(I am proud of my Incredible India, which is the only continuing culture of the world. Our traditions and heritage are still continuing largely untampered. The question which Sri Varghese asks all of us might have only one answer and that could be a big big No! If he actually was looking for an yes, the question should have been ‘Can a Christian be an Indian?’ Joseph Mattappally Asso. Editor – CCV)
Let us think a little deep. God is the product of the human brain. Religions and belief systems are products of specific environments, and ways of life of given groups and communities. Indeed all social, cultural, political and economic institutions are born, grow and wither away in course of time, leaving their roots intact. The efflux of time churn everything, ideas, attitudes, behaviours and milieu. It is the order the universe we inhabit; in perpetual motion.
The Christian religion emerged out of Judaism, religion of Hebrews, which has its roots in the Sumerian myths with linkages to Canaanite gods and carry elements from Egyptian beliefs and moral precepts. The ancestors of the Hebrews—the “Apiru” were donkey breeders. The name Moses like that of other members of his family is Egyptian. Possible that young Moses knew the “reform” of Aka-En-Aton (BCE 1375-1350) viz. Solar Monotheism. There is similarity and analogy between the two religions; “Aton” the first monotheistic God is like “Yahweh”. Aka-en-Aton’s “instructions” are comparable to the prescriptions of the “Torah”. Conclusion: a common root.
Christian theology has been built mainly on the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle and other Greek thinkers. After the 4th century, Greco-Roman pantheon overwhelmed Christian divinities.
No civilisation and culture is a stand-alone mode entity. Today is built on the sediments of yesteryears, notwithstanding the claims that Christianity is a God-Revealed religion.
The Christian religion was spread by aggression, conquest and colonisation of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The missionaries and presbyters of various denominations of Christianity resorted to calumny, mis-information, false promises, clever propaganda, inducements and other questionable methods to propagate their brand of Christianity among various peoples.
Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter in memory of the birth and death of their God-Human saviour Jesus. His parentage is made a fable and a fairytale. In short Jesus Christ is an enigma, artificial persona. No one knows for sure who he really was. The Galilee of his time was crawling with messiahs of all sorts and agendas. This God-Human’s dates of birth and death, his way of life are unknown quantities. What he stood for is mired in obscurity. Everything connected with him is speculative, bordering on hyperbole.
In the Gospels the lineage of Jesus is traced to David. But the claim lacks historic authenticity.The forefathers of Jesus were converted to Judaism by the Maccabean King Alexander Jannaeus (102-76 BCE) from the non-Jewish “Galilee of the Gentiles”by force, according to the world renowned historian Arnold J. Toynbee. The fiercely independent and Hellenised Galileans would not have any loyalty to the religion forced down their throats. The echo of this mindset is strewn across the Bible. Jesus could have been a social and political agitator from the fact the Romans hung him from a tree, the most cruel and demeaning punishment reserved for rebels against the Roman Empire.
Christians claim Jesus is God incarnate descended from heaven to remove the stain of Sin inherited from the first man Adam for the disobedience to his God’s command not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, which according to the interpretation of Augustine of Hippo, was the transgression of Adam having Carnal Knowledge of his female mate Eve against his God’s injunction. Adam’s and Eve’s sexual intercourse(s) in convergence with the natural order and biological instincts, is a must for the very existence and survival of the human species. In one stroke, the debauchee, sexual fiend and fornicator Augustine condemned an infant with no moral blemishes as the bearers of Original Sin. What a preposterous proposition?
Jesus was dead against the predatory Jewish priesthood. But the Christian priests have turned the tables. This one negation of Jesus' standpoint by the Catholic clerics would show that he was no God with any power. Thus Jesus could be perceived as an utter failure. Even forfeiting his life in the most condemnable and horrible manner was of no avail and clearly proves of his powerlessness as an omnipotent God.
When Christianity was made the religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, Greco-Roman gods migrated to Christianity. December 25th which was celebrated as the birthday of Slo Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun, was transposed to Jesus. December 25th is also celebrated as the birthday of prominent Greco-Roman gods and heroes. His so called resurrection was fixed at the day next to the full moon in the Jewish month of Nisan.
We Indians have no emotional or geographical affinity or proximity with the Semitic people. The ethos and way of life of an India born is totally at variance with that of person of the Middle East, Europe or the Americas. The gods shaped in far away lands with different character, attributes, orientations do not jell with the views, beliefs, rites, ceremonies of an Indian. For an Indian there cannot be psychological quotient with the god(s) of another land and people. It is difficult to recognise and worship such god(s) including the God-Human Jesus Christ. Moreover as said ante, he is a nebulous and an indeterminate character.