“What Christianity needs for certain is traitors. Christendom has insidiously betrayed Christianity by wanting not to be truly Christian but to have the appearance of being so. Now traitors are needed.
But this concept, traitors, is dialectical. The devil also, so to speak, has his traitors, his spies, who do not attack Christianity but attack the Christians – with the express purpose of getting more and more to fall away. God, too, has his traitors: God-fearing traitors, who in unconditional obedience to him simply and sincerely present Christianity in order that for once people may get to know what Christianity is. I am sure that established Christendom regards them as traitors, since Christendom has taken illegal possession of Christianity by a colossal forgery…
…I was contemplating the possibility of not letting myself be taken over by Christianity, even if it was my most honest intention to devote my whole life and daily diligence to the cause of Christianity, to do everything, to do nothing else but to expound and interpret it, even though I were to become like, be like the legendary Wandering Jew – myself not a Christian in the final and most decisive sense of the word and yet leading others to Christianity.”
First of all, I wonder how Kierkegaard’s sentiment might relate to our ongoing discussion of “Jesus Bling” and the Christian products industry. Furthermore, I wonder who the traitors will be. Is anyone willing to sacrifice their Christianity, for Christ’s sake? Would anyone stick around after hearing Meister Eckhart preach, “Man’s last and highest parting occurs when, for God’s sake, he takes leave of god”?
In light of our current (and growing) global political crisis, in the face of the uncritical alignment of a broad swath of Christianity to the ideology of the State, perhaps we should re-think what it means to be a follower of Christ, taking his light into a darkened world (which includes the churches). As a favorite song of mine reminds us, you must “know your enemy.” Actually this song seems more prophetic now than it did 12 years ago, when it came out during the first Gulf War. It ends like this…
“Yes I know my enemies: compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite…all of which are American dreams…” (“Know Your Enemy” by Rage Against the Machine – now that should do your soul some good!)
The “enemy” is of course not any person or entity but a mentality – the “comfortable numbness” Pink Floyd sings about and toward which we have such a irresistible tendency – our failure to examine not just what we say but how we live. So often I find myself crying out with Habakkuk, “Violence!” How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? (Hab. 1:2) Like the Psalmist, my soul is in anguish. I am worn out from groaning. My eyes grow weak with sorrow. And yet, the Lord has heard my weeping, my cry for mercy, and the Lord accepts my prayer. (Ps. 6) With another pair of prophets (Bono and Bob Dylan, that is), I sing: “Love, rescue me.”