The Abomination of Casteism

IN HIS ground-breaking book, Annihilation of Caste, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar diagnosed the caste-problem as being fundamentally religious in nature and proposed the only cure to be a rejection of the Shastras or Hindu scriptures; for, he observed, “the acts of the people are merely the results of their beliefs inculcated in their minds by the Shastras, and that people will not change their conduct until they cease to believe in the sanctity of the Shastras on which their conduct is founded.” He proposed inter-caste marriages and inter-caste dinners as a plan of action; but, in response to Gandhi’s response to have a rational approach to the Shastras and reject only interpolations rather than reject them altogether, he replied that the “masses do not make any distinction between texts which are genuine and texts which are interpolations. The masses do not know what the texts are. They are too illiterate to know the contents of the Shastras. They have believed what they have been told, and what they have been told is that the Shastras do enjoin as a religious duty the observance of Caste and Untouchability.” Towards the end of his indictment, Ambedkar begins to hint at a deeper problem than that of the Shastras:

For one honest Brahmin preaching against Caste and Shastras because his practical instinct and moral conscience cannot support a conviction in them, there are hundreds who break Caste [[e.g. when a Brahmin sells shoes instead of practicing priesthood]] and trample upon the Shastras every day, but who are the most fanatic upholders of the theory of Caste and the sanctity of the Shastras. Why this duplicity? Because they feel that if the masses are emancipated from the yoke of Caste, they would be a menace to the power and prestige of the Brahmins as a class. The dishonesty of this intellectual class, who would deny the masses the fruits of their [=the Brahmins’] thinking, is a most disgraceful phenomenon. [Text in double parenthesis, mine]

Ambedkar had noted that there are intellectual Brahmins who do not care for the Shastras but care much for caste. In other words, he had in a way acknowledged that the rejection of Shastras is the not real solution. Already in the discourse, he had noted that “Caste is no doubt primarily the breath of the Hindus. But the Hindus have fouled the air all over, and everybody is infected—Sikh, Muslim, and Christian.” Was he referring to the permeation of casteism into Sikhism, Islam, and Christianity in India? If so, as is also the fact, the very phenomenon invalidates the argument that rejection of Shastras is the cure for caste-communalism. The Sikhs, the Muslims, and the Christians do not accept the Shastras.* Then, how is it that casteism holds a grip on many of them?

Though Ambedkar had tried to show in the treatise that castes among Sikhs, Muslims, and Christians is different from that which is found among Hindus, modern facts show that, on the contrary, the caste-system, regardless of religion, has permeated even these faith-groups. In fact, for a long time there have been movements among Christians that sought emancipation through various expressions in what is studied in Seminaries as dalit theologies. The question is raised whether identification with caste is a class problem or a religious problem. It is notable that converts from the different castes of the Hindu-fold continued to carry forward their caste-identities. See the following entries:

Caste System Among South Asian Muslims
Caste System Among Indian Christians
Caste System Among Sikhs in Punjab

Though “untouchability” is not always very obvious, casteism plays a big role in issues of marriage and association. In fact, there are, sadly, some “Christian” denominations in South India that are heavily caste-oriented. The author has personally heard of cases where some “upper caste Christians” wouldn’t partake of the Lord’s Communion because it was being administered by a Pastor who they regarded as being a “low caste”. How repugnant?

Ambedkar had noted it well that it is easier for some “saints” to preach the equality of men in the eyes of God. There were examples of such preachers in the history of Hinduism. Ambedkar noted: “They did not preach that all men were equal. They preached that all men were equal in the eyes of God—a very different and a very innocuous proposition, which nobody can find difficult to preach or dangerous to believe in.”

Utilitarianism is the king. Mammon or worldliness bears the scepter over these men who make adulterous liaisons with the devil for the sake of earthly profit. They sell their faith for a pot of pottage and betray their Lord for 30 pieces of silver. They would secretly create false certificates and adopt false surnames of the lower caste in order to avail of jobs or privileges reserved for the latter. Then, they would proudly bear about their ancestral surnames and rejoice in their being a special species of men. How corrupt! How corrupt still that the abomination is placed in the Holy of Holies!

Is there a cure? Of course, there is: Repentance! Men are only slaves to what they submit to in their mind. Nothing can enslave them. Casteism is not just a social problem. It is SIN! It is the most irrational and superstitious concept to ever occur to human mind and the most self-dividing and self-destroying notion. Religion IS NOT THE ANSWER. If it was, why are there still castes among different religions. Why was there the division between nobility and the common man in the West? Why was there such persecution against the freedom of conscience?

God calls humans to repent of their sins against their fellow men. And, unless they are willing to treat their neighbors as themselves, they have no place in the Kingdom of God.

See Also:
The Origin of the Four Castes According to Manu


* Though it is an undeniable fact that casteism has its theoretical basis in the Vedas and the Hindu scriptures, including the Manusmriti, while converts to other faiths try to retain their caste-status in opposition to the doctrinal basis of their faith. For instance, when a Christian practices caste discrimination, his practice is not in conformity to the teachings of the Bible. However, for a Hindu to observe caste is not in any way a contradiction of the teachings of the Shashtras. [Sat 5 Aug 2017]

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Encounter With Rigid Law (Excerpts from The Chronicles of Sin)

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Domenic Marbaniang“Come with me!” Law said and turned to walk.

I followed his quick steps on the sidewalk. From the corner of my eye I could see people pulling out their umbrellas, and there were flashes of lightning and a deep thunder roll. The sky moaned, groaned, rumbled, and turned moist; then, thick drops of water started pattering on my head and hands and my back as I kept my eyes and pace fixed after Law. I didn’t want to miss him. My mind thought, “If he could only get me back to the Bridge; perhaps, there could be some reversal… he certainly knows the way out; or else, how could he reach here…” He seemed to be running now, and I was amazed at his agility as he dodged pedestrians, vendors, benches, and stalls and trotted through complex streets and alleys. The raindrops had grown bigger, heavier, and faster, and people began to run helter and shelter, some going inside the shops for cover from the rain. We entered a dark alley, and I had the feeling that I was being followed, but didn’t dare to look back since I didn’t want to lose sight of the one before me. Suddenly, Law jumped into the right into a dark entrance, and I jumped after him.

We heard voices outside. “Where have they disappeared?” someone cried.

“Why has the sky eaten them up?” another rebuked. “You shouldn’t have lost sight of them!”

“What were YOU doing?”

“They went in here somewhere!”

“Can anyone run through a thick wall?”

I heard a stick tap on the entrance; it seemed like the sound of a tap on a stony wall.

“Somewhere here,” I heard a voice say. Then there were the sounds of fading footsteps. There were cracklings and flashes of light.

“Who are they and why were they after us?” I asked him.

“The Mystery of Lawlessness,” he replied “they are the agents of Sin, the men of iniquity.”

“Why were they after us?”

“To annihilate me.” There was that same sternness and indifference in his eyes. “But, that is impossible; for, I pervade the universe and to try to annihilate me is like trying to cut the branch one is sitting on. I was not running for myself, but for you.”

“For me?” I replied. I was drenched in the rain and now began to shiver as the rags inside began to chew on my flesh. I just wanted to remove and throw them all off. I looked at Law in the flashes of the lightning and was surprised that he was not wet at all. The rain didn’t touch him.

He was looking at me as if reading my thoughts. “I must be quick here,” he said. “As for your curiosity about the walls; they are not the way out.”

“Then, why does their rule book prohibit it?”

“Is it a rule book at all? The rules of this city are all farce; they are meant to only cover the treacherous nature of Sin and Flesh, whom they call here Sarx… They prohibit it to keep the people in deception; there is nothing beyond the walls; it’s an absolute void out there.”

Seven Deadly Sins

Map of the City of Magic

“So what is the way out?” I was grave and was shivering.

He held out his right hand and placed it on my shoulder. Immediately, my clothes dried; but the rags tightened hard over my skin. I almost felt I would cry out in pain; but, I only grimaced and he sternly looked at the pain in my eyes. He removed his hand and began to say,

“I am the Law of sickness and the Law of healing, the Law of rifting and the Law of sealing. I am the Law of the crest and also the Law of the trough, the Law of the rain and the Law of the drought. Wiser and prudent are they who consult me for answers to their problems instead of resorting to the governors of this City; for he who has known Law has found the gemstone that unlocks the mysteries of the universe.” He put his hands on both my arms and caught them in his palms. “Look into my eyes,” he said “and you will find the answer.”

I looked and behold his eyes were windows looking into the black outer space with whirling galaxies. The whirling started slow, then intensified, ending up in a giant explosion, a boom and then there was silence and absolute nothingness. Then, I saw a flood of light that flooded the universe, and could see a boat sailing over the light. I looked closely and could see the face of the boatman. It was Law. He sailed and he sailed rowing with the oar once this way and then that way. The oar looked like a sword. Suddenly, I saw that his oar was ripped away from his hands and flew and was caught by a giant shadow. The shadow grew large and I saw that it grew into a monster that began to swallow up the flood of light. There were shrieks of laughter and shrieks of war. I saw Law standing tall, straight, with outstretched arms while his boat kept drifting in the current of the flood into the mouth of the monster. Then, suddenly the sun appeared like a fiery ball and covered Law so that what appeared now looked like the figure of a man made of fire, and then I saw that they both drifted closer to the mouth of the monster. There were fiery flames darting off from the sun, and as they drew close to the mouth, I saw the figure of fire reach out his hand like a dart of flame and snatch away the sword from the shadowy monster, then plunge it back into the monster’s head. There was a mighty quaking; then the whole flood of light along with the sun and Law gulped into the throat of the shadow, and there was darkness everywhere. Suddenly, there was an explosion of brilliant light and it seemed that the shadow of the monster, which now appeared only for a twinkling of the eye, was fully swallowed up by the exuberant brightness of the light; and, in an instant there was such strong radiance everywhere that I turned my face and closed my eyes with my hands over them. Then, there was absolute silence and I began to hear the pattering of the rain.

“Open your eyes,” he said. I opened my eyes and saw him standing a little distance away.

“What was it all?” I asked.

“The battle between good and evil,” he answered.

“What was the flood of light, the monster, and all of those things that I saw?”

“The flood of light is the City of Light, the boat is the Bridge of Time, the oar is the sword that decides the fate of Time, the monster is the insatiable City of Magic, and the sun is the One. This is the key to the mystery of the present that will unravel your future. Keep this vision in your mind, for when you get to the end of yourself, the One will cover you like a ball of fire and bring you victoriously up to the City of Light. ”

Temptation and Sin – Paris Reidhead

Paris Reidhead, “Temptation and Sin” (Audio Teaching)

Temptation is the proposition presented to the mind or the intellect to gratify a good appetite in a forbidden way. Temptation isn’t sin. It is an idea presented to the intellect. Our Lord Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Temptation isn’t sin. Sin is the decision of the will to gratify a good appetite in a bad way. It’s not the gratification of it; it’s the decision to do it. The decision to do it before the act is complete gives to the act the character of transgression. The decision constitutes the essence of sin.

When a child of God sins,
1. Fellowship with God is interrupted. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with one another.” If we walk in darkness, that fellowship is broken. If we never had the witness of the Spirit, and joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit, we would not ever know whether the fellowship was interrupted or not, because we never ever had any. We know that fellowship is broken, when the Spirit of God is grieved.
2. Prayers are not answered. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord does not hear me.” (Psa.66:18). It hasn’t even gotten into my lips yet, it hasn’t even gotten into my hands yet; if I regard it in my heart. If I decided to do and I’m not through yet, God will not hear me.
3. God won’t use him. He may go on using God, and people may never know the difference; but, God will not use him. God never uses a life that gets Him dirty (F.B. Meyer illustration of a leaking fountain pen that the author would never use because it gets him dirty every time he uses it).
4. He gives place to the devil (Eph.4:27). The fear of the Lord is the basis for the angel of the Lord encamping around us. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. When we tolerate in our lives that which grieves God, then you can just be sure that the devil’s dogs are going to sneak in and tear up everything that’s precious to you.
5. If we permit unconfessed, unforsaken sin in our lives, we fall into the chastening hands of God. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. There’s something marvelous here. God never lays a finger on the devil’s family. But, He chastens every child and scourges every son. Why? Because with His own children, this is all the hell they’re ever gonna know and when they die it’s gonna be heaven forever. But, with the devil’s family, this is all the heaven they’re ever gonna have, and when they die, it’ll be hell forever. And if they traded their soul for a mess of pottage, God doesn’t go around throwing gravel in it to make their teeth grit on.

God’s Prescription for this Problem (John 15:3): You are clean through the word.
Symbol: The Laver in the Tabernacle. It functioned as a mirror that showed where one was dirty and the water was used to clean.

1. Use the Word as Mirror to the Heart. Proverbs 6:16-19. The Spirit of God never wants to depress us; He only wants to cleanse us. He focuses on the thing that is there now in order to deal with it. God hates pride. He hates racial pride, He hates facial pride, He hates financial pride, He hates educational pride, and I think the one He abominates most is religious pride. He hates a proud look. And, He hates a lying tongue; misrepresentation and deception in speech. And, hands that shed innocent blood, an intention to hurt somebody…. Romans 1:29-32. Gal.5:19-21.
2. The Word tells us how to deal with sin. (a) Judge yourself (b) Let the wicked forsake his way (c) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

“Victory” Through Identification With Christ on the Cross
At Calvary, we were wired for victory. We need to only put the switch on. And, the switch is to reckon ourselves crucified with Christ.

Sinful Nature and the Crucifixion of the Christian With Christ

The Book of Genesis records the historically vital account of the Fall of man. Now, there are those who are skeptical of this account. It seems to them very unlikely that a race can be condemned to eternal damnation just because its progenitors took a secret bite of the forbidden fruit. Firstly, the fruit-nature correlation itself seems to them incongruous. Then, there is the issue of justness of such damnation. However, there is something about this account that is unignorable; and, that is that it stands out as the most legitimate explanation of the root of human devolution.

Adam JudgedGenesis 3 records the first lie of Scripture, the demonic lie that man would not surely die if he ate the forbidden fruit but would rather become like God knowing good and evil. The first part of it was blatantly false; the effect of the fruit was instantly fatal on both Adam and Eve, for the moment they sinned they died spiritually. The opening of their eyes meant their spiritual death in the same manner that the opening of the rich man’s eyes in hades meant his physical death. However, from the perspective of the devil, it wasn’t so much really death, for to him the opening of eyes really was the life he wished to have, the life of eternal separation from God. The opening of eyes also marked the genesis of shame for human kind. It also marked the genesis of maya or a web of delusion, which is the life that is governed by the temporal separated from the eternal. The matrix of this carnality is so intense that God Himself had to provide for Adam and Eve garments of skins and all visions of the divine, thenceforth, also include the idea of “covering”.

However, the devil was also blatantly false when he asserted that man would become like God knowing good and evil; for, firstly, man could never become like God; and secondly, God doesn’t know good and evil; He knows only good in its moral perfection. He is good. It is the depraved state of man (of knowing good and evil, not as God knows but as the devil knows) that produces all forms of false images of God and religion in the world.

It must be understood that the Bible doesn’t say that God condemns humanity because of its sinful nature. But, it says that man in his sinful state is already dead in his sins.

Genesis 3 is the point of the beginning of sin, carnality, and the works of the flesh that stands eternally opposed to the life of the Spirit. Therefore, God had to affirm that His Spirit would no longer strive with man who is just flesh (Gen.6:3). Flesh and blood could never inherit the kingdom of God because every child that is born in this world is born into a body of death (Rom.7:24). The earnest expectation is for the redemption of this body (Rom.8:19), that could have never been possible apart from the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by the eternal Spirit (Rom.8:11,23). Therefore, in the redeemed there is no answer for deliverance from sinful tendency apart from the work of the Spirit (Rom.8:13). And, there is no eternal deliverance from sin apart from the resurrection of the body (1Jn.3:2; Rom.8:29).

The condemning factor is the rejection of Christ by which one becomes identified with the crucifier rather than the crucified. Those who are crucified with Him are those who accept Him (Gal.5:24). Therefore, also, those who accepted Him and then reject Him through apostasy become guilty of double crucifixion of Christ and become bereft of repentance (Heb.6:4-6; Heb.12:16,17).

Is God the Author of Sin?

Forthcoming in ChristianTrends

The answer, obviously, is “No!” God is not the author of sin. However, it is not an answer as easily agreed upon as stated.

Answering the Calvinist
The extreme Calvinists that are committed to the once-saved-forever-saved doctrine of eternal security, for instance, maintain that it was God Himself who ordained the sin and fall of Adam. In his The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (1932), Loraine Boettner wrote: “Even the fall of Adam, and through him the fall of the race, was not by chance or accident, but was so ordained in the secret counsels of God.” And again, “we hold that God fore-planned and fore-saw the fall; that it in no sense came as a surprise to Him.” Likewise, Edwin H. Palmer, in his The Five Points of Calvinism, argued: “Even sin – the fall of the devil from heaven, the fall of Adam, and every evil thought, word, and deed in all of history, including the worst sin of all, Judas’ betrayal of Christ – is included in the eternal decree of our holy God.” This conclusion became necessary for these theologians who considered any event that violates the will of God to be a threat to the sovereignty of God. God was sovereign, so according to them, anything that happens in this world could not be against God. Also, it was insisted that if God had not ordained the fall of Adam, redemption through Christ would have not been possible. Thus, Boettner asks, “And unless the fall was in the plan of God, what becomes of our redemption through Christ? Was that only a makeshift arrangement which God resorted to in order to offset the rebellion of man?” Therefore, the reality of sin had to be explained by interpreting it as an act of God. In other words, according to Calvinism, ultimately, God is the author of sin.

Of course, Boettner doesn’t think that his view of God foreordaining Adam’s fall implies that God is the author of sin. Thus, he contends:

Yet God in no way compelled man to fall. He simply withheld that undeserved constraining grace with which Adam would infallibly not have fallen, which grace He was under no obligation to bestow. In respect to himself, Adam might have stood had he so chosen; but in respect to God it was certain that he would fall. He acted as freely as if there had been no decree, and yet as infallibly as if there had been no liberty…. God was pleased to permit our first parents to be tempted and to fall, and then to overrule their sin for His own glory. Yet this permission and overruling of sin does not make Him the author of it.

But, Boettner fails to see that this necessitating of the fall and the method of withdrawing grace only directly condemns God. It is equal to the sin of David who arranged to put Uriah in an inevitably fatal position and commanded his men to withdraw in the heat of the battle, in order to let Uriah get killed. That directly incriminated David and made him guilty of murder. The Genesis 3 episode, however, doesn’t indicate in any way that God had actually withdrawn constraining grace from Adam in order to make it inevitable for him to fall into sin. God cannot be held responsible for sin in the world. He is not the author of sin.

The rational man cannot accept God to be the author of sin. How could God, who is the embodiment of good, be the author of evil? Over 2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plato, in his The Republic, concluded that “the good is to be attributed to God alone; of the evils the causes are to be sought elsewhere, and not in Him.” But, the Calvinist would object that to search for the cause of evils elsewhere is to expect that there was or were forces, other than God, in control of the universe; but, this is impossible, for God is sovereign, they would say. However, the fact that God is sovereign has nothing to do with the fact that sin is possible in a system of free creatures. The sovereignty of a nation doesn’t mean that free citizens of it will not violate its laws; however, its sovereignty does give it its authority to administer justice in the system by means of reward and punishment. Similarly, God’s sovereignty doesn’t mean that free creatures have been restricted from exercising their will in opposition to the will of God. The very exercise of this free will is what creates the possibility of a moral universe.

Answering the Non-theist
Among philosophers, it is usually held that the idea of God’s existence as a perfect being is not compatible with the fact of sin and evil in the world. The Scottish philosopher David Hume argued that it is better to theorize that this world was created by different, finite beings (let’s say, the gods of polytheism) than to believe in an imperfect world full of sin and violence having been created by a perfect God. However, such a view doesn’t answer the question of how these finite beings came into existence; for, anything finite is limited by space and time. But, if there is an infinite being, that infinite being can only be one, not many (in the same way that if there were an infinite ocean, there couldn’t be other infinite oceans). Dualists, on the other hand, think that evil is as essential to the world as is good; the world is composed of two eternally opposite forces. But, again, two eternally opposite forces that are infinite in themselves would not complement but cancel each other. For instance, infinite light, materially speaking, leaves no room for darkness.

But, then, one would ask, “If God is good, how come there is evil?” The answer is because God is not the universe (as in pantheism), but the Creator of it. If God were the universe, then the universe would be perfectly good and there wouldn’t be any room for evil, for there wouldn’t be “wills” of other beings involved. However, that is not the case. But, at the same time, it is important to state that the finitude of the universe is not what necessitates evil; for, if that was the case then God who created the finite world would also be the creator of evil, which is not so.

However, the very idea of contingency (that the finite world is dependent upon the infinite God) implies that a creation that is cut off from the Creator has lost its wholeness (well-being). Therefore, a sin-stricken and evil-stricken world only indicates a God-separated world that has gone chaotic and wild without its Driver; in which every part of the mechanism has become its own god and director, and the universe as a whole (especially, in relation to the moral universe) has both lost harmony and order. To state that God must not have permitted this to happen (since He is the perfect Driver) is to forget the fact that the problem of sin concerns a moral (not a mechanical) universe; as such, it would not have been consistent for God Himself to have created a moral universe and not have given freedom to its moral entities—the freedom to choose between good and evil.

As such, it is not God who is the author of sin, but man himself to whom the world was meant to be subject (Gen.1:28) that is responsible for the entry of sin, chaos, and disorder in the universe.

…sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned- (Rom 5:12 NIV)

…the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Rom 8:20-21 NIV)

In addition, one must understand evil, not as a positive reality, but as the negation and violation of truth. One only knows evil because one sees it as the defective aspect of the good; for instance, one only knows darkness because it is seen as the absence of light. Therefore, it is important to reaffirm that it is not God who created sin, but that when man violated the command of God and negated God, this act of negation constituted sin; thus, making man guilty of sin entering the world.

Conclusion

Usually, it is misunderstandings regarding the sovereignty and the perfectness of God that raise doubts whether God is the author of sin or not. However, we have examined the main views to see if really these doubts or conclusions are true, and if their logic is valid. The sovereignty of God doesn’t imply that the universe cannot have rebellious elements; however, it does assert that these elements cannot efface the righteousness of God. Secondly, the contingency of the created world and its givenness to humans for morally right dominion implies that the world falls with the fall of man into sin. Man is not a programmed robot (for if that was so then both sin and self-reflection, as in this essay, would have been impossible). Man is a moral creature; therefore, the primary cause of sin in this world, as also stated in Romans 5:12 is disobedient man himself.