“Rampant Addiction to Emotionalism Discovered in Much of the Western World!” says Jason. Do emotionally charged church services — contemporary or otherwise — help or hinder our worship of God? Do we sometimes find ourselves going to church because it just feels good to worship God, rather than because it is right to give Him praise?
This has bearing as well on our music, because heaven knows I’ve sung more than my share of church songs which, rather than praising God, instead turn into meta-worship which praises the wonderful emotions that accompany praising God. (Or worse, songs which prefer to repeat the word “love, love, love” again and again and just treat it as implied that God is the subject.)
These days, when I find myself singing a song that starts singing about me and how I feel rather than how great God is, the song begins to taste sour, and I can no longer sing it. I recently experienced such a pang with I Can Only Imagine, which seems more about how the singer will react to standing before God, and not about the glory of God Himself. (But maybe that’s just me. Sorry, Julie! ;) (Never mind that. I’m just being a stupid, snobbish, heresy-hunting killjoy, especially considering that there are Psalms which praise God through meta-worshipful phrases just like that. Sorry.)
Which is why we are called to take every thought captive to obey Christ, and to prove all things and hold fast that which is good. We need to ask the Spirit to search hearts for any way that is against Him, that we may rise above shallow worship and smash the idol of emotion-worship, that we may worship God in spirit and in truth.