Ch. 8: Planned for God’s Pleasure

At this point in the book, I guess they start to deep dive into the purpose of life? Because we start out this new section with “You were planned for God’s Pleasure”

  • “God did not need to create you, but he chose to create you for his own enjoyment. You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, and his delight”
    • As someone that is cisgender, heterosexual, privileged, and abled body these comments could make someone feel very happy they are needed and wanted. But how do these things reflect those that were born with physical and mental disabilities, or LGBTQ? Did God create those children for his enjoyment? So that other people can laugh at them? So the church can turn their back and tell them they’re going to hell for liking the opposite gender? What kind of enjoyment does God see in children with disabilities? I fully understand that those who live under these circumstances everyday are very strong and are doing things that none of us are capable. But to reduce this and say that God, create it for him to be delighted at their pain or struggles? That sounds kind of morbid. Religion is suited for those that re privileged, cisgendered, and heterosexual.
  • “Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of your life. When you fully understand this truth, you will never again have a problem with feeling insignificant. It proves your worth.”
    • Having a problem with feeling insignificant doesn’t have anything to do with religion. That’s like saying, feeling insignificant in a romantic relationship is because of your significant other. No girl. You need to learn to love yourself before you can love others. You need to learn to live your own life before you begin putting yourself in other’s lives. You need to learn to think for yourself before you start taking in religion. Your purpose in your life has everything to do with what you fill it with: good things, good people, and good choices. I don’t need God to tell me that I’m only worth something if I trust him. I’ve lived 25years on this Earth and through my relationships with friends and family, I’ve discovered my worth without God. I’m happy to announce that I don’t need assistance or a crutch (religion) to tell me I’m worth something. Because I built it up myself and no one can tell me otherwise (except myself).
  • “He wired you with five senses and emotions so you can experience it. He wants you to enjoy life, not just endure it”.
    • What about kids that were born with Autism? What about those people that lack social skills and cannot read people’s emotions.
  • “Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fibre of our being – an inbuilt need to connect with God”
  • *insert definition of Worship* The author is basically saying some people’s definition of worship is wrong. 
  • “Worship has nothing to do with the style of volume or speed of a song. God loves all kinds of music because he invested it all – fast and slow, loud and soft, old and new. You probably don’t like it all, but God does!”
  • “Worship is not for your benefit. As a pastor, I receive notes that say, “I loved the worship today. I got a lot out of it” This is another misconception about worship. It isn’t for our benefit! We worship for God’s benefit. When we worship, our goal is to bring pleasure to God, not ourselves”
    • This is another problem I have with religion. That “nothing is yours” and that “you have no purpose unless it’s God’s purpose”. I feel sorry for the person that went up to him to tell him how much the worship meant, only to be quoted by him and tell him that IT’S NOT ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Why can’t people with their own meanings, and hold on to these things dear to them?
  •  “Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence”
    • Did I not just talk about this in the first few days of this journey in Ch.3? That religion was created to support capitalism? 
    • “This is why religion exists to create drive. Capitalism”
      • Marx and his colleague Friedrich Engelswitnessed and responded to the growth of what he called “surplus value“. Marx’s view of capitalism saw rich capitalists getting richer and their workers getting poorer (the gap, the exploitation, was the “surplus value”). Not only were workers getting exploited, but in the process they were being further detached from the products they helped create. By simply selling their work for wages, “workers simultaneously lose connection with the object of labor and become objects themselves. Workers are devalued to the level of a commodity – a thing…” (Ibid 125) From this objectificationcomes alienation. The common worker is led to believe that he or she is a replaceable tool, and is alienated to the point of extreme discontent. Here, in Marx’s eyes, religion enters. Capitalism utilizes our tendency towards religion as a tool or ideological state apparatus to justify this alienation. Christianity teaches that those who gather up riches and power in this life will almost certainly not be rewarded in the next (“it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle…”) while those who suffer oppression and poverty in this life, while cultivating their spiritual wealth, will be rewarded in the Kingdom of God. Hence Marx’s famous line – “religion is the opium of the people“, as it soothes them and dulls their senses to the pain of oppression. Some scholars have recently noted that this is a contradictory (or dialectical) metaphor, referring to religion as both an expression of suffering and a protest against suffering.[5]

Ch. 7: The Reason for Everything

I’m thinking “God’s Trials” and life of tests again. Here’s why:

Today I decided I was going to go to the art gallery to check out one of the exhibits (it was great by the way). I got the the park and ride and it took about 10 minutes of circling before I found a spot. It was a little far, but that’s okay. I got a spot. I walked to the elevator and took it down to the level I needed to go to and soon realized I forgot my parking change in the car. So. I took the elevator back up, and walked to my car and grabbed the change. Great. Let’s get moving. I took the elevator down again, and once I stepped out. I realized. I also forgot my wallet. Annoyed, I complained to my friends. Jokingly I asked them. “Was this God’s plan!? Is this my trial?!”

While I was joking I realized. It’s so much easier to blame God for his plan than to admit that maybe I messed up. Why is that? This epiphany can be interpreted in two ways of course. (Before I continue, I would like to add that I recognize forgetting my wallet and forgetting my parking change is a very small situation that cannot be compared to the other more important scenarios that may occur). One view would be from the view of religion (I think?!), and it’s to accept God’s plan and not to blame him? But the second is what I seem to be a little more aligned with. Just…take responsibility that you messed up? I could convince myself that God planned for me to head up to my car the first time in hopes that I would remember my parking change and wallet, and then I failed him because I had to head up a second time anyways. Or I could blame myself, take the responsibility, and learn the lesson that maybe I should think carefully about what I need before I leave my car. Maybe people enjoy the comfort of believing that someone is looking over them, that their life is part of a bigger plan, that their path was pre-determined. I’m okay with believing I messed up.

I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t believe that God is out to test me, and puts me through these “trials” so that I can learn. It is ludicrous to believe that the bad things which happen in your life are a result of God and his plan. However, it is important to realize that you are also not the cause of all the bad things that happen in your life. In the specific scenario of my parking change and wallet, clearly it is my fault. I forgot. It’s important to note that if we’re talking about an abusive relationship (and you’re on the receiving end of the abuse), there is nothing you can be responsible for. You don’t deserve it. It wasn’t your fault. There was no “plan”. It was the bad actions of a single person.

The title of this chapter is “The Reason for Everything”. Please don’t tell me it’s “God’s Plan”

  • “The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God”
    • I believe Buddha doesn’t need us to do that….Buddha seems more chilled. Good things don’t need to be boasted? lol
  • “God made it all for his glory”
    • So wait, he’s a show off?
  • “Everything created by God reflects his glory in some way. We see it everywhere, from the smallest microscopic form of life to the vast Milky Way, from sunsets and stars to storms and seasons. Creation reveals our Creator’s glory. In nature we learn that God is powerful, that he enjoys variety, loves beauty, is organized, and is wise and creative”
    • So God likes nature and he created it. Did he create the animals so that they would become endangered? Or was it because the humans have sinned with pollution. Because, surely that’s part of his plan right!? God’s plan. One day he said no more White Rhinos and that’s it.  What about all the nuclear accidents, and all the mutated fish and plants. Did God’s glory reflect that? What about Global warming. If he created the Earth in his glory, and Global warming is happening……does that mean God planned for all of us to die in about 50 years?! Is this the…..RAPTURE?! If God created the Earth with Global warming, I’m not too sure about his design… Sounds like we’re headed the say direction as the dinosaurs.
  • “We cannot add anything to this glory, just as it would be impossible for us to make the sun shine brighter. But we are commanded to recognize his glory, honor his glory, declare his glory, praise his glory, reflect his glory, and live for his glory. Why? Because God deserves it!”
    • I don’t know about you. But I feel like we should spend some more time recognizing, honoring, declaring, praising, reflecting, and living for your friends and family more (especially your mom). I guess it’s because I’ve never seen what God has done for me, but my mom deserves more recognition for raising, feeding and putting up with me, over someone who is just sitting up there and declaring they created everything and that they planned everything for me. Well then what proof or evidence can you show me that he deserves this? Of course, most people would say God doesn’t need to show you what he has done for you. But here is what I know. I know that my mom carried me for 10 months, birthed me, bathed me, fed me, educated me, this is her proof. If he planned for me to go through trials and suffer, then what proof is there that he raised me to who I am today? For all I know. God put me on this planet knowing that I would be agnostic, I was never in his light and I’ve been fine. My mom did a great job of raising me, she taught me all I needed to know. She deserves glory. And I don’t do enough.
  • “In the entire universe, only two of God’s creations fail to bring glory to him: fallen angels (demons) and us (people). All sin, at its root, is failing to give God glory. It is loving anything else more than God”
    • I only love my bed and my mom, I’m sorry. #Drake. HAHAHA. But seriously, this is one of my issues with religion. I don’t like to believe that I was born on to this earth already wrong. I’ve done nothing wrong in my life from birth, and if doing that doesn’t being God “glory” then shit. I’m sorry. If I make a mistake I will pay for it myself but I was not born sinned. Seriously though, I love my friends and family more because I don’t want to wait until it’s too late. God will always be there, my friends and family won’t. Ain’t nobody got time for this.
  • “None of us have given God the full glory he deserves from our lives. This is the worst sin and the biggest mistake we can make.”
    • Neither have we given it to our moms. Let’s replace the word God with Mom. “None of us have given Mom the full glory she deserves from our lives”. Spend more time with Mom instead.
  • “Birds bring glory to God by flying, chirping, nesting, and doing other bird-like activities that God intended. Even the lowly ant brings glory to God when it fulfills the purpose it was created for. God made ants to be ants, and he made you to be you. St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive!”
    • So I’m put on this earth to do human things. So why can’t we have sex? It’s a human thing to do no? What about those that are part of the LGBTQ community? Loving is another human is a human thing to do, no? So clearly there are exceptions. God wouldn’t put these qualities in humans if it wasn’t intended to be used? Otherwise why would be put them in us? After all, doing human things and fulfilling the purpose I was created will bring God glory. Clearly, there are exceptions and not EVERYTHING that are innate in us will bring God glory. Stop this bullshit.
  • “We bring God glory by worshipping him […] God wants our worship to be motivated by love, thanksgiving, and delight, not duty. […] Worship is far more than praising, singing, and praying to God. Worship is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be used for his purpose.”
    • I understand this. If you love something spend more time with it sure. But the question here is that, although it’s not supposed to be duty. How do you suggest those kids that were “born” into religion? Those kids that didn’t want to go, but their parents dragged them along because they have to? Wouldn’t that be against the child’s choice? Isn’t that a duty? But I guess this was God’s plan? How do you explain to these kids that it’s a lifestyle? Also wait. How come the word “Worship” can also be replaced with the words sex? “Sex is far more than praising, singing, and praying” “Sex is a lifestyle of enjoying God, loving him, and giving ourselves to be use for his purpose”
  • We bring God glory by loving other believers. […] Following Christ is not just a matter of believing; it also includes belonging and learning to love the family of God […] It is your responsibility to learn how to love as God does, because God is love, and it honors him”
    • Only other believers? Well shit. I guess I don’t deserve any love. Bye. Or maybe I’m the middle child of this family. But wait. If we’re supposed to love other believers, are we also supposed to love the people of the Westboro Baptist Church? Wait. God’s love honors himself? So, are you saying that we shouldn’t love LGBTQ people?! Well that’s rude. So if God is love, why does God get to pick who he loves? Isn’t love blind? Is God blind? I guess not, since he’s choosing.
  • “We bring God glory by becoming like Christ. […] Spiritual maturity is becoming like Jesus in the way we think, feel and act. […] Now, for the rest of your life on earth, God wants to continue the process of changing your character”
    • Is becoming like Jesus meaning that I need to sacrifice my life for things I love? Because if that’s the case I’m pretty sure I already sacrificed about 30% of my life to my fucking degree. Pretty sure I sacrificed enough, am I like Jesus yet? Okay if God knew what he was doing and created me and put me on this earth, then why am I still changing my character? Am I a flaw in his design? Am I error?! Am I waiting for the next patch or the next update? I’m not
  • “We bring God glory by serving others with our gifts. Each of us was uniquely designed by God with talents, gifts, skills and abilities. The way you’re “wired” is not an accident. God didn’t give you your abilities for selfish purposes. They were given to benefit others, just as others were given abilities for your benefit.”
    • My talent, gifts, skills, and abilities were developed from years of hard work. While it is true that I do these things to bring happiness to my friends, I don’t do it for the glory of God. I do it to make my friends happy because it’s the human and the right thing to do. In the end it’s still not a selfish reason, it’s just not for God. Why did God create me if I wasn’t going to be perfect? What’s the point?
  • “We bring God glory by telling others about him. […] God doesn’t want his love and purposes kept a secret. Once we know the truth, he expects us to share it with others”
    • While I respect people sharing the word of God. That is not the case for many of the different branches out there. It usually gets shoved down our throats or knocks on the door. There also come the issue where sharing the word of God becomes shaming people. I’ve recently experienced the shame of not believing. That I need to be part of the lie to protect someone else’s feelings. Why must I be hidden instead of proudly declaring that I am not religious and for people to open their arms to me?
  • “Jesus stood at a fork in the road. Would he fulfill his purpose and bring glory to God, or would he shrink back and live a comfortable, self-centred life? You face the same choice. Will you live for your own goals, comfort, and pleasure or will you live the rest of your life of God’s glory, knowing that he has promised eternal reward?”
    • First, why are our decisions motivated by the reward at the end of the road? Second, isn’t this similar to the scenario of choosing a major at University? Will you go to UBC and please your Chinese parents, or will you go to SFU and study what you actually want? Will you choose one that satisfies your parents and bring them glory, or will you go to one that allows you to study what you want and live a happy life? I argue that at the end of the day, you are the one that needs to live with your decision. You need to do what you need to do in order to get through the day. And if that means making a choice that is a little selfish, then you do that.
  • “Right now, God is inviting you to live for his glory by fulfilling the purpose he made you for. It’s really the only way to live. Everything else is just existing. Real life begins by committing yourself completely to Jesus Christ. If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe.”
    • I’m still confused at the reason why God wants me to love him so much if he “wired” be into being an Agnostic Atheist? And then there’s also the other side where I’m supposed to accept this life with God, but then at the same time it’s the only way to live, so is it really an invitation or is it a demand? How does someone receive and believe something without some level of critical argument? Can I pursued anyone to just believe in unicorns or the Flying Spaghetti Monster and tell them to receive and believe?
  • “First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purpose. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever.
    • I believe that I’m not an accident, and that I was made to last forever, but i don’t believe that this happens because of God. I believe it’s because I make good choices without the assistance of God (as I make choices on my own free will, although God “knows” everything) Why can’t you just believe that you have agency and that you can live a happy life without God? Why can’t you believe!?
  • “Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins.”
    • I have done nothing wrong, and I don’t need forgiveness. Also I can forgive myself for the things that I have done wrong. I will only received Jesus as something to consider on the side, because after all, I live my own life and I will choose my own path.
  • “First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purpose. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever.
    • No 🙂
  • If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the Family of God!”
    • Lol woops.

Point to Ponder: It’s all for him.

No thanks. I would actually like to live my life for my friends and family, and spend my time honouring them and giving them glory. They were they ones that raised me, supported me and came to my life in times of trouble. If I can live the last 25 years without the guidance of God I think I can do so for the next 50 years, thank you very much. My life is for my Family, Friends, and Cats.

I’ll be your child if you insist
I mean if it was you that made my body
You probably shouldn’t have made me atheist