Christianity’s discomfort with emotions can sometimes be broken down into these ideas:
1.) Your emotions and conscience can and will deceive you, therefore you cannot trust them.
2.) In general, Your emotions and conscience can be mostly trusted when it agrees with Scripture.
3.) Specifically, Your emotions and conscience can be completely trusted when it agrees with our interpretation of Scripture.
So there’s a big teaching that you ought to take a page out of Nike’s book and ‘just do it’; you ought to just obey the Bible whether you feel like it or not. Because if you don’t feel like obeying the Bible, then your emotions and conscience have been lead astray by evil. And if you do feel like obeying the Bible, then your emotions and conscience are confirmed to be ‘good’ because they line-up with the approved interpretation.
The whole thing makes me think that what Christianity really wants are robots. Robots are programmed with specific tasks that it must carry out. One directive that robots don’t have to have is to ignore emotion. People on the other hand, have them so we are directed to ignore and deny our emotions by warnings of what sin unfolds when people do get too emotional. So when we’re obeying the correct interpretation and we get the feeling that something is wrong, we’ve been told to ignore the feeling and continue obeying. Not once does the person consider if the feeling that something is wrong is because there really is something wrong.
Do you remember that cult-like church made the news for having beat up two young men, one of them to death? Didn’t you find it odd that none of them stopped to examine what the Bible says, recognized that something felt wrong about what they were doing, and tried to put a stop to it? Cults tend to be a master of manipulating people’s emotions in order to get them to do things that they ordinarily wouldn’t. Christianity uses the same tools, just to a lesser degree.
The way that people are taught, it’s as if they themselves are incapable of discerning and interacting with their emotions in a healthy way. They must depend upon someone outside of them to approve of how emotional they are and inform them when they’ve gotten too emotional. They must also depend upon someone else to tell them what the Scripture says about their emotions. If a cultist had bothered to stop to see what the Bible says about violence, they might have to ignore what the Bible says because they cannot trust their own interpretation anymore than they can trust the feeling that something is wrong. If their teacher says that what they are doing is right and holy and just, then their teacher must be right and any feeling that tells them otherwise must be wrong.
All the cult did, was to take a common teaching to it’s fullest extreme; Christianity has the potential to do just that as well. If it happens, it’ll be worse because it won’t just be one church but tens of thousands of them with people who don’t trust themselves because their teacher told them not to. It’s a recipe for trouble as long as Christianity despises and fears emotions.