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]

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