Friday, January 16, 2009

Conversion Story

Hindu to Eastern Orthodox by way of Baha’i.

Here's a snippet:

Christians claimed that Jesus was God, was the Son of God, and all this stuff about a trinity, which really I had no idea what they were talking about. They claimed this resurrection, which made no sense to me - not that I didn't believe Jesus couldn't rise from the dead if he were God, but I had no idea what possible relevance that could have, since I didn't know/understand about the Fall, sin, the Final Resurrection - I assumed these were all myths, with no more relevant deep meaning than a fairy tale, except maybe metaphorical spiritual meanings. I wasn't even interested, because I never understood what importance that event should have to me. No Christian had ever explained that to me - they'd just say crazy stuff like, "I've been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and now I'm saved! Jesus died for your sins! Don't you want to be saved?" then they'd paint portraits of Hell - it all made zero sense to me, just as though someone said, "My red balloon popped and then candy canes fell out of the sky, your rabbit is winking at me, doesn't all this make you want to buy a new Nissan??" I am not exaggerating - this nutshell "Gospel message" makes absolutely no sense to a non-Christian, no real meaningful sense, anyway. You just have no idea what they are so excited about - so Jesus rose from the dead, big whoop, so what? Good for him, what? He healed people...he was loving, kind, innocent, born of a virgin, sinless.... so what? I didn't even grow up with same concept of sin as Christians do, so "sinless" vs. "sinner" didn't mean the same things to me as to a Christian anyway. In other words, we lacked the same language/doctrine/context, so the whole message was being lost in translation. The same things happen when Americans decide they are interested in Hindu things - I am always suspicious when I hear people throwing around words like karma and dharma, etc. Do they really understand what they are talking about? It also makes me suspicious that I here more Americans talking about tantric sex and other exotic things, whereas the Indian Hindus I knew were just taught to be devoted to God and pray and go to the temple. Sex was a taboo topic, maybe too taboo. Anyway, the point of this tangent is, I always felt very misunderstood by Christians who had these wild orgy type images of what it must be like for my family to be Hindu, and I felt almost equally misunderstood by Westerners who rejected their Christian upbringing to come to Hinduism thinking along similar lines.

Getting back to the story: Since I didn't have a firm grasp on what Christians were saying, it was easy to let other religions explain it to me...

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