Christian Hedonism in it's purest form
Quoting Jonathan Edwards:
- Resolution #22: 'Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.'
"This last resolution (#22) may strike us as blatantly self-centered, even dangerous, if we do not understand the deep connection in Edward's mind between the glory of th God and the happiness of Christians. The violence he hd in mind was what Jesus meant when he said in essence, "Better to gouge out your eye to kill lust and go to heaven than to make peace with sin and go to hell." (Matthew 5:29). And with regard to seeking his own happiness, keep in mind that Edwards was absolutely convinced that being happy in God was the way we glorify him. This was the reason we were created. Delighting in God was not a mere preference or option in life; it was our joyful duty and should be the single passion of our lives. Therefore, to resolve to maximize his happiness in God was to resolve to show him more glorious than all other sources of happiness. Seeking happiness in God and glorifying God were the same."
Again, quoting Edwards:
- "The godly are designed for unknown and inconceivable happiness."
- "This glory of God, therefore, [consists] in the creature's admiring and rejoicing [and] exulting in the manifestation of His beauty and excellency . . ."
"When I saw this, I knew, at last, what a wasted life would be and how to avoid it.
"God created me - and you - to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion - namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Enjoying and displaying are both crucial. If we try to display the excellence of God without joy in it, we will display a shell of hypocrisy and create scorn or legalism. But if we claim to enjoy his excellence and do not display it for others to see and admire, we deceive ourselves, because the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all people."
"We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life."
"Love is doing what is best for someone. But making self the object of our highest affections is not best for us. It is, in fact, a lethal distraction. We were made to see and savor God - and savoring him, to be supremely satisfied, and thus spread in all the world the worth of his presence."
"When we embrace Christ, we embrace God. We see and savor God's glory. There is no savoring of God's glory if we do not see it in Christ. This is the only window through which a sinner may see the face of God and not be incinerated."