"My Christian Girlfriend Doesn't Want to Follow My Hindu Faith"
- By Wilson Matthews
- Published 01/26/2007
Wilson is the youth leader at International Punjabi Masihi Church in Vancouver, Canada. Everyone loves this radical preacher's passion for Christ and His Church. Wilson helped organize the South Asian Global Convention (SAGC 2004) under the leadership of Pastor Pritam Singh. He is as "hairy-as-a-yak," "spits-like-a-camel," and is a F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) Christian. Wilson, a Malayalee Christian holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Trinity Western University and his mission is to make Scripture relevant to today's generation. Famous quote: "Knock it off!"
"My Christian Girlfriend Doesn't Want to Follow My Hindu Faith" *This article is used with permission from Probe Ministries.
I am faced with a dilemma and was hoping if you could offer me some advice and solace. I am a Hindu and have received a proposal from a Christian girl who converted from Hinduism 3 years ago.
Whilst my parents expect her to follow my religion after marriage; I am of the view that she can follow her religion but she has to partake in all my Hindu religious activities; and that we have to have a Hindu marriage. I also respect Christianity and she can go to church etc. with myself accompanying her whenever possible.
She has come back to me saying that all the above will be a sin in Christianity and that she will be punished if she participates in my activities.
I have been advised by my Hindu priest to participate in her activities where possible. I respect her choice of religion coz for me there is only one god; it's just that we all have our own ways of faith.
I also realise that there are other factors like children to be considered here.
I like this girl and will find your advice invaluable.
It would also help if you could provide me the details of people who have been in a similar situation. And at the same time it would also help if you could look into the prospects of taking out a "best practices" manual for lets say Hindu/Christian; Christian/Muslim marriages etc which would provide some sort of a guideline.
This response by Michael Gleghorn, Founder of Probe Ministries www.probe.org is used with permission.
Thank you for your kind letter.
I encourage you to read the article "Do All Roads Lead to God? The Christian Attitude Toward Non-Christian Religions" which can be found at http://www.probe.org/content/view/792/0/. I think it will help you better understand your Christian girlfriend's perspective on participating in your Hindu religious activities.
In the Bible, the second book is called Exodus. In Exodus 20:1-6 the Lord gives His people the first two of the Ten Commandments. These are: 1. To have (or worship) no other gods except the Lord, and 2. Not to make, or worship, any idols or images of anything in all creation. As you can probably see, these first two commandments would make it very difficult for your Christian friend to be faithful to her own religious convictions AND participate in Hindu religious activities.
Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to God. In fact, this is what Jesus Himself claimed in John 14:6. Jesus demands our exclusive devotion and allegiance. We are not allowed to worship anyone else but the one true God of the Bible.
Although I cannot tell you what to do about marriage, I do know that (statistically speaking) interfaith marriages are much more difficult and face many more problems than do marriages in which both partners have shared religious beliefs. I would encourage both of you to seriously consider these difficulties BEFORE you get married. For example, in what religious tradition will your children be raised? What will they be taught about God, what happens after death, etc.?
Finally, if you're interested in learning what the Bible says about how a person can have a personal relationship with God, please visit the following web page: http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=276 . This website also has the entire Bible available for you to read and study if you like.
Comment #1 (Posted by Job Anbalagan, Glory of His Cross Prophetic Minist)
I address this message to the author, a Hindu, who wanted to marry a Christian girl. It is not the mere religion that matters here but the faith that matters very much here. A girl who is born of the Spirit of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ is a new creature. She has to follow her Master, Jesus Christ, and to be His disciple. She will become one flesh with the man whom she will marry. After marriage, she has to lead a life pleasing to her Master only. Though faith is personal to her, yet she cannot live with a man who is not born again in the Spirit of God. I am not asking this man to marry this Christian girl even he takes a decision to change his religion. I am only asking this Christian girl not to be yoked with unbelievers i.e. who are not born again in the Spirit of God.
Comment #2 (Posted by Byrav)
Hi to my Proud Hindu friend,
I appreciate your love for your girl friend and your openess towards her faith and religion and may be you are expecting the same from Her. Nothing wrong absolutely. Let us not make this issue very secular.But why do you think she is so adament about her faith? A serious question to ponder about. Since I do not know her I assume that her reasons for not practsing Hindu rituals may be because of her true love and devotion for Jesus. The Bible teaches that there is only one God.Infact you believe in the same thing.But there is a difference of opinion about who is that God among you both. Jesus came to this world to show His love for us and to pay for our sins on the cross. He loved us so much that He did not want to punish us for our sins but give us Moksha inspite of the fact that we deserve it very much, and therefore He had to pay for it. Isnt that a wonderful and amazing love. Anyone who falls in love with Jesus would find this great joy and peace and they cannot compromise for anything. Prabably your girlfriend loves you more, but not more than Jesus. I challenge you, even if you fall in love with Jesus, your first love will be Jesus. May I encourage you to talk to your girlfriend about Her faith and the reason for her love for Jesus. I wholly wish that you find this great love of Jesus which gives you eternal life and also may this Love of God bind you with her as you desire.
Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)
I read your Letter and the response
Let me ask you one question
Dose she loves you or it is just a one side
If she loves and wants to get married to you, then religion should not be a issue
I am not a fanatic but why do Hindus alone think of accepting another god and why not others
If you feel she is worth giving up your religion then go ahead, let me just remind you that she does not think your are worth changing the religion
so why this sacrifice
I don’t see any point
If god is so important to girl who has take up for the past 3 years then it should be more to you ‘cause your born into a greatest religion on the face of earth and will ever be
Comment #4 (Posted by Abishek)
Hi, few suggestions before you make your decision. Think on your own
a) how do you want to bring up your child 1. Hindu 2. Christian 3. does not matter
b) if you buy a new car or build a new house, do you want to offer a prayer at a) temple b) church c) does not matter
c) if you are in deep troubleyou want to hear consoling words and songs from a) hindu base b) christian base c) does not matter
d) If your wife says I can not participate in any of your family funerals and I can not deliver any of my duties as part of your family due to my faith then it is a) Not ok b) ok
if your answer is b or c please proceed with your christian girl. Good Luck.
For all the questions if your answer is b or c then proceed to the next:
Comment #5 (Posted by Ameya)
I was quite imprssed by your love for your soulmate and your openness for her to follow her religion.
This is most civilised and Hindu way.Being an Hindu I am proud of my religion; but at the same time, I am very much receiptive to respect the other religions. And thats quite a unique thing about Hinduisam. No doubt some of the greatest religions Buddhism and Jain originated from India.
If you love her, dont force her to follow all the Hindu traditions, try to convince your parents. It is more likely that she will start respecting and participating in holy activities,(as you do with her- like going to Church and all)by herself.
Let her give some time to settle, and let not be forceful.
After all, You will be lucky, Because you will receive love and care from Hindu Gods as well as Lord Jesus.
Comment #6 (Posted by SNEHA)
Don't participate in her activited if she doesn't participate in yours.
Trust me, she might end up pushing you over. And you might not be able to be hindu or anything
You can still marry her I think. But if she isn't willing to comprimise to come to your religous activites you don't have to go to church with her
Plus if she's that religous. Then the people in her church will probably be too. and you might be harassed.
Comment #7 (Posted by Jay)
It was lovely to read of a Hindu concerned about his faith. Many Hindus these days act without regard to their faith. My question to you is that do u feel your views and her views are irreconcilable? If so you should be careful. In terms of children do u want them to be raised Xtian or Hindu? I think the two religions are not compatible as Hinduism is broad and emcompassing whereas Xtianity can be intolerant
Comment #8 (Posted by Vin)
We r in the same page. But in my case, She is kerala Christian. I am not believe/depend on the religions. So anyone can please tell me how to do the register marriage? And immediate steps that i have to do.
Comment #9 (Posted by Nick)
I am a Christian and have stumbled upon this post via Google... I just figure I'd pose some provocative questions because this seems to be a pretty confusing topic.
What does the Hindu faith say about interfaith marriage?
What does the Christian faith say about interfaith marriages?
If faith is a question in your marriage, what does your faith say about your marriage? These are very serious questions being that mariage is a religious ceremony.
If you are willing to put your marriage above your faith, then that poses some serious issues being that marriage is a bond under God.
Comment #10 (Posted by Laura Kafle)
As a woman raised christian and married to a Hindu man, the challenges go beyond choice of faith and extend into culture, and pre-conceived expectations about marriage in general. Communication is key! There are several issues that need to be discussed before you enter into this life commitment. If your love is strong and you are not afraid of the non-traditional, I wish you luck.
Comment #11 (Posted by Santosh)
"Jesus is the ONLY way to God" Stick with Hinduism, which preaches true humanity. "One God, different paths"
Comment #12 (Posted by saved by grace)
The unfortunate thing in this situation is that the "Christian girl", who seems some what loyal to her faith, is actually not pursuing the creator in which she claims to believe in at all. "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church" Eph. 5:25. For me Christ continues to passionatley pursue me, and continues to. So how could I ever conceive of loving a wife the correct way unless I understood Christs love? The Hindu guy can't ever love the wife the way that Christ intends him to, nor can the wife have any impact on His kingdom, if her/his own house is divided? It would be the extreme exception to the rule if this marriage could ever be accepted. However, I can promise our Hindu question guy, if you examine the history of the bible and love your future spouse enough to do so, you will see not only the historical authenticity of the bible, but God will continue to show you truth through His word, which will ultimately bring you the peace that it seems like you are looking for.
Comment #13 (Posted by Proud Hindu Woman)
I'm also in the same predicament, my friend - My Christian boyfriend and I are madly in love but he has been advised by his church leaders to not marry me as I am 'not saved'. My advice? Follow your Hindu dharma! I commend you for being as open, respectful and supporting as you have been... but I believe the Christian ppl who view God in this way suffer from a kind of spiritual blindness - how can they not see God as virtue in another human being and recognize Him in all (Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.)? If your girlfriend cannot see this Truth then your family life and children may also suffer from this blindness. You are blessed to follow the Hindu way of life, my friend. May God continue to bless and guide you and yours!
Comment #14 (Posted by Charles Sundram Manickam)
My dear Hindu sister,
Y its impossible to meddle spiritiual matters and get complicated unless u have to understand what Hinduism teaches and that of Christianity.
1. Remember no religion can save a person including Christianity. Jesus never founded any religion but He told his followers that He is the way to God, not by our actions.
He taught us to look God in God's way not in our ways.
His ways are higher than us and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
He has got plans, purpose and reason for us to live on this planet earth.
We cannot win God's favour by our actions, givings and so forth.
Jesus said, know the truth and the TRUTH will set us free.
That's the reason: anybody, anywhere, any time,any person of any religion can call upon his name, and can seek his help. He told all who believe him to his disciples, not to be only believers.
If any mess in this world, we can't blame HIM becos, we are the managers of the world. He loves us that much that He allowed to be mercilessly tortured and killed. (watch: Passion Of Christ).
According to Prophecies in the scriptures(true prophets must prophecy the truth)all these must be fulfilled.
He was to become born as a man (Christmas), die (Easter) to be our atonement.
In the World v have standards and the man made standards we have to comply).
For our every genuine actions, our standards are match-less to his standards. We cannot measure our goodness in His standards. Take any persons ever lived, they had their limits and equally like any ordinary human beings. Take it in: marriage, anger, food, riches... there were limited.It makes no differences to any of us in this world.
For e.g. take a sage or holy person, ask him a repeated question for a certain number of times, finally he may show his temper! Take a modern day Bagawan, call him in a cell phone, the first thing he will ask who is on the line? Y didnt he call by your name b4,But he instead asking your name and details.
But the differebce between Christ and any human beings is: He is God, He is Omnipotent, Omnipresence,Omniscience,etc etc.
He had to die because not that he cannot defend himself, but because he loves you and me. Remember how horrible we are? We even cant control our evil mind, temper, jealousy, wickedness,lust for wealth,beauty,fame, etc etc... Yet he kept quiet till he was crufied, Y his love 4 us is so great!!
If opportunity exists, read Mr.Rabrinnath's. The death of a Guru( former hindu guru from Carribean Islands. Sadhu Sunder Singh's (a Punjabi Hindu)story.
Hear Sadhu Chellapa's Convertion Testimoney and his research papers/talks on Hindu vedas,Sastrams,Karmas
Prof. Dr. Deivanayagam' The Gold Medalist & Dr DeivaKala Deivanayagam's Hinduism /Vedas/ThiruKoral in the Bible, Ganesha Bramar story,
Vethanayaga Sasthiriar's Thanjavoors royal court Royal singers Testimonies.
Jesus Calls ministry Mr. Dhinakaran, Mohan C lazarus (former Thinavelli Hindu)ministries,
All these people were very staunch Hindus and following Hindu Tharmas. What and why are they Christians today?
For your information, Christians brought so much developments to humanity, and most wealthy developed people are the Christians and still give needy helping hands in any case of any emergencies in any part of the world.The Tsunami, earth Quake in AP,Gujarat. Why? not for karma, but for the love Jesus have given in our hearts.Not to convert anyone by this actions.
Compare what amount of hatred the RSS do? killing of the Australian man & son serving in the Leporosium.How can his wife can forgive the murderers? No Vengence. Y?
If you believe in Jesus, holistically, wholistically you will be a changed/transformed person not living for yourself.
Please dont mistake the Roman Catholics as Christians, they are Catholics and answerable to the Vatican Pope.
Buy a Bible and read for yourself and you find how Jesus was such a wonderful person was and His grave in palestine is still empty. He was dead, buried, arosed from dead and now forever alive. He has gone to heaven and He is coming again to take us all who believes Him.
That's the good news.
Thats the reason that converted girl hestitates to return back.
The beautiful Gospel:
Amazing Grace, how sweet his sound, that saved a wretch like me, was blind, now I see.
How can a former blind person, healed now sees perfectly, asking him to be blind again!
How can i betray a man(Jesus) who made my life wonderful from a horrible mess life?
Thanks. Love from a wonderful brother in Christ. Jesus Loves you very much. If you are in a mess, pl call him now!!!
Comment #15 (Posted by JOHN KASHIF)
Your girlfriend should not be in a relationship with unbelivers, JESUS SAID THE WORLD WOULD HATE US FOR HIS SAKE, BUT IM NOT A FOLLOWER OF THE WAYS OF THE WORLD, IM A FOLLOWER OF ALMIGHTY GOD
Comment #16 (Posted by Anselm)
Having stumbled upon this site while googling, I'll leave my 2 paise worth of thoughts.
In India, I have seen quite a few mixed marriages especially those contacted in cities succeed. But the partners don't seem to be able to graduate to a greater closeness, than if the partners were to come from the same community.
The stand that one of the partners is not being accommodating, I think comes basically from the Roman Catholic Church concept that the main purpose of marriage is children - future citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. If these marriages were to succeed one of the partners has to give up their insistence on their faith and values and try and accept their partners'. I guess if each of the partners understands the reason for the others stand, there is a good chance that the marriage will succeed.
There is a fundamental difference between the Eastern (Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Confuciusism) and Western (Christianity, Islam) philosophies. In the East it is generally accepted that there is no absolute right and wrong, both being a manifestation of the Absolute, thus results in things are left to take their own course. This makes it easier for the Hindu to adjust to the Christain or Muslim rather than vice-versa. But on the other hand one becomes fatalistic. If a person is poor, or sick, it is not taken to be nessasirily bad, to be avoided. The West believes that there is a personal God. This results in a clear right and wrong which results in a certain direction, a movement.
Though, both the West and East say that man in his present state suffers, but in the West, since there is an absolute right and wrong, Man is supposed to have a clear free will that he is supposed to exercise in order to be "saved" from his predicament. This is done by repenting (giving up pride) and having Faith in the Holy Spirit. Here there is too much emphasis on working out one's salvation and a lot of effort is spent in that direction.
In the East the free will concept is a bit watered down. Here too man can be saved by attaining enlightenment, by meditating (giving up the ego and so be free), but since the East accepts that there is no absolute wrong and right, but since most people not understanding what enlightenment or salvation is all about - they end up by only 'reacting' and not acting.
The Truth, I guess lies in-between.
Comment #17 (Posted by Samar Calvin Ghori)
DEAR SIR I WOULD YOU GIVE A V.SIMPLE BUT EFFECTIVE ADIVISE IF YOU SINCERELY PAY HEED UPON IT.
AS YOU SAID THAT YOU ALSO BELIEVE IN ONE GOD LIKE OTHERS SO WHY DON'T YOU DO ONE THING WITH TRUE INTENTIONS.
CONSECERATE YOURSELF FOR ONE DAY & DO NO SIN IN THAT DAY NOT EVEN IN YOUR INTENTIONS & THEN IN THAT NIGHT ASK THE UNSEEN GOD TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH & I AM SURE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO WHOM I PRAY WILL NOT DISSAPPOINT YOU WILL REVEAL YOU THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
MAY LORD JESUS CHRIST HELP YOU IN THIS MATTER & SHOW YOU THE LIGHT IN JESUS NAME I PRAY(AMEN)