Taking on pretentious Christianity: You don't always have to be happy just because you call yourself a Christian

Nancie at More Than Conquerors has a great post up including a devotional that reflects on Jeremiah 17:17: "Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom." It really contradicts the notion that Christians are supposed to be bright, happy, sunshine, and flowers. Christians always seem to act like because they have "joy" in Christ, they are supposed to be happy-go-lucky and everything just works out for them.

How absolutely and utterly wrong.

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm.

Because I’m essentially faceless on this blog, I can be me–like it or not. I’m not your typical born-again Christian. I don’t act pretentious. If crap is going wrong in my life, I say it is and I won’t act like things are butterflies and sunshine. I cuss (sorry to those it offends!) at times when I’m angry or frustrated. This is me; I am a human with faith in Christ.

So I’m out to blast this notion of Christians always have the "joy of the Lord," meaning "I am so happy because Jesus saved me from my sins that I have to go around and smile all day." NO. "Joy of the Lord," I think, means quiet confidence in him. Knowing who he is and what he’s done for you and through all the trials of life, never letting go of that faith because you’re secure in his love for you.

No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children.

We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ.

The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

Boy, do I feel like winds and tempests are exercising my faith. And I’m not going to act like they’re not. Jesus showed the weak side of his humanity. I’m not sure why some Christians think they need to be "stronger" than Jesus.

/end ex-fundamentalist rant/

Current Mood Rating: 5.5

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6 Comments

  1. April 30, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    To add to your rant, I hated it when my fundie friends would tell me that I was going to hell because I was depressed; because a “real” Christian doesn’t fall into depression. It is a trap set by Satan.
    I say BS.

  2. Nancie said,

    May 2, 2008 at 12:29 am

    I am glad the devotional has helped you, Marissa.
    I so agree with you that :
    “Joy of the Lord,” I think, means quiet confidence in him. Knowing who he is and what he’s done for you and through all the trials of life, never letting go of that faith because you’re secure in his love for you.
    Being a Christian does not exempt us from the sufferings and pains. In fact sometimes we suffer even more because of our faith. We are sinners saved by grace and living in a fallen world. We have to contend with remaining corruptions in us, the temptations of the world and physical or mental infirmities. Some of us also suffer persecution from our family, colleagues and others due to our faith.
    But our greatest comfort is that God is with us and He is sovereignly in control. He is working all things for His glory and our good. Even out of our deepest struggles, greatest pain and darkest moments, He works grace and mercies in our life. We know more of God’s love and mercies through our sufferings. When others forsake or reject us, God will take care of us.
    Ultimately this is not our home. We are pilgrims here and one day we shall be with the Lord where there is no more sufferings and pains. Meanwhile, let us press on in His strength and grace.
    Take care! Hope you have a blessed weekends.

  3. Duane Sherry said,

    May 5, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Marissa,
    I liked the line in the movie ‘Rudy’ – where the priest says he knows two things about God – 1)There is a God, and 2)I’m not Him….
    That kinda says it all to me…..
    I thought the whole idea was to have a ‘personal’ relationship with God – as we understand Him….
    This is my thought – I have two sons….and when one of them is depressed, I don’t stop loving him….what kind of Father would stop loving a child? Ever?
    Funny how we seem to like to put God in a box….
    His love is infinite – whether we are depressed or not….
    In fact, I think He probably understands our depressed states better than someone we do….
    He’s just too big to understand….really, and we weren’t meant to understand each and everything about Him – it would take a bit of the mystery out of things….
    We are kids – that’s what we are – just kids….
    And our God (whatever our unique and very personal relationship with Him is) – it’s ours, and I gotta feeling He’s plenty big enough to love us just the way we are….
    Duane

  4. May 12, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Duane – so true, so true.

  5. Diana said,

    May 12, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    thanks for bbeing real. I swear too….good way to blow off steam and I am criticized for it. The Bible says that in the great tribulation, it will be so severe ¨”that even the elect will long for death” I wish the people who keep judging us for feeling suicidal would read that part.

  6. Ron said,

    April 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

    You can try to pretend to be holy, pretending to do all good to earn your ‘salvation’ and condemning those who sin differently from you. The fact is, without love, everything is just pretentious!


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