Monday, October 22, 2007

One God when it Really Matters

Back in February of this year, as soon as we found out that Bobby had cancer, we began receiving words of encouragement from many of our friends in India. All of our Indian national Christian friends gave us strong words of encouragement based upon the sovereignty of our God. They were convinced that He would heal Bobby. We had also become close with about 40 Western Christians who lived in our city. The night before we departed, almost all of them came over to our house to pray for Bobby. It was very special.

We also made Hindu friends while in India. Of those closest to us, the majority worshiped Hanuman (the monkey god pictured here), along with various other gods of the Hindu pantheon. Since our city was known as the city of Shiva, our Hindu friends also worshiped Shiva on holidays devoted to him. As far as I can tell, it is all just dressed-up Animism.

When we got the word about Bobby's lymphoma, our Hindu friends wanted to give us words of encouragement (like our Christian friends). What they had to say intrigued me.

No longer did they speak about "the gods." They made no mention of Hanuman, Shiva, Ganesh, etc. The polytheism of the Hindu belief system vanished in the face of real trouble. Instead, several different Hindu friends told us that "god" would take care of and/or heal Bobby. They used the word "god." It was unmistakable.

Why was this the case? Did they do it because they knew we were Christians and wanted to please us? I don't think so. If that was the case, then they always would have talked of one God, at least when they were at our home.

What was going on here? I believe that they know, at some level, that their belief system is false. They also know, based upon general revelation, that there is one God in heaven, the Creator of all things.

Romans 1:18-23 makes this clear, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things." (ESV)

If that passage doesn't fit the situation in India, then I don't know where it applies. Our Hindu friends know enough to be judged by God because they know He exists. They cannot be saved with that knowledge, but they can be declared guilty because they have known enough.

Their reactions to our situation showed that they know there is one true God. May they come to know Him fully through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.


Joe Blackmon said...

I heard Ravi Zacharias talking about a conversation he had with a Hindu teacher one time. He said that she mentioned to him off the record that she doubted the truth of her belief. When you get down to it, even with spiritual blindness, people know that there is a God.

Great post.

Eric said...


I'm not surprised to hear the Hindu woman say that. I suppose that with any works-based religion there is never any assurance of any sort of salvation. In our city in India, 60,000 people bathed in the river each day in the hopes of washing their sins away.

You are right to say that people know there is a God.