I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi

Years ago, I ran across a post that contained a statement attributed to Gandhi at another blog:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch!

At first glance it is a most sobering condemnation against those of the Christian faith. Granted, Christians make mistakes while trying to witness to others. Jesus chose his followers, imperfect human beings that we are, to be his representatives here on earth. We are to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

We have a whole range of evangelists. A preacher like Billy Graham who has been an awesome representative for Christ and we have other preachers who may be hurting our cause. But God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The reason Billy Graham is loved by millions and rarely, if ever, condemned for his preaching is because he focuses on Jesus Christ and the Gospel message.

This, then, makes me wonder. Should Gandhi have been judging his personal decision regarding Jesus Christ only upon Christs’ followers (whom he disliked and condemned) or should he have made the judgment strictly upon Jesus Christ and who He is as revealed in the Scriptures?  Tim Challies has a great answer to that question.

Another popular argument of non-Christians is their claim that because there are so many denominations that conflict with each other, how is one to find the truth?

There are certain facts that tie and bind all true Christians.

1.  The first one is the fact that we have been born again in Christ. In order to be born again in Christ, we confess and repent of our sins and invite Jesus into our lives to guide us into all truth. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus taught and refers us to the Scriptures.

2.  The second fact is that we teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out, there were many different denominations in agreement on most aspects of that movie. You could name any Protestant, Evangelical, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, (can include many others too) branch of Christianity here and it is the one thing that they all agree upon.

Why is that?

Because at Pentecost, Jesus sent the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit. He guides Christians into all truth. The side issues and traditions that may divide the denominations fall away.

It all comes down to this: the Gospel message is the uniter of all true Christians.

We must “beware the ‘cross-less’ Gospel.”* [See explanation at end of post.]

Those “churches” who do not teach the need for repentance for sin are guilty of heresy. Yes. There are some sects/cults that are “severed branches,” if you will. We are told in the book of Jude to avoid them because they lead people into heresy and apostasy. This is why you must be diligent and read the Scriptures so you can “rightly divide the Word of Truth!” If you are attending a church that teaches “the cross-less Gospel,” run! Find another church immediately!

I have met many born-again, Bible believing Christians via message boards and blogs. Genuine Christians whom I have never met personally, are in full agreement with the main message of the Scriptures. You see, there is a difference between those who would use exegesis, hermeneutics and Sola Scripture (which are tools to extract the original meaning of the writers in the Bible) vs. those who use “eisegesis,” (which means determining their own interpretations) of what Scripture is saying.

We see “eisegesis” being utilized very vividly in the homosexual behavior affirming churches. The only people who have been caught up in the sin of homosexuality (or any other sin, for that matter) and will make it into heaven with God are the repentant ones.

Even repentant murderers who confess and are born again after their crimes and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior avoid hell and will live for eternity in heaven with God.

In eyes of men, that may not seem “fair.” But the thoughts of God are infinitely higher and are certainly not limited to the thoughts of man.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God affords grace and mercy to those who look upon Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death as the only substitutionary propitiation which is acceptable to God the Father for the forgiveness of their sins.

People who know Jesus and become children of God will avoid the penalty of death (the second death…an eternity away from God in hell).

The unsaved who refuse the quickening of the Holy Spirit, (who is urging them from outside their souls to make that decision for Christ) will die with their own sins on their souls. That is the choice for all of mankind. We either agree with God that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or we die in our sins and remain reprobate and separated from the God who is trying to save us…forever.

Eternity is a long, long….time!

Dear reader, what is your decision?

I pray that you change your heart towards God!  If you are currently of the mindset that leads you to “hate Christians,” I plead with you not to let Satan use your obvious dislike and hatred for many Christian believers as an excuse to reject Jesus. Knowingly or unknowingly, Satan is influencing you to focus on the behavior of other Christians and not on Whom you should be focusing on…Jesus Christ. Jesus was the only Perfect Man who ever lived. You won’t find perfection in anyone else…including Christian believers.

Once born again, a Christian does not have his/her free will taken away. We still live in a fallen world and have that fallen nature. The huge difference is, he/she has the added influence of the Holy Spirit indwelling within the soul to guide us into all truth. Our love for Jesus compels us to live righteously for Him because He alone is Holy. If you would focus on what is being shared about Christ, and not judge the person who is sharing it, then you will not let a Christian’s imperfect nature affect you so negatively.

My daughter once gave me a license plate frame for my car which poignantly reads: “Christians are not perfect;  just forgiven by a God who is.

*******

*Beware the Cross-less Gospel

by Roger Chilvers

I watched a television program that featured interviews with a number of people at a well-known evangelical church. One person after the another gave testimony about how their lives had been changed: “I came to this church and was thrilled about what I saw. God changed my life.” Someone else said, “I was a drug addict, and God dealt with that.” Every testimony mentioned God, but in that whole program Jesus was mentioned only once. What Christ did on the cross was not mentioned at all.

In preaching today, generally speaking, the cross hardly features – sometimes Jesus doesn’t even feature. We have a duty to make the cross of Christ central in our evangelism. The Bible says that the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23). The Jews thought, “How could anyone preach about the Messiah DYING ON A CROSS? Don’t the Scriptures say that anyone who dies on a cross is cursed by God?” As for Gentiles – who didn’t have or care about the Old Testament Scriptures – the whole idea was complete foolishness. The verse uses the Greek word moros, from which we get “moron.” You have to be a moron to preach and believe in a dying Savior. Can you see the temptation to put the cross off to the side?

Sometimes you hear people say, quite rightly, “Jesus will give you a purpose for living.” Without a doubt he does, but that is not why He came. Others say that He came as a good example to follow. He is the greatest example to follow, but again, that is not at the heart of why He came, “Jesus came to give us joy in a world of unhappiness and misery,” some say. But that was not why He came either. And great though His peace is, He didn’t come to give us peace.

John tells us why Jesus came: “He appeared so that he might take away our sins” (1 John 3:5, NIV). We need reminding of this. Otherwise, in our evangelism we may say, “Have some peace, have some joy, have some happiness, have a purpose for living, have an example to follow.” Although Jesus does give these things, they are not the central point. We may find these things apart from Jesus, but apart from Him we will never find forgiveness of sins.

We can understand the centrality of the cross from three different perspectives: What does it mean to God? to us? to Satan?

THE CROSS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible says, “We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2, KJV). Propitiation is the means by which God’s anger is assuaged; His anger is dealt with, and God is made favorable toward us.

Some have said it is barbaric to think that God’s anger needs to be assuaged by blood. They say, “How can a sacrifice that makes an angry God favorable be given by the God who is angry in the first place? And what about God’s love?”

But it is precisely because God loves us that He had to deal with our sin – and it is on the basis of this that we are accepted. Jesus could die a thousand deaths and yet not achieve salvation for us unless God were satisfied with the sacrifice. Yet the question remains: How can God be both the One who provides the sacrifice that makes Him propitious and be the One who receives the sacrifice?

The simple answer is that God’s holiness demands propitiation.

God is blisteringly angry about our every single sin. You can see the awfulness of sin only by seeing what it did to His one and only lovely Son. If God looked at a sin and said, “Well, I’m not too bothered about that one,” there would be injustice in His character. God retains His honor by giving His Son.

God unfolded a plan that both showed His unbelievably strong anger at sin and His infinitely strong love for us. He sent His Son and punished Him on our behalf. “The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14, NIV). No other message beside the cross is able to deal with the root problem of man’s sin in relation to the justice and holiness of God.

 

THE CROSS FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE

The heart of the Gospel is that through Jesus – and His work as our Substitute – God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. The punishment for our sin was dealt with by a substitute: Namely, Jesus. The Bible says, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NIV). The Greek word translated “for” means “on behalf of.” The word is used repeatedly concerning Jesus: “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

In our evangelism it is so important that we grasp this because it tells us that when Jesus died on the cross He died on behalf of someone. There is no greater news than the glorious news that Jesus took our place on the cross. We are sinners by nature, but “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). What a breathtaking verse!

THE CROSS FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible calls Satan “the accuser” in Revelation 12:10. He whispers, “You cannot possibly expect God to accept you. You have a disgusting imagination. Look at those things you’ve done – your deceitfulness, your hatred and bitterness. You call yourself a child of God? ” And to God, Satan says, in effect, “If You are just at all, You cannot possibly forgive his/her sins and accept him/her. Your justice demands that he/she be punished.”

But John tells us how such accusations are dealt with: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, KJV). Generally, an advocate will stand up before a judge and plead on behalf of the accused something like this, “My lord, yes, he is not perfect – he has failed- but he is now a kind and helpful citizen, and I am bringing witnesses to testify to his good character.” In so doing, the advocate pleads for the judge to be lenient.

Jesus, as our Advocate, doesn’t work that way. When Satan accuses, Jesus says to His Father, “Everything You said about him is true. He is wicked; he is sinful. There is not one good thing about him. But, Father, You cannot punish him because the punishment already has been paid – by Me.”

The Father looks to the sacrifice of the Son to see that the punishment was paid in full. Atonement made, acceptance guaranteed – and we are free. This is what is meant by Jesus being our Substitute.

“Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.” **

Jesus provided for our greatest need – the forgiveness of sin. Apart from Him it could never happen. That is why the cross must be at the heart of our evangelism.

** From “Before the Throne of God Above,” by Charitie Lee Bancroft

Hat tips to all links.

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7 Responses to “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    CJW: This, then, makes me wonder. Should Gandhi have been judging his personal decision regarding Jesus Christ only upon Christ’s followers (whom he disliked and condemned) or should he have made the judgment strictly upon Jesus Christ and who He is as revealed in the Scriptures?
    I do not know how much Gandhi studied Christianity, but having lived in England (and later in South Africa), he was certainly exposed to it. He almost surely met some Brits and South Africans who dutifully proclaimed the words of Paul on Sundays, yet treated ‘wogs’ and others harshly the rest of the week. He compared the actions of Christians to their words, and concluded that they didn’t really follow them, and that’s why he said what he said. You can stop wondering now.
    Christianity, like other religions, is heavily influenced by the culture it is part of, and this is one of the reasons why there are those ‘homosexual behavior affirming churches’ that you’re so on about. Other such churches preach that non-Christian beliefs are not just wrong, but outright evil, never acknowledging that some other religions have as solid a grip on people’s minds as they do.

    Another popular argument of non-Christians is their claim that because there are so many denominations that conflict with each other, how is one to find the truth?
    Let’s put it this way:
    What IS the actual mechanism for being able to know which of the 30k denominations has it right?
    Is that mechanism transferable?
    Can you use it to convince me?
    When you were a Catholic, did you think you’d found the truth?
    How did you come to the conclusion that Catholicism was wrong?
    Might you still be wrong?
    You said ”When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out, there were many different denominations in agreement on most aspects of that movie,” but it appears that the only thing they all agreed upon is that he lived, he performed miracles, he was crucified, and he rose again. There are other murdered and resurrected heroes in other religions, some of them much older than Christianity. But they get no respect, because religions don’t work that way.

    The unsaved who refuse the quickening of the Holy Spirit, (who is urging them from outside their souls to make that decision for Christ) will die with their own sins on their souls. That is the choice for all of mankind. We either agree with God that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or we die in our sins and remain reprobate and separated from the God who is trying to save us…forever.
    Eternity is a long, long….time!

    Even among all that blissful prose, there still lurks the threat of the Eternity Stick pounding on us, forever and ever.

    As I’ve told you many times before, the only way anyone will ever see your god is in the actions of his followers. What would you prefer for them to see—the grace, or the mace? Because you will be the ones to show it to them.

    Like

    • christinewjc Says:

      The answers to most of your questions are found right in the text of the post. Perhaps you have chosen to overlook them?

      Bible-based Christian FAITH does not adhere to “the culture around them.” Just as Jesus told us in the parable of the wheat and the tares, Christians will grow along with the non-believers. Then, at the end of the age, the harvest will happen.

      Excerpt:

      a. His enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat: This parable describes the work of an enemy who tried to destroy the work of the man who sowed good seed in his field. The enemy’s purpose in sowing tares among the wheat was to destroy the wheat. But the wise farmer would not allow the enemy to succeed. Instead, the farmer decided to sort it out at harvest time.

      i. We note that this parable clearly describes corruption among the people of God. Just as in the previous parable, the wheat represents the people of God. Some corrupting influence is brought, and an influence that may look genuine even as tares may resemble real wheat.

      ii. “The weeds are probably darnel, a poisonous plant related to wheat and virtually indistinguishable from it until the ears form.” (France)

      b. Lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them: In the interest in preserving and protecting the wheat, the wise farmer did not separate the tares from the wheat until the time of harvest.

      i. The wise farmer recognized that the ultimate answer to tares among the wheat would only come at the final harvest.

      GM asked:

      What IS the actual mechanism for being able to know which of the 30k denominations has it right?

      Answer: Preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

      GM asked:

      Is that mechanism transferable?

      Transferable? Depends on what you mean by that. It is certainly transferable from the Bible to any Christian church that remains Bible-based and preaches Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

      GM asked:

      Can you use it to convince me?

      Probably not since you have claimed to have been a Christian – but now you are not.

      GM asked:

      When you were a Catholic, did you think you’d found the truth? How did you come to the conclusion that Catholicism was wrong?

      The truth that Jesus Christ and Him crucified was taught, but there were many man-made traditions in Catholicism mixed in with the truth of the Gospel that contradicted what was written in Scripture. The need to be born again (see John 3) was missing in the teachings. Therefore, reading and studying the Bible brought me out of the confusion being taught by the Roman Catholic church.

      GM asked:

      Might you still be wrong?

      Depends on what you are referring to.

      GM wrote:

      As I’ve told you many times before, the only way anyone will ever see your god is in the actions of his followers.

      I think that you are wrong about that assumption. What people need to see most are the actions of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible.

      Like

  2. I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians." - Gandhi | Christians Anonymous Says:

    […] Source: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi […]

    Like

  3. GMpilot Says:

    Bible-based Christian FAITH does not adhere to “the culture around them.” Just as Jesus told us in the parable of the wheat and the tares, Christians will grow along with the non-believers.
    Where, then, are the slavery-affirming churches? There used to be plenty of them. Where are the churches that deny that gays have a right to live? Where is the modern church that slanders the Jew, in spite of the fact that the founder of your religion was one of them?
    They are not there, because despite the church teachings, society came to realize those practices were wrong, and took steps to correct them. The churches adhered to those remedies. Some of them even went out of their way to comfort the previously oppressed, and any clergyman who now calls for the massacre of gays is rightly regarded as insane. No one is claiming their “religious freedom” is being infringed because they can’t stone blasphemers any more.

    GM asked:
    Can you use it to convince me?

    Probably not since you have claimed to have been a Christian – but now you are not.

    I changed my mind, because I was shown convincing evidence. Just like you.
    I could change it again, but neither your god nor his representatives have ever provided convincing evidence. You only rejected Catholicism—I rejected religion.

    The truth that Jesus Christ and Him crucified was taught, but there were many man-made traditions in Catholicism mixed in with the truth of the Gospel that contradicted what was written in Scripture.
    And there are no man-made traditions in Protestantism, of course.

    GM wrote:
    As I’ve told you many times before, the only way anyone will ever see your god is in the actions of his followers.
    I think that you are wrong about that assumption. What people need to see most are the actions of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible.
    As I understand it, Jesus was the template, the example that believers were to emulate. Jesus is dead and gone, but millions of his followers exist here and now. They are the ones who other people see, not Jesus. If they reflect him properly, that’s all to the good; no one expects present-day Christians to walk on water or raise the dead (although Jesus hinted they could). It’s up to you, not Jesus, to show the grace or the mace. Which will it be?
    I’m prepared to listen as to why you think my assumption is wrong.

    You ignored my hypothesis on Gandhi’s words—which were, after all, the whole point of your entry. I’m prepared to listen as to why you think that is wrong, too.

    Like

    • christinewjc Says:

      You are writing ridiculous things so it’s useless to argue with you.

      Jesus isn’t dead and gone. He rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father. You may not believe that, but I (as well as billions of Christians believers throughout the centuries) believe it. And there is nothing that you could ever write to counter such steadfast belief.

      Like

  4. Cry and Howl Says:

    Good morning Christine. It seems to me, if Gandhi did in fact make that statement, that he did exactly what most liberals do … lump ALL Christians into the ‘hypocrite’ category. Keep in mind though that it’s okay for liberals to do the “lump” thing … but, and I don’t mean to stray off topic, when a person expresses dismay about the flood of illegals automatically said person is railed upon as racist and then the claim the person referred to ALL illegals as being bad. Kind of a double standard.
    Regardless of how my different religions and or denominations in Christianity the key to the truth and who’s right and who’s wrong is plain as day and in black and white.
    After blowing through all the smoke …
    The Bible contains the words of eternal life and that eternal life is really the only goal we need to be concerned with. I disagree somewhat with the line “And great though His peace is, He didn’t come to give us peace.” It is written, … “but God hath called us to peace,” among a multitude of other scriptures about the peace of God.
    ” What people need to see most are the actions of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible.” You couldn’t be more right young lady.
    But alas! People are too lazy to read the Bible. Yeah, everyone knows the “judge not!” thing … and that’s about as far as they get.
    I saw this morning where Jimmy Carter said something like ‘I think Jesus Christ would accept same-sex marriage, but I don’t have any scriptures to back that up.’
    I think Ol’ Jimmy is becoming senile. I can list many scriptures to the contrary.
    Anyway, I’m at work and with all the chaos going on it’s somewhat difficult for me to keep on track.
    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • christinewjc Says:

      Thank you Steve – I really appreciate all that you wrote in your comment.

      People are too lazy to read the Bible. If they did and saw how accurately Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies from the Old Testament, they might have a reason to believe the Gospel as truth.

      Jimmy Carter’s comment is typical of the leftist ass-umers who make comments about Christ without any evidence to back up their programmed regressive brain farts. You are so right when you wrote that there are Scriptures that say, without question, that a man lying with a man as he would with a woman is an abomination. Since Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (NOT to destroy them), and since He preached and followed God’s Word during his three year ministry on earth, there is no reason to ever think that he would approve of ANY kind of marriage besides what God created – the union of one man and one woman.

      Jesus also said that the signs of the times of his return would be as in the days of Noah and Lot. That’s what we have today, and it’s really sickening! The evil, violence, murders, rapes, sexual sin, lies etc. have increased exponentially in my lifetime – and the last 7 years with Ovomit have been the worst in U. S. history!

      No future “politician” is going to save us either. Only Christ can do that. I understand and see so clearly why Jesus told us that “narrow is the way that leads to life” and “broad is the way that leads to destruction.”

      Mat 7:13

      “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

      Mat 7:14

      “Because [fn] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

      All of the unsaved who are celebrating this homosexual reprobation decision by the Extreme Court don’t even realize how foolish and disastrous their mindset really is; and how without repentance, they will lose their own souls.

      Mat 16:26

      “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

      Mar 8:36

      “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

      Luk 9:25

      “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

      That is what the homosexual agenda is all about – self destruction and lost souls. Really…it’s terribly sad!

      Thanks again for taking time out of your busy day to share some wisdom! I pray that you have a great week, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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