Christian Forums and Message Board

Christian Interests => Theology Forum => Topic started by: Reformer on Sun Apr 19, 2020 - 14:59:16

Title: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: Reformer on Sun Apr 19, 2020 - 14:59:16
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Pious Emotionalism
[Differentiating between our own inner urgings
and the voice of God]

    In conversation with another believer the other day, he informed me that he had been receiving messages from God. When I inquired about the form of those messages, he said God had spoken to him audibly, as well as “laid strong words upon my heart.” What part of his “encounters” can be ascribed to human emotions?” 

    Far be it from me to even attempt to “prove” that God is not conversing audibly with someone who claims He is. Since the very genesis of the human family, God has communicated directly with various ones at different times. In this age, however, “he has spoken to us by His son” [Heb. 1:2]. Furthermore, during the formative years of the redeemed community, the Lord spoke to some of the early believers directly and through visions, such as Peter and Paul, or “moved” them in supernatural ways, such as Philip in Acts 8:39. 

    Supernatural gifts were abundant during the growing and shaping stages of the grace community. I think the question we should consider here is how often do we equate human emotions with God’s direct intervention. In my experiences with fellow believers, it is frequent. 

    When a believer permits human emotions to overwhelm him to the point he feels God is leading him in extraordinary ways, emotions have possibly become his master. A believer who has allowed his emotions to take control has, to a large measure, lost touch with areas of reality. God communicates with him on a personal level. He receives “revelations” that no one else has received. He treads his own personal path to God’s glory and to God’s storehouse of knowledge. Many of his “spiritual” decisions and verbalizations are extraordinarily unique. An “inner voice” seems to direct many if not most of his steps. That “inner voice” is interpreted as the “voice of God” or the “voice of the Holy Spirit.” 

    Such encounters places the recipient on a spiritual level higher than most of the prophets of old—even higher than the Twelve apostles, for his “revelations” are frequent and fresh. The emotion called “sensationalism” usually becomes part of his character. 

    Are emotions dependable? Emotions can be deceptive and misleading, and that is because they are part of our humanity. The issue is not whether God communicates with His children. He does. He always has—directly and verbally, often by His Spirit, other times in diverse ways.  The real questions seem to be: Is God issuing new revelations to His children in this current era? Does He have prophets today who receive divine messages that are to be delivered to their intended recipients? 

    If “yes” to the above, what about the so-called “Twelve Apostles” of the Mormon Church who claim a continuation of divine revelations from God? Or popes who claim to have personal access to divine intervention? Centuries ago, a pope decreed—as though from God—that Catholic priests were to remain celibate. And this in spite of what the Holy Spirit says, “For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” [1 Cor. 7:9]. Are these “revelations” valid? No, the reason being they collide with or contradict heaven’s testimony. 

    Today, in this spiritually enlightened age, God continues to reveal Himself. He has not shut Himself off from His creation. I see God revealing Himself in at least three ways: 

1] Through His Son and the written testimony [Heb. 1:2].
2] Through the Holy Spirit who personally indwells each of His children [John 14:17].
3] Through the things He has made [Rom. 1:20].
 

    Those who sincerely rely upon emotions for guidance, and who claim to be personally contacted by God or by His Holy Spirit are, in all probability, being swayed by their own “inner voice”—a voice that denotes some deep need and is crying out for gratification. 

    Let it be understood that emotions play a role in everything we do in life. Without them we would be mere robots. Emotions alone must not be considered reliable evidence of divine revelations or celestial interventions, however. Heaven’s testimony—particularly the Son’s teachings and the Spirit’s “nudges”—must rank first and foremost. If there’s a clash between them, heaven’s testimony and the Spirit’s urgings must be permitted to outweigh emotions. 

    While emotions do play a role in one’s conversion and in one’s walk with the Lord, it would be unwise to rely more upon the arousal of emotions than faith. I believe the message of salvation should appeal basically to one’s intellect or perception, although emotions do play a role. 

    Perhaps I can explain this in a brighter light by giving you an example. A few years ago, a friend of mine was overwhelmed with emotions after listening to a professional orator speak on the merits of salvation. Following the message, he wept uncontrollably. Those around him were convinced he had experienced genuine conversion. As it turned out, his experience was superficial. It had no root. His emotions outweighed his faith. 

    If this fellow’s “conversion” had been rooted in authentic faith, he might have developed a strong, viable walk with the Lord. But his “conversion” was short-lived. Once he got over being emotionally charged, he was right back in his old lifestyle. And as far as I know, the gap between him and the Lord is as wide today as it was back then. 

    Let me put it another way. Outward appearances in the form of emotions do not guarantee conversion. Faith that is grounded in strong conviction or persuasion can be a surety of conversion. A person whose faith is rooted in Jesus has God in his heart. A person whose “faith” is based only on the way he feels does not necessarily have God in his heart. Real faith finds its source in heaven’s testimony and consistent logic. It is not altogether based upon the way one feels. Emotions can be deceptive, and often are. They are not always reliable. 

    I marvel at and am discouraged with some of the TV “evangelists” who work their audiences up emotionally. They prod them into shouting, weeping, and crying out in despair for the Lord to operate upon their hearts in some special way. In conjunction with this, think of God’s plea, “Be still, and know that I am God” [Ps. 46:10]

    God seems to be inviting us to quiet down and reflect upon who and what He is. Only then are we able to make rational decisions. Irrational decisions usually stem from emotions and whimsical impulses. So let us be still and meditate upon the Lord! This is equally and especially true of the unregenerate who are seeking His face. 
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: Reformer on Sun Apr 19, 2020 - 22:10:37

AN INTERESTING THOUGHT FOR THE EVENING

Too many of us prefer the rigid framework of organized churches rather than freedom in Christ. Consequently, we become slaves of religion instead of slaves of God.—Buff.
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: 4WD on Mon Apr 20, 2020 - 06:20:13
Are emotions dependable? Emotions can be deceptive and misleading, and that is because they are part of our humanity.
Emotions are never "dependable".  That is why the emotions must always be controlled.  Emotions are at the seat of nearly all sin. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1John_2:16).  That is emotion. It is knowledge, not emotion, that must be the basis for faith. Paul said, "...we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col 1:9-10).
Quote from: Buff
Today, in this spiritually enlightened age, God continues to reveal Himself. He has not shut Himself off from His creation. I see God revealing Himself in at least three ways: 

1] Through His Son and the written testimony [Heb. 1:2].
2] Through the Holy Spirit who personally indwells each of His children [John 14:17].
3] Through the things He has made [Rom. 1:20].
 
God does not reveal Himself through the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is a mistake that far too many Christians believe.  Everything that you need to know about God is revealed through items 1] and 3].  Item 2] is not a source of revelation.  It is a source of much help indeed, but revelation is not one of them.  God has revealed Himself to us in two ways, namely, His general revelation which you have identified in 3] and His special revelation which you have identified in 1].
Quote from: Buff
Those who sincerely rely upon emotions for guidance, and who claim to be personally contacted by God or by His Holy Spirit are, in all probability, being swayed by their own “inner voice”—a voice that denotes some deep need and is crying out for gratification. 
Not in all probability, but in all actuality. 
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: Reformer on Mon Apr 20, 2020 - 22:24:20
4WD:

    "God does not reveal Himself through the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is a mistake that far too many Christians believe."

  "Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he has seen the Lord's Christ" [Matt. 2:25-26].

    "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" [Rom. 8:26-27].


    I could cite additional verses, 4WD, but these two should suffice.

Buff
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: 4WD on Tue Apr 21, 2020 - 05:35:36
4WD:

    "God does not reveal Himself through the indwelling Holy Spirit. That is a mistake that far too many Christians believe."

  "Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he has seen the Lord's Christ" [Matt. 2:25-26].

    "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" [Rom. 8:26-27].


    I could cite additional verses, 4WD, but these two should suffice.

Buff
Matthew 2:25-26 is not about the indwelling Holy Spirit. It would seem that you, like too many, do not understand the different roles of the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 8:26-27 such interceding is not in the form of "messages from God".
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: GB on Tue Apr 21, 2020 - 07:43:30
AN INTERESTING THOUGHT FOR THE EVENING

Too many of us prefer the rigid framework of organized churches rather than freedom in Christ. Consequently, we become slaves of religion instead of slaves of God.—Buff.

Yes, that is a mouthful.

 Slaves to a religion just as Israel was a slave to the deceptive religions of Egypt, and just as the Jews were slaves to a deceptive religion which had rejected the God of the Bible and taught for doctrines the commandments of men.

Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Freedom from deception and sin. The freedom of Christ.



Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: Reformer on Tue Apr 21, 2020 - 13:40:54
4WD:

   Once again, just in case you might have read them too hurriedly:

      "Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he has seen the Lord's Christ" [Matt. 2:25-26].

    "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" [Rom. 8:26-27].

    Additional passages are not necessary to share, nor an additional reply. We'll give the "Spirit" a break! Have a good day.

Buff

 
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: 4WD on Wed Apr 22, 2020 - 06:15:49
Buff:

And once again, since you apparently didn't read what I wrote,

Matthew 2:25-26 is not about the indwelling Holy Spirit. It would seem that you, like too many, do not understand the different roles of the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 8:26-27 such interceding is not in the form of "messages from God".
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: Choir Loft on Wed Apr 22, 2020 - 07:31:24
Matthew 2:25-26 is not about the indwelling Holy Spirit. It would seem that you, like too many, do not understand the different roles of the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 8:26-27 such interceding is not in the form of "messages from God".

Check your Bible.

There is NO Matthew 2:25-26.   This is a misquoted reference.  To what other scripture do you refer?  Specifically, to what scripture did the person YOU quoted refer?  You are BOTH WRONG.

26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought - Romans 8:26a 
 
The above quoted passage, which you doubt, is indeed a reference to what some call "the quickening of the (human) experience"".    It is a fact of spiritual life that there are times when one does not know what to pray or how to begin. Even among experienced believers, or perhaps especially among them, such times do happen.   This verse is a promise and foundational statement that the Holy Spirit, which indwells all believers, will help with prayers and answers.

The problem with this entire thread is that it does not address the most important point of spiritual connection with God.   

GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO SINNERS.    (John 9:31)

It is automatically assumed here that God hears all prayers.  He most emphatically does NOT.

Some people claim to have a vibrant relationship with God.   Most do not.  Why?

The why - is because of latent unconfessed or embraced SIN.   God absolutely will NOT hear the prayer of SINNERS except that of confession and repentance.  First things first.  One cannot approach God in prayer until and unless pet SINs are confessed and repented.  To repent means to abandon the SIN forever.  To never embrace it or do it again - ever. 

NO ONE may approach God empty-handed.  (Exodus 34:20)  We MUST approach God with a personal sacrifice as well as that which God has provided.  The personal sacrifice is confession and repentance - to carry our own cross daily - to be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).  The corporate sacrifice is the death of Jesus upon the cross. (John 11:51) We cannot approach God without both.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A LICENSE TO SIN.

The corrupt teachings of the post-modern church is that God hears all  prayers and is sympathetic to the will of mankind.  He doesn't and He isn't.   The Bible says it's God's way or the highway.   That's it and that's all.  God hates SIN and He hates those who embrace it.  The answer to lack of fellowship with God isn't simple minded excuses and mental gymnastics.  It's SIN.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

Once we sincerely humbly petition God for forgiveness of our SINs, God will hear us.   Not until then.  Not ever.

The issue of God always hearing every prayer is a dogma of the devil.  It most certainly is not true in any context of Biblical reference we may determine.   Today's society, including secularized religion, doesn't regard SIN as anything to be seriously considered.   So when people wonder why their prayers don't ascend higher than the ceiling we read and hear all sorts of rubbish about the difficulty.  The simple answer is that SIN prevents our prayers from being heard.  God won't listen to SINNERS.    Its just that simple.

That being said:

There are five methods by which God speaks to those who have confessed their SIN.   This is a classic list.  I didn't invent the thing.

1. The Word of God.   Our gracious Lord is able to teach us His will through reading and study of the Bible.
2. Preaching.  God may speak to us by way of enlightened sermons delivered by men who preach Christ and Him crucified.
3. Circumstances.  Also called "object lessons" by scholars God is able to speak through events.  The Old Testament is full of such teaching by means of God-steered situations.
4. Oracle of the Body.  God may speak to us by means of collective agreement of the body of Christ. 
5. Still small voice.  God is able to speak directly by means of Holy Spirit inspired words.  This may also include visions and dreams as in Acts 2:17

That being said, we must be reminded often and with good words that God is indeed able to 'speak' in any way He chooses.  The only stumbling point is SIN.

It is time to repent of our SINs and wickedness.   It is time for many prayers to be uttered and we are slack if we do not do so according to God's will.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: 4WD on Wed Apr 22, 2020 - 09:03:36
There is NO Matthew 2:25-26.   This is a misquoted reference. 
You are correct.  Buff was actually quoting Luke 2:25-26; however, that is all rather immaterial since Luke 2:25-26 is not speaking about the indwelling Holy Spirit either.
Quote from: Lea
26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought - Romans 8:26a 
 
The above quoted passage, which you doubt, is indeed a reference to what some call "the quickening of the (human) experience"".   
I didn't deny that verse was speaking about the the quickening of the (human) experience"I simply noted that such interceding as spoken of in Romans 8:26 is not in the form of "messages from God".
Quote from: Lea
There are five methods by which God speaks to those who have confessed their SIN.   This is a classic list.  I didn't invent the thing.

1. The Word of God.   Our gracious Lord is able to teach us His will through reading and study of the Bible.
2. Preaching. God may speak to us by way of enlightened sermons delivered by men who preach Christ and Him crucified.
3. Circumstances.  Also called "object lessons" by scholars God is able to speak through events.  The Old Testament is full of such teaching by means of God-steered situations.
4. Oracle of the Body.  God may speak to us by means of collective agreement of the body of Christ. 
5. Still small voice.  God is able to speak directly by means of Holy Spirit inspired words.  This may also include visions and dreams as in Acts 2:17
Be warned.  Of those five, only 1. The Word of God can be counted on as reliable; and 2. Preaching. must be limited and referenced back to 1.

Perhaps you didn't invent the list, but obviously someone else, not God, did.
Title: Re: Pious Emotionalism
Post by: GB on Thu Apr 23, 2020 - 06:16:46


That being said, we must be reminded often and with good words that God is indeed able to 'speak' in any way He chooses.  The only stumbling point is SIN.

It is time to repent of our SINs and wickedness.   It is time for many prayers to be uttered and we are slack if we do not do so according to God's will.

that's me, hollering from the choir loft...

Now for the hard part. Whose Judgments and definition of sin do we acknowledge?

The God of the Bible? Or religious men who come in HIS Name?