When I walked into one of India’s many temples, it felt like I was entering the realm of darkness. Creepy to say the least. In one corner, six men (Hindu priests I presumed) were chanting and praying loudly to a five-headed cobra serpent while burning some incense. At another shrine an officiating priest winked at me to come and participate in the worship of his idol. I smiled and moved on. Hinduism has plunged India into spiritual pollution with its multiple gods. Shrines are everywhere in the cities and towns where people can stop before going to work to receive a blessing from their favorite god. Every face of every god has their unique evil appearance, enough to keep your nightmares alive.
My heart went out to the almost one billion Hindu believers in India as I thought of this verse from Scripture: “they followed idols, became idolaters…” (2 Kings 17:15). If you follow after idols you become an idolater. What are the chances of spiritual attainment? India also has a rat temple where rats are worshipped!
Maybe the words of Mahatma Gandhi, India’s prominent spiritual icon, have shaped the mindset of Hindus, when he said: “I like your Christ but not your Christianity. I believe in the teachings of Christ, but you on the other side of the world do not. I read the Bible faithfully and see little in Christendom that those who profess faith pretend to see.” Hindus may accept Christ, but only as another one of their many gods. It seems we have left Christ out of Christianity. Our lives don’t show the beauty of Christ and the truth as it is in Jesus. How then can we reach the Indian people with the gospel, since public meetings and the giving out of literature in public is forbidden?
I like your Christ but not your Christianity.
The Advent believers, who received a container of literature from Light Bearers, have a strategy. The plan is to reach the other Christian groups in India first. Bible lessons and literature are distributed and sent to many other Christian denominations and believers. They in turn will share the truth with non-believers.
The church has schools, colleges and hospitals where the printed material is used and distributed. The majority of the students in our Seventh-day Adventist schools and colleges, as well as the teachers, are Hindu. There are not enough Adventist teachers. The minority is Muslim and other Christian faiths. The idea is to introduce these students and teachers to Christ as their Savior through the literature. From these centers, the message will spread to their relatives. The material from Light Bearers is posted to other churches and conferences through India as well as Adventist institutions like schools, colleges and clinics.
But the best method in India under these difficult circumstances is one-to-one evangelism. Only as the church mingles with the non-Christian (Hindu) believers, showing them something more attractive in Christ and showing them the love of God, they find an entrance to share the Bible lessons.
“Take this envelope. You don’t have to read it now, but when you experience painful times then read the lessons. It will help you solve your problems.”
I met Clement, a Seventh-day Adventist soul winner. He invited his brother to share his testimony with me. His brother is from another faith. There was a time in his life when he drifted away from God and got involved with drugs. He felt completely lost. He gave up all faith. The loneliness he experience crushed him and he went to his brother Clement for help. He broke down in weeping before his brother, “I need help. The emptiness, loneliness and separation from God is too much for me.”
Clement introduced the Bible lessons to his brother and started studying with him and his mother. These lessons helped him out of his despair and introduced his Savior to him in a new and beautiful way and he found peace in Christ. He also found that the lessons have helped him in a practical way in everyday life. But he wanted to share these wonderful lessons with others who are also experiencing the hardships of life.
He started identifying Hindu friends who might need spiritual help. He makes
Oh, the beauty and simplicity of the gospel! Silently these lessons bring light to the spiritual darkness of Hinduism through personal contacts.
Meiring works on the ground where Light Bearers literature is sent and writes regular reports on the progress of the literature work in these areas.