Nietzsche, Chesterton, and Christians

Today, we offer some constructive criticism to those self identifying as Christians.

G K Chesterton (died 1936) lamented that “Christianity had been found difficult and was left untried.”

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), 130 years ago, claimed that Christians lived their lives no differently than pagans.

There is a lesson here.




Christians to be taken seriously in the world, in the marketplace of ideas, need to live their faith.  To live as a Christian, an authentic Christian, requires more than a couple of hours each week in worship and fellowship.  Authentic Christian living requires more than simply reading a Bible verse each day and repeating the mantra “I accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior”.

The problem for Christians in the US is that the majority of them have accepted Paul’s teaching that they are saved through faith alone.  Yet, we do not call ourselves Paulists, but rather claim to be Christians.  Go back to the Gospels.  Christ’s ministry was a public one.  He was out among the people.  Christ was not a solitary sage or hermit living in a remote cave or deep in a forest.  He was active among the people.  Christ’s example is that one’s faith must be put into action.  Moral living and loving acts are important for salvation.

Christians can go along with this nonsense that faith alone is sufficient for personal salvation.  Yet, consider some examples of such Christians.  There are “Jesus Saves” bumper stickers on some of the cars at the local abortion mill.  (What’s up with that?!)

Go back to Christ’s words in the Gospels.  Consider His 2 commandments to love God and love your neighbor.  Love requires action and self-sacrifice.  You can tell yourself that you love God every day.  But, if you are not putting some action into that love then you are merely deceiving yourself, and proving to be a poor witness for Christ in the world.

“By their fruits, ye shall know them.”


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  1. God loves us through the hands and feet of others… So, then God loves others through our hands and feet. We need to get out there living the Christian life. At work, at home, at play: let people SEE that we’re Christian by what we do and say!

  2. There’s a lot of merit to your criticism, and I mean no disrespect. We are saved by faith alone, but you’re correct that morality is important to salvation. Our deeds don’t actually save us themselves, but they are fruits of our salvation. We do need to be mindful of our witness to the world always. Thank you for sharing this. Everyone who identifies as a Christian would benefit from a read. God bless!

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