You sometimes run across this quote from Gandhi:
“I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Though I must admit this quote annoys me. While it makes a valid point about the behavior of some Christians and a warning to all of us – I find it too dismissive. I don’t mind at all the reminder that I must be more like Christ, a reminder I can always use.
I am glad that he found so many examples of perfect Hindu’s that did not cause him such alarm for his own faith.
One thing the statement is so dismissive of is the various martyrs and saints – the exemplars of the faith – those who truly followed Christ. They are just passed over because of those who don’t as closely follow Christ. Judging anything by the people who don’t exemplify something is a rather poor test. Like judging mathematics based on poor math students.
It also reminds me of one of Chesterton’s quotes:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”
Gandhi himself was influenced by the writings of G.K. Chesterton, at least in regards to Indian independence. I can’t speak to Gandhi’s personal rejection of Christianity – I just don’t find his stated reasons very compelling.
…to be a good Hindu also meant that I would be a good Christian. There is no need for me to join your creed to be a believer in the beauty of the teachings of Jesus or try to follow His example.
Yeah that is why there were so many Hindus there in the streets of Calcutta helping out the poorest of the poor before Blessed Mother Teresa arrived. Plus Gandhi’s statement makes no sense in that he says he can be a good Christian without trying to follow Jesus’s example. That you admit to a beauty of a teaching you won’t follow just displays a nebulous understanding of the truth of those teachings.