by Suresh Vyas
Ref. your line: < Christianity is a monotheistic faith, as evidenced in the teaching of our bible in Exodus chapter 20, "You must not have any other god but me. You must not bow down to them or worship them for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods." >
I would assume that Christians do know that god knows English language very well. Here, the god of bible thinks there are other gods in competition with him. He actually orders readers not to worship others. He does not give freedom of choice. He clearly says he is not tolerant and is jealous.
In contrast, see what Krishna said some 5000 years ago the last time He was on earth in person:
”I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” – Gita 9.29
The western world is mostly Christian thinks that if one is not a friend, then one is enemy only. Bush said it to the world, “If you are not our friend, you are our enemy.” They totally forget or ignore that there are/can be neutrals/ impartial.
Yes, one’s dedication must be for only one deity/god. Krishna says that bhakti (devotion) must be un-adulterated – single pointed to be effective for spiritual progress. He says that there are many demigods who serve Him, and He is not jealous of them. He says that if one worships any demigod, He strengthens one’s faith for that demigod, but actually the benefits given to the devotee are by Him (thru the demigod), and the devotee thinks it is from his chosen demigod whom he mistakenly thinks is the supreme god. So, He says that actually all worship Him only, but indirectly if they worship a demigod. He says, those who worship demigods, go to the demigods, and those worship Him, come to Him.
The above language is plain and simple. No one will ever get a message from bible that god is not jealous and that he is impartial by reading bible.
Now, we can also deduce from Krishna’s message this: Those who worship Hitler and Stalin will become like Hitler and Stalin. Those who worship Bin Laden will become like Bin Laden. Those who worship a jealous god will become jealous people.
An intelligent human could make a choice freely whom to worship, or not worship. One has to re-think whether a choice one made in the past was intelligent. It is never late to move on a right path when one is identified.
May all live sin-free.
Jai Sri Krishna!