thing of 'Christendom,' the notion that we are all Christians, people
have allowed to prevail and wish to do so; and then they bring forward
now one aspect of the teaching, now another. But the truth is that not
only are we not Christians but we are not so much as pagans, to whom
the Christian doctrine could be preached without embarrassment; but
by an illusion, a monstrous illusion ('Christendom,' a Christian state,
a Christian land, a Christian world), we are even prevented from becoming
as receptive as the pagans were."
the official Christianity, what we call Christianity, is not the Christianity
of the New Testament, is not a striving after it, has not the remotest
resemblance to it—nothing is easier to see, and to get men to
see this clearly I should count a small matter, if there were not a
very peculiar sort of difficulty involved in it. . . . Precisely what
the New Testament understands by Christianity and by being a Christian
is— and this the New Testament makes no effort to conceal but
emphasizes decisively—what most of all is repugnant to the natural
man, is an offense to him, against which with wild passion and defiance
he must revolt, or else cunningly try at any price to be rid of it,
as for example by the help of a knavish trick, calling Christianity
what is the exact opposite of Christianity, and men thanking God for
Christianity and for the great and inestimable privilege of being a
Christian. So then, when I would make known that what we call Christianity,
the official Christianity, is not at all the Christianity of the New
Testament, and when to that end I would point out what the New Testament
understands by Christianity and by being a Christian, that this is sheer
anguish, misery, wretchedness . . ., whereas what we call Christianity
is pleasant and merry. . . . The fact that it does not please men might
be recorded as a token that what I call the Christianity of the New
Testament is the Christianity of the New Testament, since the New Testament
itself says again and again that it does not please man, that it is
an offense to him."
a fortress, absolutely impregnable, provisioned for an eternity. There
comes a new commandment. He conceives that it might be a good idea to
build bridges over the moats—so as to be able to attack the besiegers.
Charmant! He transforms the fortress into a country estate, and naturally
the enemy takes it. So it is with Christianity. They changed the method—and
naturally the world conquered.
demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought
which they seldom use."
is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own."
"A great man is one that can develop convictions
in solitude and carry them out in a crowd."
"The crowd is indeed untruth. . . . Those who speak
to the crowd, coveting its approval, those who deferentially bow and
scrape before it must be regarded as being worse than prostitutes. They
are instruments of untruth."