With its invitation to all “that labor and are heavy laden” Christianity has entered the world, not.as the clergy whimperingly and falsely introduce it.as a shining paragon of mild grounds of consolation; but as the absolute. God wills it so because of His love, but it is God who wills it, and He wills it as He wills it. He does not choose to have His nature changed by man and become a nice, that is to say, humane, God; but He chooses to change the nature of man because of His love for them. Neither does He care to hear any human impertinence concerning the why and wherefore of Christianity, and why it entered the world: it is, and is to be, the absolute. Therefore all the relative explanations which may have been ventured as to its why and wherefore are entirely beside the point.

Possibly, these explanations were suggested by a kind of human compas­sion which believes it necessary to haggle a bit.God very likely does not know the nature of man very well, His de­mands are a bit exorbitant, and therefore the clergymen just haggle and beat Him down a bit.[23] Maybe the clergy hit upon that idea in order to stand well with men and reap some advantage from preaching the gospel; for if its de­mands are reduced to the purely human, to the demands which arise in man’s heart, why, then men will of course think well of it, and of course also of the amiable preacher who knows how to make Christianity so mild.if the Apostl­es had been able to do that the world would have esteemed them highly also in their time. However, all this is the absolute. But what is it good for, then.is it not a downright torment? Why, yes, you may say so: from the stand­point of the relative, the absolute is the greatest torment. In his dull, lanquid, sluggish moments, when man is domin­ated by his sensual nature, Christianity is an absurdity to him since it is not commensurable with any definite “wherefore?” But of what use is it, then? Answer: peace! it is the absolute. And thus it must be represented; that is, in a fashion which makes it appear as an absurdity to the sensual nature of man. And therefore is it, ah, so true and, in still another sense, so true when the worldly­-wise man who is contemporaneous with Christ condemns him with the words: “he is literally nothing”­.quite true, for he is the absolute. And, being absolute, Christianity has come in the world, not as a consolation in the human sense; in fact, quite on the contrary, it is ever reminding one how the Christian must suffer in order to become, or to remain, a Christian.sufferings which he may, if you please, escape by not electing to be a Christian.

There is, indeed, an unbridgeable gulf fixed between God and man. It therefore became plain to those contemporary with Christ that the process of becoming a Christian (that is, being changed into the likeness of God) is, in a human sense, a greater torment and wretchedness and pain than the greatest conceivable human suffering, and moreover a crime in the eyes of one’s contemporaries. And thus will it always be; that is, if becoming a Christian in reality means becoming contemporaneous with Christ. And if becoming a Christian does not have that meaning, then all your chatter about becoming a Christian is a vanity, a delusion and a snare, and likewise a blasphemy and a sin against the Holy Ghost.