The most obvious difference in the mind of man and computers are emotions and feelings. Of course this is what computer genius’ are trying to create… they call it artificial intelligence, which at it’s best is still artificial.
James says, “Is any merry, let him sing psalms” (James 5:13). Our feelings are truly important, for they come from the ‘heart’. Feelings can be expressed in different ways, and thanks to ‘self-control’ some feelings are ‘toned down’ or ‘put on hold’. Jesus speaks of the heart as being the source of many of our troubles due ‘feelings gone wild’, (cf. Matt. 15:1-20). However, the heart of man is also the source of many good things, and again feelings are involved.
Paul writes, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (feelings), kindness (feelings), humbleness of mind (feelings), meekness (feelings), long-suffering (feelings), forbearing one another (feelings), and forgiving one another (feelings), and if any man have a quarrel against any (feelings), even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (feelings) and above all these things, put on charity (love feelings) which is the bond of perfection.” (words in brackets mine, JHE), Colossians 3:12-14.
Feelings are limited. Some religious ‘zealots’ allow their feelings to become extreme and authoritarian, and some have reacted to this by sub-dividing and going to the opposite extreme in Christianity.
Many equate ‘quietness’ with ‘reverence’ and ‘out-ward polish with inward praise’. The old joke(?), “You can’t praise God in here” may apply all to well to the average assembly of the saints. In doing away with all “shouts of joy”, clapping, raising hands, “hallelujahs”, and verbal “amens” as evident signs of emotionalism… our extreme silence may become only a counter balance to other people’s extreme noise. Both extremes when artificial are empty and distracting.
Feelings and truth. Feeling good does not make us good. Feeling right does not make us right. Truth belongs to God. He alone is “good” and “right”. He has revealed truth and good, not through feelings but by revelation. Yet there is no virtue in not feeling, or discarding feelings altogether. Understanding feelings in relation to truth is important. Feelings do not precipitate truth, nor confirm truth. A good conscience may even be misleading, (Acts 23:1), and many who are lost, “feel right”. Feelings should not lead – they should follow. They do not act – they re act. So when truth is known and believed through evidence, FEELINGS SHOULD SURROUND, EMBRACE AND SUPPORT TRUTH.
“And they went on their way rejoicing” is recorded again and again as an aftermath of conversion. “By grace – through faith – in Christ – praise God!” Seeing ourselves as saints, living in the temple of God as well as being the temple of God, offering ourselves as living sacrifices, (I Peter 2:5; I Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 12:1-2).
The eunuch went on his way rejoicing after he had been taught about Jesus, believed it, and come out of a watery grave (baptism), (Acts 8:36-39).
No one rejoices in dying, and the burial scene is hardly the place for “shouts of joy”. But brother let us sing praises at the resurrection – the beginning of the new life.
Knowing truth, believing truth, obeying truth brings that ‘deep gut feeling’ (bowels of mercies) and knows no other way of expressing itself than to praise God in every waking moment.
Spiritual computer? That’s not us.
Automatic worshipers? That’s not us.
Praiseless, laughless, joyless Christians? That’s not us.
To the contrary, when we are in Christ, saved by grace, serving from a heart filled with love, there’s little left but to sing and shout His praises.
Sing it again James! “Is any merry, let him sing psalms.” This is saving power – converting power. People may not hear us preach, but they always hear us sing.