"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way…"

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”

A Friday prayer…

51S-9ndd54LFather in Heaven! Our thought is turned toward Thee; again it seeks Thee at this hour, not with the unsteady step of a lost traveler but with the sure flight of a bird homeward bound. Grant then that our confidence in Thee be not a fugitive thought, a momentary leap, a mistaken appeasement of the heart and flesh. Grant that our aspirations toward Thy Kingdom, our hopes for Thy glory, be not unproductive birth pangs or waterless clouds, but that from the fulness of our heart they will rise toward Thee, and that being heard they will quench our thirst like the refreshing dew and satisfy us forever like Thy heavenly manna.

– Soren Kierkegaard (from LeFevre’s The Prayers of Kierkegaard)

 

Love hides a multitude of sins…

A prayer of Soren Kierkegaard (from The Prayers of Kierkegaard, ed. LeFevre):

O Lord Jesus, the birds have their nests, the foxes their holes, and Thou didst not have whereon to lay Thy head, homeless wert Thou upon earth, and yet a hiding-place, the only one, where a sinner could flee. And so today Thou art still the hiding-place; when the sinner flees to Thee, hides himself in Thee, is hidden in Thee—then he is eternally defended, then “love” hides a multitude of sins.

Jesus, Our Hiding-place…

O Lord Jesus Christ, the birds have their nests, the foxes their holes, and Thou didst not have whereon to lay Thy head, homeless wert Thou upon earth, and yet a hiding-place, the only one, where a sinner could flee. And so today Thou art the hiding-place; when the sinner flees to Thee, hides himself in Thee, is hidden in Thee–then he is eternally defended, then “love” hides a multitude of sins.

-A prayer of Soren Kierkegaard (from The Prayers of Kierkegaard, ed. by Perry LeFevre)

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."

A prayer of Soren Kierkegaard…

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou didst not come to the world to be served, but also surely not to be admired or in that sense to be worshipped. Thou wast the way and the truth—and it was followers only Thou didst demand. Arouse us therefore if we have dozed away into this delusion, save us from the error of wishing to admire Thee instead of being willing to follow Thee and to resemble Thee.

From LeFevre, Perry, ed. The Prayers of Kierkegaard (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1956), 96.