I have always wondered about how a certain culture can be a hindrance for the Gospel, and how it can it be made relateable to various cultures. I would like you to give me some advice on how the Gospel would suit my Indian culture?.
I have visited India three times to teach the gospel. It is my experience that people in India are about as likely to be “open” to Christianity as any other people. The churches I have visited with the International Churches of Christ have five thousand members and most of these churches are growing. I will agree with the premise that exactly how we can most effectively present to gospel will depend to some extent on the culture of the people we are bring the gospel to. I will agree that awareness of the Indian culture will help someone who is trying to share her/his faith in India to be more effective. I am NOT an expert on this. It will be more helpful to ask someone who is Indian. I am putting you in touch with my friend Raghu Katragadda [editor’s note: we will not share Raghu’s personal information at this site, but if you are interested, we will happily put you in touch with him. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org] who is a teacher and evangelist from Bangalore and Hyderabadh. He will have some suggestions for you.
Let me add my brief thoughts. My experience with Hinduism in India informs me that this religion is polytheistic and that it appeals to the senses. It is a very sensual religion. The “god” of Hinduism is either non-existent or a very distant, unknowable entity. Brahman is the word used for this pantheistic, impersonal “God.” I would think that the thing which can be helpful as you share your faith in India is to tell people about a better God–one in whom we live and move and have our being–one who wants a personal relationship with us–one who pre-existed the universe, rather than being coequal withe the universe. I suggest you use Acts 17:22-31 as a model as you reach out to Hindus. Here Paul is sharing with intellectuals who believe in a concept of God which is quite similar to that in India. The Stoics and Epicureans believed in an impersonal, distant god who cannot be known. If I understand correctly, most Hindus believe that Jesus was a real person and they respect the idea of Jesus as a religious leader. My suggestion is that you appeal with them to read the book of John with you. Hopefully, they will fall in love with Jesus as they see God interacting with people. The idea that God became a person an lives among us is something that your Indian friends will be very attracted to.