How God Relates Inversely

Excerpt from Provocations: Spiritual writings of Kierkegaard

"At the time when there were no churches and the Christians gathered together in catacombs as refugees and lawbreakers, God was close. Then came the churches, so many churches, such great, splendid churches and to the same degree God was distanced. For God's nearness is inversely related to externals, and this ascending scale (churches, many churches, splendid churches) is an increse in the sphere of appearance. Before Christianity became a doctrine, when it was only one or two affirmations expressed in one's life, God was closer. An with every increase and embellishment or doctrine, with every increase of "success," God was distanced. When there were no clergy and the Christians were all brothers, God was closer than when clergymen, many clergymen, a powerful ecclesiastical order, came into being. For clergymen are an increase in appearance, and God always relates inversely to outward show.

This is how Christendom has step by step by step become so distant from God. Christianity's history is one of alienation from God through the gradual strengthening of appearance. Or it might be said Christianity's history is one of the progressive removal of God - tactfully and polietly by building churches and monumental buildings, by a monstrous doctrinal system, with an incalculable host of preachers and professors. Established Christianity is about as far away from God as one can possibly get." (Page. 187,188)

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