The Essence of the Christian way

Though Christianity – the way with and through Christ (the “Anointed One”) – has very specific doctrines and principles. It is necessary at the outset to insist that the essence of Christianity is a personal meeting with Jesus Christ. One can grasp the principles yet fail to accept the Person. It is only by surrender in faith to the Person of Christ, a commitment to him and to people, not faith merely in the teachings about Christ, that one essentially becomes a Christian. As Mahatma Gandhi wrote to Stanley Jones:

“The heart must be touched. I cannot grasp the position by the intellect. Saul became Paul not by an intellectual effort, but by something touching his heart.” ( E. Stanley Jones: Mahatma Gandhi. P.75)

It is only when our hearts are touched by the Heart of Christ that we begin to live by his principles. The first principle of Christianity is the principle of love or Oneness, for God is One as all religions teach.

The principle of Love is a “one-ing” principle. Because he is Love and One, we are all meant to become One with Him and with one another. This is what Jesus came to teach us primarily – what might be called a Spirituality of Oneness – oneness through love. For this is the one commandment the Guru kept repeating:

“Love one another as I have loved you. By this love for one another everyone will know that you are my disciples” (Jn. 13, 34-35).

He also explained what this love was like and how it was to indwell us:

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love” (Jn. 15, 9).

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make our home with him” (Jn. 14, 24).

This is the highest of all mysteries, the teaching that is in the Absolute Being, who is One only, there is a mysterious life which does not destroy the pure Oneness.

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ફાધર વર્ગીસ પોલ, એસ.જે.
(ડિરેક્ટર, સી.આઈ.એસ.એસ.)


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