For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the worldâ€”that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God â€˜made up out of His headâ€™ as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens. Ninety-nine per cent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I have not seen it myself. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there must be such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so. The ordinary man believes in the Solar System, atoms, evolution, and the circulation of the blood on authorityâ€”because the scientists say so. Every historical statement in the world is believed on authority… A man who jibbed at authority in other things as some people do in religion would have to be content to know nothing all his life. Even on the biological level life is not like a river but like a tree. It does not move towards unity but away from it and the creatures grow further apart as they increase in perfection. Good, as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good. A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can to some extent repair itself. In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumbleâ€”because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out.
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