News just received from a leader in India:
- The current government (BJP, RSS, VHP working together) is going to do a mass re-conversion from Christianity to Hinduism on December 25th. At least 5000 Christians are going to become Hindus on that day. While we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus, these Hindus are re-converting Christians to Hinduism.
- In AGRA City where the Taj Mahal stands with its historic monument, several Muslim families and a few Christian families have already been converted in to Hinduism, as they were threatened by the BJP parties.
- They (the BJP = Bharatiya [Indian] Janata Party) decided not to grant a holiday on 25th December (which is a national holiday); instead the schools will remain open and all the students are required to attend school for various activities such as drawing, painting, quizzes, debate competition—in honor of the former Prime Minister Mr. Atal Bihari Bajpayee who was born on December 25th.
- India is going to face severe communal riots sooner or later because of the actions of the present government. They are also giving money to poor Christians and Muslims, asking them to return to Hindusim.
- In UTTAR PRADESH already several thousand Muslims and Christians have become Hindus. Again on the 25th of December there will be a re-conversion in Aligarh—and throughout all India wherever they can.
It is now time to go “underground” with the gospel in India in view of the election of the new Prime Minister Modi who is a very devoted Hindu with the RSS Party.
- When advisable, 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 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 Hindus are 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”—Hindus who 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 “fellowship”, “gathering” and “leader.”
- 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.
- Therefore it’s good that we no longer talk about or preach Christianity—known to the Hindus as the religion of the British and of white Europeans. To the Hindus, Christianity is a religion which competes with Hinduism and therefore the term creates hostility. We will now instead preach Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is greater than all Hindu gods. Let the people remain Hindus, but who now worship only the one true God who created the universe, and worship Him according to the Bible! In the same way, there are now “Muslims” who worship Isa Almasih as Lord and Savior—even though they still call themselves Muslims. We know that there are many “Christians” who are not saved, especially those who are now converting back to Hinduism. So what is important is not the label (whether Christian or Hindu) which cannot save, but rather what is in the heart.
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.”