Thoughts on mission

Daily Reading for February 15 • Thomas Bray, Priest and Missionary, 1730

In conversation with him one day I said, “Mahatma Gandhi, I am very anxious to see Christianity naturalised in India, so that it shall no longer be a foreign thing identified with a foreign people and a foreign government, but a part of the national life of India and contributing its power to India’s uplift and redemption. What would you suggest that we do to make that possible?”

He very gravely and thoughtfully replied, “I would suggest, first, that all of you Christians, missionaries and all, must begin to live a lot 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 centre 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.”

From E. Stanley Jones, quoted in Titus Presler, The Horizons of Mission, Volume 11 in the New Church’s Teaching Series (Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley Publications, 2001).

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