If we go as missionaries to foreign cultures, or even to people in our own lands, and wish to force upon them the worship of Jesus within a religious denomination, we will not be understood since the knowledge of these people extends far beyond what is brought to them by this or that missionary. I should like to know, for example, what a Turk would say if a modern Protestant pastor should try to convey to him his conception of Christ. This conception as it is dealt with by modern Protestant pastors holds that there was once a Socrates, and then one who was somewhat more than Socrates, the Christ, the human being, the special human being, but still the human being — or any of those confused things that are said today in modern Protestantism about Christ. The Turk would say to him, “What! You tell me such a thing and you wish to be called a Christian? Just read the nineteenth chapter of the Koran; much more is contained in it about the Christ than what you are telling me!” In other words, the Turks know a great deal more concerning Christ Jesus than what the modern Protestant pastors are prone to present because the Koran contains more about Him and Christ is represented much more as the Divinity in the Turkish confession than in that of the modern Protestant. This is simply not realized because nowadays people do not often go so far as really to read the original religious documents; rather, they utter much superficial nonsense regarding all possible religions.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 172 – The Karma of Vocation – Dornach, 27th November 1916
Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D. The final revision was prepared by Peter Mollenhauer.
Previously posted on February 22, 2015