Years ago, Mahatma Gandhi hit the nail on the head when he said, “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ.” Many Christians who hear this like to point the finger back at Gandhi. “Who said we need your approval?” We might say. “The Jesus you like isn’t our Jesus at all!”
Gandhi’s quote is readily repeated by a variety of non-Christians, however. This should be enough to give us pause. After all, the word Christian means “little Christ.” Why is it that the world sees such a disconnect between Christ and his followers?
Setting aside the idea that the world simply makes Christ in its own image, which is certainly true, we must admit that the Christian community sometimes opts for a dead Christ rather than a living one. We want a Christ who loves us, who died for our sins, and who is going to leave us alone until Judgement Day. We want a Christ who agrees with our political ideologies and cultural identities. We want a Christ who can be set on the back-burner.
The idea of a living Christ sometimes sends shudders down our spines.
Reading that we are to “sell all we own and follow Christ” is one thing. Realizing that this command is a living command from a living Messiah, however, is nothing short of terrifying.
If Christ is dead, then he makes a nice insurance policy. If Christ is alive, however, becoming a Christian means having your world turned on its head. There is a reason why Christ told Peter, “when you were younger, you dressed yourself and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and send you to places where you don’t want to go.” (John 21:18)
Ultimately, the reason why Gandhi feels that Christians are nothing like Christ is because we have forgotten what it means to be Christian.
In this week’s video blog, Pastor and Dr. Foley puzzle through what it truly means to be a “little Christ:”
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