Glorious Manipulation

I want to greet you on this Lord’s Day in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

There has been much criticism of the modern church, and some of it rightly so, in its tendency to manipulate the emotions of the people. The leaders use slick methods and sinful strategies to produce a desired effect among those in attendance.

However, we do not want to throw out this need to have our emotions manipulated simply because some use it for wicked, selfish motives. God has not called us together on this Lord’s Day to simply express whatever emotions we happened to be feeling when we woke up this morning. Neither has He called us together to ignore those feelings and simply go through the motions like good little girls and boys.

No, we gather in the name of our Triune God that our emotions might be brought into line with the reality we believe. As we sing of our glorious God, our emotions should be manipulated to feel the way we ought to feel in light of His glory. As we confess our sin before the throne of God and receive His undeserved mercy, our emotions should be manipulated to feel what we should feel about our sin and His grace.

Let us come together today not believing and living according to how we feel. Let us come feeling and living according to what we believe. For we believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.

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