Bible Question:

To make it clear, I'm in a Hindu family. My parents are Hindus but are not interested in any religious practices. They are angry with me for following Christianity and are asking me to stop it as they think it is affecting my studies, and other “important-to-them” things. Moreover there is a practice that is done for someone who died. For example, my father did that Hindu practice after his father died. I do not want to follow that as it means worship of idols and other gods; but if I don't, it will create major problems like all my relatives hating me. Within the circle of my extended family, I am the only Christian.

Bible Answer:

Jesus warned us that every one who truly believes in Jesus, follows Him, and is righteous will suffer persecution (Matt. 5:11-12; 2 Tim 3:12). It is unavoidable unless we are secret Christians such as Joseph of Arimathea.

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. (NASB) John 19:38

The fact that a person is a follower of Jesus will become known eventually unless he or she is not truly a follower of Jesus. It is unavoidable that it will become known. Real Christians will suffer for doing what is correct. Listen to these words from Jesus.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. (NASB0 John 15:19

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (NASB) John 17:14

Jesus’ point is simple. His followers are not of this world. That is, they do not belong here. They are sons of the light and are not sons of the darkness. Those who are in the dark hate the light because the light reveals that they are evil in comparison to God. In the following verse, Jesus is the Light that came into the world.

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. (NASB) John 3:19

God tells us that the darkness does not love light (John 3:19; 12:46; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:8). Jesus’ followers stand for righteousness; as a result the world hates them. The same is true of family and friends who are not followers of Jesus. They are in darkness, and they will hate those who are in the light. They do not understand (John 1:5). For some, religion is a culture. For others their religion is ritual. As a result, some view the followers of Jesus as people who reject their culture and way of life. Some just disagree about Jesus. Therefore, Jesus said this,

Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (NASB) Matthew 10:34-38

What can you do? Be a follower of Jesus and show them that you love them. Be obedient to your parents just as Eph. 6:1-3 says. But when it comes to following their religion, you cannot. You must follow Jesus. That is the message of the above passage and the example of the apostles in the following passage.

And when they [The Sanhedrin Council] had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (NASB) Acts 4:18-20


God commands us to obey governmental authorities (Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-15), submit to our church leaders (Heb. 13:17), and obey our parents (Eph. 6:1-3). But when they order us to disobey God, we are supposed to not submit. The apostles refused to submit to their governmental officials. They have given us the example. Yet, we need to be kind and loving toward them when we refuse to submit. For your parents, you should explain to them that you cannot worship their idols. You should let them know that you are not rejecting them or their culture. Let them know that you love them and pray. Ask God for guidance. We will pray for you.

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