Thursday, June 14, 2007

Touchy-Feely Christianity

I don't know what it is, but modern evangelicalism contains a lot of touchy-feely things. Even those who generally reject modern types of things hold to these things. I grew up in a family that wasn't big on touchy-feely. We had no group hugs and gush wasn't an emotion we expressed. Swaying back and forth with Bic lighters during a Neil Diamond ballad type of emotion I've never grown to embrace, and I don't like those kinds of things.

A large group of people holding hands during the prayer for a meal? It ain't me. Not into holding hands unless it's my wife or kids. I also hate the electric piano. You know, like in the Styx song "Babe." It gives me the touchy-feely gag type creeps. A lot of contemporary chorus music sung in church or by "Christian" music groups uses the electric piano to yank gush emotion out of you during the song. I don't complain to my church, because I know others are edified by such things. I nearly avoid contemporary Christian music altogether. I've always gotten the impression that it is an artificially forced form of "worship," like from a network marketing scheme telemarketer or something. Grown men swaying back and forth with eyes closed, hands out and palms up in that John Tesh concert at Red Rock that repeats ad infiniteum on late night paid advertising TV that you wake up to after falling asleep on the couch? Pass the Oprah magazine. Ain't me.

And what's with breaking into small groups for prayer that lasts 5 minutes? Especially when it's done as a form of promoting "accountability." I've experienced this in retreats, conferences, bible studies, Sunday school, you name it. Across denominational boundaries and varying church circles. It always takes the same pattern. Groups of four or five, and we never have enough time for each person in our group to pray. There's always at least one complete stranger who I wouldn't tell any of my secrets to anyway. "Time to start wrapping up." But we're only half done because this other person prayed about his life story and wouldn't shut up. Who thought this up anyway? And why would anybody want to repeat it? I always feel like these types of things accomplish nothing. At least for me.


  1. What's up with prayers out loud anyway? It seems to me that the prayer givers are just sermonizing most of the time. I can't stand having to lead prayer and would rather us all just be quiet or sing or some such thing. Thanks for sharing your discomfort with the touchy-feely stuff. Now I don't feel so bad about my own objections to it.

  2. I am not huge on the touchy-feely end of the faith either. I think you made some good points about worship and prayer - I agree 100%. I think more substance could be used in these churches these days.