Sunday I tried to open the door for our church to better emote their affections to God. Not sure how successful I was, I mean how do you measure it? By tears, by laughter, by smiles, by dancing, what? Jonathan Edwards was probably the first to take a deep look at how important our emotions are in our walk with God. Yet in our Greek infused culture the average, respectable church doesn’t appear to be very free, at least emotionally.
All of us carry the hurt, the pain, the scars of a fallen race where relationships have been bruised, battered, discarded, and distorted; it has left us mangled emotionally. Out of this comes fear, self-hatred, self-loathing, pride, loneliness, phobias, addictions, etc. I’m not so sure a double dose of Greek dualism is what we need to combat such deep gashes in our psyche.
George Campbell said back in 1776, “To say that it is possible to persuade without speaking to passions is but, at best, a kind of specious nonsense…Passion is the mover to action, reason is the guide.”
Passion. How can you not “feel” passion. As one theologian said, “Christianity without passion is powerless & lifeless.” Maybe the key to unlocking our healing lies in part with the unleashing of our affections upon God.
When John saw Jesus in Revelation 1 he fell at his feet as if dead…out of dread. But Jesus lays his hand, his right hand, the hand of affection upon John’s head and says, “Fear not, I am…” Could it be that as we bring our dread to the Lord, we too can hear his voice, feel his touch of affection and feel the release of those chains that have held us hostage for all too long?