Frj82’s Blog

December 16, 2008

Jesus and Who?

Filed under: Religion — frj82 @ 10:55 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So I have this friend who got married within the last year or so, and through the process of meeting, dating, engaging, and eventually marrying his wife, he “converted” (changed might be a more appropriate word)  from a Christian to a Hindu.  I talked with him (and his wife-to-be) a few times along the way about this sort of thing, and it was very interesting.

My friend grew up Catholic but had a sort of falling-out as many people tend to do and was very turned off by the church in general.  Sure, he’d come on occasion but it wasn’t what it used to be.  He met a girl at college who was very in tune with her faith and not surprisingly, as he got to know her better, he learned more about Hinduism. 

Before the wedding, he called me about a couple things…but mainly wanted to talk about religion.  He was a bit concerned with some things conflicting, so I wanted to know what he got out of Hinduism.  Up to this point, (and now still, yet to a lesser degree) I couldn’t say that I knew much about Hinduism, but what he told me was…well…enlightening.  Every word he said to me was his brain filtering books he read about the Hindu faith, but my brain couldn’t help but filter every word he said with this particular Catholic filter I have.

Almost every idea and belief he had I told him how yes, that is very close to the Catholic view or no, that is far away.  Religion almost always preaches good, so of course, much of the good of Hinduism (think Golden Rule-type things) matched up with Catholicism.  At the end of our conversation I told them that I could tell he loved this girl a lot; for the half a dozen years or so I was friends with him, I never considered him very “spiritual”, but that wasn’t the case now. 

I ran across an article with a great name – When Jesus met Buddha.  Not quite When Harry met Sally, or when King Kong met Godzilla, but I’d have to say more interesting (although I was devastated as a little kid when I finally saw King Kong send Godzilla home crying).

Thinking about this story, I’m not so surprised that the religions matched up.  They are, of course, religions based on peace and love, so they have that going for them.  The one paragraph that really opened my eyes was this “Christianity, for much of its history, was just as much an Asian religion as Buddhism. Asia’s Christian churches survived for more than a millennium, and not until the 10th century, halfway through Christian history, did the number of Christians in Europe exceed that in Asia.”  I guess I could have asked a history teacher and learned that, but it was something I overlooked in my studies. 

Now, Asia is one of the main pockets of Christian growth.  While Christianity is struggling in America and dying in Europe, a renaissance of sort is occurring in Asia, especially China.  It seems that throughout most of the course of history, it is when Christianity is met with opposition is when it grows the strongest.  This article is the exception, noting Asian Buddhists and Asian Christians got along great, helping each other quite a bit.  Fast forward a thousand years from the end of Christianity in Asia to today, and we see it a hotbed once again.  I don’t know, stories like that are more interesting nowadays than tales of church closings and a sorry economy. 

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