In the mid 1800’s Søren Kierkegaard wrote about the invention of Christian scholarship to distract Christians from imitating the way, the truth and the life of Christ. In recent years, I have realized that we can easily apply Soren’s candid and accurate observations about Christian scholarship to just about everything under the sun, especially when it comes to health and wellness.
The truth is that the mass majority of us refuse to do the basics. From loving our neighbor to drinking water, we had rather find something-anything to keep us from these mundane and simple ways that cannot be used as a means to our self-glorifying ends. In fact, we deny the most basic truth’s purpose, place and power, and we replace them with ridiculous amounts of information, programs, products, advice, opinions and experts. It is quite amazing the leap of faith that we constantly take to follow baseless claims, flawed research and failed systems of word and deed
We blindly skip the ordinary, the simple steps and practicing the basics because we have forgotten that these things are what matter. The imitation, the participation and the practice of the most fundamental truths are what would make a world of difference if we would just do them each and every day.
Think about it…why do we constantly search for more and more information, hacks, tips, superfoods, weight loss pills and fat loss procedures but we refuse to do the most basic things our bodies need to function the way they are naturally designed.
No, we do not eat fruits, vegetables or fiber. Neither do we drink enough water, get enough sleep, walk correctly, get out in the sun or take the time to simply Breathe, Listen, Ask Look and Move to nourish our spirits, hearts, minds or bodies with quiet, stillness and solitude.
But…we waste an unbelievable amount of time, energy and money on useless diet information, programs and products, as we desperately try to piece together some ridiculous formula to get the result that only basic truths can actually give.
And what have been the results of this type of thinking?
-88% of Americans have some form of diet-related and sickness
-74% of Americans are overweight or obese
-we have shortened life expectancy
-epidemics of addiction, depression and anxiety
Even worse, we have not only forgotten how to love and take care of our very own bodies, but we have curated a consumer lifestyle that distracts us from doing the simplest things that would take the greatest care of our whole person, and in the process our “curated” lifestyles have destroyed life.
Now we stand in the midst of sickness and disease, and we deny our own physical condition. We have grown ignorant to the truth that who we are and how we love ourselves both determines and is reflected in everyone and everything around us. We are living proof that when we are controlled by our appetites, then we are destroyed by them.
More than ever, I believe that physical health starts with truth, and I believe that spiritual, emotional, mental and relational health start with truth. Consequently, this has led to me to the following Kierkegaardian observation
Unless and until, we are willing to tell the truth about our true condition and how we feel, why we do what we do and the ways we have continued to sabotage our very own selves, then we don’t have a snowballs chance to remember who we are or live how we are naturally designed as healthy, whole, holy or human beings.
In religion, we have created Christian scholarship to avoid truth and it seems that every other industry followed suit and they have used the same thinking to produce massive amounts of conflicting information to distract, deflect and deny the most basic truths that we desperately need to be and become our best selves.
Seriously….What in the world would happen if we remembered who we were and how we are naturally designed to be healthy, whole, holy and human, and that knowledge led us to the daily individual and communal practice of strengthening our health? What would happen to all the businesses that need us to be unhealthy to be very profitable? Take a read and listen to Søren Kierkegaard and have the courage to ask yourself where are you avoiding the most basic truths about your spirit, heart, mind and body? Where have you refused to do the most simple and basic things?
“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in this world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.
I open the New Testament and read: ‘If you want to be perfect, then sell all your goods and give to the poor and come follow me.’ Good God, if we were to actually do this, all the capitalists, the officeholders, and the entrepreneurs, the whole society in fact, would be almost beggars! We would be sunk if it were not for Christian scholarship! Praise be to everyone who works to consolidate the reputation of Christian scholarship, which helps to restrain the New Testament, this confounded book which would one, two, three, run us all down if it got loose (that is, if Christian scholarship did not restrain it).” -From Kierkegaard’s Journals