Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Nazarene Looks at the Sikh Views on Christianity

A Nazarene Looks at the Sikh Views on Christianity




Q: Is Jesus God?

A: Sikhs respectfully disagree with some Christians who believe that Jesus is God. According to Sikhism, Jesus or any other person who took birth in this world is not God. Sikhism has a clear description of God. "God is One. He is the Supreme Truth. He the Creator, is without fear and without hate. He is immortal. He is neither born and nor does He die. By Guru's grace shall He be met. Chant And Meditate on His Name. In the beginning, He was the Truth. Throughout the ages, He has been the Truth. He is the Truth now and He shall be the Truth forever" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1). "He has no form, no shape, no color; God is beyond these three qualities. One understands Him, O Nanak, with whom God is pleased" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 283).

Jesus took birth and had physical human form, therefore, Sikhism instructs that Jesus cannot be God since God does not take birth and nor does He die. Any individual who has taken birth in the history of mankind including Sikh Gurus, Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha are not God. Sikhs however do not discount that Jesus is a prophet and like Sikh Gurus may be one with God.

Jesus took birth and had physical human form, therefore, Sikhism instructs that Jesus cannot be God since God does not take birth and nor does He die. Any individual who has taken birth in the history of mankind including Sikh Gurus, Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha are not God. Sikhs however do not discount that Jesus is a prophet and like Sikh Gurus may be one with God.

A much-used analogy to describe this is that of an ocean. If God is like an ocean, then our soul is like a drop of water taken from the ocean. The drop of water can become one with the ocean but can never be label as the ocean itself. A human soul can become one with God and attain salvation but can never be label as God Himself. Jesus could have been one with God but not God Himself.

Guru Granth Sahib Ji states "One who is not touched by pleasure, pain, greed, emotional attachment and egotistical pride. Nanak says, listen mind: he is the very image of God. One who is beyond praise and slander, and looks upon gold and iron alike. Nanak says, listen mind: know that such a person attains salvation. One who is not affected by pleasure or pain, and looks upon friend and enemy alike. Nanak says, listen mind: know that such a person attains salvation" (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1427). That person becomes the image of Lord, he becomes united with God and merges in the fearless Lord. There no longer remains any difference between that person and God. Juts like the drop of water mingles with the ocean, that person and God become One. Sikh Gurus had become one with God before they preached about God in this world. The Bible says, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:31). Meaning that Jesus and God are one, just like Sikh Gurus and God are One. God then sent Gurus to the Earth to enlighten people. When Gurus were on the Earth they were a part of God, in other words the son of God but NOT God. Each one of us have a part of God in ourselves, the soul, making us the children of God. Like Sikh Gurus, Jesus can be described as the spiritual son of God but not God Himself.

The answer may come as a shock to many Christians but Jesus never said he is God. Actually, he said over and over that he is the son of God, which means that he is not God. Jesus made it clear in many ways that he is not God; that God is greater. “If you truly loved me you would rejoice to have me go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). Jesus taught the mankind to pray to the Father, our Creator, not to himself. In fact, he did not mention himself in any way, nor did he indicate that we should pray in his name. His instructions were very specific: we are to pray to God alone.


The result of human errors and the misinterpretation of the Bible lead many Christians to believe that Jesus is God. Errors in translation has taken its toll and resulted in many Christian denominations to have different interpretations and beliefs from the same respected Holy Bible. The first verse of John is very challenging to interpret as it talks about the word of God. “In the beginning was the Word; The Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). An objective reading of this verse raises the question: If the “Word” was in “God's presence”, how could it be God? When something is in your presence, it has to be, by definition, separate from you. The logical understanding of these lines is that the “Word” originated from God, or represents God.

In addition, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory: the glory of an only son coming from the Father filled with enduring love” (John 1:14). This verse makes a clear distinction between the Word and the Father. In no way does it argue for the divinity of Jesus. The Word comes from God, and thus reflects the glory of the Creator. This understanding is confirmed by the fact that throughout the Gospels, Jesus emphasizes that he did not speak on his own, that God told him what to say. This clearly indicates that Jesus delivered the Word of God, not that he was God. Here is an illustration, “whatever I say is spoken just as he instructed me" (John 12:44-50). In John 8:40, Jesus describes himself as "a man who has told you the truth which I have heard from God”. Thus again we see that Jesus delivered the Word of God.

In Luke 9:35 Bible says, “This is my Son, My chosen One; listen to Him!” This clearly explains that when Jesus was on the Earth he was the son of God (a soul sent to this world by God) but not God Himself. If a person thinks he can sail his ship in a rain droplet then he is in oblivion but if he believes he can sail his ship in the ocean then he is on the right track. If one worships Jesus then he is in oblivion as Jesus himself said that he is not God but a part of God. One should not worship Jesus but One God only. The tenth Guru of SikhsGuru Gobind Singh Ji said, “Those who worship me will be destined to hell. Consider me the son of God and worship my Father. For I am His servant”. He made it very clear so that people are not to worship Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Jesus himself said to worship his Father. When Jesus was on Earth he refers to a Supreme Being high above as his Father. If Jesus is God then why would he refer to someone else as God?

Jesus wants us to worship God, not himself. Jesus is one of the most respected and valued spiritual being in the history of mankind. He gave up his life in order to stand up for the truth and remain strong in his belief and teachings of God. Sikhs Gurus gave up their lives for everyone's right to worship one God. Jesus and Sikh Gurus show us the way to be One with God. We should listen to them and follow their way instead of arguing with each other and reaching our own conclusions.
[1] source: FAQ > Sikh Views on Christianity http://www.realsikhism.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1248371105&ucat=7 


[2] Sikhism believes in one supreme being which is real and immanent and only experienceable in this creation; technically there is nothing in this creation which is devoid of it and distinct of it.
It teaches that the God is omnipresenttranscendenceomnipotent, and omniscient. It also revolves around the belief in reincarnation. Emphasis is onethicsmorality, and values; the Sikh faith does not accept miracles. The Sikh school of thought believes in a form of reincarnation similar to Karma. The concept of hell and heaven in Sikhism is metaphorical and is said to be experienced by those who chose (or not) to live in the 5 thieves.

Guru Har Gobind
Sikhism also believes in an omnipresent Onkar, the one constant in the Universe.



THE NATURE OF HUMAN BEINGS
Sikhs deny the reality of man's sinful nature. They teach that people are essentially good; the divine spark within them needs only to be fanned into a flame of goodness. On the other hand, the Bible teaches that men inherit a sinful nature from Adam; a person's guilt must .be atoned for. Guru Nanak taught that a man's sins are moral lapses caused by his environment. They may be cleansed through meditation and prayer.


Mic 6:8  It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. 

Sikhs have a lineage and legacy, guidelines and philosophies, masters, saints and its history. But primarily, the Sikh way of life offers a down-to-earth spiritual path for every-day people. It doesn't matter what your spiritual orientation is. Or what culture or background you belong to. Any person can use this technology to experience his or her own Divinity and Infinity.
The Aims of a Sikh are:
To train the mind and all the senses to recognize the Divine Light within oneself and within all of creation.
To be of service to others.
The lifestyle of a Sikh includes:
Rising before the sun each morning in what is called the Amrit Vela or Ambrosial Hours. In the two and half hours before the sun rises, the mind has the best chance to quietly surrender and hear the voice of the Spirit.
Taking a cold shower, balancing the body, mind and breath and then meditating on the One within everyone.
Meditating on and chanting the Shabad Guru, the Sacred Sound Current as Divine Teacher which brings us to the experience of our own Divinity.
Meditating and chanting at sunset and before going to sleep.
During the day, a Sikh lives a normal life. Single or married; with children or without. In work life and in social life, Sikhs strive to:

Be aware of the Divine in our hearts and the whole creation with every breath we take.
Earn our living honestly and share whatever we have with others.
Be constantly awake for opportunities to serve and elevate others.


Mic 6:8 It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.



source:

WHAT JEWS BELIEVE

1 Jews believe that one person cannot die for the sins of another.

2 We do not need a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.

3 Jews believe that Jesus was not the messiah. [see Be aware: below] 

4 Jews believe that Gd hates human sacrifices.

5 Jews believe that one is born into the world with original purity.
Jews do not believe in original sin.

6 Jews believe that Gd is one and indivisible.
Jews do not believe in a trinity.

7 Jews believe in The Satan, but not in a devil.
There is a difference between The Satan and the devil.

8 Jews believe that Gd is Gd, and humans are humans.
Gd does not become human nor do humans become Gd.

9 Jews believe that "Jews for Jesus," "Messianic Jews," and "Hebrew Root Christians" are no longer Jews, even if they were once Jews.

10  The "Jewish roots" of Christianity? ... The newest technique used by Christian missionaries and some other Christian clergy is to be found in what they teach when they use the terms, 'The Jewish Roots of Christianity,' or 'The Hebraic Roots of Christianity.' One might think this means how, in their opinion, Christianity began with Jews, or developed from Judaism. However, this is not what they mean by 'the Jewish Roots.' The way these people try to show that the roots of Christianity are to be found in Judaism is by putting a Christian theological interpretation into a Jewish ceremony or ritual. They then claim that this planted Christian theological interpretation, having been 'found' in something Jewish, demonstrates that Christianity was a natural outgrowth of Judaism.



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