Toxic Fanperson behaviors in the church
As I have grappled with my fangirl tendency in relation to my spiritual well-being, I have noticed some of these are present in the church.
Spiritual feels (hyper emotionalism) Some put emotional experiences as the only evidence of a genuine relationship with God. This is dangerous as it can lead to error because there is no objective basis to judge things. All the false euphoria is based on this. When one thing doesn't satisfy us, we will search for the next thing to keep the dopamine flowing. It is unbiblical as well. Jesus said you love me, you will keep my commands, and you will know them by their fruits. Are you striving to obey and grow? . That's not saying emotions are not necessary. If your love for God has grown cold, then that's a warning sign. Passion is attractive. Jesus did say worship in spirit and truth, but many forget the truth part
. Leader-shipping. In fan person jargon, a ship is a relationship between two real celebrities or fictional people. Shipping is following those couple. In spiritual terms, I define it as idolizing a pastor or other spiritual leader or mentor. While we should respect and encourage our pastors because without an accountability system, it is hard. However, we shouldn't elevate them to celebrity status. It can create unrealistic expectations and make us dependent on the person rather than God. This is why some people fall away after a pastor or other leader falls. People can speak into our lives and be examples for us, but ultimately we are responsible for our own growth.
Hater and trolls, some people do nothing but sow discord in the guise of constructive criticism or discernment. They criticize every little thing the pastor does and complain about sermons with a self-centered lens rather than a biblical lens. It is all about them and their desires rather than preferring others over themselves. They may be overly harsh with a fallen brother or sister or even with someone they may disagree with, especially over trivial matters. When they hear something challenging rather than reflect or investigate, they quickly label the person a Pharisee or legalist. I understand that discernment is essential. When he sent out the disciples in Matthew 10, he told them to be wise as serpents Christians have been easy scam victims because we have been naive, believing the best out of so-called love. People think boundaries too are unchristian because they seem selfish. We have also fallen into error unknowingly too. But I liked what Joe Shakour said in a tweet.
There’s a difference between discernment and a critical spirit. One speaks the truth in love, the other scorns. One is like the Advocate with the Father. The other is like the Accuser of the Brethren. (Luke 9:55)
Love when correctly applied to build up is not a weakness.