Contextualized Christianity - the Life of Sadhu Sundar Singh.

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Contextualised Christianity Sadhu Sundar Singh

India's prominent Christian "sadhu" ofrepparttar early 20th century, felt called at an early age to renounce home, employment, marriage and family life to obey his Lord and tell others of God's love. His lifestyle was identical with Hindu sadhus of his day including dress, dependence upon others for his daily needs, and in spiritual discipline.

Sundar Singh was born to Sher Singh of Rampur, Punjab in India in 1889. His mother, a deeply religious woman, left an indelible mark on Sundar and nurtured him inrepparttar 127000 traditions ofrepparttar 127001 Sikhs. Sundar often spoke of his mother with much love and respect because ofrepparttar 127002 good foundation she laid for his life to come. Little did anyone know what God was about to do with this keenly intelligent and disciplined young man.

When Sundar was about fourteen, his beloved mother and elder brother passed away. This leftrepparttar 127003 young boy in despair and spiritually restless. Sundar hungered for peace. He sought meaning for his life.

One night, a year or two later, after bathing in cold water in preparation for pooja he asked God, 'the all-pervading, impersonal, unknowable, incomprehensible universal spirit', to appear to him as an avatar. He wanted a divine revelation that would once and for all destroy his doubts and end his despair. His spiritual agitation was such that he made a vow to throw himself in front ofrepparttar 127004 early morning passenger train that passed by his village if God did not reveal himself. This vow was not empty words! Shaped byrepparttar 127005 disciplined life of a devout Sikh, this strong willed youth meant to do exactly that.

That night as he prayed he became conscious of a light shining inrepparttar 127006 room. He looked outside to make sure it was not someone shining a light. Graduallyrepparttar 127007 light tookrepparttar 127008 form of a globe of fire and in it he sawrepparttar 127009 face of Jesus.

Jesus wasrepparttar 127010 last person Sundar was looking for. After all, Jesus wasrepparttar 127011 'foreign god' ofrepparttar 127012 Christian teachers at his school. A zealous Sikh, Sundar had publicly torn up a portion ofrepparttar 127013 Bible to protest its claims. Amazed that his vision had takenrepparttar 127014 unexpected form of Jesus, Sundar was convinced in his heart that Jesus wasrepparttar 127015 avatar in whom God reveals Himself.

Did Jesus speak to him? No one knows for sure; however, regardless ofrepparttar 127016 nature ofrepparttar 127017 'conversation', Sundar threw himself onrepparttar 127018 ground and surrendered His life to Jesus. At once peace flooded his troubled heart. The weary struggle to seek enlightenment and moksha was over for Sundar, for in Jesus he found shanthi. This divine encounter withrepparttar 127019 Lord Jesus was to Sundar a rebirth into a new life.

The following months proved to be very difficult for Sundar and his family. Becoming a disciple of Christ was not taken lightly by his family nor his community. Misunderstanding his new found revelation to be a betrayal of all loyalty to his community he was excommunicated. Sundar may have been ill advised by some 'Christians' to cut his hair, unnecessarily maligning an honorable Sikh custom. Unfortunately, he followed their advice and cut his hair, a gesture that did not make things any easier with his family. His family was convinced he had renounced his Sikh heritage. However, through this strife and turmoil God cared for Sundar.

A month after he acceptedrepparttar 127020 water baptism of Christ inrepparttar 127021 year 1905, he tookrepparttar 127022 vow of a sadhu. He gave away his meager possessions, put on a saffron robe and became a barefooted wandering man of God. Among Christiansrepparttar 127023 world over, this barefoot Sadhu was later calledrepparttar 127024 `apostle ofrepparttar 127025 bleeding feet' becauserepparttar 127026 soles of his feet were often covered in bloody blisters.

The life of a sadhu is hard and entirely dependent on God. Sadhu Sundar Singh's needs were met entirely throughrepparttar 127027 kindness of people he met wherever he went. His life story has been written down for us by several of his friends and admirers. He also, reluctantly, agreed to put his teachings and experiences in writing saying that like His Satguru, he did not want to write a word. Sadhu Sundar Singh reflectedrepparttar 127028 character of Christ in word and life; he had found peace inrepparttar 127029 abiding presence of Jesu his brother and Lord.

Sundar also became a great missionary travelling perilously overrepparttar 127030 mountains to Tibet where he was repeatedly persecuted as he attempted to share Christ with them. He suffered much at their hands but each year he would travel back to Tibet to show Jesus conextualised forrepparttar 127031 Indian andrepparttar 127032 Tibetan. He has revealed an Eastern God and taken Christ and made Him accessible torepparttar 127033 Eastern mind and thinking. Modern missionaries still have a lot to learn fromrepparttar 127034 missionary withrepparttar 127035 bleeding feet.

Some of his selected teachings can be found below. More details aboutrepparttar 127036 amazing life of this contextual Christian can be found in many books, some of which are still in print aroundrepparttar 127037 world.

The Teachings of Sadhu Sundar Singh (selections from his books)

The Unbridled Tongue It has often been noticed thatrepparttar 127038 woodlouse that eats and destroys hard wood andrepparttar 127039 insect that makes holes inrepparttar 127040 rocks inrepparttar 127041 sea are very weak and delicate. even so, they can penetrate hard wood and stone to spoil them completely. The same can be said ofrepparttar 127042 germs of evil thoughts and habits. However feeble and negligible they may seem, evil thoughts and habits eat into our lives to make us hollow and useless human beings. Unless, with God's help we are able to eliminate such germs, they can completely destroy us. Poisonous as reptiles, evil thoughts and habits cause death by biting and depositing their poison inrepparttar 127043 wound. Even bugs and flies, though not considered poisonous, are in a way no less dangerous, because they spreadrepparttar 127044 germs of various deadly diseases and many are destroyed through them. Many people are like this. They do not outwardly appear dangerous, like murderous dacoits and criminals, but by insidiously spreadingrepparttar 127045 dangerous words and poisonous influence to others with their unbridled tongues they are just as much of a menace.

A Foreigner in a Strange Place When a person goes to another place or to a foreign countryrepparttar 127046 people consider him a stranger andrepparttar 127047 dogs bark atrepparttar 127048 sight of him. So followers of Christ do not belong to this world but are strangers (John 17:14, Heb. 11:13). Therefore they should not be surprised or downcast whenrepparttar 127049 dogs ofrepparttar 127050 world take them for strangers, bark at them, or frequently even attack and rend them. Having put our hand torepparttar 127051 plough we must not turn back, nor should we slacken our speed, but press on like a caravan, becauserepparttar 127052 dogs will turn back after chasing us for a while; they will fade out into silence, and we shall reach our destination in safety (Matt. 7:6).

(Pharisaic) Hedges and Fences

Written by Aleck Cartwright

Hedges and Fences

Donna, my wife, and I recently moved into a small flat. We have been married for three years and in all that time we had never had a home of our own. We had lived our whole lives as missionaries with no home and no possessions. We travel a lot, all overrepparttar world but had been praying for our own space for a long time. God provided a small flat in our little village where we could finally have a two bedroom home and we were overjoyed.

The flat had a little garden inrepparttar 126999 front and atrepparttar 127000 back ofrepparttar 127001 house and suited us fine. The house was in varying stages of disrepair and we wondered how much time and money we should spend on fixing it up as we were just renting. In some ways I think it was indicative of how we as Christians are unsure of how involved inrepparttar 127002 world we should be since we are “just passing through”. We relinquish our duty as Christians not willing to engage withrepparttar 127003 world because we don’t think that it is worth it! Allrepparttar 127004 while disregardingrepparttar 127005 one verse we all know by heart (For God lovedrepparttar 127006 world so much that He gave His one and only begotten son… how much more can you invest, than to die forrepparttar 127007 ones you love?) But that is another story and I could possibly write chapters on it, but we’ll leave that for another day.

On that note, we realised that we had a lot of work to do onrepparttar 127008 little place. We came home fromrepparttar 127009 office and spent every evening cleaning until midnight as it was such a mess! As I said before we had no furniture or any worldly possessions so we had an empty house to fill and we would have to, overrepparttar 127010 next six months, trust God to fill it with everything we needed!

We would need appliances, cutlery and plates, a sitting room suite, tables, a bed, cupboards, drawers and wardrobes. We also needed to get intorepparttar 127011 garden which was looking like a jungle! I remember how exhausted I felt coming home from work each day and seeing allrepparttar 127012 work we still had to do.

I also used to borrow garden equipment from a neighbour. I distinctly rememberrepparttar 127013 first time I cutrepparttar 127014 hugely overgrown hedge. The neighbours all noticed and commented onrepparttar 127015 change. The elderly neighbour upstairs was very grateful too. It was amazing how encouragedrepparttar 127016 neighbourhood was that someone had moved in and was actually looking afterrepparttar 127017 property and takingrepparttar 127018 time to look afterrepparttar 127019 garden.

I realised that pruning hedges makes people stand up and take notice. If people in my neighbourhood are touched byrepparttar 127020 fact that I cut my hedge, how much more isrepparttar 127021 world touched by Christ in me on a daily basis through my life. This hedge was a witness inrepparttar 127022 neighbourhood and was in complete contrast torepparttar 127023 previous tenants way of thinking. People noticed and appreciatedrepparttar 127024 effort we made to make our home inviting.

In this small way I realised that people, like children, noticerepparttar 127025 smallest detail of our lives and can be affected by it both positively and negatively. We have lived in this little flat for seven months now and recently new neighbours moved in to takerepparttar 127026 place of our elderly friend upstairs, as she went to a home where she can be better cared for. These new neighbours have an effect on us too. They are very loud and constantly fight and scream obsenitys at each other. It has been a loud and hard lesson to learn, but how we live really has an effect onrepparttar 127027 world we live in and people take notice!

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