Bringing an Indian to America is difficult in many ways. The homesickness, the allure of financial prosperity, the American dream... it all is weight. But the thing that causes the most confusion is our American brand of Christianity. And there are many culprits There are the academics who sit around throwing stones at anyone they deem heretics; they measure success in being right and saying true things. There are the emotionally mindless who find holiness only in ecstatic utterance; to them the success of a meeting is measured in how they felt. There are the comfort preachers, who try their hardest to sell something novel and clever with the hope of growing their kingdom; they measure success by butts in the seats.
These hollow echoes of Christ's church can seem very powerful and attractive to an Indian from overseas. But they are not the truth. These messages bring no hope here and will bring no hope back home in India. I am sad that there is so little of the mission, so little of the Kingdom, so little of Christ's heart for sacrificial discipleship. We have flipped the adage on it's head, "Ask not what you can give for Christ, but what our church can give to you and your family." It's a sell. It's a sham. And it hurts our foreign brothers. For they think we know what we're doing. They think that we over here have figured it out. But we haven't. We are just as ugly and stupid as the church in Jerusalem demanding that Gentiles be circumcized, as foolish as the Thessalonians always thinking the end is nigh, and as dangers as the Corinthians, holding up tongues as a god unto itself.
We are a mess here in America. And I will warn our Indian brothers to take the bad with the good. To not idolize us, but to look past us to Jesus. America is not the promised land. Nor is India the kingdom, they have their own lies.
In the end, we say this. Be careful what you add to Jesus' gospel. Add nothing to the cross. Not your flag. Not a feeling. Not a sign. Preach Christ and Him crucified. Cause that can bring hope to India.