We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an “emocracy”, where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings — the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation — the more influence you have. And never use words where emojis will do.
On target! We have become a nation of people in search of good feelings and one intent upon demonizing those who would deny us our good feelings. What was meant as a gift has become a curse as feelings have grown out of control and now dominate nearly everything. From truth to leisure, feelings define us. From gender and identity to reality and religion, feelings decide our truth.
How does the Church function in a world in which fact and truth mean less than perception and feeling? How does the Gospel of Christ crucified for us sinners fly in a world which needs no Redeemer since sin has been redefined and good news conditional upon what we want to hear?
This is certainly a religious crisis but it goes far deeper than faith alone. It is what has fueled our appetite for an unsocial social media and what has created barriers and divisions that make it hard to establish any real sense of community or friendship. In the end, we are left in the solitude and prison of our feelings -- something that is confirmed by the shocking increase of depression and despair.
In the Church, some have embraced the move away from fact and truth to emotion and emoji and turned worship away from the Word of the Lord that endures forever to the whim of the moment. In so may ways, we have loosened our moorings to the foundation of facts and the temple of truth that had kept us secure and even conservative churches find themselves hard pressed to do much more than slow the pace of this progressive idea which is really a throw back to Eden and its rebellion. What is true is up for debate and so what is right is equally up for grabs. Without fact and truth, we can have no common values and no common morality to inform and shape our lives together.
So God's gift of emotion now out of control has become a curse that threatens to undo us every bit as much as Adam and Eve's rebellion resulted in the loss of paradise for the prison of feelings. While there may not be much we can do for what happens in the world around us, the outpost of the Christian Church must not capitulate and must risk all in order to be faithful to the Scriptures and people of the Word in a world skeptical of those Scriptures where words mean nothing at all but what we choose them to mean at the moment.