Featured in the September, 2008 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
Dick was known for going strictly by the facts, and his friends regarded him as cold and heartless. His wife Jane was a person who was all emotions and everyone regarded her to be very unstable.
Neither extreme is intended by God. Biblical Christianity is the perfect blend of facts and feelings. Jesus who told us to love God with all the “heart” also instructed us to love God with all the “mind” (Matthew 22:37). Christianity involves both the head and the heart—facts and feelings.
The facts are all in the Bible. Christianity is a religion of the Book.
The Bible is not only filled with facts, historical and geographical, but also with facts doctrinal and moral. There are no shortcuts.
A person must find out what these facts are and make them part of his thinking. This takes time, discipline and study. That does not sound exciting to some people, but the factual foundation of Scripture must always undergird the superstructure of a well-built Christian life.
Feelings change, but facts are always the same. Feelings are subjective, but facts are objective. Feelings spring up from within ourselves, but facts are given by God from heaven. The hitch is that the Bible study is hard work. There is no magic way to acquire the facts.
Because Bible study is demanding, many believers attempt to shortcut by settling for a “feelings only” kind of Christianity. It never works! The philosophy of a feeling is existentialism and it is not Christian.
The religion of feeling is Pentecostalism, most widely expressed in the charismatic movement, and it is not Biblical. Rather than being solidly built on the entire factual content of Scripture it majors largely on feelings. The bumper sticker “If It Feels Good, It Is Good” seems to be the rule applied by many people to discern spiritual matters rather than using the Word of God.
No debate! The “feelings plan” is easier, but no movement can long endure without an adequate foundation, and no individual can have a solid Christian life without an adequate Biblical foundation.
Being entertained by Christian television programs is never a substitute for real Bible study. Endlessly hearing testimonies may be spiritually exciting, but we cannot build our lives on the experiences of others when they should be built on the facts of God’s Word.
There is no dispute! We have 2,000 years of Christian history behind us and there never has been a strong, stable, spiritual Christian who did not faithfully feed on the facts of Holy Scripture. The person who cannot discern between emotionalism and spirituality is indeed a babe in Christ.
Ashburn Baptist is steadfastly committed to historic Biblical Christianity and therefore has always fostered a balance between the head and the heart and realized that facts must precede proper feelings.
Emotion? Yes! Morning worship services with moving awesome moments in the presence of our holy God call for spiritual feelings so exalted that some folk are left behind! Evening services with singing that soars to the very gates of heaven. Wednesday Prayer Meetings with searching intimate moments of approach to God’s throne and the thrill of answered prayer.
Preaching that does not insult the intellect but also lays hold of the heart. All of these are familiar to people attending Ashburn Baptist, but this is not all. There is a solid program of Bible study that is a challenge to every believer and offers the opportunity to grow to real maturity in Christ. The feelings must be founded on facts or it is all fantasy.
Folk may be drawn to Ashburn Baptist because its name is widely known, because of a personal invitation, or they are attracted by the music or preaching. But individuals who are looking only for a frothy surface type of religious experience soon move on elsewhere when they discover that Ashburn Baptist is a no-nonsense kind of church which refuses to build on emotionalism.
The Word of God must be the foundation of our faith. The facts of Scripture must be carefully studied and applied to our lives and all the good feelings we have about the Lord must not come from some fantasy world but be based solidly on the factual content of the Word.
As we enter this fall season, we have before us a flood of opportunities to really grow in the Lord. Every serious Christian will be interested in the Bible Institute classes and will determine not only to attend but to study and to pass and receive the certificates until he is graduated from the Institute.
The Sunday Morning adult classes at 9:45 afford an opportunity for study and true Christian growth.
The unparalleled morning and evening services will attract people who are deeply interested in hearing the truth of God, and experiencing great moments in God’s presence because their lives are firmly based on the factual foundation of Scripture. Yes, there can be the same Scriptural blend of facts and feelings.