What about all of this emotion which has erupted and continued to escalate in the church over the past twenty-plus years? Is it really new? Is it a liberal fad? Is it a good thing? Is it of Satan? Various opinions are expressed.
Stuffiness and unfriendly silence coupled with scared to move and the assurance when you do you'll get it wrong is not the mood of the church Jesus builds. Joy and peace and patience seems to be among the highly enjoyed fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Contrary to the belief of some, the church has always been filled with emotion. The sentiment, though, seems to be that of being happy, celebrational, and expressively joyous. It seems these are the traits deemed emotional. The immediate insinuation is to question whether such is a good thing. Further implication by some is that such a sensation cheapens the body of Christ.
But the church has been filled with emotion since the day I was introduced to it. Emotion is not new. The character of it is. In my early years in the church and even at Memorial Drive there was abundant emotion: anger, frustration, agitation. Our assemblies were filled with fear, suspicion, nervousness, and moodiness. I was in on all of it. I was a yeller and a fearer and a sulker. The restrictive church order and I were an immediate match.
So we are yet today, but we've both changed. We have passion upon peace upon excitement upon gratitude upon calm. Abundant emotion reigns. It's the conversion of our emotions which continues to thrust us into the style of the early church, and they kept feeling a sense of awe. Feeling. Sense. Awe. Those three words didn't live in my church world very often. They do today....abundantly so. We have made a transition from emotion based in fear to emotion supported by faith. I like the latter better.......and it's much more biblical.