Difference between Sikhism and Christianity
Sikhism vs Christianity:
All religions are known to preach similar doctrines of goodwill to others, faith in God and other such principles that aid human beings lead good lives. Therefore, intentionally or not, all religions are known to have common grounds on which they stand. Christianity and Sikhism are two such religions that seem to bear certain similarities as well as certain differences which set them apart. Therefore, this article aims at providing the reader with a short introduction of both the religions as well as demonstrating how different these two religions are from each other.
What is Sikhism?
Considered as the youngest and the 5th largest organized religion in the world, Sikhism dates back to the 15th century, worshipping only one Almighty God in his abstract form. No idols, photographs or images are worshipped in this religion and instead, it focuses on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and ten successive Gurus. The three pillars of the Sikh way of life are considered as “Naam Japna” which means the Meditation on the One Absolute Truth, “Kirt Karni” which implies earning a livelihood through hard honest work and “Vand Shakna” which implies sharing one’s earnings with the needy. The purpose of these ways of life is to serve the God’s creations with love and respect which in turn will bring the worshippers closer to God who will deliver them salvation. Holy days of Sikhism are Khalsa Day, Birthday/Death day of the Sikh Gurus, Bandi Chor Diwas. While Sikhism believes in devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, service, equality of mankind are the fundamental beliefs that it harbors while at the same time, it denounces superstitions and blind rituals.
What is Christianity?
Christianity is a monotheist religion that is based on the life and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God who is also the Messiah that is mentioned in the Old Testament. Christianity is believed to be founded in the 30 AD in Palestine and is said to be founded by Jesus and the early leaders, Peter and Paul. Christianity was mostly expressed in Aramaic and Greek and is widely spread today in the Europe, North and South America regions. It believes in the practices of Baptism where new Birth in the New Covenant with God, Corporate worship, Public witness, Personal prayer and devotion are entirely matters of personal preference. Christianity believes that Eternal Heaven will be offered for the Saved while Eternal Hell will be offered for the Damned. Many believe in temporal Purgatory for the Saved who still needs to atone for venial sins.
What is the difference between Christianity and Sikhism?
Sikhism is a religion that is based upon the teachings of Guru Nayak Dev whereas Christianity is a religion that is based upon the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity is rooted in the belief of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit while Sikhism believes in one God and the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. The two religions have their very own concepts regarding the nature of man as well. According to Christianity, God had originally created men and women in God’s image and the humankind inherited the “original sin” from Adam when he sought to rebel against God. Thus man was enslaved to sin. Christianity also believes that once a person is “born again,” they receive a new nature from the Holy Spirit. According to Sikhism however, people are essentially good and they contain a divine spark within them that needs only to be fanned into a flame of goodness. In Sikhism, Guru Nanak has taught that a man’s sins are moral lapses caused by his environment which can therefore be cleansed through meditation and prayer.
Both Christianity and Sikhism speak of three jewels and yet, these jewels in the two religions are very much different from one another. Christianity speaks of Christ, Grace and Virtue while in Sikhism, it is Naam Japna, Kirat Karni and Vand Chakna. Naam Japna stands for meditation on God while Kirat Karni stands for working and earning by the sweat of the brow, living a family way of life and practicing truthfulness and honesty in all dealings. Vand Chakna stands for sharing with others without expecting anything in return.
Christianity is one of the most popular and most practiced religions in the world with over a 1.8 billion followers spread over countries like Europe, North, Central, South America, Australia and New Zealand. Sikh devotees are relatively lesser in number with about 23 – 26 million people spread over countries such as Pakistan, India, United States, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and other smaller communities in parts of Europe, South America, Pacific Islands, Africa, the Middle East and East Asia. The view of both these religions with regards to other religions is also very different. Christianity believes that Judaism is a true religion, but with incomplete revelation whereas Islam and Baha’i are false religions which are wrong to believe in men that are greater than the Messiah. Sikhism believes that all faiths will get what they work towards while Sikhism does not condemn other religions in any way. Sikhs pray for “Sarbat Da Bhala” which stands for the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of differences.
With regards to the status of women too, the two religions differ. While women are believed to be equal in the eyes of God in Sikhism, in Christianity, the status of women differs greatly according to various theories. The scriptures of the two religions differ greatly as well. In Christianity, the Holy Bible, a collection of 66 canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament), 39 in the old and 27 in the New Testament, including the Protestant Bibles which omit 7 books (Tobit, Judith, & others) found in Catholic and Orthodox Bible are revered whereas in Sikhism, Sahib Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaaj (Holy Scripture and final Guru of the Sikhs completed by the 10th Guru, Sahib Sri Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji Maharaaj) are considered as the scriptures.
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