The Difference between an Admirer and a Disciple
I find the words of Søren Kierkegaard below apropos of the overall state of Christianity today in our part of the world. Some wag has said of one of the “progressive” Protestant communions that its initials stand for “Unitarians Considering Christ.” Of other Christians it has been said that their theology amounts to a Christ-flavored spirituality.
Kierkegaard would have none of it of course. Taken out of context, but nonetheless apropos of the watered down forms of Christianity we see about us today, here is Kierkegaard’s assessment:
“It is impossible a priori to prevent the misunderstanding that goes by the name of admiration, for in a certain sense this is necessary, in order to attract people. But then, if the truth … unfolds itself ever more clearly as the truth, the moment comes when no admirer can keep up with it: for the truth shakes off its admirers as the storm shakes off the worm-eaten fruit from the tree.”
The Bread of Life discourse in John’s Gospel is an account of one of those storms which shake off the mere admirers. It concludes this way:
“After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.'”