We Have Failed at Christianity

The priest went on to say that we’re comfortable with Christianity and even with helping others as long as it doesn’t affect us directly. But anytime we have to get within the margins—leave our comfortable homes, or do anything more than write a check, we’re unable to act. We fail as Christians. Powerful words that had folks in the pews clapping by the end, but as I sat there I wondered whether or not anyone on Capitol Hill would heed these wise words?

Inoculated

The post-Christian world has been inoculated against Christianity because, over 1500 years, we never managed to give it true Christianity. “Found difficult and left untried,” indeed. And this is to our demerit. There are also many, many things over these 1500 years to be proud about, and Christendom, for all its flaws, was probably better than the alternatives. But now we’re reaping what we’re sowing. We created this generation of post-Christians whom we vaccinated against Christianity. Thankfully, viruses mutate and occasionally beat vaccines.

In the meantime, if our aim is a fantasy of Christendom rather than Christ and His Cross, we are being idolaters.

~ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, “Inoculated”.

What remains behind

I cannot help but wonder what remains behind when Christianity’s power over culture recedes? How long can our gentler ethical prejudices [toward the vulnerable—the diseased, disabled, or derelict among us], many of which seem to be melting away with fair rapidity, persist once the faith that gave them their rationale and meaning has withered away? Love endures all things perhaps, as the apostle says, and is eternal; but as a cultural reality, even love requires a reason for its preeminence among virtues. And the mere habit of solicitude for others will not necessarily long survive when that reason is no longer found. If . . . the human as we understand it is the positive intervention of Christianity, might it not be the case that a culture that has become truly post-Christian will also, ultimately, become posthuman?

~David Bentley Hart via Maureen Mullarkey | A First Things Blog

Christ did not appoint professors, but followers…

Christ did not appoint professors, but followers. If Christianity … is not reduplicated in the life of the person expounding it, then he does not expound Christianity, for Christianity is a message about living and can only be expounded by being realized in men’s lives.

~Soren Kierkegaard,via OH……….. FRANCESCO

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea…

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive, as we did during World War II. And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger. It is not that people think this too high and difficult a virtue; it is that they think it hateful and contemptible. ‘That sort of thing makes me sick.’ they say. And half of you already want to ask me, ‘I wonder how you’d feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or a Jew?’

So do I. I wonder very much. Just as when Christianity tells me that I must not deny my religion even to save myself from death or torture, I wonder very much what I should do when it came to the point. I am not trying to tell you in this book what I could do—I can do precious little—I am telling you what Christianity is. I did not invent it. And there, right in the middle of it, I find, ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ There is no slightest suggestion that we are offered forgiveness on any other terms. It is made perfectly clear that if we do not forgive we shall not be forgiven. There are no two ways about it.

~ C. S. Lewis, via a post on the Little Portion Hermitage blog.