Most people who knew me growing up would have called me dramatic. Which could be a good description with one explanation. I felt more than I ever showed. The drama was not empty or exaggerated. There was nothing put on with my happiness and my pain. I didn't display more than I felt, I was careful to only allow a certain amount of emotion burst from the volcano that I was actually feeling inside me.
I wasn't melancholy or depressed or angry. In fact, I distinctly remembering in 6th grade the first time I ever felt anger and it shocked me. Mostly my
feelings were on the positive side of the spectrum. I was dramatically silly and happy.
Most of my life, people felt free to dismiss me because they labelled me a "drama queen." They had no idea. They still don't. I have learned, as an adult, to discipline that overwhelming emotion percolating inside and exhibit only a small fraction of what I feel. Which is good. I am not complaining.
The only reason I draw attention to this is that I realized as a child that some days I would feel so in love with Jesus and other days I would feel empty. So by the time I was in my early teens I knew not to trust my feelings about God. I didn't want a roller coaster religion or theology. I didn't mind feelings of course, I couldn't help experiencing them anyway. I just needed God to be outside of feeling, bigger than feeling.
So by the time I was in high school I had made a commitment to myself to seek God outside of emotions. I wanted an intellectual relationship with Him. I needed that, because that had a fixed point in the turbulent seas within me.
Try explaining to a Southern American Protestant that you want a rational, intellectual relationship with Christ. Try, as a teenager telling your pastors and teachers that you want more than a simple emotions-oriented relationship with God and actually telling your pastors and teachers this? I can assure you, that didn't go over well.
I don't think they even understood the concept. And that was probably because I didn't know how to explain it. But they thought I was going backwards and replacing my heart of flesh (Jesus) and putting in a heart of stone.
However, I was not limiting, but expanding my walk with Christ. I already had the heart. Christians simply did not understand. They absolutely told me that a simple relationship was all that was needed. And by "simple" I felt they meant--"don't think, stay in the world of intuitive, otherworldliness." They equated emotions with the spiritual world.
Because of this need for a stable relationship with God that dealt with the intellect, facts, rationality, I began to think about what I believed. When I reached out for evidence, facts, reality, rationality and especially philosophy, you'd have thought I had become an atheist, or was treading on evil ground.
I do understand. Because the minute I began thinking, I realized that what I was taught and reality simply didn't add up.
When newly married, I became disillusioned with the church I grew up in, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, because I had to walk around with a cognitive dissonance between reality and what I was taught. So, my husband and I eventually left the church.
And what I have learned is that there is a great danger in Christianity with this over-emphasis on feelings. There are Christians out there who do not believe one can make an intellectual commitment to God. That unless one has this dramatic "experience" with God you are not legitimately saved. That is a travesty.
Using the power of one's will to commit to God is every bit as legitimate a decision to follow Christ as an emotional one. God accepts both.
So with that personal introduction, I recommend the below video to all of you out there who resist a "drama queen" relationship with God. You too, may identify with this man's need to reach out and understand God with philosophy and rationality.
Maybe you want more than a simple faith. Perhaps that is not enough for you. That's okay. There are a lot of people out there who need an intellectual faith. You will enjoy this video. It doesn't give you the answers but shares with you the philosophy of having a theological philosophy!
Here is the book that helped Dr. Sullivan to come into faith:
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS