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  1. #1
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    Negative Emotions in the Christian Community

    EDIT: just realized my OP sucked and that I didn't state my point clearly, all I was trying to point out was that negative emotions have a ROLE in a persons life and shouldn't be called sinful. They cause people to change and better themselves and are a feature of close relationships--when you say that negative emotions aren't allowed you force people into inauthentic relationships, because now instead of healthy, effective confrontation that's driven by anger and promotes change(and more emotions on the positive side of the quadrant), you have both parties believing that the negative emotions are sin and so they repress them and don't ever reach any type of resolution to their problems. This leads to passive aggressive tendencies and inauthenticity in the kids who are raised in this restrictive way.

    See the rest of the thread for interaction on this point
    Last edited by Christianyouth; 05-30-2010 at 10:25 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Blindead's Avatar
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    u mad?
    I want to touch the butt.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    u mad?
    Kinda. It's a pretty big deal I think. I was just thinking how when I first started going to church the kids there were a lot less mature, and I'm thinking that maybe being able to deal with negative emotions is something involved in becoming mature.


    You got called out earlier bro ?? I saw some thread calling you out for something haha
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    Wink

    People don't express negative emotions in public in general, especially on Sundays.
    hehe
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by doobiebro View Post
    People don't express negative emotions in public in general, especially on Sundays.
    hehe
    Real clever statement dude.


    That's why I wanted to specify Christian community. I don't expect people to get together at an event and vent their negative emotions, but most churches go beyond just the ceremony on Sunday and have social groups, especially evangelical churches. In those groups/communities there are some pretty interesting social dynamics going on(seriously look at the type of people who come out of Christianity hating it because the social element)--one of which is prohibitions of negative emotion, or portrayal of the negative emotions as sinful.

    Anyways this is more of a thread for evangelicals or ex-evangelicals to agree or disagree with my observation, or share their thoughts on it. I think if my observation is right, then I could use it to explain some strange psychological traits/dysfunctions in fundamentalist, low-church Christianity.
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    This will not end well.

    From personal observations from the inside and outside of Christianity, I would say certain negative emotions run deeper in Christianity than among non-Christians. Mainly, a VERY negative view of the world and ultimately life in general. I would tend to agree with you that there is much less anger, expect involving politics, but sorrow appears to be replaced with apathetic pessimism.

    There is also no sound way to test this. You will undoubtedly group all people expressing negative emotions as not "real" Christians, essentially contaminating the study group. I on the other hand will simply take anyone who says they are Christian and use them, eliminating qualifications to be part of the study group.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by VAPlowhorse View Post
    This will not end well.

    From personal observations from the inside and outside of Christianity, I would say certain negative emotions run deeper in Christianity than among non-Christians. Mainly, a VERY negative view of the world and ultimately life in general. I would tend to agree with you that there is much less anger, expect involving politics, but sorrow appears to be replaced with apathetic pessimism.

    There is also no sound way to test this. You will undoubtedly group all people expressing negative emotions as not "real" Christians, essentially contaminating the study group. I on the other hand will simply take anyone who says they are Christian and use them, eliminating qualifications to be part of the study group.
    What I mean is that Christians don't feel comfortable with the so-called 'negative' emotions even though it's a fact they're experienced by all people regularly and serve a positive purpose. Sorry for not making that clear, but you have a good point about not being able to test this.

    I wasn't too clear about it, because I agree that there are a lot of Christians have a little too much activity on the negative side of the emotional quadrant, I'm just talking about them not being expressed in Christian circles, so that kids who grow up in the Christian church seem to be a bit behind un-churched kids in their maturity levels(I think that being able to handle negative emotion is a crucial part of maturity)
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  9. #9
    Registered User Barry Bonds's Avatar
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    Good Point

    Originally Posted by Christianyouth View Post
    What I mean is that Christians don't feel comfortable with the so-called 'negative' emotions even though it's a fact they're experienced by all people regularly and serve a positive purpose. Sorry for not making that clear, but you have a good point about not being able to test this.

    I wasn't too clear about it, because I agree that there are a lot of Christians have a little too much activity on the negative side of the emotional quadrant, I'm just talking about them not being expressed in Christian circles, so that kids who grow up in the Christian church seem to be a bit behind un-churched kids in their maturity levels(I think that being able to handle negative emotion is a crucial part of maturity)
    I don't know of a church that meets as a whole and deals with negative emotions, unless a catastrophe has occured.

    But as we break off into small groups, we do have a time to share both positive and negative things going on in our lives.

    One aspect of the church I'm involved in , Celebrate Recovery, is specifically for dealing with problems, and celebrating positive ways to deal with those problems. (alcohol, drugs, sex, marriage, gambling, behavior, ect). You can be paired with an accountability partner who you are encouraged to confess any and everything (like AA).
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  10. #10
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    Isn't this just flamebait?
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  11. #11
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    Not sure why the post is flame bait--I'm just wondering if others have seen this obvious portrayal of negative emotions as sinful and how they've pretty much been banished in Christian fellowship.

    1. Negative emotions are experienced by every psychologically sound person and serve some purpose in an individuals development
    2. 'Church culture' portrays negative emotions as sinful
    3. Therefore church culture is a psychologically harmful environment to be raised in.


    Serious, because when you have an environment where you can't express negative emotions in an open fashion you get passive aggressiveness, an unmanly and relationally harmful trait. This is becoming really obvious to me because me and other people who were 'late converts' had totally different personalities than the ones who were exclusively raised in an evangelical environment(christian schools, christian friends, church activities as the only recreation).

    Anyways just trying to hone my thoughts on this and looking for some good critiques of this.
    Last edited by Christianyouth; 05-30-2010 at 10:21 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Christianyouth View Post
    Not sure why the post is flame bait--I'm just wondering if others have seen this obvious portrayal of negative emotions as sinful and how they've pretty much been banished in Christian fellowship.

    1. Negative emotions are experienced by every psychologically sound person and serve some purpose in an individuals development
    2. 'Church culture' portrays negative emotions as sinful
    3. Therefore church culture is a psychologically harmful environment to be raised in.


    Serious, because when you have an environment where you can't express negative emotions in an open fashion you get passive aggressiveness, an unmanly and relationally harmful trait. This is becoming really obvious to me because me and other people who were 'late converts' had totally different personalities than the ones who were exclusively raised in an evangelical environment(christian schools, christian friends, church activities as the only recreation).

    Anyways just trying to hone my thoughts on this and looking for some good critiques of this.
    If you mean negative emotions in terms of a persons mental health and how they view themselves, then perhaps you are right. Nobody should be ashamed to discuss such issues. If instead you mean casting negatives upon other people, then I don't agree. It's all too common in the church and especially the evangelical movement. It's kind of a requirement if your worldview is that you have a truth.... the truth... and others don't.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Barry Bonds View Post
    I don't know of a church that meets as a whole and deals with negative emotions, unless a catastrophe has occured.

    But as we break off into small groups, we do have a time to share both positive and negative things going on in our lives.

    One aspect of the church I'm involved in , Celebrate Recovery, is specifically for dealing with problems, and celebrating positive ways to deal with those problems. (alcohol, drugs, sex, marriage, gambling, behavior, ect). You can be paired with an accountability partner who you are encouraged to confess any and everything (like AA).
    In my OP I mentioned the emotional quadrant that breaks up emotions into positive stimulating, positive unstimulating, negative stimulating, negative unstimulating and how healthy individuals experience emotions in all of the quadrants on an ALMOST daily basis. I'm not saying that a church service should be a huge mourning fest or a 1984 hate rally, I'm not really talking about the 'service' since that plays a very little role in the formation of an individual--I'm saying that the evangelical 'rules of engagement' should be edited to allow authentic expression--even of negative emotions.

    Anyways, I'm not sure about this too much I was taking a break from dealing with the craigslist admins in a few cities and figured I'd put my observations/thoughts on here and get some critiques to cause me to develop it a little more.
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    Perhaps learning the skill to look inward and outward without judgment would prove helpful.
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