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"Believing in Fairy Tales: Dispelling Falsehood in the Christian Church?": Part 1 - Emotionalism

Updated on July 24, 2013

Fairy Tales to Dispel in Today's Christian Church

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Emotionalism in the Church

I vividly remember a Bible study very early in my Christianity when one of the men boldly stated that “if you don’t get the ‘warm and fuzzies’ during your worship, you’re doing it wrong”. At the time I wasn’t mature enough and did not know the Lord well enough to question this statement, so I just went along with it.

I thought, “hey when I get the ‘warm and fuzzies’ I must be doing something good; but if I don’t I’ve got to try harder or God won’t be happy with my worship”. Thank God I know better than that now! Thankfully even through this period of life, my walk with God has never been about just satisfying emotional cravings.

If you look around at preachers trying to sell out auditoriums, fill megachurch chapels, write best-sellers, or produce the highest-rated religious TV shows they nearly all have one thing in common: they pander to, cater to, and attempt to manipulate the emotions of their audience.

What many of these preachers have discovered is that people will pay a lot of money to feel good about themselves and their lives. People will go great distances to hear someone encourage them to feel complacent, or who promises the key to success, happiness and fulfillment.

Hurting people seek desperately for comfort and healing. Depressed people scramble to find hope. Anguished people seek peace desperately.

Who is there to meet them?

Unfortunately, often times it is someone who simply wants to take advantage of them. Jesus had a word for those who do this: wolves!

Matthew 7:15-16a
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…”

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Wolves in the Pulpits?

In today’s world, particularly in the western Church, we see the wolves are very crafty. Often they will use repetitive music that has little or no doctrinal value, but that has a great deal of energy to hype up their crowd. They will often practice their inflection and gestures to make sure they are dynamic enough for the crowd.

While there is nothing ungodly at all about being a charismatic speaker, it is not required or even given preference in God’s word. Our pastors, preachers and teachers are not given to us to entertain and excite us. Neither are they given to offer us a pep rally to set our hopes on worldly things and carnal values.

God gives them to us to proclaim His word. That’s the overriding job or mission of a pastor, a preacher or a teacher: to faithfully proclaim the whole counsel of God. That includes a lot of passages that do not come off as encouraging when judged by the world’s standards.

Do our pastors and teachers concern themselves more with getting us through to the next Sunday emotionally, or getting us through to heaven complete in our spirituality?

Do our pastors and teachers concern themselves with making sure we are happy, smiling, encouraged and patronized? Or do they ensure that we are challenged, convicted of sin/error, rebuked, equipped and exhorted to holiness?

Jesus goes on in Matthew 7 to describe good fruit and those whose spiritual house stands firm, as it was built on the solid rock of His word (The Bible), by faith in and obedience to that word. Jesus had a ministry of going to those who were deceived, who were sick, hungry, demon-possessed and afflicted.

His ministry was all about preaching the truth and pointing all towards God and His great glory. The miracles and the healing were nothing more than the signs used by Jesus to authenticate the message of his ministry.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats - Charles H. Spurgeon

Goats in the Pews?

We see that throughout Jesus’ ministry, as often as people flocked to him, they also left him or turned against him when the message of repentance and the Kingdom of heaven was offensive to them. Crowds attempted to stone Jesus to death unsuccessfully, the Pharisees and religious leaders attempted to debate him and plotted to kill Jesus, and eventually Jesus was crucified. And the reason Jesus was crucified was two-fold: He preached a radical message that confronted sin and unbelief, and he rightly proclaimed that He was God in the flesh.

2 Timothy 4:3-4
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

As much as I would like to say that Jesus’ warning was only regarding these false teachers, of course I cannot. We see that in the verse above, along with a great many others, it is all who risk this. Any time we put our feelings on a pedestal above truth, wisdom and righteousness we have gone astray. They are too fickle and come from a human heart that has already been tainted with sin.

Jeremiah 17:9
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

The Best Way to Run the Goats Out of the Pews

Learn What to Look Out for and Why

What's the solution?

Jesus spoke about the condition of the human heart in John 3:19-21 (right after one of the most famous verses in the Bible about the free gift of salvation), because mankind is more concerned with lusts, pleasures and feelings. People have “loved darkness rather than light” because “every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

To follow Jesus requires us to die to self. We must be willing to judge our own motivations, desires, emotions and thoughts. We must be willing to go through discomfort, offense and even suffering for the Lord’s sake. That’s not a message that fills pews.

God desires to have an intimate relationship with each of us as His children. He desires to work through us and refine us, making us more like Him in the process. And with this does come some tremendous emotional benefit.

However, that benefit only comes once we have subjected our emotions to, and submitted them to God’s priorities, purposes and will. He has revealed these to us in Scripture. And His Holy Spirit convicts us of these.

A Brief Summary of Misusing Emotions in Christian Worship. Is it For Baby Christians?

What's the Value of Emotions in our Christian Worship?

In other words, our emotions regarding parenting are benefit our souls nothing if we do not first ensure that our thoughts, philosophies and practices are in line with how God wants us to raise children. Our emotions regarding romance and sexuality are worthless if they are not first screened through God’s word to make sure we are seeking them God’s way. The same is true for money, success, fame, and so many other pursuits.

All of our emotions are a hindrance to God’s work within us if we don’t first make His priorities our own priorities. Then our emotions will be for God’s will and not our own.

What things do we get emotional about that are against Him?

Galatians 5:19-21
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Brothers and sisters we must be ever-so-careful that we set our hearts and minds on God’s way; and learn that through His word and prayer over His word. And we must also remain vigilant to not put emotions ahead of truth and righteousness.

Ultimately God has shown me that the man in that Bible study years ago may have been well-meaning, but he was wrong. The warm and fuzzies are not what is required for pleasing worship to God. Remember, he desires those who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth!

You think about that and God bless!

To learn more about remaining faithful in deceptive times, read Gary Gilley's "This Little Church Stayed Home"

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      Charles Palmer of South Africa 3 years ago

      Having done 24 years of intensive research, study and evaluation on the different Religions and Beliefs of the world, it is without doudt and can be proven, that based upon Christian behavior today, Christianity has become the largest Satanic movement sweeping the face of this earth. Take an deep honest look at all the arguments, the divisions, the envy and strife, the pride, the most weird different preachings and teachings, the greed, and much more, that is taking place within the circle of Christianity, and one will see Satan at work. This does raise a serious question of, " What has happened to the Truth of God?" A question that 95% of non- believers are asking the Christians today, which proves the fact, that the majority of christians today are demonic, filled with familiar and seducing spirits of total destruction. We have all the true facts of this, and are not afraid of exposing what christians truelly are.

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      Jeremy Brown 3 years ago from Maine

      Charles - I don't know the sincerity or intent of your post, though I am compelled to reply to it. Some of your tone seems more like the trolling done on internet forums than discussion. If you are a sincere truth seeker, I would love to engage you in discussion.

      That being said, let me address what you have stated, point by point.

      You stated: "Having done 24 years of intensive research, study and evaluation on the different Religions and Beliefs of the world, it is without doudt and can be proven, that based upon Christian behavior today, Christianity has become the largest Satanic movement sweeping the face of this earth." This statement is self-defeating and misleading on numerous levels. For starters Christian behavior, or more accurately stated the behavior of some who claim to be Christians ( I will argue that Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, the prosperity gospel group and many other "Christianized" cults are not Christians) - this behavior does not PROVE anything against God, true Christianity or the Bible.

      Second, you use the word proven a lot for things that aren't in any way, shape or form proven. So I reject the use of that word throughout your post.

      Third, I respectfully question your claimed 24 years of intensive research, study and evaluation - you cited nothing here. I know a great many scholars of theology, philosophy and other disciplines and all both can and do refer back to specific writings, quotes, works and/or research that has been done and can be verified by any individual of their own merit without taking your word on it. So the approach here certainly does not mimic the majority of scholars who comment on such subjects from a secular or theistic viewpoint. Look at any debates, discussions or works of research from people like James White, John MacArthur, Michael Brown, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, Gleason Archer or their atheistic counterparts such as the late Christopher Hitchens as an example.

      How much genuine Biblical research and study of the early Church fathers (through non-secular sources) have you truly done exhaustively? And any research done on any other religion or belief system has absolutely no bearing on Christianity or the veracity and truthfulness of the Christian faith. That's irrelevant.

      The statement about being a Satanic movement is not only false, but actually borrows from a Christian world view to be able to even be asserting that.

      You said "Take an deep honest look at all the arguments, the divisions, the envy and strife, the pride, the most weird different preachings and teachings, the greed, and much more, that is taking place within the circle of Christianity, and one will see Satan at work."

      For starters this is not a legitimate argument. Secondly, you did not specify anything other than envy, greed and strife which the latter is highly subjective and the first two are highly presumptive depending on the scenario you're referring to. You make no specifics about arguments, teachings or divisions as to what you're referring to. Unless your intent is to be nothing more than inflammatory and silly, please clarify so we can have an intellectually honest and reasonable conversation. You must put the specifics out there to be discussed, judged and evaluated - instead of again asking that any reader just simply take you for your word.

      I will say that the Bible clearly tells us to be about the truth and sound doctrine, to correct one another, contend for the faith, give a ready answer and defense for the hope that is within us, and to sharpen one another as well as to confront error when it is present. To that end, you would actually expect their to be a certain level of healthy debate and some teachings that are in correction to others. That is by design. I'll add that many of these debates and teachings are because the secular world has influenced some Christians and others who claim to be Christians.

      You said - "This does raise a serious question of, " What has happened to the Truth of God?"' - my answer, nothing has. His word is forever. If you have a problem with the faithfulness of certain Christians, great, many true Christians do as well. That has nothing to do with Christianity as a whole though. The Body is the Body, regardless of your issues with individual believers.

      It also raises the question - who do you call Christians? Do you call Catholics Christians? Do you call Mormons Christians? Do you call the "Emergent Church" Christians? Please elaborate with reasonable specificity.

      You said this was "A question that 95% of non- believers are asking the Christians today, which proves the fact, that the majority of christians today are demonic, filled with familiar and seducing spirits of total destruction."

      Wow - what a presumptive and ridiculous statement. First of all, please verify and cite your number or concede that it is untrue and made up. When you state a percentage as though it is a fact, please expect that it will be questioned. I know a whole lot of unbelievers and I can tell you that it is pretty close to zero who have said anything remotely like this to me or other Christians that I know and communicate with regularly.

      Second, a question does not prove a fact. Your use of the word proof is beyond suspect. I'm sorry to be so direct, but this type of statement requires confrontation and correction.

      When you make the statement that "the majority of Christians today are demonic, filled with familiar and seducing spirits of total destruction" you are borrowing from my world view as a Christian to make that statement. Also, I reject this statement plainly and completely. Third, you have no way of knowing or verifying this statement. If you think you do, please respond with very specific information that we can discuss and debate.

      Your assessment is in fact ludicrous, misleading and irresponsible.

      If you knew your theology then you would know it is impossible for an actual Christian to be "demonic, filled with familiar and seducing spirits of total destruction". This is possibly Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, I'd be careful of this type of assessment - particularly when painting with such a broad brush stroke, as you were.

      A person is only a Christian if they fully believe all of the following: that God exists, He exists in co-equal and co-eternal persons that are one God that we refer to as the Trinity or Godhead, that Jesus Christ is the second-person of that Trinity, is fully-God and fully-man at the same time, that He was born of an actual virgin, that He lived a morally perfect and completely sinless life, that He was crucified and died on the cross for our sins to atone for them, and that after the third day he literally, physically and bodily Resurrected; was seen of many; and Ascended into Heaven where He prepares for His return when all of the saints will be Resurrected to eternal life in heaven; and all of the unbelievers will be resurrected to an eternity in of conscious torment in hell, which is the just consequence for their sin and rejection of Jesus Christ; and that this Trinity has two other members the Father and the Holy Spirit. A true Christian must believe that all statements that the Bible makes about Jesus Christ are absolutely true with no mixture of error, and that our salvation comes by the grace of God alone, by faith in Christ alone, with no mixture of works being needed to earn or maintain that salvation.

      Anyone else is claiming to be a Christian and isn't. And if they are not a Christian, they cannot be used in an argument against Christians and Christianity.

      Further, it is not the claim of the Bible or Christianity that salvation makes us good or perfect in this life. In fact the claim is only that it makes us less evil; and that only to the extent that we are faithful and obedient to Christ and His commands and teachings in the Holy Bible.

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      Charles Allen-Palmer 3 years ago

      Between 1974 and 1988 I was a dedicated high prophet of Satan, until I realized the danger and the harm it was causing to others and their families. September 1988, I became a converted Christian believing that I have found the Truth, the way and the life. But! To my surprise I found myself trapped in a massive circle of deceit and destruction, known as Christianity today. Having studied the Bible now for 24 years, and evaluating it with christian behavior today, I might as well go back to the years where I served Satan, because this is exactly what is happening in most, if not all, the christian churches of today. The works of Satan can clearly be seen amongst Preachers and Teachers, as they misguide innocent souls into a deadly web of total destruction. The christian behavior today is of great concern, and it is most certainly manifesting the spirits of falsehood, known as familiar and seducing spirits that fall under the authority of Satan. Having visited many churches in South Africa, I have found only one truth, and that is Satan is in total control of the church. For some reason, I just have to look into the eyes of a christian, and I can clearly see and say what type of spirit dwells within that christian. Believe me when I say, it does not look good, and this includes well known famous Preachers of big churches in South Africa who have the powers of mind control, leading unstable souls directly into the grooves of Hell. I know all these Preachers by name, and some of them know who I am, and have threatened me if I expose them. One great well known false Preacher, has become a TV celebraty, and with his Satanic deceitfulness has gained many followers of wealth. This Preacher is exactly what I was years ago, a dedicated prophet of Satan.

    • profile image

      Charles Allen-Palmer 3 years ago

      Between 1974 and 1988 I was a dedicated high prophet of Satan, until I realized the danger and the harm it was causing to others and their families. September 1988, I became a converted Christian believing that I have found the Truth, the way and the life. But! To my surprise I found myself trapped in a massive circle of deceit and destruction, known as Christianity today. Having studied the Bible now for 24 years, and evaluating it with christian behavior today, I might as well go back to the years where I served Satan, because this is exactly what is happening in most, if not all, the christian churches of today. The works of Satan can clearly be seen amongst Preachers and Teachers, as they misguide innocent souls into a deadly web of total destruction. The christian behavior today is of great concern, and it is most certainly manifesting the spirits of falsehood, known as familiar and seducing spirits that fall under the authority of Satan. Having visited many churches in South Africa, I have found only one truth, and that is Satan is in total control of the church. For some reason, I just have to look into the eyes of a christian, and I can clearly see and say what type of spirit dwells within that christian. Believe me when I say, it does not look good, and this includes well known famous Preachers of big churches in South Africa who have the powers of mind control, leading unstable souls directly into the grooves of Hell. I know all these Preachers by name, and some of them know who I am, and have threatened me if I expose them. One great well known false Preacher, has become a TV celebraty, and with his Satanic deceitfulness has gained many followers of wealth. This Preacher is exactly what I was years ago, a dedicated prophet of Satan.

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      Lena 2 years ago

      It's posts like this that make surfing so much plusaere

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