Summary: Part 2 of this series--inspired by Adam Hamilton who preached a similsr series
(I have include web sites that I conulted in the body of the sermon)
(VIDEO CLIPS taken from video available form Willow Creek: I have a Friedn who Thinks All Religions are the same)
Today I continue the series on Christianity and World Religions. My goal is to help you to learn more about what these other faith groups believe so that you can be better equipped to talk about your faith with others who believe differently than you do. Each week I also will be showing some excerpts from an actual worship service at Willow Creek Church –one of the churches that I visited last summer—that includes an interview with leaders in each of the world religions. Watch how the Pastor Bill Hybels introduced this discussion.
VIDEO Clip 1
Start: Bill Hybels: You said that you and a lot of your friends think that maybe all world religions are essentially the same. ……….
All we’re trying to get at is a sense of understanding of these five world religions. Stop
I’ll be talking today about Hinduism. But first I want to offer a disclaimer: I’ve spent much time preparing for this preaching series, have read various articles, watched different videos about religion, reviewed various websites developed by Hindus, and read some of the Hindu scriptures.
But the research that I have done does not an expert make. I want to make it clear that I am not an expert on Hinduism. Some of you might even know a little more than I do on the subject. That’s why I am using these video clips each week from the people from those particular religions.
There is a lot I don’t know about Hinduism, so I’ll be giving you today a summary of what I have learned. So I hope what I can do is help you to understand some of Hinduism’s essential features. Then I will conclude by trying to summarize essential differences between Christianity and Hinduism.
I’d encourage you to take out today’s outline because I think this will help you to follow my discussion today. I’d also encourage you to continue to use the study guide I’ve provided for you so that you can read and study the Bible this week and develop your prayer life.
Each week I will try to give you a historical overview of each religion. So today I want to first give you some “pre-history” on the Hindu faith.
It is widely recognized that most elements of present day Hinduism descended from the amalgam of the religious beliefs of the Aryans who are said to have come into India (West Punjab) around 1750 B.C. and those of the earlier peoples who reportedly were the founders of the Indus valley civilization.
The earliest objects of worship were the forces of nature and the religion was in essence polytheistic. Later on came the personified Gods like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva while the polytheistic nature remained unchanged.
If you were to compare a Hindu timeline with our Biblical time line, the Aryans would have been developing their religious ideas in India (in red on screen) about the same time Abraham and his descendants were developing the Hebrew Faith make in the area of Palestine.
The oldest of the Hindu scriptures are called the Vedas. They were put down in written form in about 1000 BC. about the time of King Davis’s reign over Israel.
The Vedas, a collection of poems, are considered by Hindus to be a direct revelation of God. The Hindus believe that the Vedas were given orally by God when humans could first begin to understand about 3 or 4 centuries before the time of Christ. They would have been put in written form about the same time David was writing the collection of Psalms in Israel.
The most prominent of the Hindu Scriptures is called the Bhagavad-Gita. It was probably written about the time the Jews were in exile Babylon in 500 BC—about the time Buddhism starts to develop as we’ll see next week.
So each week I’ll try to give you some time frames in which these religions develop in comparison to the Biblical history that you’re more familiar with.
What I will do next is review Hindu beliefs in this manner:
A. God’s Nature and How to Know God
B. The Scriptures or Sacred Texts
C. About the Human Condition, Salvation, and Eternity
D. The Point of View of this Faith about Jesus Christ.
Each week I’ll present video clips from a worship service at Willow Creek from a couple of years ago. Pastor Bill Hybels invited experts from each religion to come and discuss their respective faith groups.
As Bill Hybels did during that service at Willow Creek, I’d like to ask you to put your student or learning hat on. I’d like to ask you to listen respectfully and graciously and really try to understand what these people are saying about their belief system. This is not a debate format. This is not a contest of who makes the best presentation. All we’re trying to get at is a sense of understanding of these five world religions.