The Three Dangers in Emotion-Driven Churches
For the sake of clarity, let’s define “emotion-driven churches” as churches that prioritize getting people to feel something, rather than inviting people to believe something.
1. Getting a Reaction vs. Inviting a Response
Here’s my take on emotions: I think God gave us emotions to respond to truth in a meaningful way.
Truth and emotions are designed to go together. An emotional reaction, or better yet, a response, to something that is true is to feel appropriately. But there are also times that emotions can betray us, point us towards the wrong target, and within the church world — to reduce our faith to the notion that what we feel is more important that what we believe.
What should happen is that when we hear or read a truth found in scripture, we should respond with the right emotion. Take the following scriptures for examples:
Romans 5:6-8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These invite an emotional response, don’t they?
“Wow I can’t believe God loved me enough to die for me when I was unloveable and didn’t love Him!”
“I feel incredible security and peace, knowing that nothing will separate me from God’s love!”
When we read, reflect, and realize what Scripture has told us about God’s love and attitude towards us, then our response is to feel with the appropriate emotion