May 28

Question and AnswerQuestion: Is it true that emotionalism is mistaken for spirituality, and doesn’t the glory of God manifest itself in a person living like Jesus did; denying self and the flesh to serve others?

Answer: I would agree with you that the glory of God is holy, selfless, sanctified living that has victory over known or willful sin, self, and the devil. But at the same time I feel like we need to make room for expressions of emotions in private and public worship.

We are emotional beings, some of us are more so and some of us less. When God touches us, we respond with our will, our mind, our spirit, and our emotions.

The man that got healed in the temple leaped and praised God, and I believe that was in order. As long as people are not operating in the flesh and seeking attention, I have no problem with outward manifestations of praise to God or emotions in a meeting.

I do have problems with people being emotional in meeting and then living a fleshy, selfish, unsanctified life, but that is part of having emotional meetings. Quite often the unspiritual will get caught up in all the emotion. For them it will be a “spiritual high” that produces no change.

Some of the most emotional times I have had with the Lord have not been in meetings, but alone with God in prayer, praise, singing, and reading the word. I have shouted and wept and run through my home praising God, and have even jumped over the coffee table.

The things that have led to these emotional expressions have been things like a deeper revelation of the mercy God has had on me, a deeper godly sorrow for the ungodly life that I have once lived, strong conviction of the lacks in my spiritual life, or a deeper revelation of the love of God for my soul.

I think that people that only get emotional in meeting and not in their private devotions need to examine themselves as to whether they are doing it for show, or perhaps just getting caught up in an emotional high. The Christian’s greatest times of amens, shouts, jumps, runs, and weeping should be alone with God.

Personally, I love it when God blesses me in my soul to the degree where I respond emotionally, but I never seek emotions and I don’t confuse them and think emotions are the glory of God.

The emotions pass away and are forgotten. The dealings of the Lord and changes that result from these dealings need to be lasting changes. The glory of God is the deeper revelation that brought a lasting change in my spiritual life. The emotions were just part of my response to the blessings of God.

When God comes down in a meeting and people get victory over sin, self, and the flesh, those that have prayed for them will rejoice also. This is all biblical.

The issue I have with emotionalism is when people start seeking emotionalism instead of God. Something has really gone wrong when leaders employ tactics to stir up the people in their emotions instead of leading people to a deeper walk with God.

They know when God has come down in the past and touched and changed people, the emotions of the people were stirred. But instead of preaching, exhorting, and singing designed to help people bring changes in their life — which will product an emotional response — they go directly for the emotional response.

Hence you can have an emotional form, but the people in the congregation are selfish, carnal, and fleshly, and in some cases living in known sin. All this while they run the aisles and think they shout the glory of God down.

When people personally start seeking emotions instead of God, or when leaders start trying to stir up an emotional meeting, things are on the downward road.

–This post is a copy of a comment I posted on the article Pentecostals Shouting as the Glory Came Down.
–I would love to see comments from the different people that read this blog on this subject. Feel free to make a comment on this post or the Pentecostals Shouting as the Glory Came Down post.

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One Response to “Emotions in Private and Public Worship”

  1. 1. Troy Cunningham Says:

    To the dismay of many of my Pentecostal colleagues, I couldn’t agree with you more! Emotionalism should never trump holiness of life, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, and sound doctrine! Many cults have employed emotional tactics to validate the claims of thier false prophets and false teachers. I truly believe that many of these churches are also entertaining a false spirit. The Bible teaches us that in the latter times some would give heed to “seducing spirits” and “doctrines” of devils. These go hand in hand. The seducing spirit works through the means of human emotions to prop up the “doctrine” of devils meant to deceive the simple and unbelieving. We should always beware of churches who claim to have the “only revelation” or are the “only true church” or buy in to an exclusive mentality! This gospel is for “whosoever will” let him come and drink of the water of life freely. While I am a very conservative trinitarian pentecostal, I understand to pitfalls and dangers that unbridled emotionalism can cause in the body of Christ. Many souls have been shipwrecked in this area and through this means. There was a day when even Pentecostals could worship without any music being played or some loud beat being pounded into their heads. Much of todays church has been taken over by a false worship that glorifies flesh and manifestation. Jesus Christ and his WORD should be the centerpiece of our devotion and affection! Many are worshipping at the alter of a “movement” or a “denomination”. The COGR is just as guilty of the very “sectarianism” that they supposedly distain. In fact, I’m not sure there is a more “sectarian” group in Christendom! I too live a separated life in all areas of conversation, but that (plus shouting) does not in and of itself validate my experiance or my claims. I may appear holy to many around me, but God knows the inner character of my heart. He knows my thoughts afar off! He knows whether or not I love him and his Word above my movement or denomination (and yes even lack thereof as some are proud of their independence). God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. I can boast in nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified! My emotions might fool you, but they will never fool the almighty. Many pastors have shouted in church and went strait to the whore houses! I have found that much of what is done in many churches is even demonically inspired! If there is an emotion that has lacked in our churches it would probably be that of weeping! Where are the saints that would catch a glimps of eternal values and groan and weep between the porch and the alter? We are in a “feel good” generation! The Holy Ghost’s conviction of sin, righteousness, and of judgement have been replaced with “Crank up the music and let’s have church”!

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