The Futility of A False Religion

Over Spring Break I had the opportunity to visit a country in South Asia, a country brimming with kind people, a rich history, and many beautiful cultural traditions. However, during the trip, I got to observe men and women practicing Hinduism, and I was struck by the absolute futility of it. My heart broke for these people who are blinded by this false religion. As I saw temple after temple scattered throughout the city erected to one of the millions of deities in Hinduism, I recalled Isaiah 2:8:

“Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.”

Instead of reading a textbook about Hinduism, this trip afforded me the opportunity to observe the daily lives of those who claimed to be followers of Hinduism. I wanted to share just a few of the things I experienced so you can join me in praying for these people.

A Sleepy god: Every day on the trip, I woke up to a next-door neighbor of my friends ringing a bell. One morning the ringing went on for over twenty minutes. The purpose of this exercise? The man did that every morning to “wake up” his god. When I found that out, I was amazed and wondered who in the world would want to serve a god like that, one you must work so hard to rouse from his slumber? Praise the Lord that our God neither sleeps nor slumbers (Ps 121:4) and never grows tired or weary (Is 40:28). When we are sleeping, He is active. When I struggle to wake up each morning, I can be thankful that God never has to sip coffee in the morning to become alert or sip Red Bull at night to stay awake. He alone is from everlasting to everlasting. He created the universe. He certainly doesn’t need me ringing a bell every morning as his alarm clock.

A Fear-based Tradition: One Sunday during the trip, I had the opportunity to go to a village house church. I have never seen such poverty as I did on the trip out there. Once we arrived, I noticed several of the babies in the village had black markings on their foreheads. The reason for these markings? To ward off evil spirits. I was told that mothers mark their babies in this way to make them less beautiful so that an evil spirit will not steal the children. Within Hinduism, there are actually believed to be goddesses (Mātrkās) that steal children. Rest assured, the one true God of the Bible is not slinking around trying to steal children; our God displays a protective nature for children (see Mark 10:13-16) and desires that believers display that same protective nature for children (Jms 1:27).

The Value of a Life: Several times during the week, traffic would come to an absolute standstill as a cow lazily meandered its way throughout the city. Cows are honored and respected among Hindus—if a car struck a cow, the result would be disastrous for the person who caused the harm. Because this false religion believes in reincarnation, a cow could be someone’s reincarnated ancestor so the people treat this animal with great respect. The problem, though, is that the life of a cow is treated with greater dignity than the life of a young girl. Though banned by South Asian governments, the devadasi system (a Hindu practice of temple prostitution) is still used today. Parents dedicate girl babies to the goddess Yellamma, and once the girl reaches the age of 11 or 12, she begins a life of prostitution. The only hope offered to this young girl is the chance that she will one day be reincarnated in a better life. When the life of a girl is less valuable than a cow, something is terribly wrong!

As Easter approaches and you reflect on the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross, remember that Christianity is the story of the God who sacrifices for His people to make us right with Him. The only hope for that man who rings a bell every morning to try to wake up his god is Jesus. The only hope for those mothers who fear evil spirits stealing their babies is Jesus. The only hope for those young girls being used and abused as temple prostitutes is Jesus. Nearly a billion people in the world today identify themselves as Hindu, and the only hope for each one of them is Jesus. He is the only hope for you and me, too. Pray that followers of Hinduism will see the futility of this false religion. And, pray for workers who will point these people to the only, true God, Jesus Christ.

One final thing. My trip to South Asia gave me the opportunity to watch just a handful of Hindus and observe snippets of their life and how their religion impacted them. Since coming back, I have wondered what people would think of Christianity by observing my life. Does the way I live out my faith point to the hope and joy people can experience by knowing Christ? Would someone watching me for a few minutes in my day see a difference? Would someone watching you? I pray that each of us would live lives worthy of the Gospel, lives that point people to the hope found only in Christ.

6 thoughts on “The Futility of A False Religion”

  1. Linda says:

    Thanks for this, Candi. What a fantastic opportunity you were afforded to travel and see all this. We have a Hindu temple in our town – the only one for 100 miles – so I found your article particularly interesting. My mom’s oncologist (prior to her death 5 years ago) is the guy who facilitated having our town’s particular temple built, so she had occasion to talk with him about his “faith” quite often. He was Indian and highly intellectual as you could imagine given his profession. It’s amazing to see such God-given intellect used in such a hopelessly dead religion as Hinduism. I have no idea, either, how he would reconcile his religion with that of the Hindu’s you witnessed in Asia who subscribed to the prostitution of their young girls. That was shocking.

  2. Lilian says:

    Thanks Candi to share with us the real life in other countries, really is sad how people is blind about false gods. As a mom, is difficult to understand to give your own children to prostitution my prayers for all the girls who are in that evil position, it encourages me to preach more the Good News to other cultures. Have a bless Easter. Jesus has risen, aleluya.

  3. Daphne says:

    Hi there, Candi. We met through the song titled ‘take me to church’. I tried to watch YouTube but a few seconds into that I realized that ‘take me to church’ had nothing to do with the church as I know it — the body of Christ. I wanted to know how the church felt about the song and its blatant blasphemy. My search led me to you. Thank you for expressing your thoughts on the lyrics and the message behind them. With regards to the article on different religions — Hozier’s too (or is it Hosier?) — one would have thought that by now, every human being had seen and received the Light — the good news of the true Gospel. It seems as if the harvest out there is much greater than one had envisaged and the laborers out there are not able to make any significant differences due to their small numbers — even with the aid of technology!!! Let us gird our loins. There is still so much work to do. Like the good old Christian soldiers, we have to march as to war …. Get my drift?

  4. Jason says:

    I recently found out one of my neighbors was Hindu. I heard them ringing a prayer bell in the mornings and tried to research it a bit online when I came across this article…

    I’m very happy that you find purpose and peace through your faith and that you’ve been fortuneate enough to travel and experience other cultures. What a wonderful opportunity! But a point by point comparison on how your faith trumps another has to be the most un-christian thing I can possibly imagine.

    Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Matthew 7:1-2

    Instead of taking the time to understand and appreciate an ancient tradition, thousands and thousands of years older than your own, you make snide self congratualtory statements and hold yourself above it.
    Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matthew 23:28

    Not every foreign tradition is moral or acceptable, absolutely not. But remember that these are impoverished and undereducated countries. It’s also worth remembering that in less enlightened times christians have committed horrible acts in the name of god, and some still do. Is it right to judge the many by the acts of a few? Are you so without sin that you can make sweeping judgements of other cultures you only briefly experienced? Did you do anything to improve these peoples lives? or did you just observe them like a side-show and run home to mock them?

    For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:48

    You quote scripture and feel your faith is superior to another’s…where is the bible quote that says that’s ok? Where is the psalm that condones this behavior? God told Moses to have no other gods before him…he didn’t say that to the Hindu’s…

    Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

    1. Kelly says:

      Wow thank you for that really great comment Jason. I couldn’t agree more.

    2. Brian says:

      With all due respect Jason, I think you misinterpreted Candi’s intentions here. Her intention was not to mock but to highlight to us how this false religion has held some people hostages and calling us to pray for them.
      The tradition/religion may be old, but that doesnt take away the fact that its a false religion perpetuated by ignorance of one true God, based on the reasons mentioned.
      In as much as the bible tells us not to judge, it tells us to test all spirits;
      1John4;1-“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits,whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
      Im glad that you quoted what Jesus said about loving your neighbour. Thats what Candi is doing. Above all, the same Jesus said he is the only way to God…Joahn 14;6-Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life;no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
      True love would honestly reach out or point out someone’s wrongs-Proverbs 27:5- “Better is open rebuke than hidden love”

      We have left too much rot going on the world and hide behind- The judge not verse. Jesus taught us that knowing the truth sets free and during his time of ministering he rebuked the religous leaders of the time with the truth.
      The age of any tradition doesnt make good. The important thing to know is, what was the spirit behind this tradition and what fruits is it bearing. A good tree is known for its fruit.

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