Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why We Resist Christianity

"People try to persuade us that objections against Christianity spring from doubt. The objections against Christianity spring from insubordination, the dislike of obedience, rebellion against all authority. As a result, people have hitherto been beating the air in their struggle against objections, because they have fought intellectually with doubt instead of fighting morally with rebellion."

~ Søren Kierkegaard, Journal
quoted in Works of Love (c. 1847)

"This is my endlessly recurrent temptation: to go down to that Sea (I think St. John of the Cross called God a sea) and there neither dive nor swim nor float, but only dabble and splash, careful not to get out of my depth and holding on to the lifeline which connects me with my things temporal. It is different from the temptations that met us at the beginning of the Christian life. Then we fought against admitting the claims of the eternal at all. And when we had fought, and been beaten, and surrendered, we supposed that all would be fairly plain sailing. This temptation comes later. It is addressed to those who have already admitted the claim in principle and are even making some sort of effort to meet it. Our temptation is too look eagerly for the minimum that will be accepted. ... For it is not so much of our time and so much of our attention that God demands; it is not even all our time and all our attention; it is ourselves. For each of us the Baptist’s words are true: 'He must increase and I decrease.' ... What cannot be admitted–what must exist only as an undefeated but daily resisted enemy–is the idea of something that is 'our own,' some area in which we are to be 'out of school,' on which God has no claim."

~ C. S. Lewis, "A Slip of the Tongue" (1956)
in The Weight of Glory

"Precisely because the voices of offense and fear dominate our responses to the gospel, we need to shed illusions. To put the matter bluntly, the problem with traditional Christianity does not rest in the fact that the so-called modern mind is too sophisticated, too scientific, too worldlywise to believe. Rather, the problem is that we do not want to believe. We want a 'gospel' that affirms our increasingly fragile self-images. We want a 'gospel' that helps us remain stable and unchanging in a world full of threatening forces that might sweep us away. We do not want repentance. We do not want transformation. In short, we do not want what Christianity teaches."


Bryan Owen said...

I belong to the Christianity Resistance Club.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

The Underground Pewster said...

I was caught on film clinging to my mother's leg, refusing to go in the ocean. I think I didn't want to get my nice new bathing suit wet.

I'm with Lewis, it is more comfortable to watch the ocean than to jump in.

Bryan Owen said...

Well said, Underground Pewster. I suspect that part of the reason it's more comfortable to watch the ocean than to jump in is because there's the very real possibility of drowning if you jump in!