Eliot: Christianity and...
Commemoration of Martyrs of Japan, 1597
When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!”
—Acts 8:18-20 (NIV)
What is worst of all is to advocate Christianity, not because it is true, but because it might prove useful... To justify Christianity because it provides a foundation of morality, instead of showing the necessity of Christian morality from the truth of Christianity, is a very dangerous inversion; and we may reflect that a good deal of the attention of totalitarian states has been devoted with a steadiness of purpose not always found in democracies, to providing their national life with a foundation of morality—the wrong kind, perhaps, but a good deal more of it. It is not enthusiasm, but dogma, that differentiates a Christian from a pagan society.
... T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), The Idea of a Christian Society, London: Faber, 1939, reprint, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1960, p. 46-47 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, may we never see Christianity as the way to get something else.
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