Becoming a Christian means giving up bodily pleasures for spiritual pleasures, right? Wrong.
In fact, according to Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon "The Pleasantness of Religion," Christianity increases pleasure through our bodily senses. He explains how in eight ways.
1. By encouraging gratification of our senses
Some people feel guilty about pleasure derived through bodily senses. Whether it's hearing beautiful music, or tasting a quality steak, or in physical intimacy in marriage, when they feel pleasure in these things, they immediately feel guilty, draining away any momentary joy.
Edwards says that through true religion we can put away our unnecessary scruples and seek, embrace, and enjoy the pleasure that God gives through the senses. Edwards writes:
God has given us of his redundant bounty many things for the delight of our senses, for our pleasure and gratification. Religion is not a thing that makes these things useless to us, nor does it cut us off from the enjoyment of them.
He says that as God has given us five wonderful senses, and "has made much provision for their gratification," therefore true Christianity "allows us to take the full comfort of our meat and drink, all reasonable pleasures that are to be enjoyed in conversation or recreation."
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]