Kierkegaard broke with all that had gone before him; he was now engaged “not in communication, but assault.” “Strictly speaking, it is not I who am ringing the alarm bell; I am starting the fire in order to smoke out illusions and knavish tricks; it is a police raid, and a Christian police raid, for, according to the New Testament, Christianity is incendiarism.” There are those few who have in the past decided to walk in the path of true Christianity, Soren Kierkegaard was one of those. It is my pleasure to acknowledge him as a true fellow soldier of the Cross.
“Endless volumes have been written to show how one is to recognize what true Christianity is. This can be done in a far simpler way. Nature is acoustic. Pay attention to what the echo answers and you will know at once what is what.”
“When one preaches Christianity in such a way that the echo answers: “Glorious, profound, brilliant, articulate Christian, you should be exalted with high praise,” know that this signifies that this preaching is a base lie. Though it is not absolutely certain that he who walks with chains around his ankles is in fact a criminal (for there are many cases when the powers that be have condemned an innocent man), it is eternally certain that he who by preaching Christianity wins honor and prestige is a liar, a deceiver, who at one point or another has falsified the truth. It is simple: It is impossible to preach Christianity in truth without having to suffer for it in this world.”
“When one preaches Christianity in such a way that the echo answers, “He is mad,” or “What nonsense,” know then there are considerable elements of truth in his preaching. However, this is still not the Christianity of the New Testament. He may have hit the mark, but he does not press hard enough, especially not by the preaching of his life.”
“But when one preaches Christianity in such a way that the echo answers, “Away with that man, he does not deserve to live,” know that this is the Christianity of the New Testament. Capital punishment is the penalty for preaching Christianity as it truly is. Does Christ’s life indicate anything different? Hating oneself to love God; hating everything in which one’s life consists, everything to which human beings cling. Capital punishment is the penalty for preaching Christianity in character. Preaching less, appealing to forms of the interesting, the relevant, or the controversial, is nothing but a religious falsification.”
“The merit of “Christendom” is that the world has now become so tolerant, and has made such progress, that persecution can no longer take place. There is nothing to persecute. Oh, yes, Christianity is perfectible! And oh, how the echo answers!”
Soren Kierkegaard, Provocations, The Echo Answers, pg. 181-182