When we do not remember the importance of good examples

It is common that, when generations pass, some teachings get in the way. The comfort that the present brings us makes us forget how our society was formed and how expensive that process would have been. However, there is the primary path to fall. It may be slow and invisible to our eyes, especially when we recall this quote from Augustine regarding justice:
"Is justice unequal and changeable? No. The times she presides over are that they do not occur at all, for they are times. And men - whose life on earth is brief - do not know how to harmonize by reasoning the reasons of times past and other peoples, because of them they had no direct knowledge. But they can easily verify by their own experience, in the same body, on the same day and in the same house what is appropriate for such member, such circumstances, such place or such persons. In the first case, they are scandalized, but in the second they are satisfied." Confessions

An example that is rich in misinterpretations is the so-called eighteenth-century Enlightenment period. For many people, as the moment when the man tried to "get away from God and religious influence over the citizen", even if, in his productive majority, he did play this didactic, an addition must be made: it would be this movement something that just came out of nowhere, just as the atheistic theories come out of nowhere?

It is understandable that, because they had forgotten the liberty that the Protestant Reformation provided to society in general, Augustine's placement would be the best explanation for theories that said that religion and Christianity itself was no longer essential for man, even that Christianity has provided years of technological and philosophical advances. Two hundred years is a considerable period of forgetfulness of all that had been planned, and which, being in a comfortable condition, would simply be plausible (and in some ways detestable) to leave certain meanings lost.

The point I want to make is the context: would not the contemporary church of the Enlightenment itself be blamed for its emergence? Let us look closely at Kierkegaard. The Danish philosopher is known not only as the creator of the concept of existentialism but for criticizing the way the church in Denmark practiced Christianity. Of Lutheran origin, the church hardly remembered the one who had freed himself from the blackmail of the salvation of the Catholic Church (indulgences) of Luther's time, and seemed to be in the same sense, annihilating the existence of the individual in a kind of theological determinism. which happens to have no participation by man, is given to external events attributed to God). The Danish philosopher uses the history of Abraham's faith to illustrate that we would have to have a more active role in Christianity, never centralizing, giving the state the decisions that fit the individual.

This criticism springs up in our day when we see that some Christians want the state to say what we should do. This, for example, gave way to what happened in Nazi Germany under Hitler. When we open the hands of our intellectual freedom, we give permission to the other extreme that was observed after the Reformation: when we know that salvation is not strictly by works, therefore, we also exempt ourselves from any individual responsibility. So the tendency is that if we are not now slaves of the merit delegated by a worldly authority, we are slaves of silence and obedience, equally delegated by someone superior.

Both extremes are terrible and promote the enslavement of our decisions, either by the fault of the duty to fulfill or by the lack of having what to fulfill. Hitler promoted National Socialism as a saving formula, where the large and controlling state would give the German citizen everything he needed, making all the fruits of the people's work not their own merits but a benefit of one "elected nation". The church, for the most part, approved the attitude, since the German identity was its national church (Jews were wealthy entrepreneurs and bankers, for example). Bonhoeffer, an opposing theologian, said: "Jesus Christ, and not man or state, is our only Savior." His explicit opposition from the church itself condemned him to hanging in 1945.

All these examples have something in common: forgetting. At some point before the extreme, we were quiet, free from the duty to keep everything well. It is from this moment that we must not forget. We must cling to the familiar example in Christianity, that everything we say reflects in a hereditary way. Good examples should not only be followed but, above all, remembered.

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