Question: OK—you have questions about Mother Teresa. I agree with some of your reservations. However, she made Jesus famous in India as few have. I suspect that many dying Hindu’s cried out to the loving Jesus that she and her sisters presented in actions of love no one could deny. Most evangelicals have a lot to learn from that if we are honest.
Response: We have the choice to objectively evaluate the evidence or to ignore it. Evaluated by Scripture, Mother Teresa taught “another Jesus,” which will save no one: “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name [than the biblical Jesus] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”( Acts:4:12).
We cannot honestly find any examples of Teresa speaking the truth of the biblical gospel. Rather, we can find numerous documented examples of her professing to help people become “better Muslims, Hindus,” etc. Either her words have no meaning, or they should be evaluated objectively in the light of Scripture. You say that you “suspect.” Is that the criteria by which we operate? Paul was “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom:1:16).
The “gospel” that Mother Teresa presented was powerless because it was incomplete. We have the testimony of her own words and actions. Mother Teresa wrote, “We never try to convert those who receive [aid from Missionaries of Charity] to Christianity but in our work we bear witness to the love of God’s presence, and if Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, or agnostics become for this better men—simply better—we will be satisfied” (Mother Teresa, Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations and Prayers, pp 81-82).
In her poem “On Suffering,” Mother Teresa wrote, “He allows us to share in His suffering, And to make up for the sins of the world.” This is Catholic doctrine. It is not the biblical gospel. Was this what the inspired writer of Hebrews meant when he wrote of the One who, “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever...” (Heb:10:12)? Official Catholic doctrine denies that Jesus paid the full penalty for sin. This is what Mother Teresa believed.
Native Calcuttan Aroup Chatterjee wrote in his book Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict:
On 15 June 1995 she was touring the neonatal unit at St Elizabeth’s Medical Centre in Brighton, Massachusetts. Parents could not believe their luck when she left the babies (many of them premature) her blessings and her hallmark, an oval aluminum “miraculous” medal. She told the media, “I have 200 small babies in my hospital in Calcutta. This is a beautiful place” (Boston Globe, 16 June 1995). She, however, does not have any hospitals in Calcutta, nor anywhere else in the world (Aroup Chatterjee, Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict, Meteor Press, chapter 1).
We cannot do more than speculate about the impact of her works. What about the suffering of those denied painkillers because she believed “suffering was a gift from God” and efficacious in helping those suffering to enter purgatory? What about those defrauded of money that she refused to return? Is this the testimony that leads an individual to Christ?
Regarding examples, we have far greater ones in the ministries of Amy Carmichael, Dr. Paul Gupta (see God of the Untouchables), William Carey, Henry Martyn, etc.
As others have noted, “The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit.”
May the Lord deliver us from Christian political correctness and may we never flee from truth. The stakes are too high for anything less.