So do we worship freedom, alongside God, in the church? In some cases, I think we do, but even where it has not yet become an idol, our awareness of the possibility might delay its eventually becoming one.
Take the quiz in this video to determine if Individual Freedom is taking too great a role in our life and worship.
I know of a Christian science teacher, not at my school of course, who told their students that English class is important because you learn the practical skill writing, but the stories and poetry that they teach is a waste of time.
If this is your view of literature, how do you expect to read 74% of the Bible? Like it was an encyclopedia?
If God is passive in church, what does he do during the week? Some people think that he provides parking spots when we really need one, but that seems unlikely if he doesn’t even have some part in the central part of Christian worship.
Sentimentality is emotion for emotion’s sake. And that’s bad. Good art, a good story or book or song or movie will offer an experience that engages us as a whole person. When Christians are sentimental we are compromising the Gospel.
Nothing is innocent because of the Fall, and our return to innocence comes at a significant cost. Christian author Flannery O’Connor says that Christian sentimentality is a result of separating Nature and Grace, and when we do this, Grace is degraded to pious cliché, and Nature becomes either sentimental or obscene.
We can avoid sentimentalism and pious cliché by seeing the physical world everywhere infused with the transcendent and the so-called spiritual things as grounded in the stuff of life.
But it’s so hard to do this in our culture—we’ve been brought up with the separation.