Disagree

Houston, we've got a problem.

I'm starting to realize that I fundamentally disagree with Christianity on some key points of life... (or maybe it's just SDA?)

That's... not conducive to adopting a Christian worldview, now is it? Or maybe I just need to work with what I know to be true and not worry about it... God and I will sort it out together, whatever it turns out to be.

My latest status update on fb (from Eat, Pray, Love, which is ten zillion-ka-trillion times more wonderful and enlightening than the movie! Everything that I didn't like about the movie wasn't actually what happened, and everything that I loved was amplified a thousand times. Good stuff.):

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings." {Elizabeth Gilbert}"

Replies?

"Funny, happiness to me doesn't come from anything I can do...except maybe reach out and hold Jesus hand while we walk together!"

"If happiness, contentment and peace of mind are one in the same, then I have to agree with SJ, the world nor I can manifest it, nor can the world take it away. These blessings are given to me by my choosing to abide with Jesus. Hay! I bet you could write a song with that thought: "The world can't give it and the world can't take it away"."

Hmm. Sorry. Disagree.

And why? Because happiness, contentment, and peace of mind aren't things that I found much of in Christianity except in short bursts. (Have you seen my blog posts from the past?!) It hasn't been until I have fought for my own happiness, been kind to myself, and, yes, insisted upon my happiness, that I am finding any kind of lasting happiness/contentment/peace of mind. (See last blog post.) Much of my happiness is generated from within me.

I guess this kind of hearkens back to my theory developed earlier this year... the one about how God works in the world and changes people's lives... I think a lot of it is people. It's us. I really don't think the "supernatural" work of God changing the world or changing people's lives/minds/hearts is terribly  supernatural at all. Maybe I'm just more aware of and intentional about the changes going on within me, but I think that much of the work is us, and we just ascribe it to God. I mean, it is God, but it's us. 

I guess what bothers me about the mindset of my two friends it that it just seems so damn passive. Like, "just hold on to Jesus' hand and you'll be fine." Well, first of all, Jesus' hands are metaphorical, so that's ridiculously hard. Secondly, if I had just sat around and waited for God to change me, I'd still be stuck in the depression that God didn't heal me from. I'm healing myself of depression. I am participating relentlessly in the manifestation of my own blessings, and I think that's the way it's supposed to be.

God didn't make us free moral agents for us to sit on our butts and wait for him to do everything for us, I think... even when it comes to something as "trivial" as happiness.

(But do I dare disagree on facebook? Hah! Hardly.)

2 thoughts:

  • Jolene | November 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Although I get their point, I must admit that I don't fully agree with them either. I question the last line of the quote, but in it's entirety, it's fairly accurate. I think they're confusing peace with happiness. People get the notion that when you follow Jesus and give everything to Him, you'll be happy. But that's not the case.

    Por ejemplo:
    When/if my father is to die, I will not be happy. Even if I "have my hand in Jesus'" I will not be happy. Period. I might find some peace of mind, yes. But happiness is a conscious choice you make. Sure, God could help you with that, but you must make an effort. Happiness is not passive, neither is it determined by our outward circumstances. It's a state of mind.

    I think the problem lies in people looking for happiness in the wrong places (like traveling the world to find happiness). Thus, their quick response to correct it.

  • Invictus | November 4, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Thank you! I think you put it more eloquently than I did. I agree with what you said, especially the second paragraph.

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