edited by Luke Wayne
This article is not meant to give some magic formula or to serve as a wooden script, but rather to offer a few guidelines on how to best share the good news of Jesus with our Hindu friends. Be genuine and have real conversations with the Hindu people you meet. As you do, here are some things to keep in mind
1. Treat Hindus with respect by asking questions and patiently listening as they explain their religion.
The first thing about sharing the gospel with anyone is to remember that you are talking to a person, not an object. Always ask questions when talking to a Hindu. Do not tell a Hindu what he or she believes since Hinduism is an extremely diverse religion with each individual having a different expression of Hindu belief and practice. Instead, let him or her tell you what they believe. As a result of listening, do not witness out of a sense of duty or anxiety, but of loving compassion for the Hindu people.
2. Care for them.
Always be willing to reach out in love to your Hindu friends. Invite them to your home. Go to their homes, if invited, and learn about their beliefs and culture. Out of this sense of mutual respect, begin to share the good news of Christ with them.
3. Have a humble spirit.
When talking to Hindus about Christ, always have a humble, respectful attitude. First, you can pray for and with them. Second, be respectful about their beliefs. Third, always do your best not to argue with them, but politely emphasize the positive good news of Christ.
4. Use stories to explain Jesus' forgiveness.
Hindus are accustomed to learning through stories in their culture and religion (for example, see the Bhagavad-Gita). As a result, it is helpful to explain the gospel message using stories to which they can relate. For example, the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).
5. Keep the personhood of God in mind.
Explain that God is not an impersonal entity, but is a loving, perfect, and just God who cares for His people. You could even use the story of the progical son to illustrate God's love for His children (Luke 15:11-32). Even when we rebel against God, he comes running to us with mercy and forgiveness as the father runs to forgive his son (Luke 15:20).
6. Carefully emphasize the exclusivity of Jesus
Help the Hindu understand that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to attain salvation (John 14:6; cf. Acts 4:12). A Hindu might put Jesus up there with the other gods that they worship. So one must be patient and help them understand that Christians can only worship Jesus (Mt. 2:2, 11; 14:33). They might not understand that worshipping many gods is set against worshipping the one true God of the Bible. This might take a long time for them to understand, but it is well worth the effort as you patiently explain it to them.
7. Be patient.
When sharing the gospel with Hindus, you have to be very careful to realize that Hinduism for many people is more than a set of abstract beliefs and principles, but is a reality of their daily culture and family life. For them to consider accepting the exclusive claims of Jesus would often require them to pay a great personal price, including rejection by family and friends. Emphasize to them that following Jesus does not mean that they are rejecting their family and culture, even if their family or culture rejects them.
- “Dos and Don’ts in Sharing (the Gospel) with Hindus,” available: http://www.intervarsity.org/ism/article/3721, accessed 04-01-09.
- Halverson, Dean, The Compact Guide to World Religions, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996, pp. 92-95.