tobefree

May 7, 2011

Gandhi?: “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

“I like your Christ;
I do not like your Christians.

Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

* * *

Since posting, I have found that some dispute that Gandhi said this. I found the following:

I can’t find any source for him stating the quote as such. I did find a book, The Knights Templar & the Protestant Reformation, which states that when Stanley Jones, a missionary met with Ghandi he asked him:

Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?

Gandhi replied:

Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.

The book seems to have a reference, although I can’t check what it is as the references page is not on Google Books.

The quote seems to be from the book Mr. Gandhi, the man by Millie Graham Polak although the book is not viewable online.

Searching the book for the first part of the passage quoted in the knights templar book, “Is Mr. Gandhi a Christian?” returns a hit, although searching for “stanley jones” or “reject christ” does not.

In The Christ of the Indian Road by E. Stanley Jones, Stanley Jones asked Gandhi how to naturalize Christianity into India. Gandhi replied in part:

I would suggest first of all that all of you Christians, missionaries and all begin to live more like Jesus Christ.

This could be in part where the quote came from, if it was never said directly by Gandhi.

Given the amount of consistent references to the quote being said in reply to a question from Stanley Jones, I think it is likely something very similar to the oft quoted passage was said. I can’t find anything online that shows this for certain and don’t have access to the books where the quote may appear to check, so it’s hard to say for sure.

Dave A. responds in a comment to this post (below):

The information I have so far attributes the proximate statement in Stanley’s book to Bara Dada and not to Gandhi. I have a first edition copy of “Mr. Gandhi the Man” by Polak (1931) and I assure you that the Gandhi quote is NOT in that book. He speaks to his friend about his attraction to Christianity and the possibility of becoming Christian himself. His reasons for not doing so, he explains, have to do with his sense that he has found, in his “native” Hindu religion, all of the essential values that Christianity promotes. He is in a sense a universalist, believing that a path to God can be found in every major religion. There are no disparaging remarks about Christians in the book. Gandhi’s history is one of reconciliation and marshalling people from many faith communities to promote freedom and justice. That work began in earnest in South Africa, where he brought Christians together with other adherents for his social justice work.

Related:

Gandhi Used His Position To Sexually Exploit Young Women

As a teacher of nonviolence, Gandhi advocated the right to bear arms; use of ‘violence’ to defend innocents against bullying, oppression

Gandhi on Forgiving: “Nobody can hurt me without my permission”

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25 Comments »

  1. Seriously, who cares, he is dead and gone, he wasn’t a Christian and Christ is LORD and Savior and LORD GOD Almighty!!!

    Comment by Matt Parvin — May 7, 2011 @ 6:18 am | Reply

    • um …. just because CHRIST IS LORD doesn’t mean those who claim to FOLLOW HIM or LOVE HIM will act in a Christian manner.
      Everyone can see the way people act – who claim to be Christian – and I don’t see too many Christians standing up – or stopping any of the fake Christians from misrepresenting JESUS ……..

      Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
      Matthew 7:21

      your comment is a comment of delusion, denial and hatred.

      Comment by dennisclatham — December 22, 2011 @ 11:43 am | Reply

    • “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
      Stephen Roberts

      Comment by openlyblack — January 10, 2013 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

    • You claim that “Christ is LORD and Saviour and LORD GOD Almighty”, thus I’d say you’re a Christian…
      Excactly one of the Christians that Gandhi describes.

      Comment by I'm no Christian — September 4, 2013 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  2. Funny how he criticizes Christians, but what about his fellow citizens, that Hate America and say death to America? What if her were alive today, what would he say to Bin Laden?

    Comment by Matt Parvin — May 7, 2011 @ 6:19 am | Reply

    • @Matt Parvin – you can’t be a christian ….. because Christians are to LOVE their enemies as well …. and TRUE CHRISTIANS don’t lie.

      What does Bin Laden have in common with Ghandi ?
      Ghandi was a KIND and LOVING SPIRITED MAN – Bin Laden was an extremist hating lunatic – a lot like you.

      Comment by dennisclatham — December 22, 2011 @ 11:46 am | Reply

      • Actually, that’s not true. True Christians DO lie, it’s just that they try to make an effort to do what is right and pleasing in the sight of the Lord. We are all sinners. We can’t stop sinning–it’s in our nature. We just try to do the right thing.

        Comment by 4Him — April 27, 2013 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

        • 4HIM,

          “True Christians DO lie”?

          Rev. 21:

          He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.” 6 He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.

          But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers ["everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Mt. 5:21,22)], sexually immoral ["everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adulterywith her already in his heart" (Mt. 5:27-30)], sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

          Gal. 5:13-6:10

          13 For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only don’t use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you don’t consume one another. 16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one other, that you may not do the things that you desire. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

          19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

          22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. …

          6:7 Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

          Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don’t give up.

          Romans 8:1-19

          Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; 4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

          5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace….

          12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. 15 For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abbaa! Father!”

          16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God; 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us. 19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

          There are many more scriptures like these in my article:

          Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way | Who are the Children of God?

          The solution is to get right with those we have lied to. Put off and put on:

          Asbury Revival, 1970: “‘Dr. Kinlaw, I am a liar. Now what do I do?’ … Three days later, she came to me radiant, and she said, ‘Dr. Kinlaw, I’m free!’”

          Real, going-to-heaven Christians resist the Devil and he flees — “Submit to God; resist the Devil; and he’ll flee.” Liars can’t go to heaven.

          Real, going-to-heaven Christians are overcomers. They run their race to win!

          If a Christian does lie, we must get right with those we’ve hurt — so our consciences can be clean again. So when we die, our consciences won’t condemn us — that we may have boldness on the day of judgment.

          1 John:

          4:16 We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this[,] love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world.

          “Those who are Christ’s have crucified their flesh.”

          Jeff

          Comment by Jeff Fenske — April 28, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    • Well, Mat Parvin, even though troll alerts are flashing, I will answer this.

      First, Ghandi’s teachings and actions would show he would try a peaceful resistance of Bin Laden, and speak out against those who said “death to America”.

      Second, Ghandi’s people were Hindu’s from India. India has a close working relationship with the USA. Where do you think many of the phone technicians who answer our service calls in the middle of the night are? Our night is their day – it makes sense. Your comment shows that you are either ignorant of what you speak, or just a hatemonger stirring up trouble. I hope for ignorance, so that you can learn and become happier with yourself and your world.

      Comment by BearDrummer — April 4, 2012 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  3. That statement is so true, and Matt’s inane comments PROVE exactly what he says.

    Those comments are not only reactive, but ignorant as well – Gandhi was from India, not the Middle-East. Two TOTALLY different areas of the world.

    But those “brown people” are all the same to us Americans eh?

    ***

    I appreciate your well-rounded point of view, Jeff. Keep em coming.

    Comment by Brandon D — May 7, 2011 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

    • Brandon and Matt,

      I appreciate both you and Matt, despite what Matt just called me at my Reverse-Christian America post. I think both of you are sincere; though, only one of you can be right.

      If I actually am “well rounded” (thanks, Brandon! — which I think I am — having proved almost everything I claim on my two sites) while I’m being called “nuts,” what does that tell you about America, the times we are in, and what Christianity has become — because Matt’s first comment above shows he probably considers himself a Christian — and his ideas are probably within the majority of what most ‘Christians’ currently believe?

      Matt, especially, please check this article out from my spiritual site: Baruch: “Not only is DECEPTION of the church possible, it WAS PROPHESIED TO HAPPEN!” — Jesus said “IN THE LAST DAYS THE MAJORITY WILL BE DECEIVED, take heed that it doesn’t happen to you” — “FALSE TEACHERS are actually SPEAKING SPELLS with the words of their FALSE DOCTRINES!”

      This is what’s going on. The deception in the ‘church’ that Jesus prophesied is currently so great that now what we are told is true by our government and the media is often carefully crafted deception.

      Jesus warned us to expect this to happen. He didn’t want it to happen, but because the majority have not been like the Bereans — making sure that what they were taught was true — deception in the ‘church’ and in society is now mainstream — and those of us who diligently make sure that what we are taught is true now look crazy to the deceived majority. America is now a reverse-Christian nation.

      But there is hope in this. What Jesus prayed in John 17 will happen, and then the world will know. Rethinking Matthew 24: “…then the end will come” — after the Pete Townshends “know”?

      It’s time to come out from them and be separate.

      What is ‘up’ is down, and what is ‘down’ is up. These are the days we are living in.

      Let’s walk in love and truth and get real Christianity happening, now, while we still have free internet access….

      We can live above the fray!

      Let’s be ONE!

      Jeff : )

      Comment by Jeff Fenske — May 7, 2011 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

    • @Brandon D – thanks for THE TRUTH – because the comments of “”Matt Parvin”” were stinking up the place- causing it to smell like the devil’s butt crack.

      Comment by dennisclatham — December 22, 2011 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  4. I totally agree with Gandi s quote……Christains are sooooo unlike Jesus !!!!

    Comment by Sahron — November 18, 2011 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

    • Pretty sad, huh? It’s very disheartening to me. I’ve watched it happen from within.

      I discuss how this happened at my spiritual site, ONEcanhappen, if you are interested. And I present the solutions, to the best of my ability.

      The truth is that most ‘Christians’ today are not real Christians who would go to heaven if they’d die.

      Christians must be Christlike. Christians must abide in the Vine, no matter what K-LOVE or their pastor says, which I prove here: Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way | Who are the Children of God?

      Most ‘Christians,’ including most pastors don’t carefully study for themselves what the Bible really says about who goes to heaven. And this is the heart of the problem, but there is much more too.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      Jeff

      Comment by Jeff Fenske — November 19, 2011 @ 1:27 am | Reply

      • AWESOME…… @ Jeff Fenske – and I will add … the majority of christians – think going to church will do it.

        Lastly ? a study shows that MOST CHRISTIANS DO NOT believe the devil exists – neither do they believe in THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD.

        With that being said ? Who in hell – told someone a christian can be someone who doesn’t believe the devil exists – nor believe in THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. It’s IMPOSSIBLE for them to be a christian at that time.

        Comment by dennisclatham — December 22, 2011 @ 11:50 am | Reply

  5. LOL, see my point is right, I said, who cares, about Gandhi, because he is dead and gone, I didn’t judge anyone, but yet, you found it in your hearts, to judge me, what I was saying, is, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and, as far as loving your enemies, who did I claim to be an enemy? No one, but once again, you found it in your heart to judge me, because Christ is what matters, you only find room to criticize, not knowing my heart, do you? I can claim with a right mind and heart, that it doesn’t matter, because in the end, all that maters is righteousness, do you know what that is? All have sinned and fall short ofd the glory of God, that includes you toom only accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, will you be saved, only I guess I have to spell it out to people that only know how to critize and before you say, again, that I am criticizing you, I am not, I am pointing the true meaning of what, I said, not your interpretation of it….!!!!

    Comment by Matt Parevin — March 27, 2012 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  6. Gandhi never said that. It’s a misattribution of a quote by Bara Dada, “Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians — you are not like him.” Source – Jones, E. Stanley. The Christ of the Indian Road, New York: The Abingdon Press,1925. (Page 114).

    The source of the misattribution appears to be Dibin Samuels, writing in Christian Today (India), although there may be other errant sources. Those that I’ve found here on the interwebs all point back to Samuels (even one that I found footnoted in a published work).
    http://in.christiantoday.com/articles/mahatma-gandhi-and-christianity/2837.htm

    Comment by Dave A — April 10, 2012 @ 11:32 am | Reply

    • Dave,

      I’ve updated the post with the info I found in response to what your comment.

      Thanks,

      jeff

      Comment by Jeff Fenske — April 12, 2012 @ 4:53 am | Reply

      • Thanks. As I mentioned, the information I have so far attributes the proximate statement in Stanley’s book to Bara Dada and not to Gandhi. I have a first edition copy of “Mr. Gandhi the Man” by Polak (1931) and I assure you that the Gandhi quote is NOT in that book. He speaks to his friend about his attraction to Christianity and the possibility of becoming Christian himself. His reasons for not doing so, he explains, have to do with his sense that he has found, in his “native” Hindu religion, all of the essential values that Christianity promotes. He is in a sense a universalist, believing that a path to God can be found in every major religion. There are no disparaging remarks about Christians in the book. Gandhi’s history is one of reconciliation and marshalling people from many faith communities to promote freedom and justice. That work began in earnest in South Africa, where he brought Christians together with other adherents for his social justice work.

        Comment by Dave A — April 16, 2012 @ 7:49 am | Reply

        • Dave,

          I noted your remark in the main body of this post.

          Thanks!

          jeff

          Comment by Jeff Fenske — April 21, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  7. I think majority of the Asians do not fancy the Americans. Please differentiate the population (the subjects) and the (governments). The governments of Asia need the American government but the subjects of Asia do not like the doing of the American governance. If doings of the American government was so fancied by the Asians, there will never survive anyone such as Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. Even the doing of their counterpart the British in history was not favoured. If it were, then the strive of Ghandi was not needed. Look how they occupied peoples nation, brutally killed the ones who just wanted freedom, and ripped one big nation into many smaller governments. I will proudly say, if there Hindustan was still one, there America wouldn’t be super power.

    Comment by Azman Abdullah — December 3, 2012 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  8. That same Ghandi that strived for freedom commented on the Muhammad (PBUH):

    “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.”

    Mahatma Gandhi, statement published in “Young India”, 1924.

    Comment by Azman Abdullah — December 3, 2012 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  9. So much hate from you “Christians” and so much weight in your silly bible. When will you realize that you can’t use bible verses to justify something to someone who does not believe in your bible?

    Comment by Louis Wu — October 1, 2013 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  10. True christians is those who accept JESUS CHRIST as your Lord and SAviour,,

    Comment by Anonymous — October 3, 2013 @ 7:50 pm | Reply


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