Also, the goal of Hinduism is the complete and total absorption of self into the divine, where there is no longer personal identity. This concept is often illustrated by the picture of a drop of water (a person’s soul) falling into and being completely absorbed by, or becoming one with, a larger body of water (the “Ultimate Reality” of Brahman).
For the Christian, biblical salvation means a restoration of relationship between a person and His sovereign God and Creator. Relationship, in order to be accomplished, requires two separate identities – God and a person. We were individually created by God and are called to be in communion with Him as an infinite yet personal and caring God; we are NOT called to be dissolved and absorbed into an impersonal force.
Practical Guidelines For Sharing With A Hindu
The following are some practical suggestions to help you effectively answer the questions of people who have a Hindu background:
- Seek first to understand.
Hinduism is more of a philosophical view of life and a perception of how the universe supposedly works, rather than a formal religion. Therefore, Hinduism has no single concept of Who God is. Hinduism seeks to bring all religions under its canopy, believing that there are many paths to God, and that He has many different names.
Because of this wide diversity and apparently tolerant attitude toward other religions, people who follow Hindu ism may have a wide variety of beliefs. It is essential that you ask key questions regarding God, man, sin, salvation, etc., and listen closely to their answers. Once you understand what they believe, you can better explain to them what the Bible teaches, and describe to them God’s true plan for humanity.
You can lovingly show them that there is ONE SURE WAY to God: Jesus Christ – Who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
- Focus on the life and teachings of Jesus.
Hindus regard Jesus as a “great teacher” or an “enlightened person”. Even Gandhi, a revered Indian Hindu leader, encouraged Hindus to study the teachings of Jesus (Hingorani 23). Hindus do NOT, however, consider Jesus Christ to be the only Son of God.
Hindus are attracted to Jesus’ suffering. They see it as a lifestyle to emulate, but not as the Bible describes it: an essential part of His mission to die for the sins of humanity.
Two facets of Jesus’ ministry are very effective in reaching Hindus: love and forgiveness. These two principles are powerful in drawing Hindus to Christ because they offer relief from the law of karma. Karma teaches that whatever you experience in life, especially suffering, is what you somehow deserve. According to karma, if bad things happen to someone, they must deserve it. Hindus believe they are suffering for something wrong they did in either this life or a previous life.
Thus, Hindus are openly responsive to love and acts of service and kindness. Show them passages in the Bible that reveal God ‘s unconditional love for them which is not based on their behavior (such as John 3:16; Romans 2:4, 8:31-39; and 1 John 4:16,19).