How to Share the Gospel with Hindus - Radical

How to Share the Gospel with Hindus

Hinduism is practiced by over 1.2 billion people around the world—roughly 15% of the world’s population. With a global Indian diaspora of over 32 million, chances are that you likely have a Hindu neighbor, colleague, or friend. This raises the question: how can one communicate the life-giving message of Jesus Christ to the Hindu? Here are five guidelines to help you in sharing the gospel with Hindus. 

1. Perceive the Hindu Worldview

Witnessing a Hindu is challenging since the Hindu religion is foreign and its worldview can be confusing. Therefore, learn the basics of Hinduism to better perceive the Hindu worldview. Hinduism has no formal creed that defines the religion in a monolith manner. 

Hindus are often thrilled to engage in conversation when an outsider takes the time and effort to learn their religion and customs. 

However, there are common elements such as reverence for the Vedas (the sacred literature), moksha (liberation) from samsara (the cycle of rebirth), karma (the law of action/work), bhakti (devotion/worship) to the devas (god/gods), dharma (moral duty to live right), etc. 

It is also helpful to know something of Hindu mythology in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Hindu social customs and rituals such as caste, puja (worship offerings), and popular celebrations such as Diwali and Holi. Knowing these things will enable you to better communicate with the Hindu. It will also cause the Hindu to be open to your message.  Hindus are often thrilled to engage in conversation when an outsider takes the time and effort to learn their religion and customs. 

2. Present the Gospel

Most Hindus have a distorted knowledge of Christianity. A Hindu friend once told me that Christians worship three gods in the Trinity, and the mother of these gods is Mary. Therefore, the best apologetic is to simply present the gospel with clarity. Tell of God’s good creation, man’s sinful rebellion, Jesus’ gracious redemption, and the Spirit’s ongoing work of restoration leading to final consummation. 

Tell of man’s sinfulness and God’s grace and how the atoning death of the Son of God is the only way to be right with God. Define terms like “sin” or “born again.” Hindus understand these terms differently. 

In Hinduism, sin is a nebulous concept that mostly refers to ritual impurity while born again means being reincarnated. Therefore, ensure clarity in your gospel communication. 

3. Push the Antithesis

The Hindu has no qualms about accepting Jesus as God and believing in his virgin birth, miracles, death, resurrection, and accession. However, the Hindu’s acceptance of Jesus as God should not be regarded as true faith. For the Hindu, this acceptance means that Jesus is merely one god among a pantheon of gods. Thus, what the Hindu denies is the monotheism of Christianity and the exclusivity of Jesus. 

When witnessing to a Hindu, one must emphasize Jesus as not merely God but rather as the only God. Likewise, Hinduism sees many ways to salvation. Ensure that you stress upon the fact that there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). 

Hinduism stresses praxis, and it is very much a work-based religion. Labors of renunciation, piety, and good works offset bad karma (works) and help achieve moksha (liberation). Grace is an alien concept. 

Therefore, ensure that you stress that salvation is not by works, but it is the gift of God freely given to undeserving sinners (Ephesians 2:8–9). Do not be afraid to push the antithesis between Christianity and Hinduism. Challenge the Hindu to rethink his or her faith assumptions. 

4. Pray, Pray, Pray

Conversion is the work of God. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts sinners and reveals Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit who softens the hard heart and turns it to Christ in love with faith. 

Therefore, ensure that you are constantly praying for your Hindu friend. The work of evangelism cannot be done without relying upon the Holy Spirit’s aid for it is spiritual work. 

5. Pursue a Friendship

The Hindu is not a project to be fixed but rather a person to be loved.

The Hindu is not a project to be fixed but rather a person to be loved. Pursue an intentional friendship. Ask if there is anything you can be praying for in their lives. Invite them to your home, and host them for coffee or dinner. Show them the love of Jesus through tangible deeds. 

These things will ensure opportunities for deep gospel conversations. Without this relationship based on love, the Hindu will view your attempts to share the gospel with suspicion and aversion. It must be the love of Christ that compels our gospel proclamation

Christopher Poshin David

Christopher Poshin David serves as the Minister of Word and Sacrament at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Chennai. He is also the author of the book, Engaging Hinduism: Rethinking Christian Apologetics in India.

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