CHRISTIANITY AND CASTE SYSTEM Let’s gratefully acknowledge the sacrificial Herculean tasks of soul winners for the Lord across the world and especially in India where a plethora of belief systems co exists in the composite culture of the land. Some gave up their secure professions and some even sacrificed their lives too for the sake of winning souls for the Lord. So much has gone in soul winning. As a result many are saved. It’s indeed the good news but at the same time along with the good cache of fish there came some sea weeds and moss as well. Yes, the practices of the former lives are carried in to Christendom. The Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:17 says” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” According to the verse all the sins are forgiven when one comes in to Christ with confession and a repentant heart. He is no more bound by any former religious laws and practices. There is a view held by some that the caste system in the non Christian community came in to existence for the sake of division of labor but there is much more to it than a mere division of labor. In fact there is a serious religious view about it. According to this view Sri Krishna, in Bhagavad Gita chapter IV Shloka 13 says Chaturvarnyam mayaa sristam gunakarmavibhagashah II Tasya kartaramapi mam vidddhyakartatmavyayam II The meaning: The fourfold caste was created by me, (Krishna) by the differentiation of Guna and Karma. Though I am the author thereof, know Me to be the non-doer, and changeless. Since there is originally no room for caste system in Christianity it crept in due to the absence of proper teaching and also due to social and political conditions in the country. Many are making the hay while the sun is shining disregarding what the scriptures say. In Jesus’ times Jews were considered superior to Samaritans. Even when such conditions were prevailing at his time how did Jesus react to the comments of the Samaritan woman who met Him at the well? Look at the following verse. Let’s look at John 4:9. It says “Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” Look at the reply of Jesus in the next verse. In Verse 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Here the important thing to notice is though the Samaritan woman exalted Jesus because He was a Jew; He himself never endorsed such view. He
did not say that Jews were greater than Samaritans. He just attributed no importance to that view. How often we come across Christians who despite leaving the idols and are saved still proudly talk about their caste though the bible says Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a NEW CREATION ;OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY. According to the verse all their sins are forgiven and so is the case in which they were born. If one argues that caste won’t go away even though one comes to Christ then the same should be said about the sins committed as well. When sins are gone the caste and its idolatrous beliefs naturally go away. If not it is like carrying the trash of the old hut in to the new house. The trash of the old hut is the sin and the new house the Salvation. In general, caste system which in fact belongs to Idol worshipping community should have no room in Jesus for He died for the sins of everybody in the world. We see the otherwise sincere Christians follow auspicious days to perform the marriages in the family. Using of Coconuts, betel nuts, Bananas, turmeric etc., in the marriages which is the practice of the unbelievers. One may say that it is our tradition and so we follow it. If this is the argument then examine this real life situation. There is a man who was born in a Muslim family. Later he accepted Jesus and was saved. He got married and had two children. Then he liked another woman and got married to her while his first wife was still alive. A sincere pastor friend told him what he did was wrong according to the Word of God. In reply he said he was a Muslim so he could get married to another woman while the first one is still alive. The point he missed miserably is he WAS a Muslim. He had sins with him but when he came in to Christ he is a NEW CREATION, ALL THE OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY. He is no more governed by his previous law. Let’s pause a while. Is the pastor’s action and thinking right? Quite naturally No! No thoughtful Christian endorses the action of the pastor for the simple reason That he is a Christian and not a Muslim any more! Same is the case with the caste factor too! One can be a Christian or a Muslim But not both as in the present case. Similarly one cannot choose to be a Christian and practice old former religious beliefs and practice of divisions. Nisar Hill Crest Prayer Ministries Visakhapatnam.