Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Emotionalism #2

"He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them." John 12:40 NASB
I have been doing a lot of thinking and searching in my mind about my last post on Emotionalism. What is happening in me is a real revelation of what the Bible actually says and how we seem to believe something it doesn't say.

There are no admonitions about "following" our emotions or the dangers of "being led by our feelings." There just simply are none. The heart is often mentioned and mentioned in connection with the mind or with results that come from the mind, as in the above quote. When we begin to discover the understanding in both the Old and New Testament regarding the word "heart," it is always the mind and the emotions involved. I have not found one place where it means only the emotions. It is both. The heart thinks, stores data, and is the motivation for speaking. Maybe I am missing something here, but I am not finding any indication that our emotions are not to be 100 percent involved in what we are doing.

We are to have hearts that are aflame with God, not hard ones (both in picture). But for some reason we, in the US anyway, have come to believe that emotional interaction in church or anywhere regarding the Lord is a lack of education or maturity. How very far from the truth this is!

We need to truly be Biblical. Let us work with Word terminology and not what we "see" or even with modern psychological understanding. Emotional expressions are a part of our release of the love of Jesus, and should not be shut out. Those expressions do not have to be loud, or pentecostal, or anything else, but they must be released or else our religion will be blinded by intellectual information instead of the reality of love released into life.

We are not "cookie-cutter" Christians. We are different from one another, and our expressions of the release of His love will be different. But we must allow freedom here, and we must warn those who choose to be "non-emotional" of the dangers of that, and its non-Biblical premise.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Emotionalism...

"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:8
It seems strange to me that many times those of us who are charismatic in our theology are accused of riding on emotionalism. I am sure some do, however, by far I find most of us are working in an area of misunderstood truth.

The scripture above is a statement by the Lord Jesus and is descriptive of His people. It is not trying to say we are unreliable, or unstable in our lives and responsibilities. However, it does speak of producing something that is seen and felt. In fact, if one begins to study the Holy Spirit in the New Testament we find that almost all of the descriptive terms about Him are emotions expressed. Let's see, comforter, encourager, wind, breath, life, hope, then there are the nine characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22. They are all emotional expressions of reality: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

There is almost no way to know the Holy Spirit or His ways in the Church, if we do not freely "feel" Him. I realize that some of us (a long journey for my English/Irish bones) are more reserved in our interior than others, but none-the-less, in order to flow (oh what a wonderful descriptive term) in the Spirit in His Word and ways, one must "feel" and "know." Not just "know."

Faith also has a "feeling" to if, if you will. When it rises inside, there is a "knowing" and our feet go down in its fact. Not a seen fact, but a fact of Scripture and of truth. When that happens, it occurs as a feeling.

We may not all agree on what are proper responses, and what are "over-the-edge" responses, but we do need to see that if we work at all in the area of truth in the Holy Spirit, it is emotional in its response.

This being true, then I think the Body of Christ needs a big dose of "emotionalism," uh...I mean Him!

Just some thoughts.