Emotionalism or the Holy Spirit



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  • Emotionalism or the Holy Spirit

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ID:	1673I would expect that some might read this quote, and give our own efforts too much credit as the initiator in the process. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them." John 6:44. We are saved by grace (unmerited favor), a visitation, a divine touch that has nothing to do with our efforts. An emotional shaking is never sufficient. "...the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19. Most of us have an emotional experience, a eureka moment, a Scripture that comes alive, a word that excites our passions, and as a result, we are on fire for the Lord for a time... then, lacking the deeper transformation that ONLY the Spirit can sustain, slip back into a lifestyle does not look like the Christian walk, because we trusted in the feelings of the experience, not the source. “Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew…” Mark 4:8.

    We will deceive ourselves if we trust in emotional experiences as place markers for spiritual trophies or achievements. "The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing." John 6:63. The emotions may surge in the wake of a spiritual nudge, but the flesh (senses-emotions-intellect) is fallen and earthy, and must not be the plumb line to measure the change inside us. The true marker of transformation is not the shaking or even the change alone, but the consistent, daily, step-by-step journey toward the light, learning NOT to trust in the sensory experience as evidence to our condition and position.

    "The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 King 19:13 Yes, the changing power of the Lord is found in the quiet place, the prayer closet, not necessarily the dramatic, exciting and mesmerizing. We do need to discern the New Age methodologies that have contaminated many of institutions.

    Unfortunately, many of worship venues promote emotionalism as a mechanism to excite the sense, by means of repetitious words of the “worship chorus” take on the function of a mantra that can carry one into an altered state; charismatic writers have gone so far as to actually say that this is their aim. This “mantra” charge–the practice in Hindu and New Age meditation of repeating words over and over again to induce a euphoric trance, is part of the seduction of Christianity. Many fall prey to trust their senses as those do those in Pantheistic religions.

    It has been scientifically shown that opiates are emitted during emotional experiences via endorphins like Dopamine, to elevate the emotions to a point of euphoria, easily mistaken as a Spiritual experience or visitation. I merely want to stress the difference between the daily prayer closet that generates true transformation verses the counterfeit of emotional escalation, that has by large replaced the spiritual disciplines.

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