There are, of course, many differences between Hinduism and Christianity. But the core difference is reflected in the Bhagavad Gita, 500 years before Jesus, wherein Lord Krishna advises the believer to release connection to worldly outcomes. Only actions, independent of outcome, are holy and matter on the spiritual plain.

But for the Christian, outcomes are everything. For the Christian, actions have significance only in terms of their outcome, specifically to bring the Kingdom of Heaven, as it is understood at this time, to the world. This outcome-dependent agenda is the soul of Christianity, foreign to Hinduism.

But the story of Jesus destroyed this difference. In expecting his actions to herald the Kingdom of Heaven, he called out in disappointment in the end, "Why have I been forsaken?" But Jesus, though mistaken in this human frailty, was divinely right in action. For it turns out that his actions - how he lived his life - were the world-historical events that changed everything. His victory in death underscored the truth in the Bhagavad Gita.

Unfortunately Christianity, like Jesus, is still young. It has yet to learn its own truth. In our time it naively and shamelessly defends its perceived necessary means in terms of its desired ends. It holds to the illusion that means do not matter on the spiritual plain.

In so doing, Christianity will once again prove the Bhagavad Gita right, but with outcomes probably not so "blessed" this time. To understand Jesus, we must look to Lord Krishna.

RUSSELL NOBLETT

ROANOKE

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