Thursday, July 24, 2014

Looking at Hinduism

On the one hand there's the abstract, textbook, sugar-coated Hinduism pedaled by academic popularizers like Michael Sudduth. On the other hand, there's the Hinduism that Christian missionaries actually encounter:

1 comment:

  1. One thing I learned in my travels to India is that they cannot be understood by employing Western sensibilities. The sugar-coated version is usually what a Westerner sees who is only there for a short time for the average Indian is incredibly polite and they make gracious hosts. So the idea Westerners get is that Indians are peaceful because they welcome all gods equally and that includes people. It's a completely wrong conclusion to come to.

    They are extremely skilled at haggling. Unless stated by the store, no price is set in stone. This works for nearly all cultural norms. "Live and let live" in some Hindus is mirrored by "die and let die" in others. So the expressions of Hinduism range from the benign to the violent.

    In one sense it makes it easy to share the gospel when visiting a benign Hindu. They won't interrupt and they will pay attention. On the other hand they won't necessarily engage the evangelist. But ask them what they want prayer for and they will usually give a good list. From the standpoint of praying for them a Christians can open doors to discuss what the one true God is like. For the more violent Hindu, I don't know because it's dangerous to talk to them.