Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

So, let's not fall off the horse on the other side.

Is the average evangelical worship gathering becoming too emotion-driven in its entertainment-minded attempt at satisfying the customers? Yes.

Is it wrong to feel something at church? Scratch that: Is it wrong to want to feel something at church?

If we are actually dealing with the unlikely connection between the God of the Universe, infinitely and perfectly holy, and his creation, finite and sinful, a connection that is made in steadfast lovingkindness and perfectly redeeming grace, shouldn't that move us?

We clearly shouldn't base our worship or our comprehension of God and his salvation on our feelings. Feelings change, feelings shift, feelings ebb and flow. But there's nothing wrong with feelings, even intense feelings, in the midst of corporate worship any more than there is at any other time in the normal Christian life.

God made our emotions same as he made our brains. Emotions are good.

We shouldn't use them as a barometer of our spiritual state and our standing before God, but we shouldn't discount them as sinful or fleshly when they come.

On a related note, as a counter-warning, I must share this ironic moment from a recent Bible study. We were discussing the disappointing periods in our lives when it seems as if God is unresponsive to us -- "hiding from us," as it was described at one point. We all agreed, generally, that God doesn't really hide from us, and we all agreed, generally, that we were talking about not feeling God's presence for an extended period of time. It's like God is being silent.
And the irony was, we were discussing this with open Bibles not six inches from our noses.

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