EASTERN RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY- Introduction
Religions from the East are moving West at an alarming rate. So today, like never before, all of us need to know exactly what sets Christianity apart from Eastern philosophy and thought.
EASTERN RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY- Exclusive from Christianity
There are a lot of eastern religions around today. Religions like: Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, etc. And while they all have their own distinctions they also have a number of specific beliefs which are mutually exclusive from Christianity. Let’s look at them.
EASTERN RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY- The Concept of God
The first distinction has to do with the concept of God. In eastern thought, God is understood to be an impersonal force or principle. Now the God of the Bible in sharp distinction is a personal God, who communicates attributes like love, reason, emotion, and a host of others.
EASTERN RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY- The Concept of Man
Another distinction is that in eastern thought, man is seen as being a part of nature. In fact, man’s goal is to become one with nature because nature is God. So most eastern religions are pantheistic, believing that “God is all and all is God.” Christianity, on the other hand, teaches that man is a special creation and is very distinct from nature. The fact is, man is created in the image and likeness of God Almighty (Gen. 1:26-27).
EASTERN RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY- The Concept of Truth
One last difference involves the method for apprehending truth. In the east, truth comes through intuition. It’s apprehended apart from the cognitive thinking process. In contrast, Christianity teaches that truth comes through revelation. God’s most complete revelation is found in the person and through the work of Jesus Christ who was none other than God Himself in human flesh. The truth, according to Christianity, is understood with the mind and is then embraced with the heart. I’ve long said that the heart cannot fully rejoice in what the mind does not comprehend. These points, and many others, make Christianity fundamentally different and incompatible with the religions of the East — you just can’t synthesize them.On Christianity and eastern religions, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.