I’ve always appreciated the honesty of Gandhi’s above quote. Not only was it a great observation from someone on the outside looking into the Christian faith back then, but it’s a great applicable observation of the Christian experience today.
Our Christian experience tends to be defined by how great our Sunday services are and how relevant the teachings are on a given week. Sure, there might be pockets of great community developing within a church’s culture outside the pews and rockin’ musical expression of worship, but, for the most part, we’ve allowed these components to dictate our faith.
Gandhi’s observation, if I’m assuming correctly, comes from a place where the world’s Christians at the time were more married to the way they expressed their church traditions instead of how passionately in love with Jesus they were. I’m assuming Gandhi observed Christians who were more about showing everyone else how set apart they were rather than how called they were to love others. I’m assuming the Hindu leader saw groups of Christians who were more interested in growing their church rather than stopping to embrace those who were cast out of society. I’m assuming Gandhi saw Christians who spent tons of money on aesthetics rather than passionate followers of Jesus willing to give to those in need.
In short, I’m assuming Gandhi observed followers of Christianity rather than followers of Jesus. And it’s no secret that the same posture that many Christians take is the same today as it was in Gandhi’s time. Many from the outside looking in, perhaps, see more of Christianity than they do Jesus.
Acts 2:42-47 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
I’m wondering how different the world would be if Christians would be more willing to think of others in the way the early church did. I’m wondering if more people would follow Jesus than there are if the current Christians would actually follow Jesus.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the church and I love my faith. I’m not saying we should rid the world of how we currently practice our religion. I am saying, maybe it’s worth reassessing where we’re currently at.
How about you?