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Q: Question: Why should one convert to Christianity to know GOD ? God will be in your heart if you can treat other persons like you. Helping some body is far better than prayers. Why you want Jesus to pray for you ? As I heard in Christian prayers ? It is your deeds which make you bad or Good. Let people believe in the faith they believe and just educate them with the human values.
A: Krishnaraj,
I agree with part of what you have said. You have mentioned the “golden rule: “If you can treat others like yourself.” You also said that “Helping somebody is better than prayers.” The part I most agree with is the fifth sentence—“It is your deeds which make you bad or good.” This is completely in line with what the Bible says.
However, the conclusion that you draw may be different than what Jesus draws—given the truth of the statements you have given above. It is the truth of what you have said that leads to a serious problem. You said rightly, “If you can treat other persons like you.” Here is the problem—the “if.” The fact is that people do not treat others like themselves. Oh, we may succeed in doing this once or twice, here and there. But the human problem is that this humanity is in conflict, individuals are self-centered, and we do not treat others as we treat ourselves.
Jesus addresses this very thing. Here is what he says from Luke 6:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Here then is our problem—we do not love our enemies, we do not genuinely pray for those who mistreat us, when someone slaps us on the cheek- we seek revenge, when someone asks for our coat- we resist, we do not give. In short—we do not “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So you have correctly identified the real human problem.
You might say—“Well, no one is perfect, and a mistake or two is only human.” Again, I would agree. But Jesus does not see this as an excuse and an evasion of the problem, but proof of the problem and the human need. He does not say, “Do to others as you would have them do to you—when it is convenient, or when you feel like it, or once a day.” He implies that this is the constant standard of what is right. Not to do this is to do wrong. AND there actually is someone who acts this way all the time—God Himself. Jesus adds near the end of this passage—“”And you will be children of the Most high, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” This is the expectation of God—that men would do what is right. Not some of the time, but all the time.
So I think you are in complete agreement with Jesus when you say, “It is your deeds which make you bad or good.” Perhaps your conclusion is different than that of Jesus though. Based on this truth, Jesus makes the case that all men are in significant trouble with God.
One of the problems with humanity is that few people will own up to their own trouble. We are masters at passing the blame to others. Jesus says this,
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Men are usually unwilling to own up to their own problems. We always see the human problem in terms of what other people have done. The typical human situation is that we are hypocrites (yes, me too).
So Jesus is not presenting “Doing good to others” as the solution to the human problem, but he is presenting this rule or law as the problem itself. He makes this case in the next verses--“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
You said—“It is our deeds that make us bad or good.” This does seem to be what Jesus is saying. But the conclusion Jesus draws is very different from what you may conclude. What we do and what we say—these are proof that the human tree is bad.
The religions of the world are mostly systems for men to try to produce good fruit. The problem is that good fruit does not come from bad trees. We give the appearance and show of being good, we posture ourselves as good. And we invent systems (religions) to try to show that we are good or to try to gain some merit from doing good things. If you hang some good fruit on a bad tree it does not make the tree good.
Note: some have defined “being good” on their own terms and have tried to avoid this problem. They limit being good to “being better than their neighbor” or “looking like you are a good person on the outside”, or being slightly more good than bad. But God’s standard is to be good in every way—in thought, in motive, in speech, and in deed; and to be good all the time.
The message of Christ is that God has offered a way of forgiveness. He is not offering men a way to save themselves by doing good deeds. This offer is a payment for their sins—through the offering of His Son, the Christ on the cross. God offers men forgiveness. This is why Christians are impelled to proclaim this to the world. It is a unique message that matches the human condition and offers forgiveness.
I hope this helps you understand the teaching of Jesus,
Wyatt, for Karma to Grace

- Wyatt Robertson

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