I recently found this post by Aimee Byrd asking “Are Evangelicals Too Sentimental?” It concerns a book called “Homespun Gospel,” which she said argues “that sentimentality has triumphed as the primary language in contemporary American evangelicalism over doctrine and scholars need to recognize this change.”
Even without reading the book, I think the author (as well as Aimee Byrd) has a valid point. Sentimentality certainly wields a powerful influence in the visible church (those that profess to know Jesus Christ) these days. The books flying out of Christians bookstores by the dozen are fluffy, happy and often unbiblical books and DVDs that give people warm, fuzzy feelings.
In my view, this feelings-driven “faith” (if you can even call it that) coupled with the hunt for God experiences present a huge problem within Christianity today. Seeking a Christian life based on how it makes you feel or seeking an experience/feeling of God’s nearness are like building out of sand, rather than granite. And when the storm comes, feelings and experiences give way. Those sandcastles collapse under pressure.
In contrast, understanding the Scriptures and learning sound doctrine generate in the believer a foundation like granite. It’s true truth and can be clung to no matter what comes our way. In my own life, knowing what the Bible teaches about who God is and who I am, and why I’m here gives me security. That’s rock solid stuff. For example, Being able to trust in God’s faithfulness because God himself proclaims in Scripture that he is faithful, and proves it over and over again, provides hope no matter what comes.
Unfortunately, these days it seems many people are more interested in building a “christianity” sandcastle rather than a fortress of stone.