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Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by Joe, Nov 25, 2007.
Under certain circumstances, do you feel it is ok to cry during a regular Sunday Church service?
I didn't vote because, if the Spirit is moving you, it's always all right to cry in church.
Also, I'm no more uncomfortable seeing a man cry than I am a woman.
I am a bit surprised to see this as a poll......but hey I am a female and have been weepy at times during a sermon or a particularly beautiful Mass........:godisgood:
I've never cried during a service, and can't imagine I ever would, but I find that disappointing more than anything. There's much to cry about in a regular church service. Prayer requests of others going through painful (or joyous) circumstances... Overwhelming gratitude for the mercy God has shown us... Helplessness at the sin we are mired in.
I'm just not a "crier", but I do sometimes wish I were a little more emotional.
The premise of the question seems to be that one can control this expression of emotion. I cannot say I ever "decided" to cry. It just happened. I remember crying when we had deacon ordination, and I saw the mother, grandmother, and children of one of our men lay hands on him. I know full well that I wept when preaching, telling the story of my father's relationships with his father and father-in-law, but finding fulfillment in his sons. And my last Sunday at my church was one of almost uncontrollable tears, as my congregation and I said farewell.
Let's not get into OK or not-OK. Let's think about why there is so seldom the passion that calls for weeping!
I don't think I have ever heard a sermon THAT bad.
That's what I was thinking. It depends on how bad the sermon is.
Wait a minute... I'm the preacher.
OK, the sermon is never bad enough to to bring you to tears.
I was in seminary before ever hearing a preacher cry when he talked about people going to Hell. Most had seemed happy.
I had heard him preach before and tears were not a normal part of his preaching and it wasn't for show. But it was a life changing experience for me to see a man so broken for lost people that he was moved to tears.
Yes, we are expected to control our emotions. Crying is normal, just as laughing. If we are sad we might shed a tear or we might bawl. If we are happy we might smile or we might burst out laughing.
The question is whether such behaviors are disruptive to others concentrating on the Word of God that is being taught. If everyone is laughing over a comment then obviously it is appropriate and intended. If you find something hilarious but no one else is bursting out with laughter, a mature adult recognizes this and subdues their response in consideration of others they may disrupt who are concentrating.
The same goes for crying. If you are at the point of bawling so that it is disruptive where others are not, be courteous and either subdue it or leave until you regain composure. While others should do their best to avoid focusing on the disruption, the question isn't about what they should do but what the person crying should do.
If it is not disruptive then obviously its display is minimal enough and subdued enough. Just as children are expected to master their emotions, adults are more so.
This does not mean (as some probably are licking their lips in anticipation to jump on the anti-"dry and dreary" bandwagon) anyone is advocating do not cry or go ahead and cry. What is being advocated is respect for others if you believe your emotional state is going to result in behavior that is disruptive to other believers concentrating on the World of God as they worship.
I realize for some who use their emotionalism as a weapon of tyranny to control others, they will find this offensive because it challenges their immaturity and emotional indulgences. But those who are emotional by nature but mature, they certainly will understand respectful behavior toward others and not demanding to impose on others their emotional state and displays of such.
And remember, this question is being asked in the context of "a regular Sunday Church Service". :thumbs:
I have wept in church before, no shame in it. If the Spirit is moving and moves me, I will weep. There is nothing that should bother anyone in it.
I have seen some who go overboard, though, wailing and carrying on. Shedding teats of joy or conviction is one thing... putting on a show is another.
I voted for the first choice (that I'm a woman and think it's OK to sometimes cry in a service) but it's not fully true because I think it's OK to cry anytime at all.
I cry sometimes during the message when God has touched my heart with the sermon. I'll almost always cry at baptisms. I'll cry when the Spirit moves me to. I'll cry for some prayer requests. I'll cry whenever. LOL!
I've also seen my husband cry leading worship. I've seen him cry praying. I've seen the pastor cry during the message. I've seen many men AND women cry during a service. It's not all the time but at appropriate times when the Spirit touches each one of us and we are overcome by what He's done in us and around us.
Yep - I think it's quite fine for someone to cry.
I don't see how it can make someone uncomfortable, though. How would they know I'm crying? It's not like I'm wailing or anything...
Well balanced post. You hit the nail right on the head :thumbs:
We have an autistic boy who comes to our church. He will be celebrating his 18th birthday soon and the whole church will have an after church fellowship for him. He has no parents and lives with an aunt and uncle who are nonbelievers.
Our church has more or less adopted him into our congregation. His neighbor brings him to church and has since he was 5 or 6.
He is noncommunicative, verbally speaking. His IQ is very low. I've never heard him say a complete sentence. And he just smiles - at everybody, at the time.
He sits by the preacher on the front row and has for years. One day after church and some baptisms - he told the preacher that "I love Jesus, too".
Well, the preacher decided to walk him through the plan of salvation. Did he understand - I don't know, not even the preacher could tell.
But he made the decision to baptize him anyway.
The next Sunday, everyone was excited to see him being baptized. The preacher explained everything from the baptistry. He lay one hand on the boy's head and lifted his other hand in the air and said, "I baptized you now my brother.....my brother.....my....."
And he lost it. So did the entire congregation. So did I. I was playing the piano and couldn't even see my music anymore.
He continued, stuggling to maintain composure, but by that time - no one really cared about composure anyway.
Well anyway, I am crying right now telling this story and I don't even have a Kleenex handy.
I don't care if women cry or if men cry. Neither one bothers me at all. I think it healthy to allow the Spirit of God to move you and to be unashamed of how He sparks you respond.
Tears of joy, praise, grief, or conviction from men or women don't bother me. Silence doesn't bother me. As long as Spirit is moving and being honored, it shouldn't bother anyone else either.
I worry sometimes about those who cannot handle the genuine expression of emotions just as much as I worry about those whose emotions are just for show.
Perhaps churches could offer a non-crying section similar to the non-smoking sections in restaurants :thumbs:
After going to the alter to announce that the Lord has saved me, I bawled.
When both of my children made the same announcement, I bawled.
When anyone has come forward to do the same, I bawl.
I just can't help myself. My heart just seems to overflow with joy and the older I get the harder it is to keep in check.
It doesn't make me uncomfortable to see people, male or female, cry. I have cried before, unexpectedly, and the harder I fought it, the worse it got!
I am thinking I might be wrong here :tonofbricks:
Yep, always, whether from joy or sorrow.