I posted this earlier on my own blog, and enjoyed it; I thought it was worth a rerun.
To my church family: My cheese has not slipped off of my cracker. I remain the same steadfast Baptist you all know me as. Just having some fun with a serious message.
To my Pentecostal brothers and sisters. Read above.
I am not a charismatic. I am even…gasp….a cessasionist. By the way, don’t comment trying to argue about that, because this post isn’t about that. Okay? Thanks! I am a Baptist. I am a Missionary Baptist. We are conservative. No wait…we are VERY conservative. How conservative are we? We are so conservative:
When visitors come and they say, “Bring it preacher!” instead of just “amen,” the people next to them start edging toward the outside of the pew.
One Sunday a while back, a fellow uncased his electric bass, and the entire right side of the church clutched their chests and slumped in their pews.
We have the following in our Church Covenant:
Oh pious and upright believer, when thou are tormented by that fiendish spawn of the devil, the “housefly” thou shalt solely smitest it with one hand only so as not to to be accused of the crime of “clapping” and be branded a heretic.
Okay, that’s really not in there, but you can get the point. We are very conservative.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I am not into random, uncontrollable emotionalism as part of my worship or faith. I tend to be quite distrustful of things done in The Lord’s name that are driven by “feelings.” My faith is not a feeling, it is a rational considered thing based on available evidence. Of course feelings are part of it, but only part. I really get concerned about professions of faith coming as a result of intense emotionalism. It it occurred during a great emotional high, there is the chance it goes away during the next emotional low. But, again, not looking for a debate, just tossing my thoughts out.
On the other hand!
On the other hand, our faith should make us feel quite joyous and even happy. I personally sometimes feel a great deal of excitement when I think of the great gift I have been given in salvation and the blessings I am party to every single day. Shouldn’t we all feel that way? Why, then are so many of us in the snarled up, “bless me if you can” crowd?
Remember David, bringing the Ark of the Covenant, back to his city? How he danced before the lord? He was fairly excited as the celebrated this great blessing the Lord had provided, wasn’t he? Or course immediately someone, namely his own wife, came running out to tell him that he really ought to tone it down and act dignified. Sigh.
But, check this out:
Psalms 98:4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises
Psalms 35:27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”
Psalms 66:1-2 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; Sing the glory of His name; Make His praise glorious.
1 Chronicles 15:28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, and with sound of the horn, with trumpets, with loud-sounding cymbals, with harps and lyres.
Psalms 47:1 O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy.
Psalms 33:3 Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
Psalms 118:15 sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
God inspired every word of His Word, right? Plenty of stuff in there about some joyful shouting, right?
So, would it really kill us to show a little excitement, maybe even a little joy and emotion as we gather to praise and worship our Lord?