Monday, August 15, 2011

The Paradox of Christianity

The whole of Christianity, at its heart, is paradoxical. As Christians, we believe things that seem on the surface to be nonsensical. But upon close inspection, these seeming contradictions of Christian thought are mysterious paradoxes, which are keys to understanding truths that speak to the very essence of human existence.
Christians are called to be joyful, but are also warned not to expect happiness in this life. We are given a whole host of wonderful gifts by God – but we are asked to sacrifice these good gifts if we wish to be truly happy. We are commanded to take up the yoke of Christ, for as he tells us: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt 11:30) - yet at the same time we are asked to “take up our cross” (Luke 9:23) and follow Christ – wherever He might lead.
The list of seeming contradictions in Christianity could continue indefinitely.
These paradoxes are not mere curiosities of the Faith; they are woven throughout the very fabric of Christianity. Our faith is built on the giant paradox of Christ. The all-powerful God proved willing to take on mortal flesh and become a human being so as to redeem us. He literally took on our sins so that we might be saved from our own frailties and folly.  
These fundamental paradoxes of Christianity are hard for our limited intellects to accept. After all, who would want to experience the pains of suffering and self-sacrifice except masochists and crazy people?
But Christian paradoxes reveal deeper wisdom. Self-sacrifice helps us to better appreciate the gifts we have been given, and suffering gives us the opportunity to strengthen our wills and to become more Christlike.
But the deeper wisdom of Christian paradoxes is often rejected by modern society, which laughs at and preaches against the very notion of self-sacrifice and which shudders at the mere mention of suffering. The leaders of society, entrenched in positions of authority and cultural influence, are too often loath to accept the spirit of self-denial and self-giving that the Christian mindset would entail.    
It is for this reason that the supposedly learned and wise often scoff at the Church. They are comfortable – and indeed, too narrow-minded – to accept the paradoxes of Christianity which humbler and more simple men can accept. The mysteries of faith are often too deep for the minds of educated elites to comprehend, while the simple can humbly accept and embrace them, even if they do not fully understand them.
It is thus paradoxically true that: “God chose what is foolish in this world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in this world to shame the strong." (1 Cor 1:27)


  1. This is a powerful article Lightning Rod. One all Christians need to hear especially at this crucial time in history. All the powerful worldly organizations are telling us Christians that we no longer have any chance to convert the world and we would be best off resigning ourselves to the slavery they want to subject us to. We need to realize the world cannot beat us if we do all for God's cause, and continue the fight to establish God's Kingdom on Earth.

  2. The Paradoxes . The Mystery

    We are to eagerly wait.

    “I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there Is no hurt, but only more love.” Mother Teresa

    The Immeasurable one is held and does not resist!
    Struck by wicked words and foolish fists of senseless men
    the Almighty One does not defend!
    What new mystery is this?
    In overflowing emptiness!
    The invisible is seen among the shadows and the mist,
    Before my doubting eyes,
    The infinite appears in time.
    The unquestionable is questioned
    But makes no reply!

    Complex salvation is simple, and simple salvation is complex.

    My yoke is easy and burden light, but take up your cross daily.

    Great banquet and all are invited, but the road and gate are narrow.

    Possessions are fruits of an honest life and probably a happy one, but to be happier we are to give them up.


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