Jones examines how we, as followers of Christ, can strip down our gospel to the basics, and what those basics are. Is Jesus enough, can we simply remove all the baggage that western Christianity has attached to the gospel, and simply introduce Jesus. Can we allow the culture to fall in love with Christ, be inspired by the life Christ lived, and seek to follow him. Can we let go of Christ, and allow people of different cultures and faiths the licence to worship and follow Him as they see fit without the fear that Christ will be diluted or changed. Christ stands unmodified, Christ is universal; our customs are not universal and can be modified or even removed as Christ penetrates another culture and people.
Does Gandhi measure up, no, nobody does. But Gandhi, intentionally or unintentionally living a Christ-like life, may have single handily pointed more Indians toward the Kingdom than a whole slew of western missionaries. Jones records an observation from a Hindu thinker who said:
“What missionaries have not been able to do in fifty years Gandhi by his life and trial and incarceration has done, namely, he has turned the eyes of India toward the cross.”
Jones also had a chance to interact personally with Gandhi. At one point he asks Gandhi, ‘What advice would you give to us western missionaries in India?’ I find Gandhi’s answers profound and something that each of us today should reflect on in our own lives as we share Christ with others.
- “I would suggest, first, that all of you Christians, missionaries and all, must begin to live more like Jesus Christ.”
- “Second, I would suggest that you must practice your religion without adulterating or toning it down.”
- “Third, I would suggest that you must put your emphasis upon love, for love is the center and soul of Christianity.”
- “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.”