Invitation to Religious Meeting in India
On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
William Branham was invited to meet with the heads of 17 different relions in India. This is a relatively poor quality copy of that invitation.
Comments on the meeting
And then in the meetings as they come, that afternoon they asked me if I would come to a rep... to represent the Christian religion before a gathering in the Temple of the Jain. I... Some of you missionaries, I may not pronounce that right. I forget how it's spelled, J-e-i-n, double "n" or something like that. Jans or Jens, it's a religion. And that afternoon, many different religions had gathered there, 'cause they knew I was coming. And there they taken their shoes off and walked into this heathen temple. And as I walked in there, and they set on their pillows; and there set their pope or their big man with his feet pulled up, and the monks there with their whiskers pulled out and pulling the hairs from their head. Little mops they were making, because they mop the street. Afraid they'd step on a ant, or a little bug, and it might be their papa or mama or their uncle or aunt, and... Reincarnation, they believe in. And I looked all over that place, and I seen their different peculiar dresses that represented their different religions. And I thought, "Oh, Jesus. What would you do if You walked in here?" See?
Them--them are men. They--they eat like we do. They have wives like we have. They had blood like we have. They might could save our life with a blood transfusion, as Christ saved all our lives by His Blood transfusion. They have children. They're products of God. Their just... They just got all mixed up because of false teaching, because we failed with the Gospel. See? Now, we go over and pass out tracts. Tracts is wonderful. I have nothing against it, and I'm for it. But that ain't what Christ said. If we go over and teach theology, that's wonderful, nothing against it. That's what we should do. But we got to have more than that for the heathen, going to take more than that. We sent missionaries in there for years. That's right. And what have we gotten? Nothing to count for.
Now, watch. And in India that day, when they went into the temple, and they got up to... They begin to speak, the different ones, and they begin to belittle Christianity. How they said... Now, they had a lot of good points. Certainly they do. They had a good point. One of them said, "How do you, who call yourself religious, Christian, that believe in a God; and all your science is used to create atomic bombs to blow one another up. And then call yourself religious." I said, "You have a point there. That's right. But all that create atomic bombs are not Christians. That's right." I said, "That is right. We Christians would never blow one another up, borned again Christians." But you can see their points. That's just one of them (You see?), what their points are. But they kept saying, "Our religion was before this, and your Christ..." Said, "Christ come over..." The Indian belief, that Christ leaned his philosophy from a Buddha priest (See?) and all that...
So I had to stand up. I'd have been a traitor to Christ if I hadn't. I don't care what kind of a temple I was in. I raised up and I said, "You're in error. And how could you ever--could I ever teach to you a blood sacrifice, when you won't even kill a gnat?" I said, "How could you ever accept a blood sacrifice?" I said, "I ask you to be at the service this evening."
And that evening when they'd all gathered, and the rajahs on their pillows and the religious leaders... And we... Taken me two hours and something, beating through the crowds to get in, with the--the Boy Scouts, and the all different... I guess they looked like Boy Scouts, some kind of a, I guess, it's national guards or something with their sticks and things to get you through the crowds, through the places, till we got to a place where I could speak from. And there standing in the place, with an interpreter, and the poor lepers laying piled on each other...
- India trip Report, Lima, Ohio, January 26, 1957