Again, I'm talking about empty manipulation of emotions with little substance behind it. I don't think that is Biblical, although emotions certainly are.
If you manipulate people (which manipulation is knowingly playing with people in a to get a result) you are full of sin. And from reading your post Marc it seems you are rightly worried about the folks who are being manipulated. With that being said I don't think the problem is the emotion, or the emotionalism... its the heart of the one who facilitates it.
You have to ask yourself, is what you are judging "emotionalism", is that due to a person or group of people manipulating other people, or is it you not being comfortable with the emotion being displayed, or the method that brings about the emotion? I have asked myself this question a lot and it is a valid question... I'm glad that you continue to ask it and I think we should continually ask it.
When I first got to Promise Keepers... I had a bit of this come up and say "wow this is really produced", but when I saw 8000 men lifting holy hands, singing.... mind you these were men of wildly varying ages and ethnicity.... I knew it was for a good reason. When I heard the gospel that the speakers taught, the scripture they shared I knew it was good. I thought about the $80 I paid to attend but then I realized that I was probably more fired up than I had been in 3 years and if I was this way, some of those other 6-8k men were too... lots of production, lots of emotionalism, with a lot of good payoff for everyone involved....
I think this scripture recitation is in order...
Mark 938"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." 39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us.
I think "emotionalism" has to be dealt with on a scenario by scenario basis though.... you have to look at the underlying message and you have to look at the results. If they all pass the test than its worthwhile. But in all of this, whether the emotionalism is for a good or false cause... we still shouldn't find ourselves judging men's hearts, because as Christ himself said... if we judge, then we'll be judged.
Its hard though when we see folks like Benny Hinn doing what they do.... its easy to say "he's a fraud".... you see the fat millionaire pads, jets and cars, etc.,etc. But I like to think that we can denounce behavior without calling into question the heart or character of the people perpetrating the behavior.
I just had a discussion with a pastor about material for classes and what-not. I think emotionalism can lead to no emotion being expended. A good example is the Rick Warren stuff. You know what... I think the Holy Spirit was with Rick Warren within that congregation.... that place grew and grew... but when that stuff was packaged up and marketed to the Church at large I think thats when emotionalism set in. See without the Holy Spirit to guide and obedience in place.... isn't joy just human emotion?
Thats why I like to see Elders serve out of their own (the Spirits) compulsion... thats why I like to see people with a "calling" start a ministry, not someone who has been selected and had a resume reviewed.... thats why I like it when teachers and pastors come up with their own teaching material... you know their heart and the Holy Spirit is behind it... and that my friend is something that is sure to create righteous emotion.