Shattering the Deception of Cults and False Religions

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Lesson 1 – Hinduism -1-
Student Copy w/Answers
“Shattering the Deception of Cults and False Religions”
Lesson 1: Hinduism
Name: _______________________
Synopsis: This lesson and the following lessons are designed to help the believer in understanding cults
and false religions of the world and to be able to better defend their faith.
Memory Verses / Scripture References: The following is a list of potential memory verses or scripture
references. For credit memorize one or know three scripture references.
1. John 14:6- “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.”
2. 1 John 5:11-12- “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
3. Hebrews 9:27- “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
BACKGROUND OF HINDUISM
 Hinduism continues to make great inroads into our American culture and schools of religious thought.




Its growth can be attributed to its appeal to the young because of its postmodern ideas. Though we may
consider Hinduism a far-away reality, the religion claims more than 1 billion people worldwide. They
have approximately 700 million Hindus living in India constituting 82 % of India’s population.
Why is Hinduism and its ideology so appealing to the young in our Western culture?
o Hinduism and
evolution
are easily compatible.
o Hinduism emphasizes the basic goodness and nobility of
mankind
.
o Western culture continues to recognize the validity of all truthful claims.
o As young people become increasingly disillusioned with the rampant materialism in the West,
they find Hinduism’s emphasis of the spiritual over the material attractive and appealing.
Hinduism is one of the most ancient and most complex
schools of religious thought. During its
history Hinduism has spawned a variety of sects that hold diverse and differing beliefs, which makes
summarizing the religion a difficult task.
There is no acknowledged human
founder_ or specific date that can be cited for its founding.
Scholar Bruce J. Nicholls observes that “of all the world’s great religions, Hinduism is the most difficult
to define. They believe it formed in the merging of two systems of religious thought, sometime around
2000 B.C.
Hinduism is best described not as a single set of beliefs but as a religion of loosely held principles and
beliefs where nearly anything goes.
BASIC BELIEFS OF HINDUISM
 Concerning the Bible
1. The Hindu Vedas are the earliest Hindu scriptures, starting about 1500 B.C. –and composed
over a 1,000 year period. The word “Veda” means “knowledge or wisdom”; they contain
hymns, prayers, and ritual texts that are believed to communicate spiritual knowledge. Mainly
they give priests instructions for performing rituals and providing information regarding the
mystical and symbolic meaning of these rituals.
2. The later Vedas they called the “Upanishads”, which discuss the nature of Brahman (what they
call the ultimate reality which is their god) & the universal soul.
3. Bhagavad Gita (bagavad gita) – or the “Song of the Blessed Lord” is not only the most sacred
book of the Hindus, but it is also the best known and the most read of all Indian works in the
world. Some call it the “manual for mankind”.
4. A Guru, which is Hindu for
teacher
, is an enlightened master or even a godman who
is believed to have gone through many thousands of reincarnations and possesses an enormous
Lesson 1 – Hinduism -2Student Copy w/Answers
amount of spiritual power and knowledge. He or she acts as a guide for other human beings
and guides them to the appropriate deity, practice, or yoga within Hinduism.
5. Because the Hindu scriptures originate with man, their “truth” changes, often reflecting the
feelings and beliefs of the culture in which they were written.
6. While the Vedas are said to contain the purest form of truth, Hinduism also advocates the idea
that the various religions are all custodians of spiritual truth. While all religions contain truth,
none can make exclusive claims, since truth is relative.
7. As there is no Church of Hinduism, everyone holds their own spiritual and philosophical
opinions. It is difficult then to understand someone's spirituality simply by looking at their
religious teachings. So, in India it is more common to hear someone ask, "What is your sadhana
(practice)?" than, "What do you believe?"
 Concerning God
1. Many Hindu’s believe in the eternal Trimutri, or three in one God: Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu,
the Preserver, and Shiva, the Destroyer.
2. Ancient Hindu religion was
poly theistic which means belief in many gods. Some of
these gods were viewed as personifications of natural forces, such as the storm, the sun, the
moon, etc. Prayers and sacrifices were offered to these gods, and a system of priestly sacrifices
was eventually developed as means of securing the favor of these gods.
3. The later Vedas, known as Upanishads, reflect a significant change in regard to the Hindu’s
understanding of deity. Upanishads refers not to a multitude of gods, but to an ultimate and
impersonal reality beyond our comprehension. This unknowable ultimate reality is called
Brahman . Brahman is viewed more as a philosophic concept than an active principle, and is
to be meditated upon, but not adored or worshiped.
4. Hinduism views God as a
concept
, therefore it is easy for Hindus to believe the lies of
evolution. Because there is no actual God, there is no actual Creator. Because there is no actual
Creator, man has no one to whom he is accountable.
 Concerning Jesus Christ
1. They believe Jesus was one of many holy men who communicated spiritual truth, and attained
God-realization. They believe Jesus may have been an avatar, or incarnation of a god, but he is
nevertheless lower than the great Brahman.
2. They assert that Jesus was not perfect because he did things like tip the moneychanger’s table
and caused the fig tree to wither. They teach that Jesus did not suffer on the cross, for he was a
man who attained enlightenment and was beyond the possibility of physical pain.
 Concerning Salvation
1. The Upanishad teaches that at the core or soul of man’s being, or “Atman”, man is identical
with the ultimate reality, or Brahman. In fact, according to Hindu doctrine, Atman is the
eternal part of every living thing. The fact that all living things contain an
eternal soul
and the fact that all living things are ultimately Brahman at their core explains the Hindus
tendency to worship the creature rather than the Creator.
2. Hindus, along with all false religions, teach that the soul of man is ultimately good , and that
we contain within ourselves the ultimate reality of the universe – which we come to know
through knowledge, enlightenment, and meditation. By looking within themselves, Hindus
believe they are able to come into contact with the Brahman within them.
 For the Hindu, salvation comes when one realizes that one’s individual soul is
identical with the Universal Soul (Brahman).
3. Hindu’s believe in Moksha
, also known as “mukti”, a Hindu term used for the liberation of
the soul from the wheel of karma. For the Hindu, the chief aim of existence is to be freed from
“samsara” (the binding life cycle) and the wheel of karma with its endless cycles of birth, death,
and rebirths. “Heaven” to a Hindu is the ability to experience release from this endless cycle of
reincarnation and the opportunity to have one’s soul liberated from this earthly existence. This
final stage is known as Nirvana
.
Lesson 1 – Hinduism -3Student Copy w/Answers
4. Salvation can be attained in one of three ways:
1) The way of works
(karma yoga) is the path to salvation through religious duties such as
ceremonial rites and societal responsibility. The Hindu believes that by completing these works it is
possible to eventually be reborn as a Brahman.
2) The way of
knowledge
(jnana yoga) is the path to salvation through enlightenment- the
overcoming of human ignorance. The Hindu seeks to alleviate the problems of human suffering through
enlightenment and knowledge. The goal of this enlightenment is to reach a state of altered consciousness
where the law of karma has no effect. It is attained through radical self-discipline and repeated
meditation.
3) The way of
devotion
(bhakt yoga) is the path to salvation through private and public acts of
worship. This devotion is based upon love for the deity, and is also carried out through human
relationships; e.g., love of family, love for humankind. This path to salvation is characterized by
commitment and action.
 yoga—is a path one might follow to achieve union with Brahman. Although many people
associate the word yoga with a physical discipline, in its original Hindu meaning, yoga
refers to any technique that unites the seeker with the ultimate reality.
5. The big problem for humans, they say is that they are ignorant of their divine nature.
 Who taught this in Genesis 3:5-6?
 Satan told Eve that their “eyes would be opened”, this is enlightenment . He also
promised her that this “enlightenment” would lead her to becoming a “god” herself.
6. Hindus sometimes argue that the early Christian church, and even the Bible, taught reincarnation
 Karma comes from a root meaning “to do or act”; it involves the idea that every action
yields a consequence. According to this law, one will be born higher or lower in status in
the next life depending on if one built up good or bad karma.
 Concerning death
1. For the Hindu, life after death is described in terms of the “transmigration of souls,” or
reincarnation. The Hindu believes that after death, individual souls are “reborn ” in another
human body or in a non-human. A Hindu’s rebirth is determined by the karma of past actions.
“Heaven” to a Hindu is the ability to experience release from this endless cycle of reincarnation
and the opportunity to have one’s soul liberated from this earthly existence.
2. In Hinduism based on the karma (actions) of your life, you can either be reincarnated into a
higher form (possibly a god) or down the ladder to a lower animal.
3. From early times Hindu’s have held that the cow is a sacred animal which possesses great power.
Verses from the Atharva Veda speak of their worship of cows; “Worship to thee, springing to life,
and worship to thee when born! Worship, O Cow, to thy tail-hair, and to thy hooves, and to thy
form!... The Cow is Heaven, the Cow is Earth, the Cow is Vishnu, Lord of life…He who hath
given a Cow unto the Brahmans winneth all the worlds…Both Gods and mortal men depend for
life and being on the Cow. She hath become this universe; all that the sun surveys is she (Atharva
Veda X:10).
 Romans 1:23 “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like
to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”
GOD’S TRUTH
 Concerning the Bible
1. The Hindu’s concept of truth can continually change because of their belief in personal
enlightenment. They believe truth is relative, and no one can make exclusive claims. How does
this conflict with the Bible?
2. Are there absolutes when it comes to “religion” and “faith”?
3. Did Jesus believe in absolutes? Give verses that prove He did:
 Give a verse that teaches Jesus believed in a single absolute way to heaven:
John 3:3, John 14:6, John 3:16, Matthew 7:13-14
Lesson 1 – Hinduism -4Student Copy w/Answers
 Give a verse that teaches that Jesus believed in an absolute standard of truth:
John 17:17, John 12:48
 Give a verse that speaks of God’s truth lasting forever: Psalm 119:160, Isaiah 40:8
4. Hinduism is a religion of open-mindness, tolerance, and relativism. It is accepting of all other
religions because it sees sameness in all of them, and attempts to find reality in the melding of all
religious systems and schools of thought.
 Question: Is open-mindedness a good thing when it comes to religion and faith?
 Was it good for Adam and Eve to be open-minded in the garden of Eden
concerning Satan’s view of the Tree of Knowledge and it’s effects on them?
 Is Jesus “Open-minded” according to John 14:6?
 Concerning God
1. Hindu’s worship many gods and believe God is a “concept” how does this conflict with the
Bible?
2. God is the only God
 Can you name a verse that teaches there is only one God? Isaiah 43:11; 45:5, 18
3. God is the only God to worship
.
 Hindu’s worship Cows and other parts of the creation; Who did Jesus say was the
only one worthy of worship in Matthew 4:10?
God
 Worship of anything or anyone other than God is
idolatry
4. God is not a concept, but a real personal God.
 Concerning Man
1. Hinduism teaches that man’s problem is “ignorance” of their true potential of the “godman” that
lives in them, but the Bible teaches man’s problem is sin
.
 Supporting Scripture – Romans 3:10, 23; 6:23
 Question: How can man be ignorant of his divinity? Can God “learn” or “grow” in
knowledge?
 Point – man is not
divine
.
 Question: Who first put it in the mind of man that he was divine?
.
 (Satan’s response to Eve) Genesis 3:5 – “For God doth know that in the day ye
eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened (enlightenment), and ye shall be as
gods (divinity), knowing good and evil.” Satan taught man in the garden that
enlightenment brought divinity, his lie is the same today.
 Concerning salvation
1. Hinduism’s avenues of salvation are solely upon man and his efforts; give verses that teach that
you cannot attain salvation through human effort or good works:
Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:20, 28; Titus 3:5
 Concerning death
1. Hinduism teaches reincarnation, how does this conflict with the Bible?
2. What happens after you die according to Hebrews 9:27?
3. What happened to Lazarus and the rich man after they died in Luke 16:22-23?
 Rich man went to hell, Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom .

Contrasting Hinduism with Christianity
Hindu View
TRUTH
GOD
JESUS
MAN’S PROBLEM
SOLUTION
REINCARNATION
GOAL
Relative truth
Many gods
Holy man, not the Savior
Ignorance of divine nature
Enlightenment
Yes
Merge with Universal Soul
Christian View
Absolute Truth
One God – Yahweh
Divine Messiah, and Savior
Sin against holy God
Trust in Christ for salvation
No
Know Christ and be saved by Him and not by ourselves.
Lesson 1 – Hinduism -5-
Student Copy w/Answers
“Shattering the Deception of Cults and False Religions”
HOMEWORK - Lesson 1: Hinduism
Name: _______________________
** Teacher’s signature for student’s completion of 1 memory verse :
** Teacher’s signature for student’s completion of this handout:
*Homework Assignment: Two requirements to gain credit for passing this lesson:
1. Complete this handout and turn it in to your Sunday School teacher next Sunday for credit.
2. Using the honor system, you need to write out the weekly memory verse.
Memory Verse
BACKGROUND OF HINDUISM
1. How many people are a part of the Hindu faith?
2. How many and what percentage of Hindu’s live in India?
million;
3. Name a couple reasons why Hinduism attracts people in the Western culture?
%
.
4. Who is the founder of Hinduism?
BASIC BELIEFS OF HINDUISM
5. What are the earliest Hindu Scriptures called?
; When were they
written?
6. The later Hindu Scriptures were called the
which discuss the nature of Brahman.
7. What is the most sacred of Hindu book?
8. What is a “Guru”?
9. Hinduism has a vast assortment of beliefs, but nearly all believe in the “eternal Trimutri”; what is that
and who is a part of it?
10. What does “Polytheism” mean?
11. Hindu’s view God as a concept therefore there is no actual Creator God; why might that be appealing to
people?
12. Name 3 things Hindu’s believe about Jesus?
a.
b.
c.
13. What do Hindu’s call the core or soul of man’s being?
Student Copy w/Answers
14. How do Hindu’s believe salvation occurs?
Lesson 1 – Hinduism -6-
15. What is the chief goal for Hindu’s?
16. What are the 3 ways salvation can be attained in Hinduism?
a.
b.
c.
17. The big problem for humans, they say is that they are ignorant of their
a. How does Genesis 3:5-6 relate to this false teaching?
.
18. What do Hindu’s believe happens after you die?
GOD’S TRUTH
19. How would you respond if someone said, “truth is not absolute, but relative, and Jesus didn’t teach there
is only one way to heaven”.
20. Should Christians be open-minded to non-biblical teachings?
21. Was Jesus “open-minded” or “close-minded” when it comes to truth?
; give an example:
22. How does the Hindu’s view of God contradict with the Bibles truth about God (give supporting verses)?
23. How does the Hindu’s view of man contradict with the Bibles truth concerning man (give supporting
verses)?
24. How does the Hindu way of salvation contradict with the Bible’s way of salvation (give supporting
verses)?
25. If someone asked you, “Does the Bible teach reincarnation and what happens after we die?”, what would
you say?
Questions for the teacher:
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