Yesterday, I spent some time with a friend of mine at a local mall. My friend is a professing Christian who openly confesses that his works contribute significantly to make him acceptable before God. His confidence in his works makes for some very interesting Bible study and discussion. May the Lord gives ears that hear and eyes that see.
Whatever the case, he introduced me to two of his friends who are Sikh. I sat down with them at the food court. They asked me what I do. I told them how I am training to be a minister. I asked them about their religion. I asked what they must do to be right with God. They explained the core beliefs of Sikhism, and noted that it is the newest of the world religions (being only 500 years old).
Before long we were talking about Jesus. The man denied that Jesus is the Son of God. I opened up Mark and read to him Mark 14:61-62. When Jesus is asked if he is the Christ, the Son of the Blessed, he says, “I am . . . ” The one man responded, “who wrote that?” I said, “Mark.” He said, “How can we know its true? We have our holy book, you have your holy book – how do you know its true?” I said, “That is a fair objection and very reasonable.” I continued, “First, the Bible says it is God’s Word and therefore I believe it is true. But also, I have studied the reliability of the Scriptures and I know that they are reliable. In fact, there is more historical evidence for the historical reliability of the Bible than the rest of ancient literature. If you discount the reliability of the Bible, you must be consistent and thus discount Aristotle and Plato. Now, I am not arguing right now for the inspiration of the Bible, I am just arguing that the Biblical authors really wrote these books.”
The one may responded, “but it is in the hands of men.” He was implying that it must have been changed throughout history. I replied, “The copies of the originals are so numerous that we know that we have good English translations, for they continue to be based on the Greek and Hebrew text of old.” They seemed to accept my argument about the historical reliabity of the Scriptures, but I am not sure what they thought about the faithfulness of the contemporary English translations. Whatever the case, they didn’t seem to believe that the Bible should be trusted more than the holy book for Sikhism.
Holding up the first 39 books in my Bible before them, I said, “the OT is about promise – it is God’s promise to Israel that somebody’s coming – a Savior. And these (holding and showing the other 27 books) are about how Jesus is the One, the One who fulfilled the promises.” He went on, “but we have our book. Why should we believe your book.”
I tried to reason with them about the faithfulness of the apostolic record. However, before long the conversation had turned to other things. They really seemed to enjoy talking, but they certainly did not believe the things I shared. However, out of curiousity the one man started sharing points about Sikhism and then asking me what the corresponding view is from Christianity. This was great, for I was able to teach about creation, eternal punishment and eternal life, and justification by faith alone.
I asked the one man, “in light of these things (judgment and eternal punishment) are you worried about death?” He smiled and said, “No. I just life my life man – do good and that’s it – I don’t worry about it.”I told him that he should be concerned. Then I shared with him what Jesus said in John 14:6. I told him, “If you are not with Christ, you are againt him. If you do not turn to him and trust in him, you reject him.” He was silent for a moment but then seemed to make the logical connection. I said, “So, you realize that you are rejecting Christ?” He said, “yes.” I told him that he ought to be concerned and said (about Jesus), “What if its true?” He didn’t say much but didn’t seem too concerned. I encouraged him to read the Scriptures.
He (and his other Sikh friend) hang out at the mall often. I was glad to meet these two very friendly men. I hope to see them again. By God’s grace they seemed to enjoy meeting me as well. May the Lord have mercy on whom He will have mercy.