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Compare and Contrast a Non-Christian Worldview (Sikh Religion) with a Christian Worldview

A Brief Overview of the History of Sikhism and Christianity

People have entirely differing ways through which they understand and interpret things and occurrences in the world. Societies or groups of groups of individuals have their beliefs and values from which they tend to create meaning. That is simply their worldview. Worldview is pervasive. It encompasses not only what people think about but also how they act while on the face of the earth. A person is not born with a personal or individual worldview rather one is born in a collective or societal worldview. It is also important to note that worldview is different from perspective and point of view. Worldview, therefore, goes beyond the latter and the former. In Relation to this, the primary role of this discussion is to show the contrast and the comparison between Sikh religion worldview and the Christian worldview in terms of two aspects that include the origin nature of the universe and the sense or the ultimate nature of God.

Sikhism religion was founded by Guru Nanak Dev in the 15th century and is today the latest religion in the world. It is the dominant religion of Punjab and has about twelve million followers around the world.  It is a monotheist religion that believes in the creation of the universe by God who is the father of all. The Guru Nanak preached against discrimination, and all forms of exploitation may it be political religious or social.The Guru also advocated for peace, love, justice and equality. The Gurus (Sikhism followers) also believe that failure to observe these virtues does not lead one to salvation and that the will of every Guru is to do God's will thereby bringing the kingdom of God to on earth and closer to people. The history of Christianity, on the other hand, revolves around the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (the Savior) who is believed to be the beloved son of God. It is also uncompromisingly a monotheist religion. Christianity is seen to have originated from Judaism in the 1st-century C.E to the present.

Sikhs and Christians believe that there is only one supreme God who is also the creator of the heaven and earth. In addition, the two worldviews have various names all attributed to God. Such names have the meaning for different qualities of God. Although the Sikhs have different names as mentioned in the Guru Granth S?hib, the oneness of deity is emphasized. Furthermore, Sikh worldview or the representation of God by the Guru is that God is love. For this reason, Sikh religion invalidates the existence of God's wrath. The religion advocates than men and women should not be afraid of God's anger but should worry about not receiving all the benefits of God's love. Christianity, on the other hand, teaches about God's righteousness and holiness hence, the violation of God's command lead to His displeasure. Thus, men's failure to keep God's ordinances leads to the consequential wrath of God. Nonetheless, the Christian worldview also teaches that even though God has wrath, He is also full of love and mercies which are meant for the goodness of humankind.

The Ultimate Nature of God

Moreover, the Sikhism and Christianity faiths seem to admit various aspects of God. Both worldviews attribute God as infinite, the controller of heaven and earth, omnipresent, timeless, unbound, formless, and indescribable among others.  They also share the understanding of the depiction of God in three aspects. On the contrary, the variation of this belief differs in that the Sikh worldview view the aspects of God as; God in relation to creation, God in relation to man, and God in Himself. The Christian worldview, on the other hand, represents the trinity of God as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

When Sikhism explains about the aspect of God in Himself, God is represented as the ultimate one, the transcendent reality, undefinable, eternal, and limitless as well as beyond understanding. Additionally, Sikhism depicts that the aspect of God in relation to creation comes as a result of God's pleasure. In other words, God manifests Himself in the creation when He is pleased. God in relation to man, in the Sikh scripture, is seen when God is addressed in terms of human relation. Some of the names attributed to God include; friend, mother, father, husband, lover, brother, and beloved.

Sikhism worldview disagrees with the Christian worldview about the holy trinity especially on the status of Jesus as the only beloved son of God and the only way to eternal life. The Sikhs, hence, do not acknowledge the supremacy of Jesus Christ as Christians do. According to Sikhism attribution of Jesus, He is one as Mohammed, Moses, the Gurus and the Buddha. Jesus, according to Sikhism is not the only way to God's kingdom since all ways to God's kingdom are valid citation. The faith in Jesus and His sacrifice through death and resurrection is an unknown practice in the Sikh worldview. Sikh worldview does not express any belief that God (Jesus) descended on earth and in the flesh to die for the sin of men. Their belief about mankind deliverance from sin is through human worth, self-righteousness and grace citation.  Christians also believe in the existence of the Holy Spirit (also in the Trinity of God). In opposition, the Sikh worldview does not acknowledge the existence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather, the Sikh worldview has the belief that man has a divine soul, but it (the soul) does not help people live the earthly life as does the Holy Spirit.

Additionally, although the Sikh and the Christian worldviews share essential attributes about God, the Sikhs argue that the Christian worldview represents God as a God of history. That is, God's will about the world is unveiled from the book of Genesis to the Revelation. However, God's plans for the world as shown from the Genesis to Revelation confirm His nature. Thus, it proves the existence of God in the history of mankind. His goodness and plans are further explicit through the account of the Jewish people and Jesus Christ as portrayed in the New Testament. The Sikh also believes that Bible is a history book that uniquely expresses God's acts of redemption in the past, present and the future.

The Origin Nature of the Universe

Both Sikh and Christian worldviews share the belief that the entire universe was created by God. The Sikhs refer to God as the creator being who created the spatial-temporal universe. They also hold to the belief that His creation was not influenced by any existing element because the universe was empty. Thus, God created the world and everything in it Himself. The Sikhs believe about the coming to be of the universe is not illusion but real. According to one of the scriptures of the Sikhs known as Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) God is perceived as a true being thus His creation of the universe is also true and that all that is the world came from God. They also agree that God and His creation are not identical whatsoever. The truth of the matter is that the universe is contained in God but not the other way round. Deriving from this view, God is portrayed as the Supreme Being from whom everything emanated. In this sense, therefore, God's immanence is undoubtable, and He is not limited by His own creation. The Sikh worldview teaches that human beings were the most important creatures of God's creation. God Himself created humans being and endowed him with special capabilities such as intellect, mastery of senses and emotions. Like Sikh worldview, the Christian worldview also teaches about the origin of the universe as God Himself. Christians believe that all forms of life in the universe were created by word of mouth and that human beings are apex of God's creation.

Nevertheless, the difference between the two worldviews lies in the belief on how the universe was created. The Bible, a holy scriptural book for the Christians describes how God created the universe chronologically. According to the Christian's worldview, God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh day. The Bible also documents that all the things in the universe except human beings were created by the power of His command of "Let there be."  Human being, the climax of God's creation took place on the sixth day. The human beings were created in God's image and likeness. Additionally, Christianity teaches that the earth and all that is in it was created 6000 years ago. Later after all was created and the world took its new form, God rested on the seventh day. Conversely, the Sikh worldview does not believe in any order of creation. The Sikhs believe that even though God created the universe, its creation has continued for billions of years. In other words, they believe in the continuation of the evolvement of the universe many years after it was created. Thus, they believe that God continues to create the universe. Christianity, on the other hand, teaches that the continuity of the earth is perpetuated by the works of men which was a command from the creator. Human beings were given mandate by God to take care of all the created things.

In conclusion, both Sikh and Christian worldview portray some similarities as well as the differences. However, the two worldviews appear to share a lot of similarities than differences. They share the belief about the monotheism nature of worship, attributes of God, the supremacy of God as the creator of the universe and all forms of lives in it. The Sikhs and the Christians also believe in the trinity of God although the aspects of Trinity differ. While Christians maintain that there is God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Sikhs perceive the Trinity as comprising of God Himself, God in relation to creation and God in relation to man. Also, while Christians recognize Jesus as the son of God and the way to eternity, Sikhs do not perceive Jesus' significance and thus compare Him to Mohammed, the Gurus, Buddha, and Moses. For the Sikhs, the way to eternity is achieved through self-righteousness, human worth, and grace. Despite these similarities and differences, both worldviews hold beliefs and doctrines that are significant to their respective religions. For this reason, each worldview is seen as supreme to the relevant religion by its followers. Hence, Christians argue that Christianity is the only true religion and the Sikhs hold the same belief about their religion.

Alimardi, Mohammad Mahdi. "The Concept of Monotheism and Oneness in Islam and Sikhism." The International Journal of Humanities 19, no. 1 (2013): 71-84.

Dean Davis, “One Shot, One Bible, One God: Apologetics and the Unity of Scripture,” Christian Research Journal 27, 5 (2004): 37.

Duerksen, Darren Todd, and William A. Dyrness. "Structural Emergent Properties of Hindu/Sikh Practices." In Ecclesial Identities in a Multi-Faith Context: Jesus Truth-Gatherings (Yeshu Satsangs) among Hindus and Sikhs in Northwest India, 73-100. Lutterworth Press, 2015.

Eugenio, Dick O. "Communion with the Triune God." In Communion with the Triune God: The Trinitarian Soteriology of T.F. Torrance, 156-204. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co, 2014. 

Jakobsh, Doris R. "Sikh History." In Sikhism, 8-47. University of Hawai'i Press, 2012.

Jakobsh, Doris R. "Conclusion: Sikhs in the Twenty-first Century." In Sikhism, 112-18.University of Hawai'i Press, 2012. 

LaCocque, André. "Jesus Son of Man/Son of God." In Jesus the Central Jew: His Times and His People, 43-52. Society of Biblical Literature, 2015. 

Laurent, Sam. "The Holy Spirit, the Story of God." In Divine Multiplicity: Trinities, Diversities,and the Nature of Relation, edited by Boesel Chris and Ariarajah S. Wesley, 193-214. Fordham University, 2014. 

Lin, Johnny Wei-Bing. "The Bible Says It: The Christian Worldview and Creation Care." In The Nature of Environmental Stewardship: Understanding Creation Care Solutions to Environmental Problems, 46-75.  Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2016.

Nesteruk, Alexei V. "The Origin of the Universe and Event of Birth: Phenomenological Parallels." In The Sense of the Universe: Philosophical Explication of Theological Commitment in Modern Cosmology, 305-48. Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2015.

Ramage, Matthew J. "Method C Exegesis, the Nature of God, and the Nature of Good and Evil." In Dark Passages of the Bible, 155-95. Catholic University of America Press, 2013. 

Singh, Pashaura. "Sikhs." In The Religions of Canadians, edited by SCOTT JAMIE S., 307-50.University of Toronto Press, 2012. 

Swimme, Brian Thomas, and Mary Evelyn Tucker. "Beginning of the Universe." In Journey of the Universe, 1-16. Yale University Press, 2011. 

Wood, W. Jay. "The Nature of God." In God, 187-222. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2011.

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