The Myth Of Emotionalism
I started attending a Free Will Baptism church after I decided to rededicate my life to Jesus. I really wanted to know God and serve Him so I sought Him with all my heart. After I while I found out about the in-filling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. After a Bible study on the subject God filled me and it was if a light were turned on and suddenly many things in scripture made sense me.
At the time, I still attended the Baptist church and during worship I would feel to raise my hands to the Lord. My girlfriend, whose dad was a deacon, was mortified. Nobody raised their hands and that was simply not done. I wondered why and they told me that it was too emotional and showy. Everything had to be done decently and in order. However, it appeared to me that “decent and in order” just meant “twice dead and buried.” It was truly like a morgue in that church and you could hear a pin drop unless someone spoke at the pulpit.
I often hear people say that Pentecostals are too “emotional.” People deride them for displays of emotion and call it “sloppy agape.” I call this the “Myth of Emotionalism.” Really, what do these people think will happen when frail man meets infinitely awesome God? Even prophets fell down as dead men in front of the Angel of the Lord. Of course people are going to get emotional when they “feel God.” It is the most natural thing in the world.
There is a type of intense spiritual pride that enters those that think they walk straight while others veer off course. They don’t do this and don’t do that while those who claim actual experience with God seem to fall all the time. Therefore, they despise the experiences that others claim to have and thank God they are not like those sinners. In fact, many have actually formed a doctrine that states “miracles have ceased” due to the supposed completion of the New Testament. Knowing God as I do I can say that miracles have not ceased nor even slowed down.
There is a kind of emotionalism that does exist in churches who pretend something is going on when nothing is. Perhaps this is what people object to and they would rather walk with no emotion than act in such a silly way. I get that. However, let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. We can understand that “make believe” church is not good but also understand that displays of emotion when the Spirit of God is actually present is perfectly natural and should be expected.
It is written,
“Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”
I ask you, “If the church started out this way who are we to put a stop to such things?” In essence those who want to believe miracles have ceased want to do away with the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus believed that the promise of the Father was so important that He left just a short time after His resurrection. It is darkness to suggest that God is not doing supernatural things anymore and it is error to think that people will not display emotion when they encounter God in such ways. If it was good enough for the Apostles isn’t it good enough for us?
There are blind leaders of the blind telling people that God does not do this and God does not do that. I counsel you to simply stop listening to them and start listening to the Holy Spirit. We owe no allegiance to people who are not aligned with the will of His Spirit. People are always talking about being “covered” or “under” some ministry but in reality we all need to be covered by and under the authority of the Holy Spirit. I tell ministers (and they do no like this) that if they speak with the voice of my Father I will listen to what they say. However, if the do not speak with the voice of my Father I will not hear a word they say because, as His sheep, I hear His voice and another’s voice I will not follow.
In conclusion, let us not despise emotion when it is a result of a direct experience with God. Meeting God does not make us perfect but being in His presence does tend to change us. We cannot “will” ourselves to be good but we can allow the goodness of God to rub off on us if we are around Him enough. In reality, those who are stoic are not any more righteous than those who are not: they just hide it better.
Finally, it is written,
“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Luke 18: 10-14