World WReligion Wednesday: Misconceptions about Hinduism



“Are Hindus polytheistic or monotheistic?” 

This is a question I am often asked, particularly by my students. Typically, Hinduism is popularly perceived as being polytheistic (that is, worshipping more than one god). However, I think that is somewhat inaccurate. In fact, Hindus worship various expressions of the same god. Granted, many Hindus may not perceive this, but I think theologically it is accurate. There is almost always variance between core theology and the way people live out their theology. Some Hindus may align themselves as worshippers of Lord Krishna to such a measure they are not thinking of Brahma, the ultimate creator. This is where the disconnect is. At the top of Hinduism is the Trimurti, a trinity of sorts, consisting of Brahma (creator), Shiva (destroyer), and Vishnu (preserver). Thus, it comes down to one god. 

For more understanding of Hinduism, check out this helpful CNN article:




some Holy Spirit thoughts…

A friend sent me some great reflections on the Holy Spirit. It’s so loaded with significance I wanted to share an excerpt.


There is one key we have been given, one key we have ignored.  He is a member of the Trinity:  Holy Spirit.

Knowing Him is as simple as transportation.  What would you say if you arrived in a city where no one rode in their cars, but everyone got in back of their cars and pushed them around?  The people would look tired.  They would be exhausted.  They would barely have enough energy for their own families and jobs and not much for anything else.  The population growth of that city might come from having children, not from people moving there because it is the absolute best place to live.

Much of the time, these people would feel discouraged.  They might hear frequently that their car was their greatest gift.  It wouldn’t feel that way though.  That car is heavy.  Sometimes they would wish they could just walk somewhere on their own, without lugging that car around.

That description might fit us if we believe in God, if we read the Bible and try to follow it, and do so in ignorance and without knowing Holy Spirit personally and intimately.  He is the key to that car, that lets us turn the motor on and speed away to the destination God dreams for us.  We will never get there if we walk.  We will never get there if we continue to push the car around one something even less than one horsepower.

Holy Spirit is God the Father’s Gift to Us, Given to Us as Jesus asked

In Luke 11:13, Jesus says,

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.

Jesus sent Holy Spirit to us:  “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised.”  (Luke 24:49)

How important is Holy Spirit?  Next to salvation, He is the most important gift we have ever received and the most important daily fact about us. And yet, we might not even know Him.  We might range from thinking of Him as an energy force, i.e., an “it,” to a silent, mysterious stranger.  The generality is that most of us don’t talk with Him, and if we don’t have any communication with Him, it is hard to say we have a relationship with Him.

We acknowledge He lives in us, but aren’t able to say anything meaningful about who He is according to our own experiences—which are a lot more relevant than merely being able to recite Bible verses, which is something many in First Century Israel were able to do as they completely ignored the fact that the Son of God, God’s own Son, was walking among them and eating the same food they ate, right in their midst.  Like them, we are also capable of knowing the Bible and ignoring and rejecting God so close to us.

In John 14, Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to the Father (v. 12).  Jesus is going, though He is not leaving us as orphans because He, “will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.” (v.16).  In verse 17, Jesus says that Holy Spirit will live inside us.  This is stated clearly multiple times, over and over again in the Bible.  It is throughout the New Testament and prophesied in the Old.  For example,

1 Corinthians 6:19 says:

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?

2 Timothy 1:14 says:

With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.



Romans 8:11 says:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.

Wouldn’t these Scriptures indicate perhaps the most surprising Fact of the Bible?  That a foremost consequence of salvation is that Holy Spirit dwells inside us.  This is gigantic like Jesus’ incarnation.  Instead of God the Son dwelling in human form, Holy Spirit is living inside us.  A book could be written about just that one sentence—in fact like the end of John says, the whole world could not contain the books that would be written about Jesus.

We are now those books.  As prophesied by Ezekiel (36:26-27), God would put Holy Spirit inside us, to cause us to walk in His statutes…this is how He makes us into new creatures.

Holy Spirit is how we experience intimacy with God.  Romans 5:5 says, “For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love.”  If we are not feeling God’s love and presence in our lives, it might be because we are ignoring His presence inside us.  We have an underdeveloped relationship with the One who makes it possible for us to know God.

It is possible to know Holy Spirit and He is why and how the first believers were not just able to—they also wanted to do what they did.  Holy Spirit is the difference between then and now.  God has dreams for your life.  Every day as you wake up, He wants to see you live His dreams for you out.  Holy Spirit is God’s freedom to live out God’s dreams for you.  Now.  And He has larger dreams for you than you can imagine.  He wants to bring Heaven into your life right now and use you to change the Earth.  Even to change Heaven because of the people He will use you to share Jesus’ love with and their names will be written in the Book of Life.

It takes freedom to do this and 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  Knowing Holy Spirit intimately and personally, being filled and immersed with His love and power, is the key to that freedom that Jesus died for us to have.

So go down Moses, down to Egypt-land, and be ready to follow a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Both that cloud of God’s presence and that fire of His love are within you now.  Our destiny is to know God by experiencing Him more closely than we would ever ask or imagine.

So go down Moses because the first slave who is going to be freed is you, and that freedom will be knowing God by knowing Holy Spirit who lives inside of you.

(cornerstone tokyo, 2011)