That the Christianity of the New Testament is a thing most repugnant to us men (to the Jews a stumbling block, to the Greeks foolishness), that it is as though calculated to stir us men up against it, that as soon as it is heard it is the signal for the most passionate hate and the cruelest persecution, of this the New Testament makes no concealment; on the contrary, it affirms it as distinctly and decisively as possible. It is heard constantly when Christ is talking with the Apostles, saying that they must be well prepared for what awaited them. And the Apostles’ talk bears sufficient witness to the fact that they had to experience the truth of what was foretold.
It therefore never could occur to anyone who understand himself Christianly, that he might be angry at a man if he were to become the object of his hate and resentment for telling him what Christianity really is. By no means, for when he understands himself Christianly he must find this quite natural.
Be even the man who is most exasperated against him must agree with him on one point and understand why he finds it shocking that there is a whole family of parasites (called to be teachers of Christianity and bound by an oath upon the New Testament) who support themselves by palming off in the name of Christianity what is after their own taste (the absolutely decisive proof that it is not the Christianity of the New Testament), support themselves by preaching under the name of Christianity what is exactly the opposite of the Christianity of the New Testament, pluming themselves upon a royal commission, which is just as ridiculous as in a game of cards to want to take a trump with a simple card, or as wanting to legitimate oneself as a shepherd by a testimonial from the wolf.
This is the shocking thing. Perhaps too it is without an analogy in history that a religion has been abolished by…flourishing. But note that in saying “flourishing” Christianity is understood as the opposite of what the New Testament understands by Christianity. The religion of suffering has become the religion of mirth, but it retains the name unchanged.
This is the shocking thing, that the situation is if possible made twice as difficult for Christianity as it was when it came into the world, because now it is confronted, not by pagans and Jews, whose whole resentment must be aroused, but by Christians whom the clerical gang of swindlers has made to believe that they are Christians, and that Christianity is set to the melody of a drinking song, only still merrier than such a song, which after all is constantly accompanied by the sad reflection that it soon is over and “in a hundred years is all forgotten”; whereas the merry Christian drinking song, according to the assurance of the priests, “lasts an eternity.”
-Soren Kierkegaard in Attack Upon “Christendom”