"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Kierkegaard on the Established Church

with one comment

Thanks be to God for those who support us in the faith, and though they seem few, they are a mighty army.

One brother reminded me that the church has been broken in every age, so we should not feign surprise when we discover it is broken in our own.  God has given us the mystical gift of the Body of Christ on earth, and we turn that gift into a corporation, ruled by our brokenness and need for self-justification.

A second brother in Christ pointed me back into S. Kierkegaard, who spoke so often into our present mess. A 400+ page collection of his writings is available for free download here.  A few that caught my eye:

The established Church is far more dangerous to Christianity than any heresy or schism. We play at Christianity. We use all the orthodox Christian terminology – but everything, everything without character. Yes, we are simply not fit to shape a heresy or a schism. There is something frightful in the fact that the most dangerous thing of all, playing at Christianity, is never included in the list of heresies and schisms.


Think of a fisherman who owns a splendid net that he inherited from his father. Year after year he puts out his net – but gets no fish. What is the matter? What can it be? ‘Sure enough, I know’, says the fisherman. ‘The fish have changed; in the course of time they have decreased in size. If I want to catch them, I must get hold of a net that is not made for large fish’. Now think about eternity in terms of salvation. From generation to generation, steadily, incessantly, the cost of being Christian has become cheaper and cheaper, the terms of salvation have become easier and easier. A generation of jubilant millions, served by huckster clergy, has replaced Christianity with a religion of easy terms. It has rendered Christianity worthless and taken Christianity in vain, all in the name of perfecting Christianity. Eternity quietly looks on and observes: I am catching no one. But eternity is not like the fisherman. It does not need us. It is we who need eternity, to be caught is to be saved. Moreover, eternity is at one and the same time the fisherman and the net – consequently it does not change.

The Moral: The fisherman needs the fish; ergo, he changes the net. If, on the contrary, it is the fish that need to be caught – and this is the Christian way – then to be caught is to be saved. But then the fish must change, which is impossible as far as the metaphor is concerned but not in respect to what the metaphor signifies.


Imagine a fortress, absolutely impregnable, supplied with provisions for an eternity. A new commandant comes. He gets the idea that the right thing to do is to build bridges over the ditches – in order to be able to attack the besiegers. Charming! He transformed the fortress into a village, and the enemy captured it, naturally. So it is with Christianity. We changed the method – and the world conquered, naturally.


Christianity has been made so much into a consolation that people have completely forgotten that it is first and foremost a demand.


Written by sameo416

October 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Thank you sameo416…..blessed are those in the company of fish from the nets that caught that small and mighty army!!


    October 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

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