So, what is this, religion roulette? I get to pick one and hope to high heaven that it’s the “right” one, and then maybe I won’t burn? What if I drop everything and choose a monotheistic religion, but I choose Islam and the Christians are actually right, or I choose Judaism and the Christians are right, or whatever?
Everyone says they know the way to heaven, so how am I supposed to know which one IS ACTUALLY RIGHT?
Look, I just want to be good. I want to play my ordained role in life, and I want to play it it in such a way that it is a positive force for as many as possible, or at least so it is a kindness towards those I have a hope of reaching (IE, my friends, my classmates, my country, and those that are within my reach,) and I want to not be tortured for eternity for doing that.
I don’t want to go to hell.
The people in this world who claim to know Jesus the most are often the ones who know him the least. Christ is known only in love, only in kindness, only in compassion.
King James Version (KJV)
5Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
6His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
1) where does the body end and the arms begin?
2) how can a face be like lightening, and do I want to know?
3) just the arms and feet?
4) why do they always show up as dudes?
I wonder… maybe if you refuse to ask whether you’ve been lead astray, or refuse to ask the universe or yourself if it’s possible you’ve been lied to/lying to yourself, THAT’S what makes you liable…. hmm. :/
Are there any rituals/practices/routines which must be preserved to achieve it???
I want to hear a variety of thoughts on this, if you have a religious background, can you include that in your answer? If not, that’s cool too, I still want to know!
I divide Christians into two categories:
1) Practical Christians. These are those who make a conscious choice to define themselves as Christian, to live in the teachings of the Church, and to profess a personal faith in Christ through works of love and devotion in faith.
2) Indirect Christians. These are those who do not consciously define themselves as Christians, though they may admire Christ and choose to follow what he teaches. These people are Christians indirectly because they receive the love and grace of God through Christ’s death on the cross, whether or not they realize that that event of love and self-sacrifice is the source of their love and grace. Unable to restrain the boundless love and grace of God, they feel compelled to share it, making them charitable and loving in Christ.
Any truly faithful person, from either one of these two groups, is legitimately able to receive salvation. It is up to you which path you take.
What do you mean by “what the Church teaches?” The first seven ecumenical councils did little more than establish the orthodoxy of the Trinity and the Incarnation. Orthodox Hinduism (as rooted in the Vedas and Upanishads) shares both of these.
Hinduism teaches the same Trinitarian Godhead as Catholicism. Nirguna Brahman (God without qualities) is the impersonal, unknowable, ineffable principle. Saguna Brahman/Adipurusha (God with qualities/Primal Man) is the personal, knowable, and describable self-extension of God. He is called the Word-God, the First-Born, the Chief Priest, the Universal Sacrifice, etc. It is through him that God creates, as all things are formed from him and in him all things consist. As the conceivable Image of God, it is by Saguna Brahman that Brahman knows himself, and through him that the world knows Brahman. This Saguna Brahman is born from Nirguna Brahman by his own power and will, called Prakriti or Nature. God’s very nature is loving action and interaction. As an impersonal force, Prakriti is indistinguishable from Nirguna Brahman, but when Prakriti proceeds through Saguna Brahman, it becomes personal and is known as Shakti or Power. Shakti is often associated with love.
Likewise, in Catholicism, the Father is the impersonal, unknowable, ineffable principle. The Son is the personal, knowable, and describable self-extension of the Father. It is in his Image that man was made and he is contrasted with the sons of men as the Son of Man. He is called the First-Born, the Word, the High Priest, the Sacrifice, etc. It is through him and for him that God creates, and in him all things consist. Only through the Son can the world know the Father, who is beyond all human comprehension. Thus, no man has seen the Father at any time except the Son, though those that see the Son see the Father. Thus, we, even like the angels, can see the Father, because we see the Son. The Son is eternally born from the Father by the Father’s own power and will, which proceeds through the Son and becomes the Holy Spirit. It exists as an impersonal force and as a personal particular being. The Holy Spirit is most often associated with love.
This Trinity is reflected in the monosyllable AUM, which is always separated into three parts in the Upanishads, in the three-fold designation of God “AUM TAT SAT”, and in the identification of God’s being, “Satchitananda (Eternity/Truth, Consciousness, and Bliss).”
Regarding the idea of the Incarnation, Thomas Aquinas correctly affirmed that God can assume additional human natures into himself. We see this in the Buddha and in Krishna, for instance. “Avatara” means “he who descends.” It is truly God which descends upon man, and man, in his rising to God, meets God and becomes one. All three of these great figures have stories of parthenogenesis (virgin-conception), and all three are said to have overcome death. However, it is in the sacrifice of Christ alone that the world finds the greatest and most inconceivable act of love and grace, and thus, it is from the Incarnation of God in Christ alone that we receive this boundless grace, whether or not we know him personally.
As to whether or not you can orient your Hinduism toward Christ, of course you can! Millions of Hindus honor Christ and worship him as God. Though not many Hindus understand the Trinitarian nature of Brahman expounded upon in the Upanishads, they do maintain a solid and peaceful faith, and they do spread that love and grace with all beings.
Be blessed! Om Namaha Shivaya!
Icon of the Mother of God “the Surety of Sinners”
The Surety of Sinners (Споручница грешных) Icon of the Theotokos is a Russian image which was revealed as wonder-working during the middle of the 19th century. It gets it name from the inscription found on the icon:
“I am the Surety of sinners for My Son Who has entrusted me to hear them, and those who bring me the joy of hearing them will receive eternal joy through me.”
The word Sporuchnitsa (Споручница), translated as “surety”, can also be translated as “pledge” or even as “intercession”. The pledge is not only shown in the inscription but also in the way Jesus Christ holds His mother’s hand, a sign of one giving a pledge for the other.
The origins of the icon are unclear, but the style of the icon (both Mother and Child are crowned; 12 stars around the Theotokos) suggest either the Ukraine or Belarus, both places where Western religious art influenced iconographers. Despite this, the basis for the icon is in a much more ancient source, the Akathist to the Protection of the Theotokos, in which there is the line: “Rejoice, You Who offer Your hands in surety for us to God.”
This icon was first glorified by miracles in 1848 at the St Nicholas Odrino men’s monastery. The icon was in an old chapel beyond the monastery gates, and stood between two other ancient icons. Because it was so faded and covered with dust, it was impossible to read the inscription. It was revealed to many of the people in dreams that the icon was endowed with miraculous power. They solemnly brought the icon into the church. Believers began to flock to it to pray for the healing of their sorrows and sicknesses. The first to receive healing was a crippled child, whose mother, wife of a merchant named Pochepyn, prayed fervently before the icon in 1844. The icon was glorified during a cholera epidemic, when many people fell deathly ill, and were restored to health after praying before the icon.
With the revelation of the icon as wonderworking, many copies of the Surety of Sinners were made, some of which themselves were glorified by God with miracles. As well as the Odrino monastery, there are miracle-working icons in Moscow and Robensk.