CAMEL EVANGELISM & THE ‘PRAJAPATHI’ PLOY
Ecumenism’ and ‘syncretism’ are ‘good’ for those who believe that Biblical ‘truths’ are fallible, negotiable and relative. A fundamental faith in inspired Scripture mandates that we treat God’s inerrant word as absolute as He is the absolute and unlimited inhabitant of eternity. It is cheap mimicry to have the cross on top of shiva linga as I read exists somewhere in India, the idea of course mooted by an Indian ‘Christian.’ To reach out to people of other religious persuasions, our tool is the inspired Word of God and the blessed Holy Spirit. ‘Discovering’ any semblance of inspiration elsewhere and relating to ‘God-breathed’ truths are dangerous. By them we demean such verses like "In the beginning was the Word... and the Word was God." Such concocted ‘movements’ are deceptive, and a ‘spirit of accommodation’ is a slippery slope. An essay on the risks of post modernism is beyond the scope of this write up.
Make no mistake, "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2Tim.3:16).
This is a new ‘thinking’ and ‘concept’ and is gaining currency these days. Initially it was used to share the Gospel with the Muslims by underscoring references to Jesus Christ in the Quran, thereby seeking to win them over. Jesus is presented as the sinless Holy One with Quranic references. It is amusing that ‘Camel Institutes’ and centres have come up to serve this propose in the US and elsewhere. The camel method uses a legend from Islam to introduce Jesus to Muslims. The legend says that every good Muslim knows 99 names for Allah, but the 100th name was only revealed to the camel. Users of the method then say the 100th name is Jesus, or in Arabic, Isa. Muslims are then pointed to verses in the Quran that shows Isa is holy, has power over death, and knows the path to heaven. Afterwards, the person sharing about Jesus connects the Islamic feast of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Adha or Eid-u’z-Zuha, ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ or ‘Greater Eid’, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma’il) as an act of obedience to God, but instead was able to sacrifice a ram (by God’s command). In traditional or agrarian settings, each family would sacrifice a domestic animal, such as a cow, sheep, goat, or camel, by slaughter. The meat would then be divided into three equal parts to be distributed to others. The family eats one third, another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours, and the other third is given to the poor and needy as a gift.
Today ‘C A M E L’ has been used even as an acronym to mean, ‘Chosen, Announcement, Miracles, Eternal Life.’
The Cult Of Prajapathi
A similar method to draw a parallel to the ‘Sinless One’ is purportedly mentioned in the Vedas and Upanishads written apparently before Christ. It was a fashion to use this allegory from pulpits by Seminary products. I always felt that it exposed their ignorance and scant regard for the Gospel. Heresies have always been part and parcel of the church. Christendom morphed into a philosophy in Athens, a government in Rome, a culture in Europe and enterprise and an industry in the United States! According to the prajapathi school, the prajapathi, who is one of the 33 gods of the Vedas, is Jesus Christ Himself. They claim that the prajapathi was offered by the gods as a sacrifice and he has got a lot of characteristics that prove beyond doubt that the prajapathi is Jesus, the Son of God. It is time we identified and rooted out the cult of prajapathi. The followers of this cult claim that this Jesus was sinless, and take selective portions of the Vedas to substantiate this claim. However, this ‘sinless’ prajapathi was killed for committing incest. In fact, there are fourteen parallels drawn to show that the prajapathi is Jesus. All of these are utterly baseless.
Means Satisfying The Ends
Proponents of camel evangelism who explain the ‘prophecy’ of Christ being born to a virgin and being crucified as saviour has a large number of ‘fans.’ Umpteen ‘evangelists’ claim that many were drawn to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through these means.
The Emmaus Walk Revisited
To me, the ‘Emmaus Walk’ continues to burn in me as it did to those to whom the Lord Jesus expounded the Scriptures (Lk.24:13-35). When Cleopas asked the Lord, "Are You only a visitor to Jerusalem, and don’t You know the things that happened during these days?" Jesus replied, "Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. The incident closes with the Lord’s Table, and after Jesus proves His physical resurrection, He is not seen any more by the two. When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" The two then rushed to Jerusalem to tell the eleven their experience of what they saw and heard.
Jesus fought fire with fire. When tempted by Satan, He countered each temptation with Scripture, "It is written... It is written..." He never gave suggestions, opinions, or resorted to logic. To us today we can’t have any reference apart from the Bible for any doubt. Interpretations by well meaning servants of God, at best, serve as aids, not as substitutes.
Parallel lines never meet. Faith matters to a considerable extent in a person accepting the Gospel and this is only the work of the Holy Spirit. The ‘enemy’ continues to be in the household. Pushing down a person and with attendant claims that he/she was slain in the Spirit is outrageous. We are in urgent need of a Jesus Christ and ‘Trinity centric’ Gospel. "To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy, to the Only God our Saviour, be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever" (Jude 24,25).