Can an Indian be a Christian?

Joseph M(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)


Varghese Pamplanil

vargheseLet 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. 

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