Christians “brow beaten” on emotions says Dean
The Dean of Sydney has told holiday crowds at St Andrew’s Cathedral that Christians have become confused between emotionalism and rationalism and unable to think out the place of emotions in the christian life.
In a series of talks at the third Australia Day Convention, Dean Jensen has taken a strong stand against what he describes as the extremes of the spectrum.
“Some equate emotions with spirituality and the rational with sinful while others equate emotional with heresy and rational with truth” the Dean told the convention in a series of talks covering Anger, Joy, Sorrow, Fear and Love.
“The Christian, like any normal human being, both feels and thinks, for both are taught in the Bible, so that normal orthodox Christianity occurs within this frame. But there are people who push the feeling side too hard to the detriment of our thinking and they become emotionalists ..... those who push the thinking side of Biblical Christianity too hard to the detriment of feelings do indeed become rationalists.
This, the Dean says, both confuses and intimidates people.
“When the emotionalists hear Evangelical Christians talking from the Bible about thinking they hear us as rationalists and assume we really are deep down into atheism. On the other hand when the rationalists hear Biblical Christians talking from the Bible about feelings they hear us as emotionalists and assume we really are deep down into superstition. Biblical Christians .... will feel brow beaten and put down by emotionalists and rationalists as we try to fathom out what the Bible teaches about our thinking and emotions.”
As well as the five sessions on “Emotions and the Christian Life”, broadcaster Kel Richards spoke on the life and influence of the missionary known as the ‘Jungle Doctor’ Paul White. Dr White would have been 100 on March 26th this year.
This was the largest Australia Day Convention so far, with crowds filling the gallery and side aisles.
The day ended with Dean Jensen calling for Christians to concentrate on obedience as they live their lives as followers of Jesus.
“We must be emotional in our commitment to Jesus for that commitment must not be intellectual only but also in reality and life. Similarly our mind matters and emotional commitment alone is not sufficient nor necessarily the spirit of God. Usually our real spirituality is to be seen in our actions of submissive obedience rather than how much we have in our brains or how firmly we feel about something.”