Johnnie Walker
Johnnie G. Walker  |  Albany, Oregon
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Christian Hedonism
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Just listened to a sermon from John Piper on Christian Hedonism. His idea is that God's intent for us as His creatures is for our happiness. We should live in our to gain our greatest happiness; we should strive for what would bring us the greatest pleasure and happiness. This by itself is dangerous to a man with a sinful nature but Pastor Piper goes much further in his description of the Christian and happiness. The Christian is only truly happy when he glorifies God in worship and obedience. Only the Christian finds happiness and contentment in God and therefore his greatest pleasure is in pleasing his Lord and Savior. So Christian Hedonism is the pursuit of happiness in the Lord, in glorifing the Lord God in worship and obedience. The Christian is most unhappy when he is in disobedience to the Lord or if he fails to maintain a regular and consistent practice in worship.

Additionally, Pastor Piper does not consider the Christian believer as restricted to this world. The Christian should, John Piper might say must, recognize that he is not temporal but eternal. The Pagan will strive for pleasure in this life alone, but the Believer should evaluate what is most pleasurable in all of life, here and eternity. So the Christian does not have to seek materialism or wealth for real happiness but those things that will result in eternal reward. Real happiness is not temporal but found in God and so only fully fulfilled in eternity.

Now, John's idea of Christian Hedonism certainly would not hold up to great philosophical scrutiny and it is tricky in a theological sense but it is of great personal profit. It inspires one to reflect on those things that "bring the greatest pleasure", that is what results in the greatest happiness. First, do I really find my joy and happiness in God? Am I happy because it is an act of worship? Secondly, is this glorifying to God? Will I, as a True Believer, be happy precisely because I am glorifying the Lord.

Category:  Sermon Comment

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