September 22, 2008


Churches vandalized, people burnt to death, people shot dead, Bibles and biblical literature burnt, people forced to deny Christ at gun-point, people’s houses burnt and property damaged, many forced to leave the State while many are homeless staying in fear in the forests, children tortured along with women, others chopped to death for standing for their faith. And the worst is that this is just 10% of the news. While the rest is hidden from the media and the world, the worst is feared to be much more dreadful.


Why the whole mess? It all began when someone killed a Hindu sage. While who the murderer is, is still a mystery the Hindu’s claim that the Christians were behind the murder. The media reports on what the Hindu’s claim,

‘This sage was a great reformer in that place. When he observed that Christians were involved in forcedly converting the Hindus to Christianity, he took a pioneer’s step and went around preaching Hinduism. He began propagating Hinduism like how Christian missionaries propagate Christianity. He began to equip youth to stand for their faith and not fall into the lure of Christianity. The tables turned on him when he was murdered by Christians who saw his ministry getting more and more prominent and their business going in loses because of his reformation. While he was loud on the fact that Christians were bribing Hindus with material attractions, he claimed that all this was a business for these Christians and they were earning in profits. Seeing all this lure and people from his own faith falling into this lure, he stepped out on a journey for reformation and thus gained respect and name in that village.’


On the other hand, the death of this sage didn’t exactly cause the violence to erupt to this big an intensity. As the media flourished the news of this murder, the prominent Hindu communities in Orissa erupted and thought this as the best opportunity to attack the Christians. A long time enmity between the Hindus catered towards the Christians finally broke into a mass violence after this incident. A group of Hindu fanatics, the VHPs, began the violence while other groups like the Bajrang Dal joined in the attack. Orissa is also infamously known for burning alive the Christian missionary, Graham Staines, along with his sons while they slept in their car. This heinous act was done by one of these Hindu groups. Keeping all this in mind, Orissa was a prime hotspot for torture of Christian missionaries. While the Hindus lost their stand on the Graham Staines issue, they now hope to recapture their stand on this issue. Right now they see themselves in the forefront leading the battle and heading towards a clear victory against the Christians.


Then there is the Christian community being tortured and persecuted. They are fleeing helplessly for safety. While the churches are shut on account of violence, even the Sunday morning worship gatherings are very rare. And it is not a particular group of Christians that are being targeted, the Catholics, the New Life fellowship ministries, the Brethren community, etc. are all being targeted together. While the Hindus claim that the Christians in Orissa are forcedly converting Hindus, there are many Christians who stand for their rights and deny the Hindus on their argument. Though the Hindus are huge in majority in Orissa as compared to the feeble population of Christians which barely go up to 1% of the total population of Orissa, yet there is a huge fear coupled with hatred being felt among the Hindu crowd against this feeble number of Christians.


Coming to the issue of forced conversion, what is forced conversion?  How in earth can one convert a person to another religion forcedly? Is it by bribes, by lure, by material attractions? Karan Thappar, a prominent journalist and a Hindu himself famously known for his debates on ‘Devil’s Advocate’, correctly pointed out that a person who changes his religion on account of these temptations was never ever loyal to his earlier religion. Religion is an expression of freedom, a freedom which you express when you believe the god which pleased you. If at a certain point in life, you feel that another god pleased you much more than the earlier one, the Constitution of India legally allows you to change your religion and follow your new god. Following after a religion or god, comes from the heart and not from your mind. It is an expression of love not an expression which can be bought by bribe or lure. Unlike other religion, where there is a certain procedure to be followed for you to accept a new religion, Christianity does not follow any such procedure. Whereas becoming a Christian is a renewing of your mind and a change in your heart.  It is not something that can be written down on papers which claim that you are a Christian; neither can Christianity be bought by money. It is an abstract expression and never a material expression. Hence, where is the issue of forced conversion?


If at all one claims that he was forcedly converted to Christianity, it’s eminent that his faith in Christianity was just a mere show for greed and not a real conversion into Christianity. And why did he ever leave his previous faith for Christianity? He left that god to believe in another God just for the sake of greed. He wasn’t at all loyal to either of the gods. What a fool is he! And there are the other groups of people who go around supporting these fools. Here, the Hindu fanatics, who just need an issue to create strife and fear among the society in the name of religion. They are going around destroying churches and killing people, for what?? In support of these disloyal people who converted themselves into Christianity and came back and told you that they were forcedly converted? What a pity! Add misery to your shame!


It’s kind of weird when you look at the whole situation that has erupted. Hindus are fighting against the Christians for forcedly converting many Hindus to Christianity. But what do the scriptures say? The Hindu scripture says that you have the freedom to worship any god, whether it is one of the millions of the Hindu gods, or Jesus, or Allah, or any other god from any other religion because all gods are one. And the Hindu scriptures makes it well marked that worshipping any of these gods will attain you salvation in the end. So where is the issue of forced conversion? If you are ever interested in your brother attain salvation, don’t be worried about his faith because irrespective of his faith and god, he will attain salvation.


I appreciate the tolerance the Christians have shown towards the whole situation. Except in one or two cases where they retaliated back, everywhere else they showed tolerance and patience. I remember the time when the statue of a Hindu god was marred and the whole city went on an uproar. However, the reaction exhibited by the Christians was exactly the opposite in this incident. While the media flashed the picture of the cross of Christ being broken into pieces, the whole community of Christians remained quite. Not that they accepted the situation, but silently suffered the defamation. If I was a Hindu and had Jesus as my god and would have seen the statue of my god being smashed up, I would have brought the whole nation to a standstill till justice was done. Hats off to the Christians for holding firm to the lessons from the life of Christ!


If you are a Hindu, wake up, its dawn! Night’s far spent, awake to rationalism! Know what you believe! If you are a Christian, don’t sleep for the times are too hard and will keep getting harder! Follow the pattern of Christ and walk through the narrow way till the end.

September 17, 2008


“Help!! It’s coming after me! Help!!” I cry, but in vain. There is no one there to save me or help me. I look to heaven and cry for help, but I don’t have faith to sustain it. I run helpless falling into the pit of despair. I look around to see all darkness, feel all darkness and be all darkness


I walked into the world and heard “Sex…wow!! Its life, dude! Its life!!” I opened my eyes and observed. I open my mouth and enunciate,

“From when did sex become so big a craze? From when did people adopt sex as a cult religion? From when did the world begin to talk over sex publicly and implement laws for it? From when did love redefine itself to sex? From when did smiling at another person indicate love? From when did kissing on the cheeks become lip locks with the opposite sex? From when did girls become hot chicks for trade? From when did ‘looking’ at the opposite sex become fascinations and wet dreams? From when did people begin to explore their own bodies intriguing themselves in new realms they think are unseen to many? From when did discovering the other sex become so mesmerizing? From when did the woman behind the veil begin to strip in a movie? From when did, not watching pornography, become socially weird? From when did sex sell as drugs and hotcakes on the street? From when did sex and pornography become the biggest industry in the world? From when??”


Maybe I was not born at that time. Maybe I’m not alive now. Maybe it’s all just an illusion and I’m sill sleeping. Maybe it’s all just a made up fairytale. Maybe I’m blind and deaf to not perceive it. Maybe I am an alien in this world. Sex…hey…I’m hearing that word for the first time. What’s that??....por…no…gra…phy??...that’s something new to me…anyways, dude, listen…I’m a spiritualist.


I walked into the church and heard “Salvation, justification, redemption, ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine’…”. I opened my eyes and observed. I open my mouth and enunciate,

“Why didn’t the church talk about sex? Why was it considered as an unspeakable sin and a taboo? Why were my parents so hesitant to even talk about it? Why was mixing with the opposite sex banned? Why was every person sidetracked and watched continuously? Why wasn’t sex education given at the first place? Why were people reluctant to disciple and help them over these issues? Why are 90% of the youth stuck in the problem of sex? Why are so many youth addicted to pornography? Why is the internet and the television used for things other than its purpose? Why in spite of all this, they still claim their innocence? Why is the mask so prominent? Why??”


Maybe the church thought that such kind of a thing can never happen. Maybe they thought that it was all just a fairytale. Maybe they thought that teaching doctrine in church was more important than these. Maybe they thought that these people are still babies. Maybe they thought that knowledge in the scriptures and being present in church is the essence of man. Maybe the church is still under the influence of sleep…Wake up!! The night is far spent, O you church, awake to a dark morning!!...Sex…and church??...a white blasphemy…hey you listen, we are all spiritualists.


How would a spiritualist know such things? True, he is innocent, unblemished by this world. He is a man just born into this world who abides by the scriptures, page in and page out. He is lives an exemplary lifestyle. Hey but that’s with a spiritualist…not me.


Yeah, I’m too one of them, but just that I one day I thought I’m missing something special. I walked into the world and what a welcome! They brought me into the banqueting house as I discovered my lusts on something as sweet as wine. While the moon arrayed itself in beauty, I arrayed myself in robes of pleasure. I danced and had merry, till I was overtaken with ‘wine’. Then suddenly as I feasted, everything began to disappear. I awoke from my pleasures and looked behind to see the feast disappear leaving behind it shadow of filth and rottenness. As sunlight shone through the dark room, I saw my ‘wine’ bottle lying under my legs. I picked it up to see a label imprinted on it, ‘POISON’. I knew I had been doomed. As the day turned to another night, I found myself still stuck in this place. Suddenly the room lit up, music began and the huge banqueting table reappeared. I ran towards it as history mirrored itself to this another day. I ran and asked the gatekeeper, if this was heaven or hell. He said, “He that comes here never goes back again. If you define heaven as this glorious place, well, then THIS IS HEAVEN. Welcome to ‘Hotel California’! Welcome to the city of sex!”


I touched, I felt, I liked and I enjoyed it. It seemed as if no one else knew about it and I thought I discovered something fascinating. I fantasized it and made it a daily routine. It dripped like honey, sweet to taste. It filled my soul with feelings incomparable and made me desire for more. Till one day I realized that everyone craved for it.


Vexed and famished am I in the city of sex. Look here or look there, everywhere I find pleasures for mine eyes. Pleasures they are, as sweet as wine that satisfies my lust and kills my soul. Vanity of vanities though they be, yet I look at them and embrace them with a kiss. Sold myself to the city of sex in trade of some pleasures, I am a slave under the rod of my master. I run, but the city never seems to end. I hide, but his devils find me out. I cry, but I’m a bond slave till I die.


How painful is it, to live under such a burden and offence! How gruesome is it to suffer under the cruel chains of this wicked master! Through all this my soul is vexed day in and out. My daily battles become struggles for victory. But victory is soon marred by the victories of defeat. It’s so difficult to live a Christian life in this city of sex. With sex all around and even your friends enjoying themselves in the pleasures of sex, I stand on sinking grounds. I hush and giggle with them. But immediately my conscience shouts out loud that I’m a child of God. I shun myself away from the second glance when with them, but indulge merrily the second glance alone. I say no when they offer me porn, but… unscrupulous me! I then say wholesome lies to cover my unwholesome heart. Vexed by my desires and lusts, I give myself up for a little while to enjoy the pleasures of this life. A reckless spiritualist indeed!


A spiritualist undoubtedly I am, walking along in pride. Shouting loud my profession, I walk in white robes of disguise. What need I fear when there is no one to watch over me? God…well, he’s up there! What need I dread if I can run away from my own conscience? If there is something that I know very well in the Bible is that God will forgive me seventy times seven.


You? Fear you? Never!! You don’t even know me. You can’t even step into my shoes. Rather, you would know these things better. Yup, you…you, not me…! Haven’t you walked on the streets of the heaven of pleasures? Come on! Don’t bluff. It’s written on your face. Wasn’t this your experience that I just shouted loud? Kick yourself to your honesty. You are guilty! Your heart would’ve skipped some beats as you read it. See yourself being exposed! You laughed at me when you saw my mask falling off now I laugh at your misery…you hypocrite! You…you are a sex freak! Shun away!! Run away!! Run away from your own conscience. Run away from your guilt. Run away from the darkest side of your life. Run away before anyone sees you. Run away before you are caught in your misery. Run away before your mask falls down. Run, you reckless freak, run!!


It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away, it’s a slow fade when black and white turns to gray, thoughts invade, a choice will be made, a price will be paid, when you give yourself away, people never crumble in a day, it’s a slow fade.

-Casting Crowns”