I imagine some people will probably misunderstand what I’m trying to say in this post. It is not my intent to ream anybody or even the entire emo movement. Rather I see potential danger of spiritual stagnation within this growing segment of culture. With that disclaimer in mind, please read on.
Recently I have been becoming aware of a very troubling facet of American culture: Being conflicted and distraught of soul is cool. This attitude is not present only outside of the church, but very much so within as well. And I believe the blogging community is heavily tied to this phenomenon, as it gives people a place to express emotions and words they would never confess face-to-face with another human being.
Life is full of difficulties. We have brought this upon ourselves as a human race, though the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3). In the curses by God placed upon the earth, total judgment is laid out before man. Conflict is placed between the serpent and the woman (3:15), the man and the woman (3:16), and the man and the earth (3:17). Guilt and shame and indecision would plague his mind, relationships would no longer be built solely upon a selfless love for one another, and nature itself would work against the peace and happiness of man. Every baby is born into a world tailored to make him fundamentally unhappy.
Genesis 3 is woven deep within our current culture. America’s “Age of Reason” has passed, and we are sailing through the Romanticism once again. Emotions and creativity are readily embraced, New Age sentimentality abounds, and anything dealing with the truth is second-rate at best. When the truth is de-emphasized, man has nothing to live for. Jesus said, “If you continue in my Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:30-32) The only solution to Genesis 3 and all the pain and conflict it brings is truth.
Man’s natural soul hates the truth, and consequently cannot deal with the consequences of Genesis 3. Satan, working with their hearts desires to keep them in a state of anguish. I believe Job offers a picture of what Satan would have with every man (outside of death), should the Spirit not withstrain him. Job 2:7 finds Job sitting in an ash heap, scraping himself with shards of pottery in a desperate attempt to escape the agony of the open sores covering his body. Job’s wife urges him to “curse God and die.” Job calls her out for her lack of trust in the God who gave them so much. The Proverbs say, “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Job’s wife acted as a fool, and he tells her so. He refuses to bow to the gods of comfort and pleasure. He realizes that evil abounds.
America today lives as Job’s wife, not as Job. Our circumstances are not nearly as bad as Job’s, yet you would think them to be infinitely worse. Look up the word “emo” on Wikipedia. I found this description:
An “emo person” is candid about their emotions, sensitive, shy, introverted, broken-hearted, glum, and often quiet…likely to inflict self injury, most often by means of cutting, burning, or otherwise mutilating themselves.
We find this attitude in the church, in youth groups, and in colleges. And it stems from a lack of the truth of the greatness of Jesus, the Savior of the World. The Savior of the Bible is called the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. He is bigger than all problems, all evils. Genesis 3 is not the end of the Bible. Even within such a gloomy passage stands the promise of this Savior who would one day crush the power of the devil over the hearts of people like Job’s wife. Too often the Christian culture fails to see the power of Christ over their emotions and rather chose the gloomings of their own mind than the glories of thier Redeemer!
It is not my intent to bash the emo culture. I know many people who are act or dress in an “emo” way and are passionate about loving the Lord. But a pervasive, melonchoic emo culture will stagnate spiritual growth under the guise of natural emotional torment. Christ came so that people could break free of Bunyan’s “slough of despond.” Let us embrace the joy of Christ rather than burying ourselves in our own trials.