One of my favorite historical figures and thus the subject of one of my favorite movies is that of the Indian leader, Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948). He was often called Mahatma Gandhi; Mahatma being a title meaning “great soul.” His story certainly does not rival that of Jesus, but sadly, even though he was not a true believer in Christ, his life and methods were clearly often in imitation of Jesus.
The story is told that Gandhi, a practicing Hindu, was intrigued by Christianity and one day visited a church in Calcutta only to be asked to leave by the ushers, who told him the church was only for those from the highest caste system in India. Gandhi, an ardent opposer of the caste system and of all such prejudice, walked away from Christianity altogether (and who wouldn’t want to if they’d experienced such atrocious Christian behavior?!). It was then that he is quoted to have said, “I’d be a Christian if it were not for the Christians.” (information taken from: https://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article18756585.html)
This story, and all such, breaks my heart, as it should all true believers in Christ.
It was Gandhi who was the foremost leader for Indian independence from British colonial rule. I believe Gandhi, along with one of our own such leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., should be the Christian models for opposing our current corrupt political system, which we collectively have created in this country. Every time we speak out in favor of one party or against the other, we only increase the corrupt divide and play into the hands of the political powerbrokers who are only playing into the hand of the ultimate evil powerbroker, Satan himself! What we see played out in front of us on a daily basis is nothing short of atrocious.
Gandhi’s attack point was of all things, salt. He and his followers made a show of traveling to the western coastline to harvest salt. Salt was an essential nutrient for the Indians in their hot, humid climate, and the British completely controlled its production and sale. So, Gandhi would lead the people in harvesting, from along the ocean shoreline, one of the most plentiful elements in the world, salt. And all along the way on his salt mission, he visited the people in the villages, speaking against the unjust, reprehensible caste system, imposed not by the British but by the Indians themselves, once even bathing in a pool with the so-called “untouchables”! (sounds like Jesus touching the man with leprosy, doesn’t it?).
Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, but under his leadership, India won its battle against foreign control. However, the ultimate war he was fighting—the war we as Christians also fight—was not won. Because it will not be won by mere humans. It will only be won when Christ comes back and finally subdues and destroys the forces of evil in the spiritual realms, the ones that we currently fight against (Eph. 6:12). And the constant social and political upheavals are nothing but the continued expression of Satan’s onslaught on humanity.
We as Christians must not play into the hands of politics (and therefore politicians and the mostly bottom-feeding media), as the whole system is by its very nature sinful, even though the tension, I believe, between the two opposites is necessary in a sinful world to keep some sensible socio-political balance. God is still over it all though (Rom. 13:1). True liberty for any and all is found only through the Spirit of God and not through any socio-political system (2 Cor. 3:17)!
What needs to happen is that we, as Christians, should stop playing the world’s games! We need to find our own “salt”, and then go be it and produce it (Matt. 5:13-16)!