Posts Tagged ‘Hinduism’

Question: Why did Gandhi say, “Your Christians are so unlike your Christ?”

March 13, 2017

I have thought about answers to that question for quite some time.  Many Bible quotes come to mind which could agree with that statement or disagree with it.  Trouble is, no matter what I might say about it, “the world” would most likely still agree with Gandhi!

This is what got me thinking about that Gandhi quote.  While driving in my car I often listen to an a.m. talk radio station.  One advertiser on that station (“The Foundation for a Better Life”) often quotes the Hindu leader Gandhi.  They end their segment by saying, “pass it on.”)  However, I have noticed that one quote made by Gandhi doesn’t seem to ever be included in the commercial segment.  It is this one:

“I like your Christ but do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Gandhi

I wonder…why don’t they play that one?

It’s quite cringe worthy…to say the least!  Perhaps Gandhi did have a point when he made that statement.  However, is it fair to lump all Christians into such a category?

Such a disparaging statement caused me to wonder…in what ways did Gandhi think that Christians are so unlike our Christ?

Was he expecting us to be perfect?  Only Jesus is perfect!

Was he expecting us to be totally sanctified (which will only happen when resurrected to eternal life either at death or when the Rapture occurs) and never say the wrong thing or ever sin again?

It is difficult to counter what Gandhi said.  So many people admire him for that particular quote as well as many others that he made in his lifetime!

Perhaps I could share the following graphic to start the conversation:

That graphic holds a verse from 2 Corinthians 4.  I suggest reading the entire chapter.*

There is also the fact that many who claim to be Christians haven’t repented of their sins, become born again in Christ, invited the Holy Spirit into their lives and therefore, have rejected the mercy and grace afforded to those in Christ.  These days, biblical Christian faith is often frowned upon and hated by those who reject the Bible as truth.

Jesus warned us that there would be false prophets who are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Mat 7:15

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

These are the pretend “Christians.” Jesus told us in Matthew 7 that we would “know them by their fruits,” and that “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

Further down in the same parable, Jesus describes who “will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” What’s worse is this part: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Back to Gandhi.

So, maybe he encountered “foolish men who built their houses on the sand.” Or, maybe he encountered false prophets? Or, maybe he encountered “wolves in sheep’s clothing?” Or, maybe he encountered “the bad trees?”

Mat 7:17

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

Mat 7:18

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Mat 7:19

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Gandhi claimed to “like Christ,” but he obviously didn’t actually believe in Him, love Him, nor worship Him.

How ironic it would be to think that Gandhi didn’t like “your Christians” because of the world’s so-called perceived “judgmental character” of Christians?  In that particular quote, wasn’t Gandhi being judgmental against all of us?

Let’s begin the comparison of Gandhi’s religion vs. Christianity.  The following is not a comprehensive comparison of Hinduism versus Jesus Christ, but it is a good summary.

Along with their rejection of God as sovereign creator of the world, Hindus also part company with Christianity on the critical issue of Jesus Christ as god’s incarnate Son.  Hindu worshipers of Vishnu, for example, believe that God has become incarnate many times in the past.16  The Bible teaches that God became incarnate only once in human history (see John 1:14).  Jesus came not to teach humanity various “ways” to salvation, but to be “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) and “to take away the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28).

The resurrection of Christ demonstrates His absolute uniqueness as God the Son, His victory over death and His divine approval from God the Father.  It also refutes the Hindu teaching of continuous reincarnation and their belief that Christ is just another teacher-avatar (super-savior).

OK…so now we know why Gandhi, as a practicing Hindu leader, would say that he “likes (your) Christ.”  He sees Christ as just one of the great teachers, but that is as far as he will go.

The next quoted section will reveal why the Hindu’s god is too small.

Actually, Hinduism is more a philosophy than a theology (a study of God).  The Hindus try to make a tremendous case for the bigness of their impersonal god–Brahma–the “that” behind and beyond reality.  But where does the Hindu seek Brahma?  Within himself.  For the Hindu, each person is “god” (or at least part of “god”).

Ah ha!  That partially explains why Gandhi would make the claim that “I (he) do (does) not like your Christians!”  He expects each Christian to be their own god, or at least part of “god.”  Therefore, he most likely saw each Christian who had not become totally sanctified in this regard as a failure.

Continuing:

The Hindu’s god is too small.  The biblical record (see 1 John 5:11,12) states that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  If we have the Son, we have eternal life (not a series of mythological, absolutely unproven reincarnations).  As an Indian folksong put it:  “How many births are passed, I can not tell.  How many yet to come, no man can say; But this alone I know, and know full well, that pain and grief embitter all the way.”17

Christians, however, can rest in “the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

In conclusion, I will be summing up major differences between Hindus and Christians.  But first, I wanted to mention in the more detailed text of the book that I am quoting from, we find out that “Hindus call sin “utter illusion” because they believe all material reality is illusory.”

The term “illusory” is often confused with elusive, so here is the dictionary definition of illusory from Dictionary.com as well as the word origin and details:

adjective

1.

causing illusion; deceptive; misleading.

2.

of the nature of an illusion; unreal.

1590-1600; < Late Latin ill ū s ō rius, equivalent to ill ū d (ere) to mock, ridicule (see illusion ) + – t ō rius -tory1

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com

1. fallacious, specious, false. 2. imaginary; visionary, fancied.

Word Origin and History for il-lu-so-ry Expand

adj.

1590s, from French illusorie, from Late Latin illusorius “ironical, of a mocking character,” from illus-, past participle stem of Latin illudere “mock at,” literally “to play with,” from assimilated form of in- “at, upon” (see in- (2)) + ludere “to play” (see ludicrous ).

So, is it a stretch of the mind to conclude that Gandhi (and all Hindus) might regard Christ’s sacrificial death to atone for the sins of the world as something to mock, deceptive, imaginary, false, and ludicrous?

But Gandhi still claimed to like Christ!

Continuing:

Regarding God and Jesus Christ:  Hindus do not believe in a personal, loving God, but in Brahma, a formless, abstract, eternal being without attributes, who was the beginning of all things.18  They believe that Jesus is not God but just one of many incarnations, or avatars, of Vishnu.19  Christians believe that God is an eternal, personal, spiritual Being in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).  Jesus Christ is God as well as sinless man and He died for our redemption (see John 1:13,14; 1 Peter 2:24).

Regarding sin and salvation:  Hindus call sin “utter illusion” because they believe all material reality is illusory.  They seek deliverance from samsara, the endless cycle of death and rebirth, through union with Brahma, which is achieved through devotion, meditation, good works and self-control. 20  Christians believe that sin is prideful rebellion that leads to eternal separation from God after living only one life, not many (see Romans 3:23; Hebrews 9:27) and that salvation is gained only through believing in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3).

Gandhi, like other Hindus, could not accept the Christian answer to the problem of sin, het he felt a deep hunger for real salvation from sin.  He wrote:

“For it is an unbroken torture to me that I am still so far from Him, who, as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am.” 15

Reference:  So What’s the Difference by Fritz Ridenour, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2001 pp. 95-97.

Footnotes:

15.  Mahatma Gandhi Autobiography (Washington, DC:  Public Affairs Press, 1948). p. 170.

16.  These incarnations (avatars) included a fish, a tortoise, a boar and a manlion, as well as different human forms, including Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism Kalki; the tenth avatar is yet to come.  See Myrtle Langley, World Religions:  A Guide to Faiths That Shaped the World (West Oxford:  Lyon Publishing plc, 1993), p. 22.

17.  Cited by S. H. Kellogg, A Handbook of Comparative Religions (Philadelphia, PA:  Westminster, 1899), p. 30.

18.  Yamamoto, Hinduism, TM and Hare Krishna, pp. 55, 85.

19.  Yogananda, Paramahansa, Autobiography of a Yogi (Los Angeles, CA:  Self-Realization Fellowship, 1972), pp. 195, 196.

20.  Ibid.

*******
* 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

2Co 4:1

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

2Co 4:2

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

2Co 4:3

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

2Co 4:4

whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

2Co 4:5

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

2Co 4:6

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2Co 4:7

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

2Co 4:8

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

2Co 4:9

persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—

2Co 4:10

always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

2Co 4:11

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

2Co 4:12

So then death is working in us, but life in you.

2Co 4:13

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,”[fn] we also believe and therefore speak,

2Co 4:14

knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

2Co 4:15

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

2Co 4:16

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

2Co 4:17

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

2Co 4:18

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Hat tips to all links and graphics.


Stand Tall For Christ

1 Corinthians 16:13

Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

WINTERY KNIGHT

...integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

pastorwardclinton

Pastor Ward Clinton is a pastor in the Church of The Nazarene and author of a handful of books.

James Bishop's Theological Rationalism

Where Reason and Evidence Meet Faith.

GraceLife Blog

Thoughts About God's Amazing Grace

True Discernment

2 Timothy 4:3-4

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

romans122life

Not Conforming, But Reforming

The Apologista

Love, Life, and Logic with Lauren

Eternity Matters

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

willisbryanblog

Enough already

Freedom Is Just Another Word...

Rules?? What Are rules? I don't need no stinking rules!!!

Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Know Greater Love

"This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers." - 1 John 3:16

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Narrow is The Way Ministries

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:14 (KJV)

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

The Master's Table

God honoring, Christ Centered

Truth2Freedom's Blog

Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

Citizen WElls

Obama eligibility, Obama news

Fellowship of the Minds

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

sharia unveiled

illuminating minds

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

danmillerinpanama

Dan Miller's blog

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

The Last Refuge

Rag Tag Bunch of Conservative Misfits - Contact Info: TheLastRefuge@reagan.com

Nice Deb

It is what it is...

The Matt Walsh Blog

Absolute Truths (and alpaca grooming tips)

Eternity Matters

Christianity, politics, family and general ramblings.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.