I read Rick Rood's article with interest; 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 - AG denomination; (she 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 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.
Thank you for your kind letter. I do not know which article of Rick's that you read, but if you haven't yet read his article entitled, "Do All Roads Lead to God? The Christian Attitude Toward Non-Christian Religions," I would encourage you to do so. You can find this article at Do All Roads Lead to God? The Christian Attitude Toward Non-Christian Religions. 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.
Thanks again for writing.
Wishing you all the best for your future,
About the Author
Michael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children. His personal website is michaelgleghorn.com.
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