Christian Existentialism

Existentialism generally is a philosophy associated with atheism.  The majority of existentialists are atheists because the basic tenets of their belief do not comport with a God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and in charge of everything.

How can a stellar existentialist, who is steadfast in his independence, tolerate a controlling God?  How can an existentialist believe that he is making choices if everything is predestined by God?  How can a good existentialist believe that life is absurd and without meaning if there is a God?

Well, these are excellent questions, but there are logical answers for Christian existentialists like Soren Kierkegaard: (1) God gives us free choice and does not interfere with our decisions; (2) God created our universe outside our universe, since matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our closed universe;  in other words, God created, but does not control our universe; (3) nothing is predetermined in our lives since we make choices and suffer the consequences;  (4) and life is absurd without God.

So, it is possible to be a Christian existentialist.  You will not have many friends or associates who agree with you, but you can always unite and communicate with the most important entity, God.  Becoming one with God should be your primary goal in life.

The first step in being a true Christian existentialist is to reject other Christians who are not authentic.  Unfortunately, this is a high percentage of modern Christians.  Most Christians go to church for social approval and cannot discuss theology or even basic concepts supporting what they really believe.  In fact, most of them don’t believe in anything other than making appearances and looking good in the community.  Their beliefs and faith in God are only skin deep.

How do you become an authentic Christian existentialist?  Well, it will be a bit controversial, but you need to reject family, peer, and social pressures to think and act a certain way.  Then you can start meditating or focusing on what you really believe.  Let God into your heart and make Him a part of this process.  Become one with God.  Seek harmony with your freedom to make choices and be prepared to accept the consequences from poor decisions.  If God is within you, you will find peace in this process.

God will remove the anxiety and existential angst in your decision making because He will lead you.  Even though you cannot see God and even though He is not inside our visible universe, He can enter your soul as the Holy Spirit and become unified with you.  Your conscience and awareness is heightened with Him inside you.  Your choices may not be perfect, but your attempts to improve your decisions with humility will be all that matters if you fully accept responsibility as one who is imperfect.

And remember: life truly is absurd and makes no sense without God.

Why Do You Think You Are a Good Person?

Whether you are a religious person or not, most people like to think that they are a good person.  There are exceptions, most of whom populate the prison system.  But as a general rule, we like to consider ourselves as basically good.

But why do you think you are a good person?  Is it because you compare yourself with your peers and you come out looking pretty good?  Or is it because your good traits outweigh your bad traits?  Or is it just because you want to be a good person?

Late in 2014, I started a “Virtues” chart on myself.  I included topics like: Bible, reading, writing, thinking, meditating, praying, no-anger, truth telling, kindness, humility, patience, love, service, and joy.  I gave myself one point for doing something each day that fulfilled any of these categories.  The first week, I was a disaster.  The second week, I moved up a little, but it took me over a month to get out of the single digits.  I had to focus on doing these things or I failed to address them.

I started thinking:  Gee, I thought I was a pretty good person until I evaluated my actual performance.  The truth is that we all think more of ourselves than we probably should.  We have a tendency to believe that we are good people since we haven’t robbed or killed anybody recently.  The problem is that we all have a tendency to rock along with daily activities, distracted from accomplishing anything outside your work and family zones.

For example, you can lose your patience and temper at work or home without too much difficulty.  But you are so busy trying to complete your assignments at work or to run your kids from school to soccer practice, you forget that you were not as good a person as you thought.

I truly believed that I was a really great truth teller.  But when I tested myself, allowing a point only if I told the truth all day long, I failed miserably.  Without this test, we are like golfers who take “mulligans” and don’t count “wiffs” as strokes.  We think that we tell the truth because most of the time we do not lie.  But those “white lies” or stretching the truth to avoid hurting somebody’s feelings are still lies.

Another one was “no anger.”  I rarely got to check this one.  I had no idea how angry I was since I was only angry a few minutes out of a long day.  I thought I was right on target: a good person who did not get angry.  However, those short bursts of anger were sufficient to keep me from getting any points.

The last category was “joy” which is significantly more than being “happy.”  I have not achieved this goal yet.  You should know it when you reach joy, but there are just too many things in life that interfere with that ultimate connection.  I came closest when I was content with my daily activities and was turning in after a long day.  But then my wife would ask me something like, “Did you take the garbage out?” or “Did you know Johnnie got a ‘D” today?”  But there is no joy in Mudville – our mighty egos have struck out.

So, do you still think you are a good person?