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!
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.