one more...

Sorry to be such a space hog, but I found one more quote that I thought really captured what I was trying to say:

Mahatma Gandhi, the great Hindu sage, suggested that if Christ could only be unchained from the shackles of Christianity, he could become "THE WAY", not just for Christians, but for the whole world:

"The gentle figure of Christ, so patient, so kind, so loving, so full of forgiveness that he taught his followers not to retailate when struck, but to turn the other cheek - was a beautiful example, I thought, of the perfect person."

He said he thought of Christ as "a martyr, an embodiment of sacrifice", and of the cross as "a great example of Jesus' suffering", and "a factor in the composition of my underlying faith in non-violence, which rules all my actions".

"I refused to believe", he said,

"that there exists a person who has not made use of his example, even though he or she may have done so without realizing it... The lives of all who, in some greater or lesser degree, been changed by his presence... And because Jesus has the significance, and transcendency to which I have alluded, I believe he belongs not to Christianity, but to the entire world; to all people , it matters little what faith they profess."

"Leave Christians alone for the moment," he said. "I shall say to the Hindus that your lives will be incomplete unless you reverently study... Jesus. Jesus did not preach a new religion, but a new life" said Gandhi. "Jesus lived and died in vain if he did not teach us to regulate the whole of life by the eternal law of love."


Bill Arnold said...

Ghandi's comments should probably be an eye opener for us all. I understand where he's coming from.

Even though I think we could learn something from his approach, I have difficulty imagining how one could remain Hindu, in its complete sense, and worship the one true God at the same time. I don't think I'm being obtuse or absolutist here, just going by God's repeated claim to be THE God.

The worship of many gods is exactly what God forbid his chosen ones to do. It seems reasonable to think that their (our) blessing to the world is to show the beauty, joy, peace, etc. that come from the worship of the one true God.

Having said that, I think we are too quick to assume what someone who is following Christ looks like.

Also, Ghandi said "It matters little what faith they profess." It seems to me that our profession does matter...that what we do AND what we say matter.

JJ said...
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JJ said...

Yeah, I think you are probably right. I am not suggesting just adding Christ to all the other gods on your wall kind of thing, because I do believe he is the focus and clarity of the Love of God far beyond all others. But I am saying that we need to listen carefully for what Christ has already been up to in peoples and in cultures - the ways in that grace is already incarnating there.

And that makes no one happy. Not the conservatives nor the liberals!

ezra said...

little did Gandhi know how profound his words were.
that one could truly be ignorant, yet enlightened at the same time...that's truly a paradox found only in this frail realm we call life.
i've always held on to a glimmer of hope in the faith i knew.
hope...us mortals' greatest strength...and our greatest weakness.
to know of the existence of eternal love...yet be so far from it.

that is truly wretched, which we are.

Mike Todd said...

This is a great conversation JJ... which will probably continue when you get to the chapter where Brian looks at this issue. Very cool!