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Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.
An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons marriage, or meat, or beer, or cinema but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.
Christianity simply does not make sense until you have faced the sort of facts I have been describing. Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need forgiveness.
If you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?
In a sense, it (Christianity) creates rather than solves the problem of pain, for pain would be no problem unless side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving.
One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans.
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
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