Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Living Goddess Retires

The living goddess retires... How many things are wrong with that statement?

Sajani Shakya, an eleven year-old girl in Nepal has stepped down from her position as one of the Kumari, a human host within whom a god dwells. Little Sajani is supposed to have been the latest incarnation of Kali, a Hindu goddess.

Kali is the black-colored, four-armed, bare-breasted, goddess of creation and destruction, depicted with weaponry with which to kill demons and wayward men. She is depicted with three eyes, one with which to see the past, one the present, and one the future. She has broken the cycle of Karma. Devotees of Kali have a red dot on their foreheads (the third eye) and hope to appeal to her graces to escape the cycle of Karma and enjoy Nirvana after death.

When a Kumari reaches menstruation or when they step-down, the spirit of Kali leaves them and dwells within another. Until that time, the person is worshipped as deity and is sought by both faithful Hindus and Buddhists for blessings. Essentially she is the "image" of the goddess.

For Christians, there could be nothing more anathema. We worship a God who is the God of creation and destruction, over time, over humanity, and we are made already in his image. Those who have true belief in the one incarnated person of God, Jesus the Christ, have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, who leads them to better understanding of God and right worship of him as well. Jesus was killed by all mankind, because all mankind stood/stands opposed to God. He died for all mankind's sin (those who would believe in him). He was resurrected from the dead by the power of God and because of his righteousness. He has ascended to God, "the Father," and advocates on behalf of all who trust in him. He will never retire. He will never re-iterate himself in another. His work will never be done as long as this earth continues.

Let's look at what Scripture says about our triune God (that is one God with one nature and three persons, each with a separate but equal role/function), and see how "Kali" stands up.

1) There is one God. Exodus 8:10 "there is no one like the LORD our God." Exodus 20:2-3 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:4-5 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them..." Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." 1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God." Malachi 2:10 "Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?" 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 "We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live." Ephesians 4:4-7 "There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." 1 Timothy 2:5-6 "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men."

2) He is living. Deuteronomy 5:26 "For what mortal man has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived?" Psalm 42:1-2 "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?" Isaiah 8:19 "When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?" Daniel 6:26 "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. 'For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.'" Matthew 22:31-32 "have you not read what God said to you, 32 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." 2 Corinthians 3:3 "You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."

3)He is eternal. Genesis 28:13-15 "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring." Exodus 3:15 "This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation." Deuteronomy 32:39-40 "There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. I lift my hand to heaven and declare: As surely as I live forever..." Romans 16:27 "to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen."

4) He will not retire. Genesis 9:12 "And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come...'" Job 16:19-21 "Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend." Romans 8:34 "Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

5) He is omnipotent (all powerful). Exodus 20:2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Deuteronomy 4:32-35 "God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other." 1 John 4:4 "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 "This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed."

Scripture tells us that Yahweh, the name that God revealed to men at Sinai, is the only God. He is eternal, making covenants that last forever. He is all-powerful, bringing about his covenant promises, despite what men do. He is faithful to his own and deadly to his enemies. He has not and never will retire from his self-appointed duties. May God be praised forever because he is our forever God!

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