Ask Your Preacher
Is it okay for a Christian to participate in a yoga exercise class or even see or become an acupuncturist?
It all depends on how you do it. Yoga, tai-chi, and some forms of holistic medicine can have a religious element to them, but they don’t have to. If a Christian takes yoga purely for the exercise, they are just fine (1 Tim 4:8), but if a Christian begins delving into the spiritual elements such as karma, Hinduism, etc. – that is wrong. There is only room for one God and one guide in our lives (2 Cor 6:16).
I have a difficult decision to make. This guy that I am dating is Hindu. I just found out today. I don't know what to do; is it okay to date people outside of your religion? I have always believed it wouldn't be, but I am not sure. Please help.
Dear Hindu Hindered,
You are right to be concerned. It isn’t necessarily wrong to date someone who is Hindu, but you should be working toward his conversion WAY before marriage. ‘Inter-faith’ marriages have disastrous results, an awful track record, and God warns against them. The Bible’s most notorious example of this is Solomon. Solomon’s idolatrous wives turned the heart of the wisest man on the planet away from God (1 Kgs 11:4). If Solomon in all of his wisdom couldn’t resist the pull of a false religion, we should consider ourselves just as vulnerable. There is too much at stake. If your heart is turned away from God, your soul will be eternally destroyed (Heb 3:12).
No matter how much two people love each other, there are only five possible outcomes for a christian marrying a Hindu, and only one of them is good:
- He eventually converts and obeys the gospel, becomes a christian, and is saved (GOOD).
- You eventually convert and follow Hinduism, and you are both lost (BAD).
- You both make compromises in your beliefs, and you no longer fully serve the Lord (BAD).
- You both eventually renounce both of your belief systems, and are both lost (BAD).
- You bear through a lifetime of disagreement on the most important thing in life. You stand strong in the faith, but are hindered in the amount of service you can provide the Lord (BAD).
The only positive outcome is the first one, and that isn’t any more likely to happen after marriage than before. Either he will eventually convert, or he won’t – serious romantic commitment and/or marriage won’t increase those odds.
God warns against being ‘unequally yoked’ to someone with different values than you (2 Cor 6:14-16). Once you get married, you are ‘yoked’ to that person with a lifetime agreement. A godly marriage is designed around unity (Gen 2:24). If you aren’t unified on your core belief system, then everything else will be affected. Where would your children go to church? How much money would you contribute to God’s church – would he, being a Hindu, be okay with contributing anything at all? What happens when he wants to put up Hindu emblems around the house? These are just a few of the thousands of day-to-day problems inter-faith marriages present. God tells us that a christian should marry someone ‘in the Lord’ (1 Cor 7:39). It is time to have a serious heart-to-heart with this fellow and see if it is possible to get on the same spiritual page.
I've been dating a Hindu woman for about eight months. I have fallen in love with her. I would love to marry her, as she would be a great wife. However, she is not a christian. Over the months, we have talked about religion, and she has shown some (a little) interest in Christianity. I know only God can lead her to Christ, so this is the question I pose. Is it selfish for me to pray for her to be lead to Christ, so I can be with her? I feel this is a self-centered prayer because I want her to be saved because I want to be with her and have a Christ-centered relationship… and not really because of her salvation. I feel guilty and very confused. I have prayed about this for quite a while, and I hope you will be able to shed some light on this issue. Thank you.
Praying To Propose
Dear Praying To Propose,
Why can’t you have both? It is possible to pray for her conversion because you love her and want to marry her and so that she can go to heaven. The two goals aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, we can’t think of a better win-win scenario. God tells us to pray for the things we want but to also pray that His will be done (Matt 6:10, Jas 4:15). In this case, you know that what you want is definitely the same as what God wants. God wants everyone to be saved (Ezek 18:23). Pray for her, be a good example, prepare ahead of time in your heart to never marry a non-christian, and be ready to answer her questions with logical Bible answers (1 Pet 3:15). Hopefully, she has as honest a heart as you hope.