My God is better than your God

Today,
I had a friend of mine - a co-worker - ask me if I would watch a video done by Esther Hicks and let him know what I thought about her speaking with supposed “entities”. I explained to him that in Christianity, we teach that speaking with any entities is a dangerous and taboo subject, bringing up when Samuel was raised from the dead by King Sal and Samuel’s reaction.

This led into the topic of Hinduism and whether or not I thought that there was only one God; I of course told him yes, to which he responded, “So the only God is the Christian God?” I again responded yes, but I also made the distinction that the Jews and Muslims worship that same God.

He look a little bewildered at this answer and asked, “What about the millions of Hindus and other religions that believe in multiple Gods? Are they just wrong?” I went on to explain that in Christianity, we believe that all that is holy and good in all religions is just that - holy and good. But that we of course, believed in one God - Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Light.

We unfortunately didn’t get to continue the conversation from there - but, he said that he would be interested in continuing it at a later date.

What would you add? How do we properly explain that God is only one God and how we can claim to have a “superior” God to those Hindus and other world religions? I know that it’s not so much a “superior” God, but a more full understanding of God manifested in Christ.

Any help would be appreciated for if/when the topic gets brought up again.

God Bless

One other thing that I could use some reflection on is - why is it bad to speak with entities/spirits beyond this world? I know that it is clear in the Bible that this is wrong - however, for a non-believer, they don’t look at apparitions or speaking with Angels any differently.

I had a Hindu roommate for a semester. I was cataloguing a collection of early-20th-century Indian artifacts at the time, including various religious items, so I asked her for information about Hinduism from a modern Hindu’s perspective, versus a 1920’s Baptist missionary’s filter. She said that the different gods in the Hindu pantheon are actually facets of one god-- Shiva, perhaps? Anyhow, that would be one example of a Hindu believing that Hinduism is a monotheistic religion.

Allah is not obliged to be rational. The Christian God cannot do anything that is contrary to his nature. The Christian God is a Trinity. Islam says that chastisement will befall anyone who believes that Allah is a member of a Trinity. Christians approach God through the merits of Jesus’ passion and suffering and redemption. Allah is unapproachable, and communicates only through angels and prophets. God loved sinners to the point where Jesus died for us while we were slaves to sin; Allah needs to be loved before he’ll love a sinner enough to forgive his sins. Do they sound parallel?

It’s interesting to discuss things because we find out more about our own beliefs in the process. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the truths we hold without being able to compare them to others’ tenets of faith. Catholicism certainly does not hold a monopoly on Truth— but remember the parable of the weeds sown in the field. Others will have some truth, because Truth comes from God— but the Truth gets mixed with a lot of weeds once you get too far from the Church. Jesus said the Gates of Hell would not prevail against his Church, so it’s a matter of figuring out whether he wasn’t really telling the truth, and, yeah, the Church was nice while it lasted, but it went off the rails at some point in history and he never bothered to put it back on track; or whether he was talking about leaving behind some other Church and we just are mistaken thinking it’s us. :slight_smile:

“I am young in years,
and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
not daring to tell you what I know.
7 I thought, ‘Age should speak;
advanced years should teach wisdom.’
8 But it is the spirit** in a person,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
9 It is not only the old[c] who are wise,
not only the aged who understand what is right.
**

re: speaking with things, have you ever spoken with a thing? Have you ever known anyone who has? Number one, it’s certainly not something anyone needs to seek out. Number two, it still happens, even if you’re not seeking it. Sometimes, God lets stuff happen for his own reasons. Number three, there’s a lot of writing about “discerning spirits” and things like that. It’s all well and good— until stuff actually happens. Then it’s very difficult, because you’re focused on the moment, and not necessarily in a place where you can say, “Wait, let me go find my Fourteen Guidelines for Discerning Spirits.” :stuck_out_tongue: Number four, we tend to be very trusting people. :stuck_out_tongue: Something tells us, “This is the way things are,” and we tend to believe them. For some people who are very, very far from the Church, this might entail something accepting a statement that is perfectly ridiculous as fact— but they trust it, because, you know, a spirit said so, so it must be so. For someone who is very, very devout within the Church, it might be something that’s perfectly sensible and believable-- but also totally false. Since we’re body + spirit, and are limited by our senses, it can be incredibly difficult to pick out a truth from a lie. And Bad Things can be very, very good at weaving together truths and lies. It’s better to keep doors closed that 99.9% of us don’t have the qualifications to handle opening, and let God allow what God wills, rather than inviting things that we don’t have any business dealing with.

Just look at the state of the modern world. The Abrahamic religions went from being the heritage of a small and historically unimportant Middle Eastern nation to a global community of almost 4 billion people, over half of the world’s population. Christianity alone went from being one guy preaching to 12 others on a hilltop in Galilee to over a third of the global population. Those numbers are just too big to be a coincidence.

This argument isn’t helpful apologetics. The same could be said of Islam which started with one guy and now has over 1 billion adherents.

Technically Islam is an Abrahamic religion, and the poster you’re replying to said “Abrahamic religions” not “Christianity.” But you are right, in apologetics it doesn’t necessarily follow that because a majority of people believe in something that makes it true. It may compell some people because of the legacy of the prophets, apostles and Christ which has transformed so many lives, but it doesn’t necessarily, logically follow.

Hinduism ultimately proffesses belief in one god, whose name is Brahman. The thousands of other Hindu gods are “faces” of the one god. More overly, the God of Islam is NOT the same God as the Christian God. Not at all the same. We hold a belief in a triune God. The Muslims say this is heretical and God is only one person. We believe God is three persons in one being. Not the same at all. Especially if you know the history behind how Muhammad “came about” the belief that there is only one God…

CCC 841:

The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”330

This is what the Church teaches. They adore the one, merciful God. I think it’s just that they do not have a full understanding of God–and so that taints there perception of God. Kind of like when you can only see a small portion of a painting–your idea of the whole painting my be greatly mistaken–doesn’t mean you’re not looking at the same painting as someone else who sees the whole painting.

The peace of Christ,
Mark

I wouldn’t frame God as “better” or “superior.”

I would say that Catholics have a truer understanding of God. It’s not that “our God” is better, but our understanding of God is better.

One God.

So big, we all have a unique and imperfect picture of him.

But there are some things that we know. How? Because he told us. That is what makes Christianity different. We have God’s words to us as he wanted them to be.

Regarding Hinduism, please just take some time to learn their scriptures. It is amazing the similarity to Christianity. And really, they are monotheistic. So, another human view of God.

Sounds to me like your friend is just struggling with monotheism. Try this out:

If God created everything then who created God. The answer is that God was NOT created. That is the essence of what makes him God.

If you take that back far enough you come to the one (and only one) that was not created.The one that has no cause other than himself. He is God. And there can be only one.

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