“We keep bad leaders around because we want someone who can make us feel something.”

“The Cross… also reveals, in history’s most transcendent moment, that Jesus’ focus is not on trying to evoke feelings in others. Nor is it on stoically demonstrating timeless truth.” - TGC


This article hit the nail on the head when it said that we are tempted to gravitate toward leaders who provide a transcendent feeling. I just wish the article was written less emotionally, less mystically. What the author suggests about these corporation-type pastors is also true — in my view — of even more churches who try to create transcendent feelings through music. Even making worship synonymous with music reveals the point.

This attempt to create an aura reminds me of the church baptistry that was rigged to give candidates for baptism a slight electric shock. If our faith is real, we should not need Hollywood trappings to worship or edify. The problem is not new; creating a feeling, an aura — whether the solemnity of a Roman mass or the hooplah of a Pentecostal meeting — is never seen as suspicious. But it really is manipulative. Trappings, aura, atmosphere that we depend upon to “really worship” do, indeed, mask doubt. Not that doubt is always bad. But sometimes we must choose to believe despite our doubts, and pretending we never have them is not helpful.

If what we believe is true, we should not need to use emotional manipulation to evidence that truth. Emotion is part of who we are, but creating a system to manipulate emotion — I think we have bought into that concept fro many centuries. But, admittedly, there are new variations on the theme today.

"The Midrash Detective"