Pretty simple...what he said is true. We ARE so unlike Christ. And the sad fact is that historically the Christian church has made some pretty big mistakes and caused a lot of hurt.
But it has also done a lot of good. Ghandi needed to realise that humanity has a fallen nature, and that they don't always get it right, even if they are reborn. The problem with folks who think like Ghandi is that they believe people can become perfect.
I think it's the statement of a guy who didn't want to believe in Jesus. Like so many cynics, he has to put us down to remain an unbeliever. Fact is, the visible church has made many mistakes, but reality is that you can trace the beginning of so many good things to Christians or Christian organizations. Do you ever hear about Muslim or Buddhist hypocrisy? Everything about those belief systems is hypocrisy if you ask me, but popular culture doesn't want to challenge them.
My thoughts may be somewhat different. One of my favorite quotes is from Ghandi.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Ghandi
I think, as he shed a lot of the distractions of his earlier life, Ghandi was able to become very focused and saw things with a clarity that others weren't able to. Probably very similar to someone like John the Baptist who wandered into the dessert. Ghandi shed worldly possessions, fasted, tried to live a simple life.
Unfortunately, I don't think he 'found God', but I think as Christian we have to remember we don't have a monopoly on 'goodness' or 'wisdom', just 'grace'. Christians are just more "saved" than others.
Mark Twain also had a similar quote:
“If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be - a Christian” - Mark Twain
Phillip Yancey wrote a whole book of bad Christian experiences in The Soul Survivor. I don't think it's just non-Christians who have this feeling. I personally have been 'burned' by Christians who didn't seem very Christ like. (But does attacking the hypocrisy in another religion in some way reduce the ones in our own?) If nothing else, it burden us that if we believe the sacrifice of Jesus was so amazing, that we should be scared to death that our actions may be cheapening them/it.
Christianity has long be thought of as a very judgmental religion. It would great if moving forward we learned to be known as the loving religion, so the next generation of wise men could be quoted as:
"Those Christians, they are so like their Christ. Loving and sacrificial, even to death."
I believe that is ultimately what the bibles calls us to.
Yep, but I still think it's always a cheap shot that folks like to take to avoid becoming believers. I really like your statement about "our actions may be cheapening them". That's the essence of how we should behave on the outside. We should never do anything that could bring shame to the Lord. It's our duty to represent Him well.