Søren Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a nineteenth century Christian writer, theologian and philosopher. He was perhaps the first writer in existential philosophy and Christian existentialism. He was a fierce critic of mainstream Christianity.
"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets."
Kierkegaard argued this effective means "beware of priests" and wrote:
- "No, [Jesus] conceives the [priestly] order as a whole and says that the order as a whole is depraved, so that the order as a whole has a depraved liking for walking in log robes, because to be a priest in the official sense is exactly the opposite of what Christ understood by being a teacher, the latter meaning [a teacher is] to suffer for the teaching, the former meaning [to walk in long robes is] to enjoy the earthly as it is refined by the glory of being God's representative."
- "Is this the same teaching, when Christ says to the rich young man, 'Sell all that thou hast, and give it to the poor'; and when the priest says, 'Sell all that thou hast and—give it to me' "
On mainstream Christianity
- "While according to the Christianity of the New Testament the Christian has all the effort, the conflict, the anguish, which is connected with doing what is required, dying from the world, hating oneself, etc., he has at the same time to suffer from the relationship of opposition to other men, which the New Testament speaks of again and again: to be hated by others, to be persecuted, to suffer for the doctrine, etc. In "Christendom" we are all Christians—therefore the relationship of opposition drops out. In this meaningless sense they have got all men made into Christians, and got everything Christian—and then (under the name of Christianity) we live a life of paganism. "