Happy Christians: an Oxymoron?
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
I knew it would happen sooner or later. I just didn’t know how. I’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 Christians only. I’ve studied several religions and come to a number of surprising 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 don’t realize. It’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 when you connect direct with Deity and ignore structures you’ve been taught?
You start to see things that didn’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 are preached and are accepted by Christians as “God’s will” are baseless (as in, no, it’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 in your rhetoric that you didn’t even realize what they were.
The premise for this project is simple: God wants you to be happy.
I think it’s important to me to do this project now because I’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 can’t wait to get to Heaven because their lives on Earth are already Hell. And I 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 can’t find anywhere in the Bible where it says 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. Actually, I find the opposite. And for anyone who has connected with Deity, the feeling (that I’ve gotten, at least…maybe others are different) is that we are loved and this world is ours to enjoy.
But there’s the idea that if you’re happy or act happy for a single day, God’s going to notice and take it away from you. Sort of like, “Jesus died for you, so why are you having a good time?”
In the past three weeks, I’ve connected some dots, and now I’m applying what I see to all religions, and Christians are among the unhappiest people I know. I wonder what the world would be like it that started to change.
(And don’t even get me started on the idea of scarcity and lack being a virtue among just about every spiritual person I know.)