Not that weekend worship retreats never do anything positive in anyone’s life, as I found Jesus and discovered my calling to lead musical worship as such retreats, but generally speaking, many Christians’ faiths aren’t changed in the long run. People don’t walk away from the conference feeling anything except maybe refreshed and optimistic. Why does that happen?
Well look at what Passion is. It’s a weekend apart from the world. A mountaintop experience where you can ignore everything except for God. And that’s great for mature Christians who need rest, but for people who go looking to really grow in their faith, it’s not a fruitful endeavor.
People go back to normal a week or two after Passion because Passion is an emotional high, NOT a place of growth. The true Christian life has never evolved through things like Passion, it’s evolved through trials and tribulations and moments that really test your faith. A Christian just isn’t going to feel an emotional rush every time they step into a worship service.
And so the problem Christians have at Passion is that they come to expect every worship experience to create a mind-blowing emotional atmosphere, and therefore they’re disappointed when it’s not.
Today’s Christian media says worship is always 100% emotional, and many Christians base their feelings and thoughts on God on the emotions they feel in a worship service. Guess what? Emotions are as fleeting as everything else on earth.
Instead, Christians should base their faith on something more eternal: on the truth of God itself. We don’t always feel overwhelmed with the love of God. Some Christians take that to mean God doesn’t love them in that moment, or that there’s no need to pursue Him in those times because they don’t “feel anything.” Instead, we should continue pursuing God because we know the TRUTH from the Word of God that He loves and desires us.
A lot of people base their views on sin on whether or not they feel convicted when performing a certain action. Well, conviction is a fleeting emotion from your brain, and you won’t always feel it when sinning. Instead, we should base our views about sin on what we find about it in scripture.
And going off of that, perhaps the biggest problem with an emotional faith is that when an emotional faith is faced with difficult scripture or a challenge on the way that person has lived his/her whole life, emotions tend to win out, because emotion doesn’t sacrifice. I’ve seen people literally tear pages out of the Bible because they disagreed with them.
Right there. That’s the problem with an emotional faith. Like emotions themselves, it’s fickle. It can change. Your beliefs can change in a heartbeat whether they line up with scripture or not. And in the end, we don’t decide what’s true. God does. “ALL scripture is breathed out by God.” (2 Timothy 3:16, emphasis added) So to stand before God and say “I just didn’t agree with that part of scripture” won’t get you anywhere good.
Emotions aren’t bad, they’re beautiful things, but they come and go, and they’re nothing to base anything like your whole faith on. Instead, base it on the truth of scripture, and if you encounter something you don’t like, know that God is just, because scripture tells us so. Just something to think about.