Can you help me develop a Christian response in an Indian context?

Dear Bro Charles,

Hope you are doing well. It has been some time since we last met in Vizag. Looking forward to meet you once again in Vizag in near future.

Since, I am very active on social media defending my faith in Christ and Christianity in general from both atheists and apologists from other religions, I come across some notorious (especially Hindu) instant internet atheist in disguise. One of the points they raise, often sarcastically, is about my name - Krishnam Raju that refers to a Hindu deity.

They ask; How can a Christian have a Hindu name after Lord Krishna? (This is the most common question that many Christians might have been facing who have Hindu names i.e. Hindu deity names )

My standard reply is as follow;

You are right, my name is Krishnam Raju but I or my name don’t relate to Lord Krishna in any way as you assume because my name is an amalgamation of my parents names. My first name comes from my father’s name - Krishna and my last name comes from my mother’s name - Rajamma. When I was a toddler, my parents took me to an elderly person who they respected. He was well versed with astrology and mythology. So, this elderly person brought together my parents names - Krishna and Rajamma and came up with Krishnam Raju.

(I am working on a blog post about being a Christian with a Hindu name in which I talk about this in detail.)

Also, I use my name as a testimony to show that I have accepted Christ as a saviour even though I was born and brought up in a Hindu family. I kind of brag about it.

Of course, I have a Christian name - Christopher, that I got after I took baptism more than a decade ago.

What do you think about my approach and could you think of few more approaches that might help me further in Indian context?

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Dear Krishnam!

Look forward to meeting again, soon.

Your question is a unique one, indeed. And your response sure, is unique :wink:
Our names, at least in the eastern culture, becomes part of our identity and communicates much more than a ‘tag’. It could communicate our faith allegiance, one’s caste, status in society, trade, etc., and is quite revealing!

The fact that you, own up to your name, and don’t feel the need to escape it, could/should speak a lot to an Indian-Hindu. It reiterates that you value your culture and respect its traditions and are not, instantly ‘westernized’ like some Hindus accuse us (Indian Christians) of. Bravo!

‘Krishna’ etymologically means ‘all-attractive’. It sure denotes a specific ‘Hindu’ avatar and many Hindus name their children in allegiance to this Hindu god. But it could be a name that one bears for the sheer meaning that it conveys. Who can deny us that!

The unique thing about Hindus or Muslims who retain their names that denote their faith roots, is such an amazing conversation starter for sharing Jesus Christ.

Besides, even though in the east our names become our identity and much more, we need to understand that our true identity is not in our names, vocation, or standing in society - but, to whom we truly - belong to.

So continue sporting your lovely ‘all attractive’ conversation starter name. And keep sharing how our identities are truly realized in pledging allegiance to the name above all names - Jesus :wink:

Blessings!

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