Friday, June 5, 2015

The Real American Idol

Sometimes I wonder if we have all gone crazy. Take a look at the world today,  and it seems we have our priorities backwards. Slavery and the sex trafficking of minors is at an all time high,  but we are worried about Brucelyn Jenner. Millions of babies are murdered every day in abortion clinics,  but we are more concerned with same gender marriage.  Yes,  these are all issues and each one represents the depravity and the lostness of our society, but as Christians we need to make it a priority to protect those who cannot protect themselves.   Children,  infants and the unborn should be our priority. Heaven should be filled with our cries and pleas against these atrocities.

These problems and many more plague us as a society.  We have abandoned the values that once kept marriages,  families,  communities and churches strong. Instead we have given our hearts to the American idol,  not the TV show,  but the idol of happiness.  It'S the American dream right,  the pursuit of happiness?  The desire to be happy has given to a feeling of happiness. We worship this feeling so much that we have become narcissistic without even noticing. Abortion,  divorce, same sex marriage,  transgender issues, even sexual abuse comes down to our attempts to try to fill our lives with things that make us happy. The problem is that we are not happy when we get what we want. We then turn our attention to the next thing that we think will make us happy,  and the depravity spiral downwards.

The woman or man believes if they are in a relationship,  they will be happy. Once in the relationship,  they feel if they get married,  they will be happy.  In the marriage,  they believe if their spouse will just do the thing they want them to do,  they will be happy. The spouse doesn'doesn't do the things they want them to do,  and even if they do,  they still aren't satisfied. In the course,  they find someone else who they think will make them happy. They get a divorce and remarry,  thinking then they will be happy.

Somehow we have begun to think that we have the right to be happy. That we deserve to be happy That somehow we have this great value and we are owed happiness. We have a sense of entitlement that has come from worshipping the American Dream. Our pursuit of happiness has given way to the worship of happiness.
So what is the solution? I think there are several issues that we need to come to terms with.  First is the issue that suffering is bad and we should never suffer. Do you know people who have never suffered? How would you describe those people? The people I know who have never suffered are usually selfish,  self focused and often whiney. They are spoiled and haven'the learned the first thing about livingliving in community with others. We sometime ask "why do bad things happen to good people"  but people who are good people are good because they were shaped and tempered through adversity. Next,  we need to realize how emotionally driven we are as a people. Out movies,  TV,  music,  books,  all these forms of entertainment are designed to impact our emotions. We let our emotions control our thinking,  our actions and our behaviors.

It can be phrased a thousand different ways, the bottom line is we need to mature. I am hesitant to use the phrase "grow up"  but in many ways that is what is comes down too. We no longer live in a society where community is the goal. We want what we want,  when and how we want it. We do it in marriage,  in family,  community and in the church. How many churches have fights over worship styles and music? How many churches fight over personalities,  worry about "stepping on toes" and split over non-essential doctrine? How many complain about the sermon length,  the music volume and how many pastors have lost their jobs to keep people happy?

This is an epidemic,  we have become self-self-absorbed and narcissistic to the point we will walk away from church,  seek a divorce,  redefine marriage to make it fit whatever we think will make us happy,  change our gender and murder our unborn children. None of these things seem to be making us happy as a nation,  maybe it's time to suck it up and care more about our neighbors,  seek to build real community and help one another again. Maybe then we will find something better than being happy.

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