OK I know what you’re thinking, “Why are we talking about Hindu’s…isn’t that an issue better left to those in the East?” To a certain degree you are right. India houses more than 80% of the Hindu population in all the world. By the way, a poll taken in 2001 states the number of Hindu’s in the world at 837 million or 13% of the total world population. Those numbers make Hinduism the third largest religion in the world. But of this world total 1.1 million live in the U.S. If you add to this number the radically growing New Age Movement which has strong ties to Hinduism, then you realize that we need to stand up and take notice. We also need to be prepared to have a conversation with someone of the Hindu worldview and be able to articulate the gospel of Christ with them.
First, we must prepare ourselves with the Scriptures in order to not simply combat Hindu teachings, but to lovingly state our faith from it’s authoritative source. Second, it would be to your advantage to study up on the overall Hindu worldview, and for those of us with a Western mindset it will take some time to get your head around this. Thirdly, we must lovingly open our lives up to those of other faith systems and beliefs. Christians are not called to live in a vacuum and to only discuss faith in Christ with other professing Christians. We must come to understand that the claims of Christ and the gospel do not mesh with the other systems of faith this world has to offer, and then allow this truth to motivate us to lovingly and boldly proclaim the truth that Christ is the “One mediator between God and man…who gave himself as a ransom for all (I TIm 2:5-6).”
One of the basic beliefs of the Hindu faith is that God is impersonal. What this means is that our Western Christian understanding of an infinite personal creator God does not apply. Hinduism teaches that God or Brahman is a divine spiritual force that inhabits all living things. If you’re having trouble with this think of the force talked about in Star Wars and you’ll be getting close. Hinduism teaches that all lifeforms are connected (Monism) and that all lifeforms are divine (Pantheism) which can seem to give one a sense of largeness and purpose. But, in reality it creates confusion and aloneness.
In response to this, the Bible teaches of the One True God who made all things, who rules over all things, and who is intimately involved in all of creation. Furthermore, we learn that by virtue of Christ’s life of sinlessness and work of atonement on the cross that those who believe can have relationship to this infinite personal God. Hinduism teaches that salvation equates to connectedness to the universal soul or spirit in the cosmos, while the promise of Christ is that believers will have eternal life in the presence of God the Father.
Hindu’s also beleive, as do many other faiths, that Jesus was not the Messiah nor the Son of God; but that He was simply a holy man. In fact, some branches of Hinduism claim that Jesus was an avatar, an incarnation of God, but all teach that Jesus is less than God and less than perfect, but Jesus teachings don’t support that.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus was, “without sin (Heb 4:15)” and that he, “had no sin (2 Cor 5:21).” In the New Testament we also learn that Jesus was, “Holy, blameless, pure (Heb 7:26)” and that He has,”been made perfect forever (Heb 7:28).” Add to this the fact that in John 3:16 we learn that Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father. John 1 teaches us that “Jesus was in the beginning, that He was with God and that He was fully God…that He came to earth and dwelt among us as God in the flesh.”
There are countless passages of Scripture that point out Jesus uniqueness and His divinity. These Scriptures point out that He is the only acceptable appeasement for man’s sin debt (I John 2:1-2). The list goes on and on.
The point is that we must lovingly pray for and share the gospel with those of the Hindu faith, not out of pity but out of love.
If you have any questions or suggestions that add to this article please feel free to comment below.