Originally posted on Pulpit & Pen:
In the aftermath, in the stillness, we would reflect on the experience as we rode home in the dark in buses and vans. It was a quiet time of holy reverence for what we had just gone through. As we came out of our shells and began to talk, we would always agree on the same thing, that the music was awesome and that “God showed up.” Later on during the next morning service, the Pastor would call up one or two of us teen representatives on stage to talk about our time there. We would invariably share the same thing, that it was a fantastic life changing experience, and that ” God showed up”.
But why did we say that? Its because since we were young, we’ve been conditioned by the Church and the purveyors of modern evangelicalism to believe that emotional experiences are equated to a spiritual experience. That they are interrelated and interchangeable. That if you have an emotional response to a song or to an atmosphere, that God is there and at working. I can’t remember a time when that wasn’t taught, either explicitly or tacitly. They might not outright say it, but their actions scream it. Music is a powerful thing, all the much more when it is consecrated with the Holy Spirit and imbued with spiritual words and meaning. That’s why our teens can remember how they felt every single time at every conference, but can’t tell you what was preached on. They could walk someone through minute by minute of a two hour worship set during certain retreats, but couldn’t tell you what scriptures were preached on for the 15 minutes afterward.