Jesus Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life?
Last week I was in Calgary and I saw some a group of people feeding homeless persons by the street as I was stopped at a red light. They had a table set up on the sidewalk by city hall, and they were handing out sandwiches and bowls of soup to people who were clearly living on the streets.
What was strange to me however is that one of the persons feeding the homeless people was wearing a shirt that read
Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life
Really? I wonder what the homeless persons in line thought of Jesus’ “plan” for their life? Individualism mixed with a little determinism does not a good philosophy make.
Alzheimer’s: Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!
Rape: Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!
Young child with cancer: Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!
There are probably few ideas worse in Christianity than the idea of the ‘chess-master’ God planning and coordinating every event in your life. It might work as an explanation for certain anecdotal situations, but it fails miserably when trying to consider the broad range of human experiences through history.
What I found even more strange is that it does require a certain amount of sympathy and empathy to meet people where they are at and help them out a little*, but the determinism on display in the guy’s shirt is actually anti-empathy.
Ideas such as “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life” or “He’s the God who has orchestrated every event in your life” or “On some level everyone gets what they deserve” are not only ignorant but are terribly insensitive. Bad things happen to undeserving people. Understanding this simple concept breeds compassion, empathy, and sympathy: these are the hallmarks of a high-functioning social human being.
Individualism mixed with determinism does not a good philosophy make, and ultimately has little explanatory power for the broad range of human experiences.
* However, for some people this could also be a religious ‘requirement’ because mad ‘sheep and goats’ Jesus will throw you into the lake of fire if you do not visit prisoners and feed the poor