Thoughts, observations, scripture and other articles relating to Christianity and the Christian life.

Repost: Charismata and the Authority of Personal Experience

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/03/charismata-and-the-authority-of-personal-experience/

Above is a link to the article: Charismata and the Authority of Personal Experience. This article was absolutely outstanding and I highly recommend you read it.

I read this article this morning and one thing hit me: There is a frightening amount of people who are guided primarily by their feelings in our society…and it is leading to a lot of people being hurt.

Being guided by our feelings is NOT a good idea.  One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is more deceitful than all else, And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”. Having feelings is a natural part of everyday life.  We are really shifting from one feeling to another our entire lives.  We wake up and we FEEL sleepy.  We realize we have to go to work and we FEEL disheartened (maybe).  We get out of the shower and we FEEL refreshed. And so on and so on.  Feelings completely saturate our days.  This force of feelings or emotions is powerful in that it is so saturating in our day.  Yet scripture tells us that our hearts, the source of many of our feelings, is wicked, evil and deceitful.  When we rely on these feelings as a guide, without support from scripture, we can be led into poor decisions.

Now certainly our feelings can line up with scripture.  If we hear of an injustice and feel disgusted, that is a scripture backed feeling.  We SHOULD feel disgusted at injustice.  However, if we feel we want to do something like curse at a thoughtless driver, stare lustfully at someone (especially if our spouse is present…duh) or some other feeling comes over us, we MUST first view that feeling and see if it lines up with scripture.  If it does line up with scripture, than fear not.  If it doesn’t, RUN don’t walk, from whatever is causing that feeling.  If it’s ambiguous, search through scripture and pray for guidance until you have come to a decision on the issue.  I would argue if scripture is somewhat silent on the specific issue, play it safe.  Find something holy to turn your mind and heart toward.

In conclusion, feelings are not completely bad things, but we also need to remember that our feelings do not mean that following those feelings is a wise or holy course to take.  Scripture will ALWAYS be a better guide than our hearts.

God bless.

-Neil

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One response

  1. asphaleia

    Neil, the Scriptures’ comments about the “heart” of man relate just as much to our thoughts, intellect as to our feelings. The post you link to is on the nature of 15 years old or more, and I’m not sure that Wallace has not moderated some of his views somewhat. While being “guided by feelings” is perhaps not advisable, I seriously have to question Dr. Wallace’s assertion that this is what was behind some of his colleagues adopting continuationism. On the contrary, I think one major reason for adopting a cessationist viewpoint for many people has to do with how they feel about the issue more than any Scriptural or rational factor. Anyway, I invite you to look at a reponse I wrote to Dr. Wallace’s article at a blog I post on. The response can be found at http://continuationism.com/2010/03/16/cessationism-and-the-authority-of-personal-assumption/

    April 16, 2010 at 9:07 AM

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