Hinduism / Buddhism

00:00 / 00:00

Sun, Mar 03, 2019

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: Reaching Beyond Religion

MARCH 3, 2019

Reaching Beyond Religion



Regardless of specifically which religion or belief system we are talking about, it’s important to remember that at one point, we were at one point in the same boat as them.  Our goal it to reach them with the gospel.

Ephesians 2:1
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.



1. Overview

- There is no one founder of Hinduism.

- Started between 4000-6000 years ago in India

- To date, there are around 1.08 Billion Hindus, 95% of which live in India.


2. View of God

- Polytheistic / Pantheistic / Henotheistic belief system.

- Most Hindus worship 1 god above all others, called Brahman. They believe Brahman is in everything, and everything is make up of Brahman.

- Beyond Brahman, most Hindus believe in many other gods as well depending on which sect of Hinduism they appeal to: Saivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism and Smartism

4 Main Options of what they believe:
- There is only 1 god in 3 beings - Brahman: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
- There are 33 gods
- If someone says there is a god, it must be true - between 30-330 million
- There are infinite gods

Kauai’s Hindu Monastery explains why there are different viewpoints like this -
“Hindus also believe in many Gods who perform various functions, like executives in a large corporation. These should not be confused with the Supreme God. 

Hinduism gives us the freedom to approach God in our own way, encouraging a multiplicity of paths, not asking for conformity to just one.”


3. View of Jesus

Hindus believe that Jesus is a teacher or guru, or even an incarnation of Vishnu. They DO believe He IS the son of God, but they believe that we are ALL the son of God. They don’t believe in Him paying the price of our sin, or that he rose from the dead.


4. Holy Books / Writings

There are a few holy books in Hinduism: 
- The Vedas - 4 books of knowledge
- The Upanishads
- The Bhagavad-Gita


5. Beliefs / Afterlife

- Dharma:
 Your path in life

- Reincarnation: 
The Atman (soul) lasts forever,
 and when you die, the soul leaves the body and transmigrates 
to another body.

- Karma:
 Your good deeds and our bad deeds influence that path

- Caste System
: Value system that puts people in 5 categories

 The search for eternal truth



Realize that many Hindus have a prejudice towards what they think a Christian is.

Because there are so many opposing beliefs in Hinduism, start by just asking them what they believe.

Always listen to their felt problems.
Galatians 3:28
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Focus on the person of Christ and personal relationships

Allow the Holy Spirit to intervene!
Psalm 139:1-4
1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.

If they are interested, be careful not to ask them to get saved too quickly.


1. Overview

- Buddhism was started as an offshoot of Hinduism

- There are around 535 Million Buddhists, mostly in Eastern Asian countries like: China, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, and Vietnam

- Started by “the Buddha” named Siddhartha Gautama around 563 BCE who was born in Nepal.


2. View of God

- Buddhists are Non-theistic or Athiestic

- There are a TON of different teachings that have come out of it, and Buddhism itself is very fluid.


3. View of Jesus

Believe that Jesus is an enlightened teacher.  They don’t believe in Him paying the price of our sin, or that he rose from the dead.


4. Holy Books / Writings

The Three Universal Truths:
- Everything is impermanent and changing
- Impermanence leads to suffering, making life imperfect
- The self is not personal and unchanging.

The Four Noble Truths:
- Dukkha - at the core of everything is craving and suffering
- Samudaya - suffering comes from you wanting things
- Nirodha - realizing you need to stop the craving (dukkha)
- Magga - there is a pathway to doing this - 8 fold pathway

The Eightfold Path:
- Right Understanding: understand then 4 noble truths
- Right Thought: control your mind
- Right Speech: no slandering, lying, etc
- Right Conduct: non-violence
- Right Livelihood: don’t bring suffering to other creatures through our life
- Right Effort: be aware of your mind and eliminate negative thoughts
- Right Mindfulness: know your feelings
- Right Concentrations: meditate and figure it out for yourself


5. Beliefs / Afterlife

- Karma/Dharma:
 Buddhists believe in Dharma as a doctrine, not a path set out by God, and Karma as an internal force instead of a God driven force

- Reincarnation: 
Buddhists believe in a rebirth of body and mind.

- Dalai Lama:
 The Dalai Lama is a leader of Tibetan Buddhism 
and is believed to be the manifestation of the patron saint of Tibet. 
He is a religious and political leader for Buddhists.

- Buddha:
is considered to be like a god, 
and is worshipped in a sense,
but no real Buddhist would call him a god

- Nirvana:
 Nirvana is the ultimate goal in life - to reach a point where you have no desires or cravings
 where you feel nothing, connect with nothing, and are nothing. 



We need to find common ground with them.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Be willing to hear their story!

Tell them your testimony.  Tell them about your pilgrimage from death to life. Personal Path means a lot to them.

Realize is that they may be shocked that we worship Jesus who died on the cross.  Explain how we find salvation at the place of suffering
 and through the suffering of Jesus, our suffering is taken away.

Keep in mind that Buddhism is a self defeating mindset, so ask really good questions.
- How do you handle loving your family, but working to not desire them?
- Why do YOU think there is evil and suffering in the world?
- Who or what set the law of karma in motion?
- What do you think YOU PERSONALLY need to do to find Nirvana?

Focus on the PERSON of JESUS.  Focus on the freedom that Jesus himself brings.


We’re not looking for people with no religion
to introduce them to Jesus,
We’re looking for people who don’t have Jesus
to introduce them to Jesus.


Connection Card

  1. I am going to look for opportunities to share my faith with Hindus and Buddhists.
  2. I am praying for these friends who are Hindu or Buddhist:
  3. I have a question for the Q/A on March 31:


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