Sunday, November 29, 2009

A talk with a Hindu friend

(Please bear in mind that this post is written in a play type format and the words i use here are not the exact words used at the time of the conversation.)

It was back in 2005, the year I decided to follow Christ, I was approached by a man who frequented our church in Guwahati. We used to talk and I know his name, but will not use it here. He was from a Hindu family and was disturbed about how many gods we worship. He knows that we worship only one God but has heard of the Trinity and Jehovah Jireh – God the provider, Jehovah Rapha – God the healer, Jehovah Nissi - God our banner etc. He came to me after we had a wonderful worship. He was a banker living with his wife and three kids.

He: Why do you say you only worship one God when you have so many gods?

Me: (I was shocked!) We worship only one God and have only one true God.

I was getting defensive and a little angry especially as he went on to speak about the Trinity and the other names of God he so misunderstood. I was furious when he added that we (Christians) were uncertain of the gods we had. Anyway, summing up all my patience and wanting to portray Christ, I managed to simmer down.

He: What about the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit?

God answered through me: Let me explain it this way by asking you a few questions. Is it okay?

He: Sure.

Me: What and who are you? What’s your name?

He: Be serious please.

Me: I am, now please answer me.

He: You know me.

Me: Alright, you’re a human, a banker and your name is Amit (fake name used here) right?

He: Like I said, you know me.

Me: What are you to your parents, wife and children?

He: A son, a husband and a father. (He was reluctant with a ? on his forehead)

Me: You’re also a friend, right again?

He: You guys are good friends allowing a Hindu to occupy your seat.

Me: Thanks, you’re always welcome in the house of the Lord.
Well, you’re just one person, but you are a son, a husband, a father who provides for his family. Not only that, but you’re also a banker and a friend to many. That’s six in one and I’m sure you are not just the six we have mentioned.

He: Chicco, I get it now, however you will never convince me to convert, just not possible for me to follow your religion. But I will use your explanation if my Hindu friends mock you guys again.

Me: Oh well, I did my part of being a witness and I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will not only convince but convict you to accept Christ.

We went on to talk about other things like how we Mizos are so good with music and that it was not his intention to question the Christian faith. I felt bad being offended. We had lunch and he paid. I left Guwahati two weeks after this conversation and have not contacted him since (I took no phone numbers or emails). May God bless him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Exegesis and Eisegesis (my thoughts)

Well as far as I’m concerned, being aware, maybe not fully but aware all the same of eisegesis and exegesis, these things are to me of very little importance as compared to the Gospel I’m to preach. It is the concept of the subject itself that I want to bring out. Moreover, the concept is man made. Where in the Bible does it tell us that believing in John 3:16 is not enough to save us? And yet it’s just one verse and the purpose of the whole scripture.

Don’t get me wrong, please note the ‘very little’ and not ‘NO.’ I know it leads to false or bad interpretation and understanding of the scriptures if one verse is taken and the rest rejected. But why I pay little heed to the terms. My simplest reason is because in my study, I always find that, the scriptures are all interlinked. Meaning they have the same purpose of trying to lead everyone to Christ. And then the Spirit works to make us believe even if the message is beyond our human ability to comprehend. Thought comes to me and to see if it was 'Godly', I'd check with the Bible. Eisegesis? Maybe to some but confirmation to me.

As we all know, every word in the Bible was written by men, people just like you and me. Some seem to be in favor of eisegesis and some exegesis (don't come to conclusions yet before you finish). However, they all represent Christ. These men had the same God, Savior Jesus and the Holy Spirit we worship today. So you can’t be going astray if your message is glorifying God and winning souls to Christ. You and I also know that men from the OT did'nt have Christ's full atonement or the Holy Spirit's comfort, even if they did the Spirit was upon them and not within.

I also cannot throw away human perceptions and worldviews altogether. Why else should we contextualize? Moreover serving God is serving man, right? Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' If you read from verse 31 thru 46 it will be clearer. Now this is an example of exegesis, because I wrote in a way which meant, read in context.

We have to be down to earth in ministering, even Jesus came down to earth.If we were to disregard man’s perceptions, why then did God choose to become a man to minister to the world? I quote, “Jesus is the most extreme cross-cultural missionary.” Is this eisegesis again? If your answer is a ‘yes’ I do not disagree because it’s not God’s intention to tell the world that Jesus is a cross-cultural missionary. However, it is the still small voice of the Spirit telling me to support world wide evangelism, it encourages me to be apart of the Great Commission.

‘Eisegesis and exegesis are things of very little importance to me as compared to the Gospel I’m to preach,’ There are a few verses which prompted me to state what I did, but maybe this verse, very famous in missions can do me the favor of conveying what I have in mind. The verse is about Paul’s statement in Acts 17:23 “For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.”

Are we just to say that Paul got this from the Book of the Law? Or can’t the renewed mind of the born again accept that he was doing all he can to win the men of Athens to Christ? Under which category do we put Paul’s statement, eisegesis or exegesis? I do not believe he had any biblical rights to say what he did. I believe though, he was urged by the Holy Spirit and therefore the statement. This maneuver of Paul made it possible for him to preach Christ and make a few followers. In verse 34, “A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.”

So long as your words and methods are glorifying God and expanding His Kingdom, you’re doing the right thing. If our methods don’t work, let’s change it. Pray and listen and change it again if you have to until it bears fruit. Perseverance and commitment don’t mean sticking to a failing program. Some prefer rice, while others bread and some noodles, it’s OK as long as it is food that satisfies the hunger and not poison that kills.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nobody



This man from Pakistan says, he wants to hear the story of Jesus but there's nobody to tell him.

They are ready to listen, the field is ripe for the harvest, but the workers are few.

“Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
John 4:35 (KJV)