in order to, remove idolatry and advance Islam. In 632 AD, few days after returning from pilgrim in Mecca, HE DIED of an illness.



    Nanak:
    Guru Nanak, the founding figure of Sikhism, was born in 1469, a gentle and kind hearted family man with a wife and children. One day, as he dips into a river for a regular bath, has a divine encounter and emerges with knowledge and message of universal brotherhood. While living in India at a time, when Hindus and Muslims are in constant conflict, Nanak begins to teach about the existence of one God alone as the creator of all life, and the brotherhood of all humans i.e., there is no difference in Hindus and Muslims. Nanak, apparently spent rest of his life traveling through out Northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Persia proclaiming this message. HE DIED at the age of seventy. However, nine further “Gurus” (spiritual authorities) were anointed to lead this religious movement. The last Guru, Gobind Singh, before DYING, put an end to this transfer of divine ruler-ship by proclaiming their scriptures “Granth Sahib” to be the supreme authority for all believers. It is ironic, that the original message given by Nanak “there is no Hindu nor Muslim but all are equal,” ended up forming a new identity, to be called a Sikh (disciple) or, to be known as Khalsa (pure) if baptized.

    Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva:
    In Hinduism - Brahma the “creator,” Vishnu the “protector,” and Shiva the “destroyer” - form a trinity. Only Vishnu is capable of taking Avtaar (to be born in human flesh) to rid the earth of evil. However, they are not mutually one, but have separate existence and different functions. Humans can realize the presence of God in “self” through a cycle of re-births, which is dependent on Karma (good works.)



    Krishna:
    Krishna, one of the Hindu gods, is one of the many reincarnations of god (Vishnu) in human form. As an incarnated god, Krishna, from his childhood to teen years, is a mischievous but cute “child-thief” who leads other kids in breaking into homes to steal butter! As a young man, he is a “heart-throb,” who spends his time frolicking with the young women of the village and is renown for his beauty and, charming women with his flute playing abilities. Ultimately, Krishna kills the evil king of that time and restores the rightful person to his throne. For a Hindu, Krishna leaves numerous traditional stories about his endeavors as a irresistible lover, and a non-partisan chariot driver in a great family feud between Pandavas and Kauravas. Then one day, apparently wounded by a hunter’s arrow, HE DIED.



    Ram:
    Ram, once again is another incarnated god (Vishnu) who appeared on earth to remove evil and establish good. Whilst on a fourteen-year exile away from his domicile, Ram, destroys an evil empire ruled by a demonic king and his demonic brothers, who had kidnapped Sita, Ram’s wife. However, later on, after completing his exile and returning to his kingdom, Ram, casts out his wife because of rumors regarding her “purity” during the time of her ordeal as a kidnapped victim, even though, she had proven her purity by walking through a fire! Ram, ruled as a great and wise king, creating a “Ram-Rajya” meaning peaceful and a perfect kingdom. Finally one day, HE DIED.



    Jesus:
    Jesus, as “the” Son of God, is God. The Bible tells us, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of his being.” (Hebrews 1:3) We, humans, are fallen beings born with a sinful nature, and can never ever attain holiness through effort and good works because by nature our tendency is to sin. For God to accept us, our sinfulness had to be addressed, and since we are incapable of forsaking our sinful nature, Jesus, the Son of God, came to redeem us and sacrificed his life on our behalf. “…The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice because he was sinless. Therefore, once we accept Jesus, as our personal Savior, we inherit his righteousness because he shed his blood for the remission of our sins. The Bible says about Jesus, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation…For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things…by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:15-19)

    I have only provided briefest of introduction to the “originators” of various faiths. I have decided to concentrate on the founders because that gives the clearest indication, as to why Jesus is different! The character and divine attributes that were evident in Jesus, as he manifested himself to his followers during his life on earth are as follows:

    1. Existed before the world was created:
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:1)

    Jesus was NOT created after God created the world but, in fact, through him all things were made. He was not created from dust like Adam and Eve. He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15)

    Mohammed or Nanak or Buddha, did not have pre-existence but were born as any other child, according to their parents’ will. Jesus, however, forsaking his spiritual existence, and to do God’s will, took up a body of flesh and blood, to save us from our sinful nature. He was born not because of parents’ will, but was born of the Holy Spirit. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. (John 1:14)

    During his ministry, Jews of Jesus’ time often questioned and asked him, as to who was he? “I tell you the Truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” Therefore, Jesus substantiated his pre-existence.

    2. His coming into the world was foretold:
    Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

    None of the messengers or prophets of other religions had their birth predestined and foretold like Jesus.

    Prophet Isaiah, filled with the Holy Spirit, not only prophesied Jesus’ birth hundreds of years ago before it took place, but also proclaimed him to be God. …But in the future He will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea …For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:1)

    Prophet Micah, prophesied the exact location of Jesus’ birth, and also confirmed his eternal existence. But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from days of eternity. (Micah 5:2)

    3. The Son of God
    The aged, righteous and devout Simeon at the Temple, on seeing Jesus as an eight-day old baby, praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29)

    From his early childhood, Jesus knew who he was. When at the age of twelve, during a visit to Jerusalem, he got separated from his parents who later questioned him regarding his behavior - “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)

    God, himself, called out from heaven to declare Jesus as His Son. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and lighted on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16)

    Jesus told his disciples, “All things have been committed to me by my father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22)

    4. He knew his mission:
    Unlike Mohammed, Nanak, and Buddha, Jesus did not receive a “calling” from God out of the blue; he did not (overnight) receive a revelation to be a messenger of God. He did not need to seek out God in order to learn the meaning of life. To the contrary, he declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 3:16)

    Jesus came to show the compassion and love that God has for us. Prophet Isaiah prophesied regarding Jesus, “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives that are in prison, and to release from the dungeon those who sit in the darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6) During his ministry, Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to blind, freed people from demonic powers and raised the dead.

    Jesus did not lay down rules and regulations for prayer. He did not advice to visit some holy site to atone for our sins. Jesus came to relieve us from the burden of sin. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)

    Jesus summed up his coming into the world in a very simple, yet graceful and divinatory statement -

    For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

    5. Taught with authority:
    God said to Moses, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you among from among their brothers; I will put my words in His mouth, and He will tell them everything I command Him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)

    Jesus did not need to spend years in solitude to gain wisdom and knowledge. Unlike Mohammed, Nanak, and Buddha, Jesus did not need to seek out God. He did not need a divine revelation or a visit from an angel to reveal the mind of God. In fact, Jesus was raised among the most backward considered Jewish people, the Galileans. Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ time told Nicodemus (one of the leaders) that “a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” (John 7:52) However, after listening to Jesus in the Temple at the feast of Tabernacles, “the Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” (John 7:15) Jesus did not need to study the scriptures to understand and comprehend its meaning. Jesus knew the scriptures inside out because the Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

    Moreover, during his ministry, Pharisees and Jewish leaders observed that Jesus not only broke the Sabbath rules but also forgave people their sins, which made Jesus equal to God. (Matthew 9:24) Pharisees accused Jesus of blasphemy, and on numerous occasions tried to stone him to death. (Matthew 12:14) But, they were afraid of large crowds that seem to follow Jesus everywhere he went. To the religious authorities, Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets, I have not come to abolish but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) And the Temple guards, who were sent to arrest Jesus, came back and declared, “No one ever spoke the way this man does.” (John 7:46)


    Through out the Gospels, we read that ordinary people were amazed, and astonished at Jesus’ teachings.

    When Jesus had finished saying all these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:28)

    Not only the miracles performed by Jesus captured their attention but his explanation of the scriptures through the use of parables, his examples of tales taken from everyday life, and the authority with which Jesus spoke of God made them follow him everywhere he went. The disciples, on seeing Jesus subside a storm, in fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” (Luke 8:24)

    Finally, to fulfill what God (the Father) had said to Moses, Jesus affirmed, “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12:49)

    6. Died willingly for a purpose
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Jesus’ mission was to redeem mankind from its sinful nature. As humans, no matter how much we try, we could never measure up to God’s standard of holiness. Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites proved this point again and again. Had God chosen some other people instead of the Jews, I do not think the 100% failure rate would have been any different. But, in His Son Jesus, God found a perfect sacrifice to restore fallen humanity back to Him. Jesus came to redeem us by sacrificing his life on our behalf. God made him who had no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Although Jesus died, but he died willingly, fully knowing in advance, the day, the time and the manner in which he would die. Whilst, the likes of Mohammed, Nanak, Buddha, Krishna and Rama, all died, with no predetermined knowledge, Jesus however, not only foretold and spoke of the crucifixion but the Prophets (Isaiah 49 - 53) and King David (Psalm 22) graphically spoke of Jesus’ death, hundreds of years ago before it actually took place.

    Mohammed, Nanak, Buddha, Krishna and Rama, all died and their death served no purpose for their believers. But the death of Jesus paid the price for my sins. God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and now wants me to accept him as my personal Savior. Accepting Jesus, as my Savior, is the only way I can be spared of God’s wrath on the judgment day. The Bible says, The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son, will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:35)

    7. Resurrection
    Resurrection of Jesus is probably the single most important difference that sets Jesus apart from all others. Not only did Jesus foretold his death but also proclaimed in advance that he will rise up on the third day after the crucifixion, and rise up, he indeed did. “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, ”and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.” (Mark 10:33) Muslims have a mosque built where Mohammed is buried, Sikhs have temples built where their Gurus were cremated, and Buddhist and Hindus build statues and worship them and remember their gods by reenacting their “good-over-evil” victories year after year. But Jesus’ tomb was found empty by his disciples. (John 20)

    As a Christian, I do not need to go to a tomb to atone for my sins. I do not need to reenact the crucifixion to sanctify myself and make myself acceptable to God. Because Jesus is ALIVE! After the crucifixion, for forty days, Jesus appeared to his disciples, (Luke 24:36) and gave them proof of being alive by eating bread and fish with them. (Luke 24:41) Jesus invited Thomas, one of the disciples to “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27) Jesus opened up his disciples’ eyes to understand the scriptures and explained his death and the Resurrection. (Luke 24:45)

    Hindus believe in reincarnation of souls depending on their past lifestyle and the “works” a person has done. But Jesus promised to give me a glorified body that will not see decay or death. Because Jesus rose from dead - I know, and I know, and I know - I will be in his glorified presence one day. I do not need to wash myself in some holy river to purge my sins. I do not need to fear coming back as a man or a beast or a bird or a reptile after death. I have been washed with the blood of Christ that takes away my sins once and for all. “Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

    8. Promised the Holy Spirit
    All other religions base salvation for believers in their “works.” Believers are encouraged to perform good works, which may vary from, doing social work and forsaking the world, to deliberately afflicting bodily pain and, performing rituals and certain acts on a regular basis to attain favor with God. Hindus believe in receiving “Mukti” as a result of doing good works in one’s life. But before God, of the Bible, my good works are as filthy rags. God declares, my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8)

    My personal effort to become good and holy in the sight of God will never succeed because my natural instinct is to sin. It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Romans 9:16) God made us and he knows what is inside of each and everyone of us. I can never attain God’s favor and justify myself with good works. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8)

    As a Christian, God accepts me because I believe in Jesus and I accept him as my personal Savior. Only after accepting Jesus, the good works begin to flow through us because Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us in all things. And I will ask the father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. (John 14:16) The Holy Spirit is our teacher and spiritual guide in this day and age. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)

    9. Personal relationship
    Greater love has no one but this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) Jesus, as a friend, sacrificed his life for me. The good news is that death could not keep him down. Now, he desires to have a personal (one-to-one) relationship with me. I do not need to recite designated scriptural verses and repeat set of prayers to make God hear me. I do not need to rub my nose on a statue or crawl on roads, bow down to a book or worship it, posture myself on a ground in certain direction or in a certain way to make God hear my prayers. Once I accept Jesus, as Lord, he becomes my personal friend. I can talk to him about anything, anytime, and anywhere. He longs to show God’s love and mercy to me everyday of my life. He wants to have fellowship with me and wants me to rest, in his presence, from all labor. Jesus sees, hears and feels everything that happens to me because he is ALIVE. Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)

    After we accept Jesus, he abides in us. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. (1 John 4:15) The Holy Spirit connects us to Jesus because God is Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the unfathomable knowledge of God that cannot be learned or acquired without the presence of God’s Spirit in our lives. In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

    10. Promised to return
    In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2)

    Mohammed, Nanak, Buddha, Krishna and Ram, all died and left no, whatsoever, assurance of ever returning. Jesus, however, promised to return to establish the Kingdom of God.

    The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give it’s light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. (Mark 13:26)

    Forty days, after resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven but did not leave us in a limbo. As Jesus was ascending to heaven, the angels told the disciples, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

    In conclusion, let me say that although, God is beyond my comprehension, yet I can relate to Him because God made Himself known to me through Jesus. When I focus on Jesus, I know what God is like. In flesh, God is beyond my reach, but as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit teaches and reveals God to us when we sincerely seek Him. Jesus was without sin, and yet he understood my sinful nature. He willingly died for my sins to redeem me and has forgiven all my trespasses against God.

    God has shown His mercy and love through His Son Jesus. Rest assured, the day of the Lord is coming when we will all stand before God for judgment, and he will ask what did we do with His Son Jesus, the Christ? Now then, if you have not received Lord Jesus in your life, are you prepared to face the Living God on the judgment day?
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    I am confused about the article.

    What is it supposed to prove that Jesus was the best among the sages?

    Does is the author belong to any of the religions mentioned above?

    pls enlighten me.

    Thanx

    Peace & Love

    Tejwant..
     
  4. Arvind

    Arvind
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    Dear Rajs ji,

    Is this article your creation? Looks like the author was born to sikh parents and then converted to Christianity (due to faith!), with incorrect and incomplete understanding of original and converted to religions. This article seems to be a typical missionary publicity article.

    Sorry to use harsh words.

    With respect to all religions, but not for those people who declare supremacy over others.

    Rajs ji, do reply back.

    Best Regards.
     
  5. Rajs

    Rajs
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    Dear Tejwant,

    This is NOT to prove that Jesus was the best among the sages but to say that in Jesus, I found God. Jesus isn’t a sage or guru, but God incarnated in human flesh, to redeem us from the power of sin and death.

    By the way, these are my personal views, expressed here as an ex-Sikh to account my experience in search for God. No offence is intended to any practising Sikh or any other religion for that matter.

    Sikhism teaches that Gurus can lead us to God. I beg to differ. The ten Gurus themselves were seekers of God, so how can they lead us to God? Only God can lead us to God. Gurus never made such claims, however Jesus - claimed to be One with God. So, Jesus can be the only Way to God.

    If we are to follow the viewpoint that Guru Nanak had a divine encounter submerged in a river then:

    Does this enable Guru Nanak to lead others to same encounter?

    What was the divine encounter for the remaining nine Gurus?

    Through what mechanism the “jyote” was transferred from one Guru to the next?

    In the Bible, witnesses abound, Baptism of Jesus in the Jordon river followed by anointing of the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove, and the voice from heaven declaring him to be God’s own beloved Son tantamount to irrefutable evidence that validates the authenticity of Jesus’ claim – “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Regards

    Rajs
     
  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Rajs,

    Thank you for your viewpoint about Sikhi and Christanity. I am very happy for you that you have chosen your spiritual path at your own will. I hope Christanity fills the void that you were not able to fill up while being on the Sikhi Path.

    First of all I would like to clarify that IK ONG KAAR from Sikhi point of view is NOT a belief like in most other religions including Chirstainty but for a Sikh, GOD IS.

    Beliefs can change anytime which they often do when a man realises the fantasy linked to it but fact needs no changing. The 2 out of many examples of christian belief are Santa Clause and The Tooth fairy. I am sure you as a Christian have come to the conclusions that these 2 beliefs out of many are just beliefs and nothing else but mere fantasies.

    If you are here to debate which religion is better and trying to challenge me to defend Sikhi, then you are in the wrong forum. As one can not measure the unmeasurable same way IK ONG KAAR, which is formless,genderless,timeless needs no defence, But Christanity does feel the need to defend itself because some, not all christians consider Jesus, God in flesh. it is like filling a glass of water at the beach and considering it as the whole ocean.

    As mentioned in your post that you believe in miracles-In the Bible, witnesses abound, Baptism of Jesus in the Jordon river followed by anointing of the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove, and the voice from heaven declaring him to be God’s own beloved Son tantamount to irrefutable evidence that validates the authenticity of Jesus’ claim – “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”- which Sikhi rejects ourtight.

    In other words, as you are looking for miracles, then Sikhi was never your cup of tea anyway.

    Good luck on this spiritual journey of yours as this journey is yours and yours alone.

    Peace & Love

    Tejwant
     
  7. Arvind

    Arvind
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    Dear Rajs ji,

    Good Luck and Take Care.

    Sincerely.
     
  8. The lion king

    The lion king
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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    forgive my ignorance, but didnt jesus claim to be the son of god? now i read he was god in flesh?
     
  9. Rajs

    Rajs
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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Dear Tejwant,

    You say, “in other words, as you are looking for miracles, then Sikhi was never your cup of tea anyway.” You are implying that Sikhism rejects “miracles”. I find that argument hard to swallow. Nearly all the literature on Sikh Gurus reflects upon various events or signs in their respective lives which if not “miracles” than what are they? Just for an example, visit http://allaboutsikhs.com/guru.htm website and read the biographies of various Gurus.

    Dear Lion King,

    You say, “forgive my ignorance, but didn’t Jesus claim to be the Son of God? Now, I read he was God in flesh?”

    Your ignorance is forgiven.

    God is Spirit and nobody can share that nature with God. Jesus, before embodying himself in human flesh to die for our sins, was one with God, i.e., Spirit. The Biblical account as to Jesus’ Godhood:

    1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
    2. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:14)
    3. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and the only begotten Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. (John 1:18)
    4. Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him, not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:17)
    5. Jesus says, "For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself." (John 5:26)
    6. Jesus says, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)
    7. Jesus says, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)
    8. He is the image of invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, all things were created by him and for him. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things?(Colossians 1:15-20)
    9. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross. (Philippians 1:6-8)
    10. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3)


    Regards

    Rajs
     
  10. Neutral Singh

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Hi Raj

    I have some more questions for you in our interfaith section... please do reply...

    Regards
     
  11. Neutral Singh

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Nice observations Mr Singh :)

    Though, I would like to correct just one thing in your post... Bible was written 81 years after Jesus' demise... but even then your arguements are valid... What is Old Testament and New Testament...? which one Christians follow & Why... ?

    Best Regards
     
  12. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    What "Jesus said" is in doubt. All Jesus' words are second-hand quotes by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. This Son of an omnipotent, omniscient God who could confound the wise men of the temple never wrote his own gospel.


    Whereas all the writings in SGGS are original and personally penned by 6 Gurus and 31 other sages.

    Tejwant
     
  13. Arvind

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Give it a shot:

    Talk for five minutes with a person. and the chain continues as follows:
    Person A --> Person B --> Person C --> Person D --> Person E

    I mean Person A talks with Person B for five minutes, and Person B is supposed to grasp all exact contents, and then tell those to Person C... and thus chain continues.

    It is seen within a few iterations on the same day, the last person to receive information is totally different than the original talks, or perhaps contradictory too. And something written after a person's death, and written about experiences as if it is an autobiography, the accuracy of contents are highly doubtful. Do people understand what I am saying?

    Thanks.
     
  14. Rajs

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Dear Mr. Singh,

    1) You asked, “I can claim im one wit God will u blindly worship me?”

    I ask you –

    Was your birth prophesised hundreds of years ahead of time?

    Were you born of a virgin?

    Are you without sin?

    Would you die for the sins of the world?

    Can you rise-up after death?

    If not, then you are just as much sinner as me. Also bear in mind, to claim to be one with God is making your-self equal to God!

    2) You asked - “What mechanism the holy spirit comign into Jesus?”

    The Bible clearly states, “As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” (Matthew 3:16)

    3) You said, “Remember oen thing - Jesus Christ gave his life for Christians and Christianis”

    I’m afraid, you understanding in incorrect. At the time of Jesus, there was no Christianity, so Jesus did not die for Christians alone. He died on the cross for the sins of people, regardless of colour, nationality, race, and creed.

    4) You asked, “how accurate is the bible Mr Rajs?

    I say, with nearly two thousand years of history behind it, with each generation putting it under microscopic scrutiny, being accepted all over the world among people of all races, believed and read in hundreds of languages all over the world, the Bible is more accurate than any other book ever written. Furthermore, the biggest fact is, events in the Bible have witnesses, and it was written whilst the apostles and other witnesses were alive (John 21:24), who were not only the eye witnesses but lived with Jesus for three years. Finally, the Bible states, “You must understand that no prophecy of Scriptures came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but man spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20)

    5) You asked, “How much LOVE and tolerance does Christianity ahve for other religions? how mcuh equaklity does Christianity have”

    I say, Christianity teaches to love Jesus Christ, who in turn teaches us to love other people - not other religions.

    Mr. Singh, you need to see that followers of any religions are unable to adhere to its teachings as required because a religion is made up of people who are imperfect, in every sense of the word! Just like no Sikh can claim to be an ideal Sikh/Khalsa, in the same way no Christian can claim to be a perfect Christian. The moot point is, who can lead us to God? I say only Jesus Christ can because he has the authority to do so. The 10+1 Gurus cannot lead us to God because neither they are God, nor did they claim any special relationship with God as Jesus did. The point is not how certain Christians behave but what Christ did for mankind.



    Dear Tejwant,

    “Whereas all the writings in SGGS are original and personally penned by 6 Gurus and 31 other sages.”

    Jesus did not come to this earth to write a book but to redeem us from our sins. Jesus did not need to write or read about his own teachings because that was to be done by his followers, who lived with him and heard everything he said and, witnessed everything he did.

    As Peter said, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)

    Another disciple John said, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make your joy complete.” (1 John 1:3)

    The other thing one has to remember is that unlike SGGS, the Bible is not worshipped. The Bible asks us to worship God, not itself. We do not have to treat the Bible, as Guru or God, because God cannot be contained in a book, like Sikhism does to SGGS by treating it as a living Guru.

    If we follow your logic and criterion, the six Gurus might have penned the SGGS, but you are still missing the other four, especially, the founder of Sikhism himself, who did not “personally penned” anything in it. By the way, which other 31 sages, may I ask, penned the words in SGGS. I hope you do not include the likes of Kabir, who died years before Guru Nanak’s birth, and whose words,“I am not a Hindu, Nor a Muslim am I” in an ambiguous form, are credited to Guru Nanak in Sikhism.

    Rajs
     
  15. singh99

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Rajs

    Just a quick question. In the gospel of Matthew (27.46 ) Jesus in his last moments cries out to God " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

    This raises a number of questions-;

    1. Why would God cry out to God and ask why God has forsaken God?
    2. If Jesus was fulfilling a prophecy which you claim he was then why does he doubt God at the last moment?

    I am not trying you cast doubt on your beliefs that Jesus was God but as you have looked at Sikhism from a Christian angle so I wish to look at the Crucifixion of Jesus from a Sikh angle. In Sikhism two Gurus as well as countless Gursikhs accepted martyrdom without having any doubts about their relationship with God. Guru Arjan Dev sat on a red hot iron plate and had hot sand poured over him yet he did not utter a word of complaint. In fact he said 'Tera Bhana Meetha Laagai' "You will is sweet to me". Similarly Guru Tegh Bahadur also accepted martyrdom for the unique reason for Hindus to be able to worship God in their own manner. Many Gursikhs such as Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Taru Singh and others also accepted martyrdom without complaint.

    As for your claim that the Bible is the most accurate book ever written. You need to read some works by scholars and not just christian polemics. I am a bit busy now but if you are interested I can give you links later



    GurFateh
     
  16. Mr §ingh

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

     
  17. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    One of many examples of Christian God's love from OT.

    More Rape and Baby Killing: Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

    Need we say anything more????

    Tejwant




     
  18. Arvind

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Jesus was sentenced to death, he did not choose to die.
    Is that correct?
     
  19. Rajs

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Howdy All,

    Well, Well, Well!

    Few of you have zeroed-in on Jesus’ statement “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" with a view to make light of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. Simply put, if Jesus was dying on the cross willingly, then why cry out to God? In fact, Singh99 even alluded to the “bravery/humility” of Sikh Gurus’, who in comparison, had accepted their martyrdom without any complains. (Mind you, they might have died for the freedom of Hinduism, BUT “not” for the sins of the world. It is also possible that they died for Hinduism because, in a way, they regarded themselves as “former”, AHEM… Hindus???)

    Some of the questions raised are:

    1. Why would God cry out to God and ask why God has forsaken God? (Singh99)
    2. If Jesus was fulfilling a prophecy, which you claim he was, then why does he doubt God at the last moment? (Singh99)
    3. Jesus was sentenced to death, he did not choose to die.
    Is that correct? (Sevadaar Singh)


    Before I undertake the task of providing some answers to the above questions, I would like to provide you with a word, which will help you in understanding my explanation. The word is “context”, which is defined in the Oxford dictionary as:

    a) The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea.

    b) The parts that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

    Now, let’s clarify your erroneous understanding about Jesus’ words uttered on the Cross.

    To begin with, Jesus death was not an accident, not bad luck, not a sentence, but rather, a sacrifice, willingly fulfilled by Jesus with a predefined purpose. Before the crucifixion, the scriptures and Jesus himself confirmed this fact, that, he will die on the Cross for the sins of many. Please follow along,

    1. Isaiah 53

    “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;” (v5)

    “… The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (v6)

    “… For he bore the sin of many…” (v12)

    2. Matthew 16:21 (see also; Mark 10:33, Luke 18:31)

    “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hand of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

    3. Matthew 21:33-46 (The Parable of the Tenants.)

    4. The “Last Supper” before crucifixion. (Matthew 26:27)

    ”This is the blood of my covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

    5. John 6:51

    I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the word.”

    6. John 10

    “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (v11)

    “… I lay down my life- only to take it up again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my accord.” (v17)

    7. At Jesus’ arrest, he identified himself and allowed himself to be taken in willingly. (John 18)

    8. Jesus never even asked as to what were the charges laid against him when questioned by Pilate and accepted his verdict without making a single statement in his defence.

    What about Jesus’ cry:

    Whilst on the Cross Jesus cried out, in Aramaic, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" – translated in plain English – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

    This cry of Jesus was not a statement implying that God had forsaken him. (By the way, now is probably the good time to once again look at the definition of “context” given above?)

    In what context did Jesus cry out? Jesus was, in fact, quoting scriptures. Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 in order to draw attention to it and the fact that He was there on the cross fulfilling what was written in the scriptures.

    If you take the time to read the entire Psalm 22, you will see that Jesus’ utterance was not of abandonment but of hope in God who always keeps his promise regardless of the situation and circumstances. Consider verse 27 - “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the family of the nations will bow down before him.”

    Also, in order to put Jesus’ cry into perspective, and for a proper understanding, one has to look at Jesus’ other words uttered on the Cross. He said,

    “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

    "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46)

    These words are not of someone who had been abandoned or forsaken but of the Savior, who died willingly with a predefined purpose.

    Lastly, Jesus did not die on the cross as God, but as a “Son of man” – representing the fallen/sinful mankind. God is Spirit, Holy, and Eternal. God cannot die; that’s why God embodied Jesus in human body. “God made him who had no sin to be a sin offering for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    Dear Tejwant,

    “More Rape and Baby Killing: Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT) “
    Need we say anything more????

    Well, I hope you have read the definition of “context” above. The verses you are quoting refer to the destruction of Babylon, which prophet Isaiah prophesised. He is describing a war situation, in advance, where the destruction of Babylon will take place and the ensuing violence. If you take time out to read Sikh history, you will see many mentions of rapes, baby killings, Etc., etc., by the Moghuls which occurred during fights between Sikhs and Islamic power of its time. Need I say anything more????


    Finally, Singh99 you say, “As for your claim that the Bible is the most accurate book ever written. You need to read some works by scholars and not just christian polemics. I am a bit busy now but if you are interested I can give you links later”

    Tell you what, I am more than happy to look at the work of these “scholars” you speak of. However, provided that these very same “scholars” of the Bible have also looked at Guru Granth Sahib in the same context and declared it to be a Guru as you claim it to be. If you are willing to take up this challenge, sure, point out these “scholars” of yours to me.

    Rajs (Not a missionary … but a sinner … saved by Jesus)
     
  20. Neutral Singh

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Dear Rajs
    A sacrifice is a sacrifice and who gave you the authority to belittle anybody's sacrifice ? What Jesus did for humanity is commendable and What Sikh Gurus did for humanity is also indisputable... Can you get this across your bigoted mind set or what? If you think you are a follower of Jesus then He must be disgusted to have a religious basher like you as one of His followers. Do you think that by establishing the superiority of sacrifice of Jesus, Jesus would be very happy with you. I never thought that a Christian could so narrow minded but now that you have come as a representative of Jesus, I am pained to change my opinions. Do you think that a sin, a person commits can be redeemed by sacrifice of others ? Thats indigestable for me no matter what? Can you make a rational correlation ? and what about people, who even today commit sin ? Who would redeem them ? or you mean to say that His sacrifice redeemed all the sins ever committed by mankind or ever to be committed?

    Christians and Jews were involved in two world wars and that resulted in heinous crimes against humanity committed by so called Christians... 100 million people died... Are those crimes already pardoned with the sacrifice of Jesus ? I can not get it in my head... Please let me know how ? And what is this AHEM ? Do you think you are making a point ? Noone is a Hindu or Muslim or Christian just because he is born to that family. Anyways, how does that make the supreme sacrifice of Sikh Guru be demeaned or belittled ? You cannot be such a thankless person... Are you ? Mind it I am not asking for 'Sympathy' from your side... ;)

    Sikhs admire the sacrifice of Jesus and respect Him for what He did for humanity and so they do admire the sacrifice of Sikh Gurus... They all sacrificed for the sake of humanity and there is nothing ambigious in Guru Nanak saying "There is no Hindu, or Muslim"... means when everything is born from the same creative energy i.e. Almighty then who are you or me to decide upon the superiority of any anyone ? Only narrow minded people can think that way or people whose mind is filled with extreme prejudice... you certainly represent the second category. Please cleanse you mind of hatred. And fill it with love for humanity. Jesus would be really happy... :) If you think you are here to convince everybody here to converty to Christinity then you are out of your mind. It is very easy to make a judgement. A man is known for what he does at the time of recokning. By mere saying some boostful words, God is not achieved...

    And if, in this forum, we start finding absurdities in Bible and Jesus, then you would conveinantly lement on us that this forum is filled with hatred and prejudice. Won't you, Mr. Rajs ?


    Thats totally fine, dear Rajs. Although, rationally speaking, we have no reason to believe, whatever is written above simply because its not authentic. Is there any reason we should believe it ?


    Sikhs do appreciate the extreme sacrifice He make for humanity.

    But, His sacrifice could have been presented to the world without all these ludicrous stupidities written by His emotional followers... they glorified His sacrifice only to make Him look like a God in flesh. In a survey conducted recently only 55% of Christians do believe in Bible and its happenings. Why 45% have started suspecting authenticity of bible in this moderan age ?
    You were claiming somewhere that a prediction about coming of Jeus was made thousands of years in advance. Can you point me towards source of those predictions ? What scripture ? Who authored it ? What was year it was authored ? Who was ruler when that prediction was made ?

    Please prove that these words were said by Jesus. Such stupities have belittled the sacrifice of Jesus, I am afraid.

    All you have 'pasted' above is emotional exaggerations having no evidence to stand upon.

    What you have been pasting above is just a trivial records of history. I see no philosophy or spirituality in these writings... I am shocked to read such booastful statements made by Jesus. I would rather suspect the source who wrote these writings. You are also booasting that Jesus provides remedy for sins... how come... I do not get you... we are responsibles for our sins and nobody can just come and redeem our sins... thats a lame excuse for our limitations.

    Can you predict the coming next Christ ? Do you think Muhammad (pbuh) was the next Christ ? Why yes & why not ?


    Does this "context" not apply to Sikhism or that is a property of Yours ?


    Challenge ??? None of my busines, i am afraid.


    Rajs (Not a missionary … but a sinner … saved by Jesus)

    I am not Christian and most likely never be, will i be not saved by Jesus ? :) Please do not belittle the contribution of Jesus...


    Best Regards
     
  21. Tejwant Singh

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    Re: An ex-Sikh’s Journey in Faith

    Rajs,

    I am so glad that you are here in this interfaith forum. We surely can learn from each other specially myself who has very little knowledge about Christanity. We all have questions about our faiths and others' so that we can map out the most suitable spiritual path.

    From your posts it seems that you are bitter with Sikhism more than you are in love with Christanity. If your measuring stick is the disdainfulness towards Sikhism, in which you were blessed to be born in, then I have no idea what path you are seeking. If Christanity had sprouted love in you then you would not be talking ill about Sikhism but more about your love towards mankind which dwells on this speck of land called the Earth.

    As you may very well know being an EX SIKH that Nirankaris, Radasoamis and others who believe in SantMat rather than GurMat are not considered Sikhs according to the Sikh religion as Sikhi believe only in GurMat.

    Christanity has 1000's of denominations ( Can you pls give us the right number?). All of them call themselves Christians. However they accuse each other of not loving Jesus. Hence not christians.

    My question to you is that which denominations are real Christians and why? and which are not and why not?

    You may consult your converters for the detailed response if you like.

    Lets try to learn from each other as we choose different paths to seek ONE GOD and interact so that we can become better than what we were.

    Peace & Love

    Tejwant

    Ps: I do have a lot more questions for you which we will come to when I learn from your wisdom about who the real christian is amongst sea of denominations.
     
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