From Krishna to Christ

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Gospel

Back in gurukul in rural Mississippi, we had a teacher (English and philosophy) who thought it would be a good idea to bring in some evangelists to meet with our class and share thoughts about Christianity. The idea was to educate us kids about the beliefs of our surrounding culture. After the preachers were gone, we would discuss what they had to say and attempt to show how their faith was inferior to Krishna Consciousness by comparison.

So one by one they came, they saw, they prayed, and they went. We would have maybe one visitor a week. I will never forget some of these encounters. In particular, I will never forget the expressions on their faces as they entered the upstairs classroom of a converted country barn to find a group of American boys and girls in a bubble of Indian culture. This isn’t something you just happen to see every day in the boonies of the South. I know they were not prepared for what they encountered.

The one fellow I remember in particular was a Baptist pastor from the Coast who used to do some simple television commercials promoting the Gospel. He was a gentle man, but one who was visibly disturbed by what he saw. He talked to us about Jesus. He told us about the cross and how our sins were paid for if we accepted Christ as our savior. You could see the trouble in his eyes. If I was a betting man, I’d say that he still thinks of us from time to time. He prayed with us (our teacher had no problem with us praying Christian prayers) and then left with what seemed a heavy heart.

I remember this preacher above and beyond the others because of his noticeable frustration and to this day I have great sympathy for him. I wonder what it must have been like to stroll up into our classroom bewildered as to what he was going to tell these kids. The others who came by seemed to be on their own agenda, but this man was troubled because he had a duty to do and he was not exactly sure how to go about it. He did not know the first thing about what we believed or what would be said after he left. But with a prayerful mind, he did exactly the right thing. He preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew that we were confused well beyond our years, and he knew that there was nothing that he could personally do to talk us for or against anything. He simply spoke of Christ, crucified and raised. And though he left with a certain amount of frustration on his face, what he shared with us was the actual power of God unto salvation. Now it may have taken a while, but in His own time and in His own way, God used that power and those prayers (along with others) to drag me out of a seemingly hopeless darkness.

It remains to be seen if more from the Krishna movement will ever wake up. I now only know of one other who is a solid Christian. So while it is very tempting for me to spend pages of writing trying to explain the various nonsenses in Krishna philosophy, all of it would prove worthless if the simplicity of the Gospel was not at the forefront. Quite literally, the Gospel means the "good news”. And that is exactly what it is.

This is what was shared with me in so many words.

God created all things and He created them good. He then created man in His image to reign and have dominion over His creation, thereby glorifying Himself. But man was not satisfied with his place and desired to be like God, knowing good and evil for himself. He was tempted and fell from grace, bringing sin and death upon himself and all of his posterity. Though man defected and rebelled, God, in an act of unfathomable love promised to restore man through the work of His Son.

In the early years of man, God took a people and set them apart in preparation to bring His Son into the world. He gave them the Law, namely the Ten Commandments, so that man would know his hopeless state in sin. He required of man sacrifices to keep the gravity of sin on their minds at all times. Then, just as foretold by the prophets, God Himself became incarnate through the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin, thereby bypassing the inheritance of sinful nature. He walked among us as Jesus Christ. For the first time on this earth since the Fall, there walked a man who knew no sin, perfect in every way.

Jesus spoke things that only God could speak and did things that only God could do. He healed the sick, raised the dead, performed numerous miracles, and made many promises. All the while he had very serious things to say about the self-righteous, and in doing so He greatly offended many. And just as sinful man would do today if they could get their hands on God, Christ was crucified for who He claimed to be. But this was not done against His will, as His purpose was to be the ultimate and final sacrifice that would defeat the power of sin and death. With perfect obedience, He laid down His life so that all who believe may live and abide in Him forever. And as promised, on the third day, Christ was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven where He now rules at the right hand of God the Father as King of creation.

What He has left behind for us is His Gospel and His Church and the blessing of His Holy Spirit until He returns to judge both the living and the dead. And though every man stands guilty before God of the sins he has committed, those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths Jesus Christ as savior will be set apart and counted holy in His name. It is by this good news we are called out of darkness and into light. And through it we are adopted as children of God and are blessed with entry into His covenant body, the Church, sealed with sign of baptism and nurtured through Holy Communion with our Lord and Savior.
Michael 2:40 PM


Beautiful Michael!!!
God rides forth in the chariot of His Gospel...

Praise God!
Michael -- a great testimony! Thanks for doing this - I will come back and visit often.
Michael, your love for the Savior both warms my bones and chills my flesh. Amen my brother in Christ.

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