Today I had an opportunity to meet a wannabe pastor of the baptist christian faith. In a week's time, he is leaving for Manila, Philippines. One thing that struck me is how the christians in general are so organized to preach the message of Jesus all over the world. Although I feel the religious system does not fully explain the complexity of creation, life, sustenance and destruction, still many christians travel and preach the word of Jesus.
In our brief conversation, I was sort of introduced to the doctrine of baptism. The baptist doctrine states that salvation can happen purely by the grace of Jesus Only. In their belief system, God's grace does not require one to behave in a saintly manner. In other words, as long as we strongly believe and adhere to Jesus, then, by His power and grace, one attains the Kingdom of God. So my question to the wannabe pastor was how does Baptism account for misbehavior or bad behavior of man? He said a true christian will imbibe the values of Christ within him and will act in accordance to Christ's will. He said although we may fall down multiple times in our life for our bad behavior, still we will be saved, as long as we believe in Jesus Christ. In simple terms, baptist doctrine stresses more on being "baptised" to become a "christian" than following a spiritual and saintly life. It is something like if a devotee in Krishna consciousness stress more on getting initiated (something like baptised) and not care so much about chanting 16 rounds or follow the four regulative principles etc. Initiation becomes meaningless if we are not following the instructions of the spiritual master. But in Baptism, they value being a baptised christian more than following proper spiritual codes and conduct.
My main purpose to connect with the wannabe pastor was to give him a Bhagavad Gita. I gave him the book and spoke few words about the Gita. I talked about reincarnation, karma, vegetarianism etc. Perhaps he may not read but I urged him to read the introduction and strongly recommended to give up meat eating especially cows.
All said and done, I wish him luck in his future as a pastor. But truth be told, if he goes beyond the surface of studying baptist doctines and actually connect with Jesus in a spiritual sense, then, I am confident he will be attracted to the message of Krishna given in the Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is an advanced science about God and whoever is serious to know God beyond religious indoctrination will surely appreciate the philosophical presentation given by Krishna about Himself, the living beings and this world.