Learning About Religions in Our Own Backyard

Earlier this year during the TFC Missions Week, Steve & Beth Coffey led a class on interacting with different cultures.  The information that was presented is summarized for you below.

TFC Class on World Religions
The annual TFC Missions Conference kicked off with a four-week class on some of the world religions represented here in Richardson: Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Sikhism.  I was blessed by the thorough overviews, deep insights, and practical ministry suggestions that were presented for each religion.  The presenters offered more than just knowledge—they equipped us to share the hope we have in Christ with love and respect.

Perhaps you, too, are curious about these religions right here in our backyard.  Perhaps you’ve taken Keith’s Meet Your Neighbor Challenge and discovered a Buddhist coworker or a Hindu neighbor.  Perhaps you just want to know how to relate to the hard-working Sikh that you encounter periodically or the friendly Muslim parent at your child’s school.  Whatever your motivation, the materials below will assist you as you reach out to your neighbors, whatever their religion, with the love of Christ and the good news of his kingdom.

Hinduism
Download the Hinduism_Presentation.

Key Point:  Hindus long for Moksha, or liberation from the cycle of Karma.  As Christians, we proclaim freedom and liberation in Jesus Christ.  Use the Vedic_Bridge to share the good news with your Hindu friend.

Islam
Download the Islam_Presentation.

Key Points:  Love, don’t argue.  Don’t hide the fact that you are a follower of Jesus Christ.  The average Muslim needs to hear the gospel 100 times, so don’t be discouraged, just be faithful.  Remove key misunderstanding by asking questions and defining terms (handout:  Removing_Muslim_Misunderstandings.)

Buddhism
Download the Buddhism_presentation.

Key Points:  Observe, don’t criticize.  Be hospitable.  Build relationships.  Share your own spiritual journey.  Understand the good in their culture and use it as a bridge to biblical concepts.  Focus on Jesus.  Be patient.  Read the full list of ideas for Reaching_Out_To_Buddhists or dig deeper with this article, Sharing_Jesus_with_Buddhists.

Sikhism
Download the Sikhism_Handout.

Key Points:  Remember that salvation is by Grace!  Sikhs believe that the only access to God is through a Guru (not a person, but a book—a perpetual Guru).  As Christians, we have a perpetual Guru in Jesus Christ who lives to intercede on our behalf (Heb 7:25).

Pray!
As you study these materials, it is easy to fixate on tips, strategies, and logic.  Remember, though, that nothing we can do or say will

ultimately result in the salvation of our friends and neighbors.  We must be faithful in proclaiming the gospel message, but only the work of the triune God in the heart of the lost can draw them into a relationship with Jesus Christ; thus, we must pray.  Continually.  Earnestly.  For the salvation of our friends and neighbors from around the world.

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