Biblical Refutation of Christian Hedonism

Jared Tee, a graduate of Faith Baptist Bible College, has written an excellent Biblical refutation of Christian Hedonism. Recently, Jared has taken to writing Christ-centered material with a passion for church going people. He desires to see believers come together and practice Christ-centered living according to how the Bible teaches. Jared, along with his wife, Krista, reside in Terre Haute, Indiana.


Jared writes: For a while now, I have been pondering the hedonistic approach to Christianity. A strong proponent of this ideology is John Piper. He teaches and preaches that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”…

In Christian Hedonism (as defined by John Piper himself) the pursuit of pleasure and ultimate joy in life is to be satisfied in God. Only when a believer is satisfied in God will God be glorified. Though controversial, the term “Christian Hedonism,” has become more predominant of late.

Mr. Piper has exerted some effort in taking a thoroughly humanistic term from ethics and philosophy and flipped it on its side to make it fit in a Christian worldview. However, as I considered the practical applications of this ideology, I could not help but see it as wholly revolved around a humanistic outlook on Christian living.

As a Christian Hedonist, the goal for life is to receive spiritual pleasure by serving God. I submit to you that there is a certain amount of joy experienced by serving God. But there are two different end results here. A Christian Hedonist would serve God for the purpose of having joy, or experiencing pleasure. To them, this fulfills God’s plan for their life and ultimately glorifies Him. A Christian non-Hedonist serves God out of obedience regardless of any joy or spiritual pleasure experienced along the way.

Furthermore, Christian Hedonism is in direct violation of the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). When a person accepts Christ as their personal Savior, they embark on this business venture whereby God receives glory and the believer receives spiritual pleasure. Living in Christ under the banner of Christian Hedonism is more or less giving God what he wants so that the Christian gets what they want.

Lastly, is the statement, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him,” a true statement? It sounds good and all, but I’m hung up on the word, “most”. I think this word captivates every reader. As a marketing scheme, it really is the hook that pulls a person in. Humans always want more of things. Even if we are already satisfied, we still want more. So, in this case, if there is a way that God is glorified more by what we do, then it must be true, right? Wrong. God is not necessarily glorified by our satisfaction in Him. God is glorified by our obedience to His Word and our love for our neighbor. This denotes sacrifice and sometimes heart-break. Hedonism shies away from those two things because it is contrary to a life of pleasure should be lived.

Read about the rich ruler in Luke 18:18-30.  This man asks of Jesus to explain to him how to inherit eternal life. To which Jesus replies by reminding him to keep the commandments. The one thing that this ruler missed was what Jesus tells him to do in verse 22, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven …”

Christian Hedonism is a selfish ideology that misplaces the truth of God’s Word to fit a humanistic way of life. It has attempted to fulfill the necessary joys and pleasures of a people who want to find eternity without God. To live for God and to give Him the “most” glory is to be a sacrifice. Romans 12:1-2 are clear on this. Be a living sacrifice for the Heavenly Father by renewing your mind and not conforming to this world.

To view original article.