Truly responding to Gods grace

I have long pondered the question of church culture, while an evangelist in Sweden I was astounded how the Christians in church could stomach the message of the cross and the fantastic news of resurection and salvation without showing any emotion. I was told that it is just not within Swedish culture to give an emotional response to anything, yet I observed the Swedish people unanimously go wild during every fotball game or any other international event with swedish people involved, I watched droves of people mass to the place where Anna Lindh was killed leaving roses and heartfelt eulogies for a woman they never knew, crying on the news every night that fateful week. Being Swedish by birth myself (although aparently not by culture) I question the hypocracy of this.

Now I am in Latvia and the situation is exactly the same. A pattern is emerging, no matter where I go I am told the same thing: It is just not in our culture to pray loudly, to dance in worship, to shout in church, to raise our hands, to express our emotions to God. And yet it is if it is a sports game or anything else where excitement is high and you just cannot hide your emotions.

Show me your passion, I will show you your God!

It takes comittment to stay on fire, to keep the cross close to your heart, to still get moved by the message of salvation. It takes total engagement of the whole self, that is we need to engage our bodies and our minds and if we give ourselves totally to the Creator of the universe, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Alpha and Omega, the Author of our salvation, our Saviour, our closest Friend then our emotions WILL be stirred and personally I think it is an affront to a Holy God to try to control and hold back our natural reaction to the supernatural reality of a loving God.

Many people hold the idea that if a meeting is very emotional it is shallow and not very spiritual at all, I say nothing could be further from the truth, If the gospel is comunicated right sinners will be convicted and saints will rejoice! The true gospel communicated where the deep and profound truth of Gods salvation plan is clearly put across in a way that people can grasp and take to heart WILL elicit true emotions, not the shallow chemicly induced hype of a secular party but the true, honest and heartfelt response of the people of God!

[bibleblock]Matt 18:3[/bibleblock]

If a child was told extremely good news and did not react, told extremely bad news and showed no emotion or Did something wrong and showed no remorse when corected then we would assume that something was wrong with the child. And yet we defend the non responsiveness of the saints with excuses of cultural conformity. It is time we release people to be truly in love with Jesus. To boldly rolemodel a proper response to the miraculous love God has shown us.

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I’m not sure about Swedish culture, but speaking of Latvian, take into account the usage of alcocholic beverages before, during and after hockey games. most probably you will find the “real” hockey fan with at least one bottle of bear(usually, a lot more) in his/her hands… and that’s where the crowd of roaring Latvian hockey fans emerges from…
Sadly, but we are “singers and drunkards” nation..
All people don’t have to express their emotions similarly. Sometimes bowing down your head can have the same emotional meaning as dancing or raising hands. There is no single “right/true/proper” way to love Jesus, to express your emotions to Him, be it quiet way or loud.
And there is another thing. Sometimes the problem isn’t about “not showing emotions”, sometimes the problem is “not having emotions/faith”.
Their hearts just aren’t ignited, they just don’t let Lord’s light and joy shine through them..

Patrik Olterman

Granted, sweden has a heavy alcohol culture as well, but I still see sober people like my family members shouting in front of the TV at a goal in a fotball match and this without a single drop of alcohol.

Besides that We have the Holy Spirit wich will give you the effects of alcohol without the hangover and destruction of our minds 🙂

I do aggree however, we are all different people with different personalities and we will express ourselves differently, but if I may refeer to my earlier post “Freedom to worship” if everyone else is silent most people will hold back as not to appear different.

And yes I agree to a great extent we are dealing with people whose love has grown cold, and we need to inspire those people and certanly pray for them that they once again will feel the first love!

I truly think that by ourselves expressing our love for Jesus in all the ways we can think of we will inspire people to fall deeper in love with Him who sacrificed Himself so that we might have life and life abundantly.


:)because of your disscussion with Graeme, I thought about different forms of worship all my way to home… the story goes like this:
as I became a christian in a traditional lutheran church, I was used to bow down on my knees during service when praying – that became a way in which I really could express my emotions and faith and feel the presence of Holy Spirit.
But then I changed the Lutheran church to Reformed – and in my current – Reformed church nobody EVER kneels(because we are “so cool” and “we rock” and mostly we all are young(20-30)and bold:). And although I really enjoy reformed theology, our sercvices, the worship music and everything else, sometimes there have been situations when I feel that at that moment I really really would want to kneel, but as everybody else is sitting, I usually don’t. Once I did, but then I had awkward feeling that prevented me from praying, I felt really hypocratic and never have done it again.
The same sometimes happens also in the Salvation Army – in morning prayers – there have been a lot of days when I would prefer at least standing while singing, not just sitting down. But… as everybody else sits, I also sit.
The only place where I feel really free to pray in what way I want is in my church’s prayer evenings. Then I know, that I can lay down on the floor if I want to, I can walk, I can kneel, I can do anything while praying (well, ok, maybe I wouldn’t push others or throw things:).
So maybe it all “unresponsiveness/not showing emotions” thing is about not being true, not being open, not feeling secure enough among others. I don’t know..
Anyway, thank you for making me think about all these things.
There is a hope that thinking can lead me somewhere closer to being true:)

and, yeah, sorry for writing so long

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