9/21/14 Dhruv, about 25
I am becoming aware and convinced that for possibly most people of religious faith in the world, the primary motivation for faith and devotion is to receive blessings in this life – to gain good luck for one’s business, family, health, and wealth. This sort of religious belief is sure to be rejected by more and more of the children of the faithful as they see the inconsistencies between such belief in “good karma” and the many truths about our world that can be explained by science. I think that is why Dhruv – an IIT student from India, rejects the Hinduism he grew up in and, along with it, belief in any sort of God or religion. His childhood experience with religion was his parents paying homage to one of the many idols of Hinduism, and he now wants nothing to do with it. Yet like so many atheists, he still wants to prove himself to be a good person, hoping to go back to his home country after his studies to try to make life better for others in India – but he wants to do it on his own terms rather than on the terms of a god or a religion. Deep down, I believe this means he feels he has a “Plan B” just in case God does exist and does hold us accountable, but it doesn’t make sharing the Gospel very easy. How do we share the message of the Bible to someone who claims they don’t believe in God in the first place? I believe we need to take small steps. We need to speak to where they are at. In friendly conversation I challenged Dhruv with some key questions – Does he plan for the possibility of eternity like he plans for his career? Does his faith in science answer the ultimate questions of existence? Does he understand the basics of Christianity, if only for the sake of being and educated person? Religion is so much more than a good luck charm for this life – it speaks to the core of our existence. We do a disservice when we make it any less than that.