some advice from Gandhi

January 9, 2009

The quote I just posted came from E. Stanley Jones’ reflections on a conversation he had with Gandhi (as recorded in The Christ of the Indian Road). Jones, who befriended Gandhi as a missionary in India, asked the great leader what would be required for Christianity to be “naturalized” in India. Gandhi had a four part response, which I’ll directly relay as Jones did. His words are timeless, and as true for Christianity in America today as they were for India then:

  1. I would suggest, first, that all of you Christians, missionaries, and all, must begin to live more like Jesus Christ.
  2. Second, I would suggest that you must practice your religion without adulterating or toning it down.
  3. Third, I would suggest that you must put your emphasis upon love, for love is the center and soul of Christianity.
  4. Fourth, I would suggest that you study the non-Christian religions and culture more sympathetically in order to find the good that is in them, so that you might have a more sympathetic approach to the people.
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