can you give me some good arguments/points or good resources which will help me to reach out or to present gospel among the hindu community
Here are my suggestions on presenting the gospel among the Hindu community. (In fact, this very weekend, some of my colleagues in India are at a symposium which is an RZIM initiative on ‘Gospel to the Eastern mind’. I hope I can share more details with you after that gets over).
- While Hindus love to dialogue and discuss on spiritual matters, they do not place a high premium on rational apologetics. This could be for many reasons, one of which is that intuitive (spiritual) knowledge is more valued over against rational thinking. So, while we use logic and reason, those cannot be used as a clinching argument (a typical Hindu might prefer dialogue to debate). In fact, some of them may find such an approach arrogant and faulty. Sharing the gospel to Hindus has to be more than cerebral.
- Someone termed Hinduism as a parliament of religions. There are many schools of thought, gods and goddesses, and sometimes even contrary beliefs among them. So, the best approach to a Hindu would be dialogical apologetics. We would do well to ask them questions about their faith and understanding, and then build bridges for the gospel. No two Hindus may have the same set of beliefs.
- Also, because a Hindu mindset is comfortable with ‘pluralism’, it is hard to present another view that claims exclusivity. A Hindu may comfortably domesticate the Christian gospel into their beliefs. No wonder, a number of New Age gurus preach / write about Jesus. But that is not the Jesus of the New Testament. Illustrations to explain that there isn’t a true ‘pluralist’ (obviously even a Hindu has non-negotiables) can help remove roadblocks.
- Some aspects that could really leave an impact with a Hindu are - an honest lifestyle, genuine friendships, a real spirituality (some might like joining at Christian fellowships for a spiritual experience). You could ask them if you could pray for them - and do it then and there. We could then invite those seekers to read the Bible on their own and also be a part of a Church where they are comfortable.
- Traditionally, there are many Hindus who find an appeal in Jesus - His pure life, His ascetic lifestyle, that He identified with the poor and marginalised etc. But today with a fundamentalist Hinduism that overrides other forms of Hinduism - I suspect many Hindus are turning down a Jesus that they actually don’t know. Reminds me of the words of Jesus - ‘They have hated me without a cause.’
- In conversations with Hindus, it is helpful to leave words that carry a bad baggage for them - like for eg., conversion, crusade, ‘Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war’… One cannot help the offense with the offer that Christ makes, but we could sure try and be better communicators of the gospel.
- One last word here… ask questions to Hindus. Don’t be on an answer mode all the time. Listen to their questions/ concerns they would ask. Deep engagement is possible when there is two-way traffic.
Hope this helps…