Thursday, September 3, 2009

Our Share in These Things

It is time we acknowledge that Christians themselves bear a large share of the responsibility for this tragedy of freedom, that it is not accidental that the roots of this tragedy stretch out into that world and that culture that not very long ago at all called itself Christian. On the one hand, the unheard of, impossible good news of freedom – the call, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore” (Gal. 5:1) – came into the world with and only with Christianity. It is precisely Christianity, and only it, which has forever spoiled human consciousness with this unquenchable thirst. But on the other hand, who, if not Christians themselves, have substituted, or one can even say, handed down this good news while reducing it – for the world, for “those outside” – to facile, “scientific” and “objective” knowledge about God, to a knowledge from without that cannot define God other than in categories of power, authority, necessity, and law. Precisely from here stems the terrible pathos of theomachy [a war or struggle against God], inherent in all ideologies that promise freedom to mankind. And here there is no misunderstanding, for if God is what “knowledge about God” self-assuredly affirms about him, then man is a slave, in spite of all the stipulations and elucidations suggested in smooth apologetics and theodicy. And then, for the sake of freedom, it is necessary that God not exist, that he be killed, and through this murder of God contemporary man, deifying himself, advances to his lowest depths.

-- from The Eucharist by Alexander Schmemann

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