“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
If we lived in a way that Ghandi would like Christ’s Christians, would the world be different?
If we applied this quote in a different way, going from general to specific: How would he like your campus’s Christians, your church’s, your Bible study? Would he see you acting on your beliefs from the perspective of a non-believer? Would he respect you? Would your life be above reproach? Would he see you living in community with them, or beckoning from a distance?
It doesn’t have to be Ghandi here… he was just quoted here. What about those you work with? They can answer and ask these same questions. They may not have a high respect for Christ, but they certainly are much more cynical about His Christians. What we lived in such a way that turned them from cynicists to questioners because they see how we lived? What if we got down from the horse of talk, and led it down the road of action with us in community with people? May we have more opportunity to present the Gospel instead of sodden it under the hooves of those on their high horse!
The idea is to live out the individual change that Jesus makes in your life sharing and experiencing that in a community who is doing the same individually. That is what should be the Church – those who are living out the change and “new man” Christ has given us and helping each other rid ourselves of the “old man.”
Another way to explain it is by using the terms conformity and harmony.
Conformity causes unsatisfaction and anger because we are compressed from the beauty of the uniqueness in which we are created into the same ‘person.’ We are indirectly (sometimes directly) rejected because we don’t fit a mold.
Harmony brings the beauty of our individuality and allows substance to occur in our relationships by accepting, listening to, respecting, and loving each other despite our differences. Our differences are (should be) as the harmony of skin and bones. We function differently as one under the bond of Love. Through sharing ideas we can come to a fuller idea of what the Bible teaches, and not twisting it to fit our desires. Differences in opinion need not cause division, but rather they can liven and enrich relationships.
The Church must be uncompromising in God’s law, but cannot make rules and opinion and give them the same weight.