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#11841 Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:54 PM
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It seems to me, that more and more, my old church is drifting from the real meat of the Scriptures and moving towards emotionalism. I went back there this Sunday and I got the impression from the service that God was simply the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you look at the smiles on babies' faces. Maybe I'm really oversensitive about these things, because I'm the only one who noticed it. But it might also be that I've been attending an OPC church since the middle of last year. I don't know. It just drives me crazy, and I'm driven to ask, like the old Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?"


In the midst of your sadness and woe, when you are tormented and afflicted, have comfort! God's will is done.
ReformedThinker #11842 Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:07 PM
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I can't speak of your home church, but I can tell you that the changes which caused you some unrest and concern is something which I would suggest that you are going to see happening more and more in every denomination in the coming months and years. There is a general "drift" away from the doctrines of Scripture which have been written down in the Confessions of years gone by and a movement toward "seeker-friendliness", entertainment, Madison Avenue methodology applied to worship, evangelism and the Christian life in general. We are living in perilous times. Should the Lord Christ return tomorrow, would He find true faith on the earth?

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Jeremiah 6:15-17 (KJV) "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time [that] I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein]. Also I set watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken."

Hosea 4:6-9 (KJV) "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: [therefore] will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings."

In His Grace,


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ReformedThinker #11843 Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:19 AM
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Not to get off topic, but I would like it ask you a question, and I ask it here cuz anyone can answer. But are not emotions supposed to be part of what we use to woship God? By keeping worship on a simply intellectual level, you risk falling into religiousness and tradition and ritual. So shouldn't we balance it out with what stirs the emotions and stirs the mind?

Now, I agree fully that a majority of the churches today simply focus on emotion. But if both emotion and intelect are being stired to the glory of God, than is it wrong?

ReformedThinker #11844 Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:17 AM
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ReformedThinker said,
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It seems to me, that more and more, my old church is drifting from the real meat of the Scriptures and moving towards emotionalism.
So often today it seems to be one extreme or the other. The other side of the coin is a church where sound doctrine is intellectually embraced but the heart is totally unaffected.The result is a church as cold as ice and as dry as dust.
I would suggest that to:

"......love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark12:30-31)

will mean that our doctrine must affect our minds and our hearts.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#11845 Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:29 AM
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Yes, emotions should take a place in worship. But not to this extent. The mention of Jesus' name should cause unrestrainable joy, not a case of the Warm Fuzzies.


In the midst of your sadness and woe, when you are tormented and afflicted, have comfort! God's will is done.
#11846 Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:55 AM
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Kalled2Preach said:
Not to get off topic, but I would like it ask you a question, and I ask it here cuz anyone can answer. But are not emotions supposed to be part of what we use to woship God? By keeping worship on a simply intellectual level, you risk falling into religiousness and tradition and ritual. So shouldn't we balance it out with what stirs the emotions and stirs the mind?
I don't think you're off topic. Certainly our emotions will be stired as we worship our God in Spirit and in Truth. I think some churches appeal to the emotions intentionally to try to make the worship experience a positive one for everyone both believers and non-believers alike. These kinds of contemporary seeker-friendly services leave a lot to be desired for the growing Christian because they provide little or no doctrine. If they didn't provide an emotional experience they would have little to offer.

However, you don't often find a sinner who is saved by grace who doesn't feel emotional. It's just that emotions fade away and the truth of God's word is eternal. So even when emotions aren't visible it doesn't mean that a deep sense of confidence and peace aren't flooding the soul of him who trusts in the Lord with all his heart even in difficult situations. When the Gospel is faithfully preached, and the sacraments are faithfully administered, we acknowledge these are a means of grace which transforms our thinking and stirs our passion to live grateful lives.

  • As the hart, about to falter, in its trembling agony,
    Panteth for the brooks of water, so my soul doth pant for Thee.
    Yea, athirst for Thee I cry; God of life, O when shall I
    Come again to stand before Thee in Thy temple, and adore Thee?

    Bitter tears of lamentation are my food by night and day;
    In my deep humiliation, where is not thy God? they say.
    Yea, my soul doth melt in me, when I bring to memory
    How of yore I did assemble with the joyful in Thy temple.

    O my soul, why art thou grieving, why disquieted in me?
    Hope in God, thy faith retrieving; let Him still thy refuge be.
    I shall yet extol His grace for the comfort of His face;
    He has everturned my sorrow into gladness on the morrow.



If we were to use the analogy of a train, emotions must never be the engine of the train. Faithful preaching and sound doctrine should be the engine but emotions make a good caboose.


Wes <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Saved_n_kept #11847 Thu Feb 26, 2004 12:07 PM
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Let the truths in your mind inform your emotions, not the other way around.


Stand Fast, Craigellachie!
ReformedThinker #11848 Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:21 PM
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Hey, Nathan... if I may ask, what *specific* part of the service made you feel that it was overly emotional? Music? Sermon? Prayer? Just curious... :-)

Shelly #11849 Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:19 PM
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That's the thing. I can't pick out one specific thing in the service which would make me think the way I do. Just the overall impression I got from it gave me that opinion. That's why I was wondering if maybe I'm just being over-sensitive.


In the midst of your sadness and woe, when you are tormented and afflicted, have comfort! God's will is done.
ReformedThinker #11850 Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:47 PM
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ReformedThinker said:
That's the thing. I can't pick out one specific thing in the service which would make me think the way I do. Just the overall impression I got from it gave me that opinion. That's why I was wondering if maybe I'm just being over-sensitive.
"Drifting" is often hard to detect as when you are in a boat with no anchor. It is gradual. Usually you don't realize that you have drifted because you are preoccupied with other things, e.g., fishing, doing some repair, or simply sleeping. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> But then you look up and notice that you are far from where you started.

So it is with churches too. They begin at a good place and then slowly begin to drift, unnoticed, and suddenly one realizes that they are far from where they began. That's why it is so important to have an OBJECTIVE standard to rely upon as opposed to what one "feels" a church should be like. You could ask yourself such things as, What kind of preaching should a church have; doctrinal with sound application? Strictly evangelistic? Moralizing? How about the worship of God? Should it be with awe and reverence? happy-clappy? social hour? fellowship? And, of course, the music; Should it consist of Psalms only? Psalms and doctrinally sound hymns? Praise choruses? CCM? What about teaching? Are the Sunday School classes teaching meat? Groups that talk about what the Bible means to them? Social gatherings which talk about how the week was and/or what they want to do after the service? etc.....

There is always the matter of personal preference, of course. But our preferences should be to prefer that which God has prescribed for us in His Word, and NOT what "works", or "brings in people", or what "makes people feel good". <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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