Monday, May 21, 2007

Wisdom of the Sadhu

“The West is like Judas Iscariot, who ate with Yesu, only to later deny him. The West ought to fear the fate of Judas, lest it hang itself on the tree of learning. You have so many privileges. We in the East have to give up many things when we become Christians. For you, it is not so. Therefore be careful that you don't lose your only possibility for eternal happiness. I am reminded of the hunter who was pursued by a tiger. He had no fear because his hut was nearby and he was sure that he had the key in his pocket. On reaching it, however, the key was gone, and although there was only the thickness of the door between him and safety, he was lost.”

“Once when I was in the Himalayas, I was sitting upon the bank of a river; I drew out of the water a beautiful, hard, round stone and smashed it. The inside was quite dry. The stone had been lying a long time in the water, but the water had not penetrated the stone. It is just like that with the "Christian" people of the West. They have for centuries been surrounded by Christianity, entirely steeped in its blessings, but the Master's truth has not penetrated them. Christianity is not at fault; the reason lies rather in the hardness of their hearts. Materialism and intellectualism have made their hearts hard. So I am not surprised that many people in the West do not understand what Christianity really is.”

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

“Sadhu Sundar Singh's dramatic encounter with the living Christ, his refusal to clothe his faith with western trappings, and his absolute devotion to the way of Jesus make for compelling reading.”
Richard J. Foster, author, Celebration of Discipline

You can download a free e-book with some of Sadhu Sundar Singh's writings here! (PDF) I highly recommend this book (even published the Dutch edition myself...)

4 comments:

John said...

Paul,
Yet again you strike home. As a Christian living in the west I fight against this. Perhaps even more than many of my evangelical brothers and sisters as I live in the church saturated south. So many here simply go through the motions of a cultural Christianity without ever encountering the life-changing Christ.

Thank you my brother.

John

Carol L. Douglas said...

John, I assume you mean the American south... I believe we have to be very careful about saying people are "going through the motions of Christianity." I used to be an Episcopalian and there were many believers among my friends, even though my own church was as liberal as they come. I now belong to a much more charismatic and evangelical church but believe that even there are some wolves in sheep's clothing. We can make educated guesses but never know the truth about another man's heart, and we never know when a person will move from a "milk" believer to a "meat" believer.

Mike said...

Paul,
Good words. This is a battle we are all dealing with in the west. I think we need to pose the question, "do we know what Christianity really is". Maybe our ideas are not all correct.

Art said...

Great words, indeed. Some of the most insightful things I have ever read about spirituality have come from eastern minds. I think that when we get too comfortable with our own (western) view of things is when start to try to put God into a box - a box of our own devising.