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Pointers for Witnessing to Hindus

by Gurudatt Shiwdat, Jared Jenkins, and others

1.  Pray for Hindus specifically.  If you don’t pray for them, who will?

2.  Build relationships with each individual Hindu and make them your friends

3.   Live a pure life.  They are searching for reality!  “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me...  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”      Psalm 51:10, 13

4.  Show true joy in all of life’s situations.

5.  Dress modestly.  Be careful to dress modestly and in a reserved manner.  Work into your life the traditional biblical values of simplicity, spirituality, and humility.

6. Seek to have a good working knowledge of Hinduism.  We need to know some of the details, the beginning, and the evolution of the Hindu religion.  Study both philosophical and devotional Hinduism with the aim of understanding what appeals to the Hindu heart.  (Bath yourself in prayer and in God’s Word, and stay far away from sin)

7. Love Hindus.  You may not immediately like them, but you must love them with agape love!  Remember, we were not likeable either, but Christ loved us,  the unlovely.

8.  Share your testimony.  Describe your personal experience of lostness and God’s gracious forgiveness and peace.  Testimonies must be given with evident humility and with love and esteem for the Hindus.  It should not be shared with irreverence.

9. Treat the Bible with respect.  Hindus revere literature as being almost “holy”. 

10. Use the Gospel of John. – All the answers to all the questions of all the holy books of all time are answered in one book:  The Gospel of John

11.  Learn a couple of words from their language.

12.  Be hospitable.  Invite them into your home and family circle for a meal and conversation.  Strict Hindus may refuse for caste reasons, but they appreciate friendly invitations.  Do not take refusal as a personal insult.

13.  Respect their customs.  Always show respect to their customs and sensitivities.  Concerning food and drink; ask beforehand if they are vegetarians.  If they are, do not offer them meat. 

14.  Be a good listener.  Everyone wants to be heard and understood.  Seek to discover the needs of the Hindu heart.

15.  Empathize with Hindus.  Appreciate all that is good and be truly sad about error and sin.  Learn what it must be like to be in his shoes.

16.  Communicate the Gospel in a clear manner

17.  Keep God's personal nature in mind.  An "impersonal oneness" cannot forgive.  A person can.  "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."  John 3:17

18.  Offer Jesus' forgiveness.  Karma means that sins are accumulated without forgiveness or mercy.  Matthew 11:28 - "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

19.  Be quick to acknowledge mystery and lack of full understanding of the Bible

20.  Keep the focus on Christ

21.  Die daily to yourself and allow Christ to live His life through you.  "If the way you live your life as a Christian can be explained in terms of you, what have you to offer to the man who lives next door?  The way he lives his life can be explained in terms of him, and so far as he is concerned, you happen to be 'religious' - but he is not.  It is only when your quality of life baffles the neighbor that you are likely to impress them ... the kind of life you are living is not only commendable, but that it is beyond all human explanation...."  Major Ian Thomas  1964

 22.  Do not criticize or condemn Hinduism in your efforts to reach out to Hindus. Pointing out the worst aspects of Hinduism is hardly the way to win friends or show love.  Criticizing Hinduism can make us feel we have won an argument, but it will not win Hindus to Jesus Christ.  Do not present Christianity as superior to Hinduism.  Hindus are proud of their religion and ancient culture.  If we pose ourselves as superior, we will turn them away.  Be careful when speaking of poverty in India.

23.  Do not argue and debate on points of disagreement.  Hindus love discussions and debates.  Every Hindu is a philosopher to some extent, but no Hindu can be argued into the Christian faith.  Hindus rarely come to Christ because of a philosophical argument. 

24. Do not begin your relationship by talking about hell, or about the fact that Jesus is the only way for salvation.  Hindus hear these things as triumphalism and are offended unnecessarily.  Speak of hell only with tears of compassion. 

25. Do not be in a hurry to push for a decision or conversion.  Any pushing for a decision or conversion will do great harm.  The Holy Spirit must draw them.

26.  Do not present Christianity as a Western Religion.  The Gospel reached India some 1500 years before it reached North America.  Indians, however, equate Christianity with Western Culture.

 Hindu Ministries