Whilst I was wandering back from the opticians to my workplace during my lunch break, I was accosted by a proponent of the Hare Krishna movement. I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve bumped into one of these guys. This chap wasn’t wearing a bright orange gown, nor was he chanting with little cymbals. He was dressed in everyday unassuming attire. He stopped me with a greeting and asked me if considered myself to be “spiritual”. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it initially as the question seems rather ambiguous, but a quick glance at the Hare Krishna books he was holding gave him away.
A brief discussion arose, with his main argument apparently being that all religions are aspects of the truth, be it Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc. and through our own efforts we can meet with God and be right with him. I proposed that this wasn’t the case and that there were certainly significant differences between Biblical Christianity and the other big religions, especially in the nature of God and the nature of man. Only the Bible puts forward that man is inherently sinful and so is abhorrent before a holy God. This sin is so great that we cannot make ourselves right with God by our own efforts. Only the Son of God was willing and able to put us right with this holy God by taking on the sin of all who believe in him, thereby making them right with God.
The discussion meandered, yet always returned to this key proposition. After a while it became clear he was wanting to move on, so we shook hands, he said I was “an interesting person”, I wished him a happy Christmas and was on my way.
I wonder if somehow he caught a glimpse of “The Way, the Truth and the Life”, or if my rambling made him think Christians were all nutters? I certainly hope the former rather than the latter.