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How do you witness to people with spiritual experiences in other religions?

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by TruthSeek3r, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Many Christians emphasize the importance of having an actual relationship with God/Jesus as opposed to merely being religious. The question What is the origin of the "religion vs. relationship" dichotomy? attests very well to this fact. But what about when people from other religions claim to have similar personal relationship experiences with their deities? For example, a Muslim claiming to have a personal relationship with Allah, a Hindu claiming to have a personal relationship with Brahman, a Hare Krishna claiming to have a personal relationship with Lord Krishna, a New Ager claiming to have a personal relationship with the Universe, their spirit guides, their higher self, etc.

    Qualitatively speaking, what sets the Christian relationship with God apart from relationship experiences that people claim to have in other religions? What makes the Christian relationship with God special and unique? Are people in other religions just having counterfeit, deceitful experiences?

    Lastly, how can a Christian evangelize or witness to a person who claims to have a "personal relationship with God" and all sorts of spiritual experiences in a different religion?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  2. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Pray for them so they have a spiritual experience of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
     
  3. JesusTheMessiah

    JesusTheMessiah Anytime Rapture, Futurist, Dispensationalist

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    In my experience with muslims (we have pretty much of them here in Vienna), they see it as blasphemous to claim that you have a relationship with Allah. They don‘t have this concept, so I wonder which muslim would say he has a relationship with Allah?

    As for other religions, I don‘t think I have ever noticed a religion with an emphasis on a relationship with any deity, other than christianity.

    So I wouldn‘t worry so much about convincing someone that his relationship with a given deity is not true, but rather focus more on explaining why it is a good (and necessary) thing to have a relationship with God.

    Lastly, we do our job in witnessing, but finally only the Holy Spirit will be able to bring somebody to repent his sins before Jesus.

    Be blessed,

    Manno
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  4. spiritfilledjm

    spiritfilledjm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The same way I do everyone, show them the love of Christ, attempt to answer any questions about Christianity. One thing never to do is talk down their religion.
     
  5. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    Everyone has a relationship with everyone else. The question is, what kind of relationship is it? You first have to define the term, and understand how it is being used. How do people in other religions define their relationship with their gods? What do they think their relationship consists of?

    In the OT, YHWH was called "the living God," because He actually spoke to the people, and especially His prophets. Other gods were deemed as having eyes but not seeing, having ears but not hearing, and having a mouth but not speaking. IOW, they were dead.

    It's possible that someone could have a relationship with a dead god, just as much as someone could have a relationship with an imaginary being like a comic book superhero, just as much as someone could have a relationship with a dead person. The difference between Christ and dead gods is that Christ actually speaks, prayers get answered, the Holy Spirit gives experiences, etc. The Christian's relationship with God is living and real, not a fantasy.
     
  6. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    If they are of another religion start with "the best story" - because even if all things were equal -- Christianity has "the best" God story of them all.
    1. God is Love
    2. God is all knowing and all powerful
    3. God created free will and a perfect sinless paradise universe,
    4. No suffering no death

    Then we have the fall
    1. Some of God's free-will beings chose rebellion - opened the door to suffering and death
    2. Separation from God
    3. So then God saves mankind and restores all the universe back to paradise state.
    4. No suffering no death as the end point , for all eternity

    Salvation relationship
    1. God is a personal Savior - and desired a personal day-to-day relationship with you - a two-way street not just a one-way.
    2. God hears prayers and speaks to you through His Word and His Holy Spirit and His Angels
     
  7. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  8. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well it all boils down to sin. There is no redemption in the other religions. Start there.

    Hinduism- Karma driven , no salvation just reincarnation and the potential of returning as an insect.
    Buddhism- There is no God
    Islam- Weighed by scale no redemption

    You may point out that the Christian God has given us a straight and narrow path to Him. Forgiveness through the Cross, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    Shall I go on?
     
  9. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    But what if they say they are convinced their religions are true because they've had personal experiences in them?
     
  10. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Do you believe God still speaks today?
     
  11. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Like what kind of experience?
     
  12. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    I've heard Him speak to me, so yes. But also, if He speaks through conscience, then a conviction of the truth about Christ is God speaking, which may be experienced as fear and hope.

    Another example is if I come into economic hardship, I have the opportunity to believe God is speaking to me. Like the hardship God caused to the nation Israel when they sinned, I could think that God is saying "I love you, and want you to learn to trust Me," which is implied in Heb. 12. I've also had this experience.

    Most of the time God speaks to individuals through His word and their conscience. This happens to me regularly. For encouragement about God speaking through His word, I recommend this documentary:
     
  13. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

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    I've also experienced God speaking through others. Whenever I get negative feedback, I have to weigh what they say against the standard of God's word, and then discern what the truth is about myself, whether or not I need some kind of change.
     
  14. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    For example, in the New Age people claim to have communication and a personal relationship with spirit guides, or their higher self, or they may even astral project and communicate with entities, etc. In Hinduism people claim to experience Krishna Consciousness, Kundalini, Samadhi, etc.
     
  15. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    Christianity is a religion. It has a clearly-defined doctrinal structure, an established set of fundamental beliefs about God, reality, truth and the hereafter that distinguish it from all other religions, and various practices and rituals that also shape its form and character. But the Christian religion is the context within which a relationship with God is established and enjoyed. Religion by itself - mere belief and ritual - is not all that God offers to us in and through the Person of Jesus Christ.

    This is where personal experience is seen to be the insufficient basis that it is for truth-claims about the Christian religion. Many Christians (Christian philosophers, in particular) adhere to the "correspondence-to-reality" approach to truth. An important part of this approach is the explanatory power of the Christian faith; that is, the ability of the Christian religion to explain why reality is the way it is. Among the religions of the world, Christianity offers the best explanation of reality, which necessarily entails that it correspond better to reality than all other religions. For example, the Bible doesn't tell us that the earth rests upon the back of four giant elephants that are standing on the back of an even more massive turtle. Instead, the Bible says the earth hangs upon nothing, sitting unsupported in space, just as it actually does. The Bible tells us that reality - all space, time, matter and energy - began a finite time ago in the past. This corresponds exactly with mainstream science. We know that something cannot spontaneously generate from nothing. We don't see horses, or airplanes, or books popping into being out of nothing. No, instead reality is such that anything that begins to exist must have a cause of its existence. The Bible tells us that the First Cause, the Uncaused Cause, of the universe is God - not some bearded, oversexed, toga-wearing Greek superman who throws lightning about from a mountain top, but an inconceivably powerful spirit-Being profoundly unlike us and yet still personal and knowable. This can be deduced very readily from the beginning and nature of the universe. The Bible tells us the human heart is profoundly and naturally wicked. A quick survey of the savage, violent, dark record of human history bears this out very well. And so on.

    It is from a superior explanation of, and correspondence to, reality that the Christian religion offers that I speak to people of other faiths. My personal experience is just "icing on the cake," not the primary basis from which to contend for the veracity of the Christian faith.

    If the Christian faith is true, then, yes, people of other faiths are, generally, having false experiences of God. They are, in reality, either self-deceived or experiencing a demonic counterfeit.

    I once saw news footage of a Buddhist priest immolate himself in a roadway in India in protest of societal decline. So convinced was the priest of his religious perspective and the need for such a terrible display that the prospect of an agonizing death could not dissuade him from the fiery protest he had planned. Surely, he was far more persuaded of his worldview and far more dedicated to it than most Christians are to their own faith. If we were to judge the correctness of his religion on the basis of his commitment to it and on the degree to which his religion shaped his life, we would have to concede his religion was much more true, more correct, than the religion of the majority of modern-day, half-hearted Christians.

    But there are nominal Buddhists just as there are nominal Christians. Few Buddhists would go to the lengths of the priest I just described. What does this mean, then, for the truth of the religion? It's clear that mere strength of conviction, a powerful sense of the reality of one's beliefs, is not itself enough to establish one's beliefs as true.

    We all know of people who were/are very sincere and fully-convinced of things that were/are quite in error. At one time, the majority of people in Europe thought the world was flat, right? They thought, too, that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Many Europeans were utterly convinced these false things were true, persecuting severely those who disagreed.

    It's a very bad idea, then, to try to argue primarily or solely for the truth and reality of the Christian faith on the basis of personal experience, or from the strength of one's conviction about that experience. The veracity of the Christian religion has to be established on better, more objective, grounds. This isn't to say that a personal experience of God should be left out entirely from one's presentation of one's faith to others. Not at all. But the weight of that experience is felt best only after solid, objective, true-to-reality grounds for it have been well-established.

    It depends upon the individual person to whom one is offering testimony of the reality, the truth, of the Christian faith. I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach. Some may need significant apologetic information; others may require only an account of one's personal experience of God; still others may need a combination of both. What is required, though, in every instance of evangelism is prayer and a holy, God-honoring life. It is God, after all, who "gives repentance to an acknowledging of the truth." (2 Timothy 2:25). He is the One, in the Person of the Spirit, who "convicts the world of sin" (John 16:8). God is the One who draws people to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. (John 6:44). And so, in evangelism, we must be looking to Him in prayer and walking with Him as "vessels sanctified and meet" for His use (2 Timothy 2:21); for it is only the prayer of a righteous person that "avails much" (James 5:16).
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  16. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Yes -- take a look at those video testimonies - in my post. God is alive and well.
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    True. We cannot win people simply by claiming to come in contact with a supernatural being. Still... God is pretty impressive "in person" all the same
     
  18. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    False religions have spiritual beings fooling people into living in those false religions. So, yes they can have spiritual relating with the spiritual beings of their religions.

    And even while they do not experience themselves to be sharing with a spiritual being, they even then can be getting deceived and driven by spiritual beings > for example, while an ISIS fighter is busy hating, he or she is having a very spiritual encounter with one of Satan's hate spirits . . . though he or she likely does not know who is working the hate in the person.

    There is "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" > in Ephesians 2:2.

    Lust and hate and frustration and stress and unforgiveness work very hard in a person; but ones might not know whom they are relating with while they give in to such stuff.

    So, you can talk about how the person is becoming because of the spiritual being who is relating with the person. And talk about how Jesus relates with us who trust and obey Jesus >

    "'Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Matthew 11:29)

    Their spiritual beings are not almighty; so they can not give them rest in peace which is almighty in mental and emotional safety > Philippians 4:6-7 > you can share with them about all the good of our New Testament, including all we have with our Heavenly Father now because of sharing with Him and with one another in His love.

    I would say that mostly they are busy with getting their own selves to do things; they might have experiences, but not ongoing sharing with deep spiritual and emotional stability in love.

    But with God, while we are submitting to Him, He is personally guiding us in His own peace with His creativity > Colossians 3:15 < this is part of our basic Christian calling, for all "in one body". So, this is not only for certain super-spiritual hero-saints. But in false groups there can be a tendency to have only certain superior people claiming to get spiritual experiences. And then you can see how they are becoming emotionally and in their relating with other people.

    And care about them in prayer, knowing they need how God is able to change them.
     
  19. Jay Sea

    Jay Sea ................ Ke ĉiuj vivu

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    You do not evangelise. You live your life as if all are your brother, your sister, your best friend, your fellow countryman or woman no matter were they are from after all you live in G-d's Kingdom Now. In the early days people came to "Christianity" because it was a different type of community where love compassion and forgiveness was fostered. Be like this as communities and the world could change. A change of heart is needed that makes love universal where there is in sense no family, no nation, no ingroup all are citizens of G-d's Kingdom Now even before they make any attempt or have interest in being part of Christianity, what ever that Means, the world is "G-ds Kingdom, Now" we just need to live with true love, compassion and forgiveness of others without reservation because we are all G-d's children and citizens of his Land. We need to be a people who are willing to face death and not bring death to others. I had a friend, much older, now dead who during second world war refused to join armed forces but joined the rescue boats that went out in top the English Channel to rescue downed aircraft pilots under fire that is how we need to be to inspire others to come into the Kingdom to find love and friendship and supports. All the rituals and sacraments do not substitute for love, compassion and forgiveness unconditionally. Yeshua brought these to all without pre or after conditions; He was a lover and healer of mankind. Will we follow and continue his work.
    In LOve
    Jay Sea
     
  20. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This is a sermon you need to take the time to listen to in full:

     
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