Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Christian Positive Thinking

Michael Patton lists eight things he hates about Christianity. In the end he asks, "What about you?"

Well, I think Michael just about covers it, but I'll add one item, number nine, which I'll call "Christian positive thinking" [CPT]. That's when a Christian thinks of the positive outcome he or she is hoping for and then concludes, "I'm believing it will happen."
  • "I'm believing this rain will end and the game won't be postponed."
  • "I'm believing the tumor will just disappear."
  • "I'm believing the Sox are going to win it all this year."
You get the picture. I always want to say, "Why should I care what you're believeing, pal?" It's all about faith, these people say, and maybe they quote the late Tug McGraw: "You gotta believe!" Where do they get this notion that faith in God equates to all good things coming to you, as long as you believe! It's Jiminy Cricket Christianity, for crying out loud.

Christian Positive Thinking often includes positive thinking about oneself, emphasizing just how wonderful we are. Oh, there's usually a brief nod to the Lord and a humble admission that it was God who made us so dang awesome, but the subject of CPT is usually the wondrous self. CPT worship songs are always about how much we love God, how dedicated we are to loving people, etc.

All this is so prevalent and so unquestioned in Christian circles, but I have a brief quote from Czeslaw Milosz which may act as an antidote:
To believe you are magnificent. And gradually to discover that you are not magnificent. Enough labor for one human life.
[By the way, I found the Milosz quote at First Known When Lost.]


nAncY said...

good quote.

then again.
some know that they are not, yet, think that they can become.

Pallas said...

I am a huge believer of positive thinking. It has healed me emotionally, physically and spiritually.