I recently had an interaction with someone coming from a Pentacostal/charismatic church background. This person, I’ll call him John (as in Doe), was dealing with depression stemming from an enormous amount of doubt in his Christianity. He confided in me that he was doubting that God exists because “I never see miracles.” Continuing, he said, “I don’t feel the Spirit in me like everyone else experiences. I don’t even hear the voice of God.” John was placing all of his stock on these experiences, or lack thereof. And why not? It had been ingrained in him so much that the common Christian factor is to have a physical, emotional, visceral experience of some kind with God, à la the Church of God of Prophecy.
This is an all too common confession that many, not just in the realm of charismatic Christianity, share. So much weight is placed onto personal experience and feeling at the expense of right theology and reasonable faith. Why do you think the music part of the corporate worship service has become the highlight for so many rather than the reading and preaching of Scripture? Or worse, why is the word “worship” now synonymous with “music” during corporate worship? That’s an article for another time, I suppose.