A Brit friend of mine Jason Clark is starting a new journey toward a PhD. He just finished his DMin. at George Fox University in 2006. His interest: TheoConsumerism. He wrote a post on his blog, back in June ’06, about how the narrative of a lot of folk’s lives is “Happiness,” and that God has become a consumer choice.

When I read that, a bit late I must admit, it was written in June ’06, I thought: Instead of Christian, the new cultural religion could be called “Happian,” and one could become part of “Happianity.” Just adding the little suffix “ian” to Christ makes it take on the meaning: “Of, relating to, or resembling” the main word. This may go all the way back to Antioch (Acts 11) where the populous of Antioch simply added a Latin suffix to the Greek word christos and the word Christian, in English, was born.

So today, I offer a new word, at least I can’t find in in Google, “happinity” and christen it as the official religion of the West, maybe even including the Western Church with its many “How to Be Happy in…” sermon series.

How would one become a “happian?” Well conversion would be saying the “cultural sinner’s prayer so you can go to “haven” when you die.” It might go something like this: “Dear god of happiness, I have sinned by being so unhappy in my life, so I accept “hapiness” into my life. I want to follow the disciplines of happiness and become a true “happian” and spread the gospel of “happinity” to all the sad folks I meet.”

Then and only then would you become a true “happian” spreading “happanity” to all who will listen to your story. Of course, these passages from Scripture, and I am sure others as well would have to be deleted. “They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor” and “I’d be most happy to empty my pockets, even mortgage my life, for your good.” (2 Cor. 8.1; 12.14: The Message). However, this one may fit: “All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them” (Phil. 3.2: The Message).

We could also develop “happilogy” with subsections like: MoreMoneylogy, BigHouseology (not to be confused with a prision, well maybe…), BigCarology, BigBoatology, BigChurchBuildingology, (forgot to mention to get your toes out of the way), and other “ologies” that would surely fit the “gospel of happanity.”

Of course, none of this has anything to do with Jason’ PhD. journey, or does it?


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