August 14th, 2006

HTOC

Emotional Legalism

I found this wonderful entry below here at the TheoBlog:

Emotional Legalism

I have used this phrase in conversations before, and a few nights ago I was asked to define it. I wrote an email in which I did so, and I thought I'd post it here for discussion.

Emotional legalism, within the context of the church, is the way we try to conform ourselves to a strict pattern of feelings/emotions in our worship and faith, and the way we expect others to also conform to this pattern. An example of emotional legalism might be getting angry at ourselves and others for not crying more in church, or feeling inadequate next to (or judging) someone who is raising their hands while singing; in addition, many worship anthems lend themselves to emotional legalism in that the lyrics expect us to claim extravagant sentiments about God as our own feelings.

Emotional legalism is our refusal to see what is actually inside of us, and our refusal to understand it. Emotional 'grace', by antithesis, is that ability to understand one's emotions that allows us the freedom to feel like atheists on rainy days, knowing that this too shall pass.

Legalisms in general tell us that we must conform to certain patterns in order to encounter God. Emotional legalism is the heresy that demands specific emotional behaviors of us and says, in effect, that if we are not feeling certain feelings, we are not in fact encountering God.

HTOC

Protestant Catholicity

Here we have some very good postings from Protestant authors, seeking to enter the mind of catholicity:

http://alastair.adversaria.co.uk/?p=237  An introduction to baptism in general and infant baptism in particular.
http://alastair.adversaria.co.uk/?p=302  Eucharist and interpretation in John 6.
http://iustificare.blogspot.com/2006/07/double-imputation.html  Against the forensic imputation of Christ's righteousness as defined by many Reformers.

Read.