Worshipful hysteria

Formal worship is very important.  It is often a very prosaic enterprise and should not necessarily be otherwise.  The Spirit of God can be present nevertheless, ready to respond to the beckoning of a ready heart.

But some churches don’t deign to trust the Spirit of God to do its work and set out to whip-up a spiritual frenzy.  In earlier years there was the ever-present and trusty use of hysteria.  That ruse included manipulation and even outright terror.  In modern times, many churches have gone high-tech and use “sis, boom, bah” to overwhelm its membership and get them psychologically open to manipulation.

The love of God is not present in this setting; it is not viewed as adequate to accomplish the purposes of the church.  As Shakespeare noted in Julius Caesar, “When love begins to sicken and decay, it useth an enforced ceremony.”  He then added, “There are no tricks in plain and simple faith; but hollow men, like horses hot at hand, make gallant show and promise of their mettle.”

 

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