Monday, September 15, 2014

Religious Curry

"In the Garden of Eden," said the man sitting opposite me, "good and evil are united in the form of a fruit...Since that time, we see the division. Good, separated from evil, is written on every man's heart. You, my friend, must listen to your heart to know what is good. And when you do this, you will know God because God is good." I was astounded by the diversity in this man's world views. Trying to help untangle this fishing-line of truths and lies, we debated for almost 2 hours.

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His soup of theology contained an unwavering belief that he was saved through Jesus Christ, but also through his childhood devotion to the Catholic saints, heavily salted with New-Age belief that you decide what is right for yourself, and peppered with Hinduism claiming that doing good is the essence of knowing God.
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"You see a man stealing." He continued, "I say that is wrong; YOU say that is wrong. We are agreed. You look at it from one side; I look from the other side. We both are correct..."Stories like this one seem to come up everywhere. A land steeped in Hindu thought has little resentment for the name of Jesus. Accepting the gospel is not a stretch; removing all previous religious orientation is. As well, knowing that being a sold-out believer is considering to be the most embarrassing of religions.

Still I am deeply encouraged by the faith of those who have none by Jesus. There are three of us on the field, and the work we are doing stretches and blesses us every day. The heart cries of Believers praying for their neighbors living in demonic darkness and the laughs of school children torn away from troubled lives for a few short hours a day; it makes our hearts melt.

It is the end of the first week. Lack of sleep and a head cold are testing two of us. God is faithful. We have had many first experinces and I'm sure they will not end soon. Biggest culture shock for me was lack of personal space. Every other experience has been fascinating.

Will we ever see the fruit of these Gospel conversations or witness the life changing power of our bible stories on young children and unbelieving teachers? Maybe not till the end of time. India has already pushed our prayers into high gear.

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