The theology of glory, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, is largely built on the assumption that everyone is destined for a glory road. If we just try hard enough; if we just think positively; if we believe we can – we will reach the glory road.
This trend in the Christian world is disgustingly non-Christian.
I don’t see Jesus ever rallying up the troops with a pep talk entitled: “If you think you can, you can!” Or, “How to think and grow rich.”
Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America, does a superb job of outlining how the esoteric, spiritualist, New Age, occult movements of America came into play.
This mind-power mysticism is a part, but not all, of what it means to believe in a theology of glory. However, it is interesting to note how these interact with each other. For one, mind-power mysticism (the belief that we can just think harder, try harder, believe more) is solely built on the idea we are all destined for white-picket fences, ponies, sweet cars, and prosperity. However, this is clearly not reminiscent of the theology of the cross.
I believe this mind-power mysticism, positive thinking, “marshmallow” theology is not only taking over as the dominant philosophical thinking in the world today, but is also permeating the Christian, American Church as well.
This is what causes “ultimate despair.”
Personally (and I’m going to get real personal here), I struggle every single day with the fact that my reality doesn’t match my hopes and dreams.
What I mean is, I am sad – when I know I shouldn’t be. I’m bored – when I shouldn’t be. I’m angry – when I shouldn’t be. I’m feeling down – when I shouldn’t be. I’m always thirsting for more. I’m usually hungering for more.
On my own strength, I can’t learn to quench the thirst in my soul. Knowledge doesn’t fill it. Reading doesn’t fill it. Great times with Emily doesn’t fill it. Nothing in this world ever truly fills it.
Furthermore, if I just think more positively, I don’t feel better. If I become more optimistic, I don’t find satisfaction.
The truth is, there is one and only one thing/person that could ever truly fill my soul: Jesus Christ.
Even though I’ve accepted this and believe it with everything I am, why does this not feel like a reality to me very often? Why do I struggle to feel satisfaction?
I don’t know for sure, to be honest.
What I do know is this: The answer is not found in thinking more positively or becoming more optimistic. My soul isn’t destined for some glory road. I can’t just try harder or work harder. Heck, I work hard enough!
All I can do is simply look to the cross, recognize how my story intersects with the story of Christ, and embrace it as Christ embraces me.
What do you think?