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What does it mean to be passionate?

We've had a recent blog post that stirred up much discussion, heated discussion... dare I say... passionate discussion, about how to worship God, about the feminization of Worship, about the feminization of the Church as a whole...
Which begs the question...
What exactly is being passionate? Is it being loud? Pushy? Argumentative? (I've been known for all of that... but that's not what makes passion, one could say I was angry, insecure, controlling... you get the picutre)
And this isn't about me anyhow... not completely. Its about me and you (that's the collective you) In Revelation 3:16 we are told that Jesus Himself said He'd spit out of His mouth the lukewarm... why?

Well, because Lukewarn doesn't do anything to enhance or detract or change. Lukewarm water isn't even refreshing. Lukewarm food is unappetizing, and lukewarm lovers do not last in a relationship.

So what is passionate behaviour? We're all confused by that because... we have worldly examples of what passion is, some of those example are lewd and lascivious and involve names like Victoria's Secret, Playboy, and cheezy saxophone music.

Other worldly examples involve screaming, yelling, body paint and alcohol. and Yet others include fantastic costumes and the adamant belief in multiple dimensions.

What do all of these examples have in common? An intense personal devotion to the activity or philosophical supposition or person, that expresses itself in physical demonstration of that devotion.

And that is what God has done for us. He is madly, deeply, intensely, dare I say passionately in love with each and every one of us. He created the earth for us, He derives pleasure in seeing us do well.

The birth life, death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus is called the Passion. And there was nothing effeminate about His life, His ministry or His defeat of the Enemy of Our Souls. Our Lord is a warrior and He has an intense personal devotion to ... me, and you (that's the collective you) He died on a tree, knowing that by His own Father's decree He was considered cursed, but did not care. -Galatians 3:13

So what if a man or a woman cries when they are embraced by the Love of God? So what? Can that expression of passion be any greater than going to H*ll and beating the Enemy?

Can the opening of a heart be any more intense than when it is open to being abused daily by those who claim to love, yet ignore the wise leading of that Loved One?

The admonition to keep the commandments of the Lord is given at least sixty nine times in Scripture- that's in both old and new testaments, and that admonition was repeatedly ignored, yet every time the Children of Israel opened their hearts in sincerity God heard their Cry... is that not passionate love?

Many of us have sinned against the Lord since we have come to Christ, yet if we repent in sincerity and turn back to Him 1John1:9 does He not receive us still?

And if Jesus Himself was not afraid to cry...Luke 13:34, John 11:35 how can a man be so resistant to accepting the Love of God and so ashamed to express it?
Our hearts should be full of joy, knowing of the passionate love that God has for us.. a passion that is beyond human comprehension. And our passion for Him should be hot, red hot, as hot as the passion some have for the worldy ways that it is acceptable to express passion. No, hotter.

Now some would say, and have said that passion that can be manipulated, and that is true. That passion that is easily manipulated is passion without knowledge or reason or understanding. As Christians we have all three. The KNOWELDGE of our salvation in the Lord is the REASON for our passion, and the UNDERSTANDING, even tho' it is small that God's love for us is eternal and intense- the Scriptures tell us He is jealous for us And that is what He wants from us, a jealous love, an intense love, ...a passionate love.

still thinking...



Blog Sharing: 

Joel Fieri (@oldscool)

  I'm glad you are continuing the 'passionate' discussion, blackrose. I think you are right on when you say the definition of passion is key. If you word-search the Bible, most, if not all, you find are verses that warn against various passions, associating them with worldliness or our former selves. With our worldly culture so steeped in sensuality, it's a fine line when we attempt to assign passion to our view of God. Maybe "zeal" would be a better word. As for crying, I don't necessarily equate that with passion. More with emotionalism (which, BTW, has it's place). My worry is that our current church culture is skewed dangerously out of balance towards that end of the scale. There is a place for tears in the Christians walk with God, even for men. But they should come from conviction, grief or compassion, which are not the same as passion. I'm not sure I see Jesus crying in Luke 13:34 (though He very well might have been). Notice v. 35 - he's angry. Now in John 11 He certainly was, feeling compassion and sadness at the death of Lazarus. Obviously, it's an important discussion to have, and I appreciated your input on my blog, so I thought I'd return the favor:) Blessings Old'scool

Raynard Shellow+ (@iraqivetsgtret)

  rose, all i can say is that as god moves your heart with passion, you keep on keeping on... nuff said be blessed... ... ... ... ...

Art Schnatterly (@aliveintheword)

  rose, Excellent! Until a little over a year ago most who knew me saw an angry, overly serious, humorless driven, even passionate about my work man. On April 6, 2008, the day I returned to the flock people who have come to know me see a serious yet fun loving, even funny at times passionate man. The see a man who is driven to serve our lord, a man driven to learn about and understand the desires of our God for us and to pass the good news along to others. the see a man who has genuine joy in his heart. The even, on frequent occasions, see a man who silently sheds tears during worship services. In my congregation we have four distinctly different worship services each week. The earliest is a very formal, traditional communion service. The second, also a traditional service, is much less formal than the first. It is oriented toward families. The third is a Glory and Praise service which frequently even includes rap music composed by members of the youth groups. The fourth, which meets on a weekday evening, is known as an "alternative worship service." (The title "alternative" has caused a bit of eyebrow raising attention outside of this congregation, but it deals with the means of worshiping God, not the lifestyles of those in attendance.) I have attended all four services and I have seen intense displays of emotion and love in each. Passion... you betcha! What makes each of these worship services effective is that they "speak" in the language of those attending. This carries over into the mission activities of this congregation. From groups for the elderly to youth groups, this congregation is extremely active and passionate about their involvement in the building, in the local community and in mission trips throughout the US and nearby countries. For a middle class, Protestant, mostly white, Midwestern, traditional, Bible based congregation, these folks have and show passion in their love for and service to Christ Jesus. The leadership of the congregation and participants at every level in every activity are roughly equally balanced between men and women, boys and girls. Yep, passionate! Not crazy wild, just... passionate. Shalom, Art Alive in The Word

Christopher Quek+ (@arisensleeper)

  Many years ago a very wise (and passionate) man of God told a young graduate student that the Lord desires men and women of zeal for His Kingdom. This young man had just received Christ as his Savior. The fire of his first love still blazed in his heart and he was full of fire and questions. He told his mentor that he had the zeal and he was ready. The old professor looked at him with soft wizened eyes that shone with years of experience and toil in the fields of God's ministry and smiled. "You have the joy of the Lord fresh in you now, you are full of energy. Use that energy to study God's Word. I can see the same passion in you that I had in my youth but it is not passion that you need. To sustain you, you need a sorrowing heart, His sorrowing heart." The young man was puzzled, what did his mentor mean? Why would anyone want a sorrowing heart?

In time, the young man graduated and left his old friend to pursue post graduate studies elsewhere. His mentor retired from full-time teaching and moved to the country to pastor a small church. he had taught the young man well and this young man began to grow in the Word and to teach others. He started to volunteer in various ministries and eventually found his calling to work among the poor, the addicted, and the lost. Years later, the young man, now not so young, began to feel depressed and saddened because the evil and suffering around him seemed too great. He tried hard to recall his passion, but years of disappointment and battle against poverty, ignorance, and the seeming callous hearts of the church had begun to harden him. He so much wanted to change the world to serve his God and bring glory to His Kingdom but it seemed that he was beating his head against a brick wall and the passion he once had was gone. He was becoming angry and bitter. Just as he was about to give up entirely, he got a call from the wife of his old mentor. "Come," she said, "James has inoperable cancer and he wants to see you."

Dropping everything, the man took a hurried leave of absence from the university where he was teaching and booked the first flight to see his old friend, perhaps for one last time. All the way, in the plane and the drive in his rental car to the small town in hilly countryside of North Carolina, he anguished as to what he would say to his dear old friend. When he arrived at the small modest cottage of his friend he was greeted by the soft sad smile of his friend's wife and soon he found himself sitting next to the bed of his mentor. His friend had aged and likes of pain showed on his wizened face as the cancer slowly ate away at his insides. Months of chemo therapy and harsh medicine had weakened him further but those wise eyes, so familiar, so gentle, so filled with light and love remained vibrant and strong. The man had come to comfort his friend but he soon found himself pouring out his heart just as he did so many years ago as a young graduate student. When he finally stopped.

His friend spoke in a soft voice, "Do you remember I told you that you need a sorrowing heart? His Sorrowing Heart?" he motioned for his worn leather bound Bible sitting on his night stand "Open it and please read 2 Corinthians and read verses 10 to 11 to me"

He did as he was asked and read, "2 Corinthians 7:10-11, Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done."

"Yes," he said, "Those verses have sustained me all these years and they will sustain you."

"What do you think God feels when He see the broken world? When He sees the suffering of the poor and the disenfranchised? What does He feel when He beholds his creation living in sin? He sorrowed and His love caused Him to send His Son to die for us on a cross so that we might be saved."

"This is God's Sorrowing Heart." he took the man's hand and continued, "When I was a young man like you, my mentor prayed with me and we asked for His Sorrowing Heart. If you like, I would love to pray with you for that same heart."

That day, the man knelt at his friend's bed, his friend's frail hand in his and they prayed and asked God for that a sorrowing heart, His heart. We prayed for that earnestness, that eagerness, that indignation, that longing, that concern, and that readiness to see justice done.

His beloved friend died quietly in his sleep three days later. In those three days, they spoke whenever he had the strength, he insisted on it! In those three days he taught that man more than his many years in universities and the hallowed halls of academia. The man spoke at his funeral and he preached on the sorrowing heart, his friend's sorrowing heart, the sorrowing heart that God gave him, God's sorrowing heart."

That young man was me. That was over 11 years ago and God has been faithful, I went home with that sorrowing heart. Some say I have passion, some say I have zeal, I say, I have a sorrowing heart, His sorrowing heart. It is a sorrow that brings joy and peace. It softens my heart, teaches me mercy and grace. It taught me patience and humility and it strengthens me.

It was hard to write this comment, but I had to.

With tears of joy,

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  thanks all for your comments.. I appreciate them deeply... and arisen... thank your for your expression of deep passion... yeah, deep passion... one has to be deeply passionate about something or someone to feel sorrow for them as God does for us.

Virginia Sills (@happytoberestored)

  My dear sister, I admire your passion, your zeal, your devotion, your outspokenness, your unforgiving stance on forgiveness and grace, and all that God has given you for His Kingdom. Can we be too passionate? No. Can we be overbearing with our own agendas? Yes. But you see, there is a great chasm of difference between the two. One observation -- have you noticed that the word "compassion" has the word "passion" as its root? Without passion, we cannot have compassion for one another. Much love and many hugs. V

Joel Fieri (@oldscool)

  Um, not to be difficult, but I'm having a little trouble with this. Can any one cite a scripture that speaks of the word or concept of "passion(s)" in a positive light?

Sara Reckling (@oneofhisown)

  Rose, I have not seen a truer definition of godly passion. Thank you! In a study on prayer that I've been attending the last several weeks, based on the Lords Prayer, focused for a week on passion. The one thing I took out of that study is that 'prayer with out passion' is a dire mistake. God does not want meaningless repetion, He wants us to pray what's in our hearts, He wants our passion! On a side note: I am not saying repetition in prayer is wrong: only MEANINGLESS (dare I say Passionless?) repetition! Continue in your passion for Christ! Sara

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  so glad you asked oldscool, how about James 5:16? 'fervent'= passionate, or how about 1 John 3:17? and what about Exodus 34:14? Did you know that we are told at least six times in the Bible, that our God is a jealous God?

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  btw... the king james version of 1 john 3:17 is translated 'bowels of compassion'

Benjamin Foulks (@galahad)

  Passion: "Intense emotion that stirs one to the depths of their being, compelling intense action that manifests one's devotion to a cause or an end." (Taken from Webster's Dictionary) God created us, both male and female, as emotional beings. I can think of nothing more wonderful than to let this element of my being, emotion, stir me to the depths of my being and spirit, compelling me to the intense action of worship as a manifestation of my devotion for my Heavenly Father. Emotion is as much a part of us as a hand or an eye and is a part of our souls; not to be suppressed, but to be placed under The Lordship of Jesus Christ. As I read in The Gospels of the life of Jeus Christ and as I study God's Word as a whole I am convinced that He revealed to us, in His short time on earth, all Who our Heavenly Father is. Jesus is our one and only example and we are called to be Christ-like, following His example in all things. While fully God and fully man, the example He set is neither masculine nor feminine, for we are ALL to follow His example, both male and female disciples. And please, let us be very careful about taking our own definition of 'masculine' and ascribing it to The Eternal, Self-Existent God of All Creation. If a worship service is led by a woman then it may have feminine (which we tend, along with the term 'masculine', to define based on the culture of a sin-natured world) aspects. I submit this is neither good nor bad, just different. If a man leads worship, it will probably have masculine aspects. And what of it? In both I will worship with passion, allowing my God-given emotion to rise from my inner-most being as a mighty flame and manifest my deep devotion to The God Who Loves me and has saved me.

Nitin Victor (@arnie)

  Firstly One Must Reflect On This: "What Does HE Want Us To Do?" OR "What Is HIS Will For Us?" OR "What Should I Do For HIM?" When You Find The Answer To This Most Important Question.. You'll Get Your Answer.. When He Came To Peter What Did He Ask Him? [JOHN 21:14-17] [14] This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. [15] So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. [16] He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. [17] He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Thrice HE Asked him "Do You Love Me?" "Do You Love Me?" "Do You Love Me?" - That Is What HE Wants Us To Do, First! The Rest HE Will Take Care Of.. We Are Not The Shepherd, Neither Was Peter.. JESUS Is The Shepherd! HE Works Through Us - Through 'The Helper' Which He Promised To Send.. Which The World Cannot Recieve Because They Knowth Not Him, But You Know Him, Because He Is In You..[JOHN 14:15-17] Every Believer Has Recieved That Spirit, But We Must Abide In Him. [JOHN 15:4,7] We Must Be Connected With Him.. This Is What Is Said Of The Spirit - 'It Is The Spirit That Issues From The Father' [JOHN 15:26] So The Spirit Is Something That Flows.. It Is Also Written: 'GOD Gave HIM The Spirit Without Reserve..' [JOHN 3:34] And It Is Also Written: 'And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?' [MARK 5:30] - in other words: 'POWER WENT OUT OF HIM' becuase it flows.. Thats why you need to be connected to Him.. Even JESUS took time off and prayed - night or day, everytime, every moment He remembered His Father and prayed.. And What Shall I Say About Those Who Love HIM? - Do You Think They'll Sin? They Themselves Will Not Do Anything That Would Displease Their LORD - Not One Thing That Would Hurt Their LORD Anymore Because They Know What Their LORD Went Through Already For Them.. Is'nt It Written About These? And Yet Again I Say The Same For Them "Fair You Are Chirdren Of The LORD.. You Fair Ones Of The LORD!" And What Should I Say About This That You So Nicely Have Termed ("A man or a woman crying when they are embraced by the Love of God") As 'Passion'? Yet You Are Right When You Used That Term Because Though We May Love Him But It Is Because He Has Loved Us First! And Though We Love Him Too Much, He Loves Us Even More! So, It Is Not Our Passion or Love But His Passion! It Is HIS Passionate Embrace That Makes Them Cry Not Theirs.. Because He Loves Us Way Tooooooooo Much.. But People Dont Realise.. But Regarding The Crying, Let THE WORD OF GOD Speak For Itself.. Isn't It Written: 'Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.' [ROMANS 8:26] - There Are FEELINGS And EMOTIONS, Which Cannot Be Expressed In Words When We Are With Our LORD And The Spirit Itself Speaks On Our Behalf - Like A Child Crying For Its Mother.. Why Does A Child Cry? Oh.. Is It Because It Has Not Yet Learnt The Art Speech Or Language? And Even If You Say 'YES' - Then The Same Is With Us.. We Are Unable To Express Our Feelings Because The Real Us Is Limited By The Limitations Of Our Mortal Bodies, And We Do Not Know How To Express Love In The Spirit With Our LORD Who Is Also Spirit But Our Spirit Pours Out Of Us Because It Wants To Be In The Arms Of Its Father, Its Maker - It Is Pure Love.. Not Of This World.. Heavenly Pure! But A Child Cries Not Because It Loves Its Mother But Because It Wants Love.. Because The Child Needs Love.. Because The Child Wants His Father To Grab Him/Her In His Arms.. And Even Paul Who Was Blessed With The First Fruits Of The Holy Spirit Spoke And Said In The Spirit: 'For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.' [ROMANS 8:22-23] Most Certainly There Are Two Most Important Things: OBEDIENCE & SINCERITY Adam And Eve Sinned, But when God Came To Them Wanting Them To Repent And Ask For Forgiveness, They Blamed Each Other.. - They Failed In Obedience By Eating The Fruit And They Failed In Sincerity As Well.. The Jews Were Given Really Strict Laws To Follow.. They Were Obedient To The Law But Failed To Understand The Main Purpose For Which The Laws Were Introduced - To Prevent Them From Sinning - And To Keep Them Holy.. They Failed In Sincerity.. For Us Chirstians, Things Have Been Made Easy.. The LORD Said "My Yoke Is Easy And My Burden Light" - Ours Is More Of Sincerity Than Of Obedience(though i'm not saying that we need not be obedient but we need to be sincere in our hearts and continually ask for His help).. But Are'nt We Still Sinning? The Jews Had Such Difficult Laws, What Words Will We Speak Infornt Of That Supreme Judge In Our Defence? Is'nt It Written That Those Who Will Be Left Behind Will Face The Tribulation.. A Test Of Obedience.. DONT RECIEVE THE MARK.. Isnt It Because You Failed Doing The Easy Thing Of Being Sincere, That This Difficult Test Of Obedience Is Upon You? DONT FAIL THIS ONE LAST TEST! If You Fail.. I'm Afraid There Is No Saving You - The BOOK OF REVELATION Very Clearly Says It! [But All This Will Make Everything So Difficult..] - you might say this.. Thats Why The LORD Said "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." [REVELATION 14:13] - Blessed Are We If We Depart (In The Lord) But If That Day Falls On Our Head.. Much Will Be EXPECTED From Us - Cuz Either We Are Chosen And Lifted Up In The Clouds To Our Lord Or We'll Be Left Behind And Would Have To Face The anti-christ.. What he'll Do With Us Only God Knows - May JESUS Be Merciful.. Therefore Be Awake - Be Obedient Towards The Words Of Your Lord (You'll Be Able To Do This Only If You Read It - Fill Your Lamps With OIL! - It Will Be Helpfull To You - Trust Me Atleast When I Am Telling You All This - Because I Know How Important This Is.. Try To Understand The Parable Of The 10 Bridesmaids - Though Yes It Is Also Written That A Time Will Come When One Would Not Tell The Other 'Learn Of The Lord, Because They All Will Be Taught By GOD' - It Is Related To The Words 'In Those Days I Will Pour Out My Spirit On All Flesh...' - May This Day Come In Jesus' Name - But It Is Also Written That Satan Comes Disguised As The Angel Of Light.. And It Is Also Written That 'He Will DECIEVE The Whole World' - How Do We Know Whats Right And Whats Wrong? - You Can 'MAKE OUT' By Their Deeds.. You Need To Understand What Are The Qualities Of The Holy Spirit - It Is The Same Qualities Of Your Lord Jesus.. humbleness, politeness, praising God, helpful, caring, forgiving, forgiving(i know i wrote it twice), always open to the God's Will, etc etc - you know Jesus.. But NEVER JUDGE THE SPIRIT - Who Knows You Might Be Speaking Against The Holy Spirit Because Jesus Said - "Say whatever you want to say about me, but dont speak anything against My Father or His Holy Spirit".. This Fault Of Yours Will Not Be Forgiven.. Anything that goes against the WORD OF GOD is not from GOD because.. ummm.. u'll hafta read John Chapter 1 Verse 1 To 14) - you havta be watchful.. because your soul is important, not because your Lord had to die for it but, BECAUSE your Lord died for it, it is important! Most Importantly.. Be Sincere In Your Ways.. HE Does not place you under conditions or force you to do or act in a specific manner saying "do this do that" but as written in proverbs, HE wants you to acknowledge HIM in all your ways, and HE shall direct your paths. Place HIM Before and Above Everything 'Place Him In The Center And Everything Will Come Together' Pray To Him, Chat With Him, Say Whatever cames to your head.. He loves to listen.. Afterall.. He made you.. You Can Call Him 'Papa'.. Ask and consult Him for everything.. And Believe That It Has Been Done For You The Right Way - His Way! "Lean Not On Your Understanding But Fully Trust In The Lord" - Let The Holy Spirit Guide You.. DONT GRUMBLE like the yesterday jews, who tested the lord in the wilderness.. only two, of that multitude that got out of egypt, entered the promised land.. DONT GRUMBLE.. You May Fall But You'll Find That You Never Got Hurt.. Even Most Importantly.. LOVE HIM! LOVE HIM! LOVE HIM! Remember, Your Lord Is The Lord Of Heaven And Earth.. Whereas Satan Is Known As The So Called 'Lord' Of The World(Though There Is Only ONE Who Deservers The Title Of Lord) But There Is Much Difference Between WORLD and EARTH or should i say WORDLY and EARTHLY.. Be Content with whatever you have.. Give Him Praise and Thanks.. Sorry For This So Long Message.. I also drifted away form the topic so please forgive me.. But this is what is to be passionate about JESUS - To Love Him - more than anything, more than anyone and if one says that he/she loves JESUS and does not follow His Words - is a liar for sure - i do not say this.. Jesus Says This.. Forgive me I must Not Judge.. There Could Be 'n' Number of Reasons for Which A Person May Behave Or Act Differently But We Should Never Judge Anyone (he/she might be going through a difficult test).. Because Satan Is Always After Those Who Are Close To JESUS.. But We Should Help, Support, Encourage and Strengthen Each Other.. But doing His will comes later.. Because First You Need To Connect With The Vine Only Then The Branch Will Bear Fruit.. If He Wants He Can Blink His Eyes And Everyone Could Be Saved.. If He Wants He Can Blink His Eyes And Evil Shall Dissapear From The World But He Has Had VICTORY But He Wants Us To Be Part Of His Victory.. And For That First We Need To Believe In Him.. Read Hebrews Chapter 2 - He Overcame What Mankind Could Not, For The Sake Of Mankind, But Now That He Has Done It - We Need To Follow.. That's Why He Used The Words "Oh You Men Of Little Faith, How Long Will I Be With You?" - This Is The Test Of The Children Of God, But The Firstborn Has Shown Us The Way! All We Need To Do Now Is Believe In Him And In His Power And That He Has Had Victory! So Whatever Satan Does Means Nothing Now Cuz This Life Is What? 70-80 yrs? But We Are Saved From Eternal Damnation.. But Will Satan Succeed In Tempting Us To Sin More? We Need Jesus - Stay Connected With Him.. Peace Be With You.. And May God The Father Bless You In Jesus' Name.. If I am wrong, forgive me and correct me please..

Benjamin Foulks (@galahad)

  Well, I guess this is still on my mind and heart. I sense that an an underlying problem, although I may be wrong, is the belief that emotions are somehow wrong and part of the 'old-man' and are therefore to be suppressed as much as possible. This is far from true. Yes, we are a new creature in Christ. Our souls are transformed but still consist of Mind, Will, and Emotion. As I previously stated, our walk with Christ involves submitting all three aspects of our soul to His Lordship. Mind and Will under His Lordship we can more easily grasp. But Emotion? For example, we are told not to avoid anger but to "Be ye angry, and sin not." Ephesians 4:26. We place our Emotions under His Lordship and as new creature in Christ anger is not wrong... just what we do with it. We see in The Gospels what we commonly call 'righteous anger' when Jesus turned over the tables of the money-changers in The Temple. An example He set for us all, both male and female. If allowing anger to be in God's hands to stir passion within us, compelling us to act rightly before Him is a good thing, then it only follows that all other emotions are also. Again, not to be suppressed, but placed in His Hands for His Glory.

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  thanks galahad...

Joel Fieri (@oldscool)

  blackrose - thanks for the scriptures, but I meant a verse that has the actual word passion. Psalm 11:5, 1 Corinthians 7:9, Hosea 7:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:5, all warn against passion, as do Galatians 5:24,Titus 2:12, Titus 3:3, Romans 7:5 ('passions'). I like 'fervent', and God IS a 'jealous' God (we are told to avoid it). 'Compassion' is not the same as 'passion". Same root, different words. Passion is too easily diverted from truth. There's a lack of self-control (a Fruit of the Spirit) implied. Dangerous. I like 'fervor or zeal' better. They're Biblical. Galahad - Emotions should not be suppressed, and you're right that they need to be brought under His lordship. The problem I have is that I see a predominance, in this site and elsewhere, towards having an emotion-based faith. We are commanded to love the Lord with our heart, mind and soul. In the ancient Greek, the heart suggests the will, not the emotions (the stomach represented emotions). Emotions follow as we put our faith and trust in God, loving Him by being His obedient children. Campus Crusade has a classic little diagram in the Four Spiritual Laws that shows a train. The engine represents the facts of God and His Word, with faith being the passenger car where we travel, putting our faith in the engine, while feelings (emotions) are the caboose, resulting from the obedience and faith we put in the engine. You can't run the train by the caboose, neither can you have your faith in God ruled by your emotions. I pray that God's children and His church will step away from the current fixation with passion, taking that zeal and focusing it even more on love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.

Christopher Quek+ (@arisensleeper)

  I too am suspect of emotion-based faith but I will never equate emotion with passion. The two are very distinct. Also there are distinctly different types of passion. There is good passion and there is bad passion. This is also true for emotion. As for finding one verse that has the actual word passion, please let us not rely on such a tenuous thing as the 'actual' word when we are dealing with translation between languages. One must ever consider Scripture in context because Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek are contextual languages. To seek justification of any theological stance by a single word is not only wrong, it is dangerous.

Let us consider each of the verses that supposedly warn against passion as a blanket statement to dismiss passion entirely:

1. Psalm 11:5 - "The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates" does not use the English word passion either, rather it speaks directly to those emotions that are used in a wrongful and sinful manner ... loving violence. Love is something He commands and an emotion He says upholds all the commandments. Loving God and loving others is righteousness, Loving violence is a perversion of love. Also, the verse speak clearing that God hates ... hate as generally understood as a negative emotion but the hating of evil and sin ... in this case violence is righteous!
2. 1 Corinthians 7:9 - "but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion" speaks not to passion as a blanket concept but lustful passion, undisciplined love
3. Hosea 7:6 - "They prepare their heart like an oven, While they lie in wait; Their baker sleeps all night; In the morning it burns like a flaming fire" when studied in context speak to the harboring and nurturing of sinful thoughts and while such thought include unhealthy emotions, it does NOT prohibit passion or emotion. It warns against sin and sin includes the perversion of what is good. The "actual word" passion is not used here either.
4. 1 Thessalonians 4:5 -"not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;" makes it abundantly clear that Paul was speaking to perverted passion. It says "Passion of lust" not just passion alone. To pluck one word out of context and to pluck one translated word at that is a very wrong way of understanding Scripture
5. Galatians 5:24 - "And those who are Christâs have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." speaks to passion of the flesh NOT godly passion ... this same thought is echoed in the next verse cited ...
6. Titus 2:12 - "teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age," which makes clear that what Scripture speaks again is not passion but ungodly passions and identifies these in particular as "ungodliness and worldly lusts." Moreover, to live soberly does not deny emotion but the discipline of earthly lusts and emotions under the lordship of Christ.
7. Titus 3:3 - "3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another." once again is specific in identifying perverted emotions and desires. ANYTHING that perverts ANYTHING God created is sin and to be condemned, but the rejection of those things He created and imbued in us is wrong and in a very real sense denies His creative majesty.
8. Romans 7:5 - "5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death." - sigh need I say more ... plucking the single word passion to insist that God prohibits passion when in fact it is "sinful passions" that is spoken to is wrong.

I really did not want to have to make this comment, but I love the Word of God too much to allow its careless use to pass.

I do not agree with sinful and worldly use of passion and emotion and I too have seen way to much of it in our churches today. I will speak up against the stirring of emotion and emotion alone to create a false sense of worship. However, to quench those passions and emotions derived from true worship and devotion, brought about by Godly fervor, and zeal. Fired by the conviction and the touch of the Holy Spirit is to deny the Holy Spirit.

Jesus cried, He sorrowed, He takes joy in us, He wants to fulfill the desires of our heart, He hates sin and loves justice. He cried out in frustration "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? ..." Surely we cannot suggest that He is sinning by such display of emotion. Surely we cannot say that His passion is to be denied.

Once again, I urge a sober and correct usage of God's precious Word. I offer this with all sincerity and Godly love and concern,

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  thank you arisen! I see that we are not on the same spiritual maturity page. As far as being led by my emotions... I was emotionally shut down, bitter and angry, truly angry before I encountered the Love of God. I don't know how else to say it... but it has been my experince that when someone is overly concerned about an aspect of scripture, then there is something going on in his or her own heart. I cannot be passionate about the Lord without also wanting to please Him. One of the fruit of the spirit is SELF CONTROL. I fully believe that... and do my best to exercise it, as do the others that share a similar point of view. When I came to the church I presently attend... it was not out of a spurt of emotionalism, I was drawn there by the true and living word of God, and once I heard that word, I then knew what to be passionate about. Passion: "Intense emotion that stirs one to the depths of their being, compelling intense action that manifests one's devotion to a cause or an end." (Taken from Webster's Dictionary) I sincerely pray that God opens the eyes of those that have a narrow view of what passion can drive one to do... as I stated in my original blog post, what Jesus did for all of us is known as THE PASSION... can't think of, or fathom a more positive expression of intense emotion than that. and as far as not being passionate about the Lord I can't do that...Mark 12:30

Christopher Quek+ (@arisensleeper)

  I would also like to say that the questionable use of emotion in worship is just as much a failing of 'traditional' as it is of 'contemporary' worship. The continual seemingly playing and singing of "Softly and gently Jesus is calling" until someone comes to an altar call is just as much a misuse of emotionalism in worship as the current use of worship music to illicit an emotional response. In both cases, if such renditions are truly moved by the Spirit, praise God. If not ...

This is submitted not as an accusation or a judgment for indeed, it is God who judges the hearts of men and women. Rather, it is given to call us to pause least we, in our own cultural and generational find cause to judge without first considering the importance to place under His submission and dominion all thought, actions, and utterances.

In His love,

Joel Fieri (@oldscool)

  Sounds like you have a perspective and balance in your walk, blackrose. I can see it in your willingness to dialogue and debate. I sincerely pray that God opens the eyes of those that have a narrow view of what passion can drive one to do... Yes, I have seen what passion can do, both positive and (disastrously) negatively. My old church was nearly torn apart on a number of occassions by passionate people who did not exercise sober judgment or self-control. And thank you Arisen, for expounding on the scriptural references I gave. Part of the problem is that I was using a different translation, which included the word 'passion' in all of them. Once again, I urge a sober and correct usage of God's precious Word. I offer this with all sincerity and Godly love and concern That is a good statement of my goal, also. My fear is that an emotionally-skewed faith does not lend itself to sober judgments.

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  thank you oldscool for your comments... I must address something you said.My fear is that an emotionally-skewed faith does not lend itself to sober judgments. Fear has no place in the life of a believer. It is not your place to determine what motivates a person's faith or worship. You should not allow what happened in a previous church experience to cloud your ablilty to have an intense personal relationship with God! Is the church flawed? yes, it's full of people. Do people make mistakes? Yes. however as believers we must concentrate on our own individual relationship with Christ, not the church so much- as my bishop often tells us "get the horizontal relationship right between you and God and all the vertical ones will fall into place"

Raynard Shellow+ (@iraqivetsgtret)

  to all my brothers and sisters in christ, i want to thank you publicly for your comments.they touced my heart and helps me in my prospective and spiritual growth without a "narrow mind/ this is what i was taught&told mentality).be blessed everyone for the kindness and respect shown towards one another.(never see anything like it when you read comments in most daily newspapers)

Sandy Brooks+ (@poodlelady)

  There is the "passion of the flesh" and the "passion of the spirit". We all know the passion of the flesh in one way or another but how many really know the passion of the spirit.

Great Blog Rose!


T Sia+ (@doulos)

  Sister Blackrose,

Thank you for this blog. That one blog that stirred up passionate discussion has prompted responses from almost every blogger who is serious about their love for God. When our love for God, passion for worship and Spiritually touched emotions are scorned, we must not stay quiet - there is a time for everything, a time for love, a time for tears and a time to speak up (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). So many have responded - often with more than one blog - and all these responses were I believe stirred by a viewpoint expressing aversion to, among other things, the display of emotions citing feminisation as the issue. Frankly, I find that an aversion to emotions is really just another emotion. Arguing that emotions may be misused and misleading is not very different from arguing that theology too may also be misused to mislead. There is so much that can be misleading that it wouldn't be very balanced to incessantly focus on any one thing as being the problem.

Having read the numerous responses I have been blessed with a refresher of so many Biblical aspects being expressed by everyone defending the place for timely emotion, passionate worship and love. There was no disagreement about the danger of being extreme with emotions.

I did find it hard though to agree with the purport of one commenter who stated that he has a "problem" with "a predominance, in this site...towards having an emotion-based faith" when all I have seen were faith-based emotions in response to a blog whose intent seemed to be to stir others in order to make its own point (it seems this way to me anyway). I think that to make a statement like that and inadvertently label our brothers and sisters here as having a problematic "emotion-based faith", we would need to have read every blog that has ever been published in CB and have charted their 'emotional content' to be able to fairly conclude predominance one way or other. I have nothing against the commenter; I am just stating disagreement with such a statement.

Anyway, thank you for your passionate entry. I enjoyed this blog and the comments too (all of them).

Blessings to everyone,

Joel Fieri (@oldscool)

  blackrose You're right, 'fear' is not the best word. How 'bout "my concern is that an emotionally-skewed faith does not lend itself to sober judgments." That's a word Paul used a lot. And it does arise from past experiences, witnessed and experienced, where I've seen passion out of control. This is one reason God has put this issue on my heart. Hopefully I've gained some wisdom from them, which God would grant me opportunities to share. Blessings

Rhonda Jones (@blackrose65)

  again oldscool you are not the judge of what's motivating another person. can disagreements happen? yes. please ask yourself this brother, has any of your comments encouraged anyone? have they edified anyone? have they fostered unity? were they based in agape love?

Joel Fieri (@oldscool)

  I think and prayerfully hope the answer is 'yes' on all three. And I'd add another - seeking Truth. Speaking Truth in love. That's my goal, anyways. Unity doesn't mean agreement on everything, and sharing a different viewpoint does not necessarily foster dis-unity. Why have these forums otherwise? One of the things I read upon joining this site was not to assume a tone in reading comments or blogs. In all sincerity, I think that's what is happening. I offer these viewpoints and questions as humbly as I can, always citing scriptures to reference, with the hope of a better understanding of and commitment to God's Word. I would hope we haven't reached a point where that's unacceptable in the Church. Blessings

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