Emotionalism in Worship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by christianyouth, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. christianyouth

    christianyouth
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    I come from a very Stoic church environment.. I grew up in a church where we sang traditional hymns and "amens" were contained to a minimum during messages. However, the church that I am a member at now, is into contemporary worship and the pastor is always saying things like " I have always said and I believe this firmly, if a Christian cannot praise God, there is something wrong." While that statement is very true, let me define what he means by 'praise'.

    By praise, he means raising your hands in the air, he means shouting 'amens' and all of that.

    We have had a mission conference at our church and it has been going on for three days, and has truly been a great blessing to all of our hearts. In this mission conference, a great evangelist has came to our church who is well known in the South, Brother Claude Dykes. He is a great preacher and I am really soaking up his preaching, however he is from 'hooping and hollering country'.

    He likes people to shout Amen! I have no problem with this, and I actually do, but I know some people who are really against this style of 'emotionalism' in both preaching and music, my question is why?

    Just want to get a look on both sides of the fence.

    your little brother in Christ,
    Andy
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
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    Hi Andy,

    It's pretty much a cultural and personality thing. We have so many different backgrounds and personalities that I don't think we should be condemning anyone from any given position on this.

    That being said, there are dangers on both sides. On the charismatic/emotional side, there is the real danger of getting swept up by those currents and simply responding emotionally and then depending on emotions for one's relationship with God. Not good...

    On the other, liturgical/stoic side, there is the real danger of depending on the form of the service and the tradition for one's relationship with God. Also not good...

    I think no matter where we are or what church any of us attend, it is our life witness which is going to be of most import. How loud we shout or how quiet we are during a service is not going to mean two cents if our lives don't show Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit in our daily walk and dealings with others.

    Personally, I am a little more on the conservative side, and that is most probably a reaction to my mother and others in my life who have made enormous over-kill out of praising or condemning others. (You unloaded that dishwasher all by yourself without me asking you, honey? Oh, what a lovely child you are! How can I thank you! .....etc. etc.) As a result, I tend to prefer a little less hand waving and shouting.

    My personality, my upbringing. Everyone is different. We need to be careful and accepting of others and very careful of ourselves, I think.
     
  3. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    We need our emotions. Worship should be with our emotions. However, there must be a critical balance of head and heart. Emotions must be kept in balance with truth. That is why Jesus told us in John 4 that worship should be in spirit and in truth.

    Too much heart and it becomes just emotionalism that has no substance.

    Too much head and it becomes dry, dull and lifeless without impacting the soul.

    So nothing is wrong with our emotions. Just make sure you are seeking to worship in spirit and in truth, with head and with heart.
     
  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    Helen, you have phrased this very well. I tend to be much less expressive than most and have really felt out of place when the music minister wants everyone to clap their hands or "Put a smile on your face!" in worship. If I were to act the way that he apparently wants me to act, I'd be doing it to put on a show, to fit in. However, I am often moved to the point of tears, sometimes well past that point, singing some of the more meaningful hymns or hearing the invitations of Jesus to kingdom life in the gospels (i.e., "Come to be all who labor and are heavily laden, am I will give you rest...").

    I appreciate your grace-full response.
     
  5. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    There's a difference between emotion and emotionalism. Genuine worship will produce emotion, as Baptist Believer pointed out.

    Emotionalism, on the other hand, starts with emotion as a tool to produce worship, or what passes for it.

    Ours is a church which is fairly traditional in its worship style, but we've had services where some people spontaneously lifted their hands, responded with Amens and Praise God. It seemed as if the presence of the Holy Spirit was so thick you could cut it with a knife and our folks reacted to it.

    What turns me off is contrived and manipulated emotions. Preachers fishing for Amens, cajoling the congregation when they don't get them, music leaders demanding that the people clap their hands as a means of "getting in the spirit." Our church applauds the choir specials and solos, and I'm getting to the point where I'm having second thoughts about it.

    I agree that a lot of upbeat services are culturally driven, but much of what I see is simply worked up, not poured down.
     
  6. rbell

    rbell
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    Yep yep. . .
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    If you don't like involved worship then you would not be happy at our church and if its cultural then you should kinda get used

    to it because when you get to Heaven you not going to be sitting around listening to a preacher but you will be doing some

    worshipping and singing and rejoicing and praising. Heaven is real folks and you will sing a new song "I been redeemed both

    soul and body"

    and those over there before the throne were rejoicing with hands raised and singing "Holy Holy art thou oh Lord for thou art

    worthy for thou hast redeemed us with thy blood". You need to get used to it folks. There will not be a prepared sermon there.

    Turns me off too when a preacher trys to edge it on. When it is right is when the Spirit flows from breast to breast. You can

    feel it. Me personally, I wouldn't give two cents for a religion you could not feel.
     
    #7 Brother Bob, Sep 29, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2006
  8. billreber

    billreber
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    Emotionalism in Church?

    I am also more conservative about how I worship. I agree with everything everyone has said, but wish to tell a story. . .

    Some years ago, my neighbors in the other half of an Air Force duplex had been resisting going to church with my darling and I, because they had heard that Baptists always shouted "AMEN!" during the sermon. We honestly convinced them that Our Baptist church seldom if ever had such emotional outbursts during worship. They finally agreed to come with us one Sunday night.

    That night, our preacher preached one of the best sermons I have ever heard (but unfortunately I cannot remember now what it was :saint: ). And wouldn't you know, there was an epidemic of people shouting "AMEN!". God Himself must have been orchestrating it, because near the end of the service, our friends oldest son had a seizure (related to an earlier bicycle versus car accident). Our church provided so much love and care for this distressed family, that the amens no longer mattered!

    The son recovered (as much as he could), and the family joined our Baptist church, because of the love, not because of the emotionalism displayed that night.

    AMEN, brother!

    Bill
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I preached a sermon a few weeks ago, where after I was done, a teen girl started applauding.... that was strange...

    I guess she liked it so much, that she thought it should be applauded...

    or....

    She was glad I was done!

    I have never, ever, experienced that in my whole life...
    Then she noticed no one else was applauding, she slowly stopped it, and her face turned red....
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    Hey Tim;
    Accept it and be glad. She could of started booing you. :laugh:
     
  11. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Thanks BOB!!!!
     
  12. LeBuick

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    I believe it was by design we have so many different styles of worship. Not all of are the same and not all of us even like the same music. You should be able to find a Church where you will feel comfortable no matter what your style is.

    Now lets look at the scene of the first NT worship service.

    Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
    3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
    4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

    Now let's get an outsiders view of what it looked like.

    Acts 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
    13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
     
  13. LeBuick

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    Good thing that was her second choice.
     

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