tavanilla asked a question:
Do the “Holy Spirit” chills really come from the Holy Spirit? I feel like Christianity nowadays is based purely on feelings. I myself am a victim of this; chasing after that “feeling”. I know a relationship with God is more than just that feeling, but I want to ask you, what is “that thing” the surpasses those chills the come out of nowhere?
Hey dear friend, I’ve also heard of the “Holy Spirit chills,” also known as “the Spirit is really moving” or “I got the Ghost” or “I got totally wrecked.” I honestly thought it was a fun, goofy way of saying that we’ve connected with God on an undistracted level, but some of us are also very serious about the Spirit changing our body temperature, instead of changing our hearts. (#JesusJuke)
The thing is, I have nothing at all against the emotional element of Christianity. It can certainly be over-emphasized to a fault, but we’re all emotional beings. We’re meant to feel. Denying emotions can kill us. Some of us are never bothered by injustice or sin or never taken up by beauty and glory. We need to be spoken to in this emotional place if we’re to be well-rounded individuals who can have joyous community. Feelings are not the point, but without feelings, it’s all pretty pointless.
When a Christian tells me, “I’m looking for more than emotional religion!” – I understand what they mean, but I also hesitate, because it tends to sound like spiritualized snobbery. I think Reformed Calvinists tend to be down on Charismatics and vice versa, because no one is trying to understand that we need all of emotions and intellect to make us whole.
Instead of being too hard on our feelings, it’s better to give a balanced picture of our human needs in relation to God. In addition to emotions –
Intellect: We need a coherent theology that can explain our purpose, our suffering, the point of life and fellowship and a profound knowledge of our overarching story, so we know where we’re going.
Psychology: We need to know how our mind and motives work. What drives our will-power? How do we break bad habits and start good ones? How do other people work so we have a common foundation of contact?
Spirit: We need a conscious awareness of the supernatural, of a spiritual realm and power and reality beyond this one, where there’s a Kingdom and our citizenship in another world. Our flesh can only do so much; there’s an untapped wellspring of divinity residing within us and uniting us by a thread with others. There is a creative spark that brings us to create, heal, restore, and bring heaven to earth.
Each of us are going to have a tendency to one or two of those elements. I tend to be more intellectual/psychological, and it took me a while to realize the value of emotions and the spiritual. It also explains why some Christians love certain styles of preaching while some totally don’t. We can’t turn our nose up on any of these. God wired us all to uniquely receive and perceive in our specific ways, and we need each other to fill the areas we lack.
None of these elements are necessarily goals we chase: but if we’re chasing after Christ, we get a better handle on ourselves and how each part can break down, and also be built up. It’s only in Christ, the maker of our humanity, that we find the wholeness we’re looking for.