Soren Kierkegaard published Christian Discourses April 26 1848. He wrote about people who say, in Christendom, if Christ came again to the world he would be crucified again. It reminds me of The Grand Inquisitor from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky published in The Russian Messenger from January 1879 to November 1880.
Here is Kierkegaard’s 1848 quote:
“If Christ came again to the world now, he would be crucified again, unless the death penalty had been abolished by that time. People drop this remark as casually as they say “Good day,” only with greater pretentiousness; and people find it said so aptly and strikingly, and it does not occur to the person who says it to become aware of this whole mirage of Christendom. Truly this is inexplicable to me. It was almost a saying in Christendom that if Christ came again he would meet the same fate as before, when he came to non-Christians – and yet Christendom is supposed to be the Church triumphant, which presumably, when all is said and done, would add to its triumphs the new one of crucifying Christ.
Well, to goes without saying that the “Church triumphant” has triumphed over the world in an external sense, that is, it has in a worldly way triumphed over the world (since triumphing over it in the religious sense can be done only internally) – so, just as for all victors, there is only one victory left – to triumph over oneself; to become a Christian. As long as one is not aware of this, the concept of “Christendom” is the most dangerous of all illusions. In Christendom, therefore, Christianity is continually still militant. There may be quite a number of true Christians in Christendom, but every such one of them is also militant.” Christian Discourses Hong translation 1997 p. 229
This is a recording of The Grand Inquisitor by John Gielgud.
I like the way Kierkegaard put it since Denmark was part of Christendom. And Christendom was all about making everyone a Christian in the external sense whil Christ works quietly in the internal sense.
Here is a quote from the same book about the Rebel.
“It is the human race that has wanted to rebel against God; it is the human race that has wanted to abolish immortality and has managed to have it made into a problem. With immortality (and what it implies, the immortality of every individual), God is the lord and ruler, and the single individual relates himself to him. But when immortality becomes a problem, then God is abolished and the human race is God. The individuals perhaps do not perceive how they are in the power of the human race and that it is the human race that is speaking through them; therefore they think that the person who calls to them and calls them individuals is a rebel – and so he is indeed; in the name of God he rebels against making the human race into God and immortality into a problem. In the name of God he rebels, and he appeals to God’s word: that there will be the resurrection of the dead, of the righteous – and of the unrighteous!” Christian Discourses p. 213