Friday, August 12

Painful Discipleship - Part 2

For those interested, this is how my religion feels right now:

In the strict sense I have never seen a Christian. Among so-called Christians I have seen some pretty examples of Jewish piety. Jewish piety dwells in the thought: Stick to God and everything will go well with you; the more you stick to God the better, and in any case you always have God to stick to!
Christianity expresses something quite different: the more you stick to and get involved with God, the worse it gets for you. It is almost as if God said to someone: You had better go to Tivoli and amuse yourself with the others - but whatever you do, don't involve yourself with me, humanly speaking it will be misery.
And no only that, in the end God also forsakes the Christian; as the prototype (Jesus) shows.
For in the strict sense being a Christian is: to die (die from the world), then to be sacrificed - a sword first pierces his heart (dying from the world), and then to be hated, cursed by men, to be forsaken by God (that is, be sacrificed).
The Christian way is thus superhuman. And yet the New Testament demands that the Christian 'imitate'.
I am not capable of that. I can only come so far as to use the 'prototype' as a humiliation, not for imitation, and as humiliation once again for not being able to use the prototype in any other way.

-- Soren Kierkegaard (from his journals)

Kierkegaard's most depressive journal entry. When I had first read it about four months ago I thought Soren had a very unncecesarrily negative attitude, and never understood why he could ever feel this way. Lately, however, I can not help but understand exactly what he is saying. What makes this all so perplexing for me is that my life at the moment is extremely satisfying, but I can not shake this idea whenever reflecting on God and Jesus.

Awhile ago I was entertaining the idea that this was all just a phase I was going through, but I have yet to read anything in the New Testament that tells me that I am wrong. It feels like all Christians know that this is the logical conclusion of what Christ was saying, but are afraid to think about it. Perhaps the strangest thing about this whole situation is that I have never felt so spiritually close to God in my entire life, how about that for irony!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds painful

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately correct.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Following the North Star will always lead north, even though you can never reach the star itself.

For me, the great utility of being a Christian is that we DON'T have to be perfect or divine, because Christ has done it for us. We imitate Christ to make ourselves better people, but there's a real recognition that we'll only get so far in that. This is why forgiveness is so central to a Christian life.

11:54 PM  

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