Kierkegaard’s Warning: “Merrily We Roll Along”

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) of Denmark is quoted as saying the following:

When one sees what it is to be a Christian in Denmark, how could it occur to anyone that this is what Jesus Christ talks about: cross and agony and suffering, crucifying the flesh, suffering for the doctrine, being salt, being sacrificed, etc.? No, in Protestantism, especially in Denmark, Christianity marches to a different melody, to the tune of ‘Merrily we roll along, roll along, roll along”—Christianity is enjoyment of life, tranquilized, as neither the Jew nor the pagan was, by the assurance that the thing about eternity is settled, settled precisely in order that we might find pleasure in enjoying this life…

Would we, might we dare say a similar thing today? Soren’s basic question was: how is one to be a Christian in “Christendom”? How is one to take up one’s cross in radical discipleship when everybody already assumes they are Christian?

North American Church culture may be faced with a similar question, the issue is then not only whether we will dare to ask it but whether we will dare to respond to it in ways that will actually rock our world?!  And if so, how?

How will, how can those on the missional journey respond to such questions such that others aren’t put on the defensive, nor are means employed that actually contradict Christ-like postures and there is positive movement towards expressions of the faith that more faithfully follow the way of Jesus. I wonder if the answer lies in embracing postures and practices that manifest the organic, subversive principles of the Kingdom described as a mustard seed, a bit of yeast and a copper coin….

Humility, vulnerability and presence… hospitality, inclusiveness, ultimate friendship which is willing to lay down one’s life….

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