Similarities and Differences Between Christianity & Hinduism

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Examine and comment on contrasting standpoints about God and/or existence in relation to the topic you have investigated. Christianity and Hinduism seem to have profoundly different views in relation to God and/or existence. For example, creation within Christian belief is primarily ex-nihilo (out of nothing). God created everything in 7 days from the light and darkness, to the day of rest. This can be illustrated by reference to Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth” From this it is quite clear that God pre-existed before the beginning of creation. In contrast, Hindus reject the concept that something can come from nothing for several reasons such as, the Bhagavad Gita (BG) states the eternality of matter: "Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless” and also, from the Rig Veda: ‘There was neither non-existence nor existence: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it’ - Instead they believe that the sacred sound ‘Om’ (a symbol of Brahman) was the first sound of creation. There was always something before creation, as it is an impossible notion to assume that anything can come from nothing. Brahman (the one ultimate reality) is believed to have 3 functions, which are shown by 3 Gods: Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. He is the source of all manifestations. The universes are created by Lord Brahma, the creator, maintained by Lord Vishnu, the preserver, and destroyed by Lord Shiva, the destroyer. Brahman was before creation in which he was unmanifest; this is similar to God in Christianity as he is a spirit and is incomprehensible. ‘The wind from God is invisible’. Both religions state that ‘God’ created the universe by the power of his word/command. (e.g. ‘Let there be light’), and with reference to The Cosmological argument, God within Christianity is timeless and spaceless, because this was part of his creation, the same as Brahman. However, whilst both God’s are eternal, it may not be clear that Brahman is outside time and space (primeval). Whilst both religions seem to be in this context, they are however similar in how they perceive their ‘God’. Within Christianity, there is only one God and he is described as ‘holy’ – meaning special, separate and different. He is Omniscient (Infinite knowledge), omnipotence (ultimate power), omnipresence (present everywhere) and Omnibenevolent (All loving) – This can again be demonstrated from Genesis; ‘God must be timeless and spaceless to have been pre-existent before the beginning’ Similarly, Hindus believe that there is one true God, the supreme spirit, called Brahman. They suggest that Brahman is present in every person as the eternal spirit of their soul (showing a similar belief to an Omnipresent God). To Hindus, Brahman contains everything: To Christians, God IS everything. Hindu scriptures tell us that realizing our true essence (atman) as Brahman, will mean an end to all suffering, which can be contemplated to say that Brahman also has and omnibenevolent nature. However, raising one of the main conflicting comparisons between the two religions; Christians are monotheistic, they believe in only one personal God; this allows for a deity-devotee relationship. (A loving relationship between God/Goddess and worshiper) Romans 5:8: ‘but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ Within Hinduism, everything is one. (Monism) Whilst it’s similar, in a way that God in Christianity has 3 descriptions ‘The God, the father, and the holy spirit’, and God (Brahman) in Hinduism is made out up of 3 forms; there are still conflicts that arise as there cannot be a deity-devotee relationship within Hinduism beliefs. (I.e. you cannot have a relationship if everything is one). In some aspects, Hinduism Is believed to be a polytheistic religion for the Gods and Goddesses are all real, separate and personal individuals to love and worship. On this belief, there is a...
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