Gandhi once said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." and later said "Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today." A Barna study found the three most common associations with the Christian faith by non-Christians are anti-gay (91%,) judgmental (87%), and hypocritical (85%). This should not be! Jesus said we should be known by our love and that our love will draw people to Him. The sermon on the mount and the teachings of Jesus are so far from this type of Christianity.
I was reminded of this today by a friend, Kevin Knight, who lives in the slums of Cambodia, when he posted this quote on Facebook by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: "The renewal of the Church will come from a new type of Monasticism, which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time people banded together to do this."
Thank you for the reminder Kevin, it is indeed high time and we so desperately need this kind of renewal. I too have come to believe that the sermon on the mount and the words of Christ are central to how I interpret the bible and provides a call to a Christianity that is so needed by the world and yet is so dearly missing. When we read the bible through Jesus, it leads us to the margins of society, to fight for justice in our world and live out a radical counter-culture Christianity.
May many be found in the place of blessing described in the sermon on the mount today... Be blessed