Thank you for the report on what just happened in Bhawanipatna.
It is now time to go “underground” with the gospel in India. I have foreseen this course of action for us, especially since the election of the new Prime Minister Modi who is pro-RSS.
- We should avoid hosting big meetings which draw much attention and become easy targets for those who oppose the gospel. Instead we should train servants of God with TEC in small events or groups. Then they will go out and train other ministers in the same way. In this way we can eventually train an army of powerful and fruitful servants of God—like you & Simon Haqq—who will go out to preach the gospel and plant churches in unreached villages.
- We should contextualize the gospel as we do when reaching Muslims. Please start reading the articles in https://www.theelijahchallenge.org/training/reaching-followers-religion-centered-middle-east/. You can begin with the article: Christianity or Jesus Christ?
- In the New Testament Jesus actually never told us to become “Christians” but rather to follow him as believers and disciples. He never told us to “go to church.” Rather we are to gather together as the body of Christ (the Church) to worship the Lord and to be taught. The word “Christianity” is never mentioned in the New Testament. In view of what is now happening in India, we should stop using the terms Christian and Christianity since they are not necessary for salvation. Instead we can use the more scriptural terms disciple(or believer) and The Way. In this way the Hindus will not be able to stop us from spreading the gospel. We need to go underground.
- I read that the country of India was once known as Hindustan—“the land of the Hindus”. Therefore Hindusare people who live in India. And of course this includes the Christians who live in India. Seen from this perspective, Christians in India are actually “Hindus.” My point is that we do not need to think of Hindus as followers of a religion, but as a term which identifies Indians in general.
- Therefore Christians can be “Hindus”—Hinduswho follow and worship the One True God through Jesus Christ. I have heard that there are 300 million Hindu gods, and that Hindus are free to choose which gods they want to worship. The followers of Jesus Christ in India have chosen to worship only one God, our Father in heaven. Therefore they are technically still Hindus.
- We can stop using the traditional words “church” and “pastor” and “evangelist” all of which stir up anger and violence in the RSS. Instead we can use words like “gathering” and “servant.”
- Therefore it would be wise to avoid the obvious & heated conflict between Christianity and Hinduism; it is actually not necessary. I do notsee this issue in terms of one religion versus another religion, but rather choosing to worship only One out of many gods—which we can say that Hindus are free to do.
Please reflect and pray about all this, Subodh. This is the non-traditional, “radical” but scriptural approach we teach in order to reach Muslims effectively. It can be used for reaching Hindus as well. This will help to reduce the tension with the RSS, since you are not preaching a foreign religion imported by former western colonizers called Christianity, but the worship of One God through Jesus Christ. This approach does not violate Scripture, and is arguably more in line with Scripture than the traditional approach of preaching “conversion to Christianity” and renouncing Hinduism to becoming “Christians” and then “going to church.”