Happy Christians: an Oxymoron?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
I knew it would happen sooner or later. I just didnâ€™t know how. Iâ€™m going to be working on a project explicitly for Christians.
Oh, lots of other projects, too, but at least this one will be for Â Christians only. Â Iâ€™ve Â studiedÂ Â severalÂ Â religions and come Â to a number Â of surprising Â conclusions. Surprising, at least, if you come from a devout Southern Baptist background. I have a rather unique perspective of having been deeply immersed in two religions and finding an awful lot of common ground that most people donâ€™t realize. Itâ€™s funny what happens when you step away from everything you were born into for a little while and analyze it with fresh eyes instead of through the indoctrination of your environment.
What happens Â whenÂ youÂ connect direct Â with Deity and ignore structures youâ€™ve been taught?
You start to see things that didnâ€™t make sense before but they were so ingrained that you just took them as gospel…um…well…yeah, as gospel. And many of the things that Â are Â preached Â and Â are Â accepted Â by Â ChristiansÂ Â as â€œGodâ€™s willâ€ are baseless (as in, no, itâ€™s not in the Bible). Half of them that I can think of are simply oral tradition passed from one generation to another. But step outside and take a good look at Christianity and look at it in con- text of other religions, philosophies, and science, and suddenly you see the true meaning behind certain myths, stories, sermons, etc, that are so common Â in your rhetoric that you didnâ€™t even realize what they were.
The premise for this project is simple: God wants you to be happy.
I think itâ€™s important to me to do this project now because Iâ€™m so weary of Christians who hate their lives and refuse to do anything about their misery because they believe, honestly believe, that they are meant to suffer. The worse, the better. I know many who canâ€™t wait to get to Heaven because their lives on Earth are already Hell. And I Â think they like it that way. If things are bad now and they are suffering for God, then the afterlife will be that much sweeter.
I keep looking, but I canâ€™t find anywhere in the Bible where it says Â that God hates His children so much that He wants them to be miserable or that He is so disgusted by His creation that He thinks they are worthless. Â Actually, I find the opposite. And for anyone who has connected Â with Â Deity,Â Â the Â feelingÂ Â (that Â Iâ€™ve Â gotten,Â Â at least…maybe others are different) is that we are loved and this world is ours to enjoy.
But thereâ€™s the idea that if youâ€™re happy or act happy for a single Â day, Godâ€™s going to notice and take it away from you. Sort of like, â€œJesus died for you, so why are you having a good time?â€
In the past three Â weeks, Â Iâ€™ve connected Â someÂ dots, and Â now Â Iâ€™m Â applying Â what Â I seeÂ to Â allÂ religions, and Christians Â are among the Â unhappiest people Â I know. Â I wonder what the world would be like it Â that Â started to change.
(And donâ€™t even get me started on the idea of scarcity and lack Â being Â a virtue among just about every spiritual person I know.)