In her message recorded for Diwali, the Prime Minister, Theresa May has deceptively said that we can all learn something from the example set by the Hindu god Rama.
Her comments came during the now traditional Prime MInister’s greeting on the occasion of minority faith festivals. She said that Diwali is for us all and there are things we can all learn from it:
The festival of lights isn’t just relevant for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. It is relevant to all of us, those of all faiths and none. We can all learn from the example set by Lord Rama, whose return from exile is marked by these 5 holy days”.
That epic story teaches us about building strong families and communities, shunning wrongdoing and evil, and choosing the right path. It promotes the values of service, responsibility, unity and tolerance.
Many of these values are similar to those the government has included in its controversial Definition of Fundamental British Values. However, the values Mrs May speaks of here are not Christian ones and not ones that Christians should associate themselves with.
###A Slippery Deception
On the surface, there does not appear to be anything wrong with what Teresa May has said here. The causes to which she says we can all learn from sounds pretty noble causes by their title. However, when we understand the context that they come from and what they mean in Hindu terms in practice we see why this Diwali message is just a slippery deception designed to lump us all in the same basket regardless of faith or belief, presuming all faiths to be the same. It is the continual banging of the secular humanist drum that is seeking to categorise all faiths as one and the same, merely with different branding that we are warned of in the Bible. The Bible also makes numerous mentions of being aware of falling into deception and being deceived by nice sounding but empty words:
Ephesians 5:6 says:
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Colossians 2:8 says:
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Both these verses contain clear warnings not to be deceived and not to just go along with everything that we hear. The devil wants us to believe that if we all just ‘come together’ and agree then all will be well. This could not be more different “for all have fallen short of the glory of God” and so far from just ‘coming together’ around nice sounding platitudes, we are all in need of redemption which, thankful is on offer through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The key difference between Hinduism and Christianity is the fact that Hindus believe in an array of gods which is completely opposed to Christianity where there is one God. Indeed, according to the Bible there is only one way to God the Father and that is through Jesus Christ. When Mrs May says that we can learn from the example set on choosing the right path, how can that be the right path when it rejects the notion of Jesus Christ? How can there even be a ‘right path’ when secularism (and indeed worryingly many in the Church) will try and tell us that there are many paths that all lead to heaven?
The Prime Minister also wants us to follow the example of Lord Rama of “shunning wrongdoing”. This is of course another nice sounding platitude but what does it mean in practice? Can we really agree with Hinduism, a religion that is based around a caste system and reincarnation, a system that says it is wrong to treat sick people because it is punishment for wrongs in their previous life? We all agree that is is wrong to do wrong things, but what matters here is not a commitment to not do wrong, but an agreement on what is defined as wrong. Yet again, there is here just a poor attempt to replace the order of God with something simply ridiculous.
The Bible teaches us to “love the stranger”, to support the widows and other people in need. Our national values (even though mainly secular now) would tend to agree with that, but Hinduism teaches a fundamental different approach. An approach which does not leading to choosing the “right path” according to the Bible.
Another difference can be found at the end of the list with the word “tolerance”. This word has been fundamentally misunderstood by many liberals today. For them, to be tolerant involves not just accepting the presence of, but embracing and celebrating of certain things. In practice in our society this includes the diversity of religions, backgrounds and sexualities. But of course, tolerance goes so much further now for it also includes the intolerance of tolerance whereby opposing views to the “progressive consensus” are drowned out and disregarded with those holding such views discredited for doing so.
Fundamentally, we as Christians cannot allow ourselves to become tolerant of an evil, satanic faith system that seeks to mislead people and provide a poor substitute for God and anything else that is opposed to the order of God. For to tolerate something is to accept it and even if we do not go along with the modern sway towards tolerance being more about embracing things that we know to be wrong, a mere acceptance of something wrong can lead to our accepting it being there permanently and so not doing anything about it.
For example, if we tolerate Islam in this country we not only accept that it has a presence here (which is a basic statement of fact). We accept also that people are being drawn to it and there is a degree of inevitability about its permanent presence here. It is very easy at that point to accept that it always will be here and so the temptation is to do nothing about it. To not share the gospel with Muslim friends and colleagues. To not pray for and seek an increase of God’s kingdom. We can and must therefore accept the factual presence of something we do not like whilst at the same time not tolerating it.
###Flying the flag of faith in politics
The Prime Minister’s message is concerning, especially given that May touts herself as a Christian. She has said previously that personal faith is not something that politicians should fly the flag of, so it is perhaps not surprising to see her embracing Hinduism in the government.
Whilst it might be acceptable to recognise the major festivals of other religions (for as long as there are people of differing faiths in this country), there is a clear difference between wishing Hindus well and trying to get us all involved with it by suggesting there are valuable lessons for us from the false teachings of Hinduism. Furthermore, despite the Prime Minister’s claim that the ‘example’ set by Lord Rama is relevant for us all, such false teaching is clearly fundamentally irrelevant to any Bible believing follower of Christ.
There should be no surprise that the Prime Minister would put out a statement for Diwali. However, what should be of concern is what the statement contained. In appearing to be encouraging the celebration of it and indeed participation in its festivities and false religious teachings goes much further than a mere greeting and we must not be deceived by taking any notice of it.
You can watch the full message by following this link and see it for yourself.
Also published on Medium.