Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers…
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.” – Soren Kierkgaard
This one hurt a little to read. It’s been floating around several blogs I follow lately so I went and found the most full quote I could find and there isn’t much I can say about it.
As I said yesterday, a 7th grade girl is reading through the bible in 90 days. The two excuses I hear most often are, I don’t have time and I don’t understand it. Well, if you wanted to make time, you could.
But the second excuse was harder for me to diffuse. It can’t be stated any more clearly than “We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly.” I’m not saying that Christian scholarship isn’t important. It is important to know our faith and to understand the theology of it. But that doesn’t excuse living a Christ-like life. It doesn’t excuse not showing Christ to others. It doesn’t excuse our materialistic tendencies when there are people living all around us who are in desperate need of basics. It doesn’t excuse our chosen inability to be selfless. It doesn’t excuse our desire to be comfortable. Instead, if we were to truly pour ourselves into understanding and applying even the basics taught in the bible, we would see that we are called to be Christ-like influences, selfless, generous, uncomfortable and sacrificial. Unfortunately (to too many), most of what we would learn about Christ wouldn’t make our churches bigger or lives better in society’s eyes but make them smaller and more radical… but who really wants that.