...[D]id the religion of Jesus owe anything to human nature? It is sometimes said that it commends itself to human nature. It is false: the religion of Jesus opposes unrenewed human nature. In Christ’s day revenge was one of the most glorious things known; it was sung of, it was preached upon, it was the joy of men; and what religion but Christianity ever taught men never to retaliate? Christ said, “Love your enemies, and pray for them that despitefully use you.” Is this in human nature?
Is there anything in the commands of Christ that at all flatters pride or conciliates lust? He judges our thoughts as well as our actions. “He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Is that agreeable to human nature? Does that run in the same vein as our passions, think you? Mahomet prospered because his religion pandered to human weakness; but there is in the religion of Christ no yielding to what are called the natural passions, no providing for sensual desires. “Take up,” saith he, “not thy scimitar but thy cross.” He says not, “Increase thine harem.” No, but “Crucify the flesh.”
Is there any glorification of human intellect in the religion of Jesus? Is not its invariable command, “Believe, and live.” If Christianity spreads, it spreads in opposition to human nature, by changing human nature, by making it what it never was and never could have been, had not the incorruptible truth of God been planted in it like “a root in a dry ground.”
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Root Out Of A Dry Ground," delivered October 13, 1872. Image by shioshvili on Flickr under Creative Commons License.