CONDITIONED TO RESPOND ON CUE?
If you are observant, you will notice that when you hear one person in church cough, others will cough also. Likewise, if one person gets up to go to the bathroom, others feel the same urge. You will notice that, many times, when you scratch your nose or face, the person to whom you are speaking will follow your lead. Television programs have long used cue card to call for laughter or applause.
My question is, have Christians unknowingly been conditioned to respond to certain cues? The Merriam Webster Dictionary says the word cue is, “a signal (as a word, phrase, or bit of stage business) to a performer to begin a specific speech or action.”
Just how much response is prompted by the Holy Spirit, and how much is prompted by conditioning.
After watching preachers and congregations for 55 five years, I have witnessed this same conditioning process. Some pastors are bold and call for, or even shame their listeners if they do not give an “amen” to some point they have made. There are certain words said from the pulpit that will elicit the same response from the same people every time. I don’t have to tell you what those words are.
All this, leads one to wonder just how much response is prompted by the Holy Spirit, and how much is the result of a conditioning to respond on cue? It seems strange to me that the Spirit is leading only a certain few, in a certain section of the church to yell “amen.” Are these indeed more spiritual and responsive to God’s Spirit than others, or have they been conditioned to respond on cue?
I am not opposed to people saying amen. I was just wondering if we are really responding to the Holy Spirit, or if we are taking our cue from those who cough or take a potty break. If you can’t comfortably preach without an “amen;” you are attempting to control others. If you catch yourself saying amen because those around you are doing it, you are conditioned to respond on cue. The pastor, who must have verbal responses, should have someone hold up a cue card then the whole congregation could respond on cue.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
Alex Matey says
About 3 years ago and then again last year we heard an evangelist that came through an independant Baptist church here in WA. He took a white piece of paper, took a big red sharpy, wrote AMEN on it, laminated it and glued it to a little stick. No kidding he actually holds his cue card up if he feels he needs more Amens. Both times we saw him he made full use of the thing throughout his sermon. I was embarrassed for him!
Ken Blue says
Well, I am not surprised, based on what I have seen and heard among some fundamentalist. I am sure God is also embarrassed at the nonsense, the pride, and the effort to “work up the spirit.” The speaker assumes he is filled with the Spirit of God, to have achieved such results. I have seen men get all kinds of “results” who were living as wicked as the Devil. Revival is not in the noise or show.
Pastor Scott says
I heard a man preach a message and it made him furious that I was not shouting Amen! to his message. I sat close to the front and those around me were standing up and yelling Amen! but I was not. I was actually enjoying the message but I am not the type to shout during preaching. I soon became his target from the pulpit. Since I knew he was trying to make me stand up and shout Amen!, I refused to do it. Finally, he walked over to my area and looked right at me and said “If your a man and not a queer, stand up and say Amen!”. I still remained seated.
I remember a quote I heard in Bible college and I will never forget it it “The one you fear is the one who rules you”. I wasn’t going to let that man control me.
Ken Blue says
Good for yoU! God bless
So let me get this right… When it comes to hiring staff, determining where to place people into certain “ministries”, qualities required to make a “good pastor”, what kind of music to allow in services, what programs to “build” the church with, or anything else that has to do with church operations & administration in general…when it comes to all of THESE things, the prompting or leading of the Holy Spirit doesn’t even get a courtesy mention — BUT bless God, those AMENers really should check themselves to see what’s prompting them to speak up like they do!! Are you kidding me?! As if the majority of your other “edification” WASN’T based soley on personal experience and practical business technique? Give me a break…or better yet, how about just printing “Amen Now” on the appropriate line in the Sunday bulletin? It would just HAVE to be okay then, right? Amen & Amen. Ps.106:48
Ken Blue says
Dear anonymous “biblebelever.”
No, you did not get this right.
Brother Ken Blue
Ken Blue says
Dear self-righteous biblebeliever. It is refreshing to hear from someone who is “filled with the Spirit” as you assume you are. Surely you can’t believe that one should shout anything just because others are. I’m giving you a break. You don’t have the brains God gave a goose, and if you had accomplished anything in life, you would have personal experiences to draw from. My guess is that you have never had an original thought. You are an egotistical ass, and so is everyone who gets his inspiration by shaming people to amen his preaching.
Biblebeliever #2 says
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord
Love this posting. Let the Holy Spirit flow through the preacher, may the Holy Spirit move the congregation to say amen as a “hallelujah & agreement”. If a pastor is expecting amens and using cue’s, then they are doing this out of pride and their OWN teaching, expecting individuals to respond how they want them to respond. That’s not allowing God’s will in the message. Am I right or please correct me if I’m wrong.
Love your work Dr. Blue
Take care brother
Ken Blue says
It obvious you have made little progress. First,the article had nothing to do with you. “He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.” Proverbs 26:17.
You accuse me of ignoring the Holy Spirit. I said, (“I am not opposed to people saying amen. I was just wondering if we are really responding to the Holy Spirit,”) which obviously, you are not.
Also, you and I know you have bitterness you are hiding under the pretense that your issue is about “amen.” The following by you is dripping with sarcasm. Somewhere the Holy Spirit was ignored by you. “So let me get this right… When it comes to hiring staff, determining where to place people into certain “ministries”, qualities required to make a “good pastor”, what kind of music to allow in services, what programs to “build” the church with, or anything else that has to do with church operations & administration in general…when it comes to all of THESE things, the prompting or leading of the Holy Spirit doesn’t even get a courtesy mention…As if the majority of your other “edification” WASN’T based soley on personal experience and practical business technique?” When you grow up, you will also have experiences and practical business technique with which you may edify others.
Everyone knows you were a problem in Idaho, in Lynnwood, and with me. You have a serious problem with authority and pride. So, let’s not pretend your issue is about amen. Amen!
Ken Blue says
You got it right!
I have been a member of independent Baptist churches my entire military career. I was saved before entering the military, and was a member of primarily charismatic churches. In both types of churches, I noticed some people seemed to be conditioned to shout amen and some because they wanted to. But only in independent Baptist churches have I experienced congregations being either coerced or shamed into saying amen. I’m not going to be a pastor’s yes man. If the Holy Spirit is prompting I’ll say amen or let out a holy grunt. But I’m not doing it for the pastor’s approval.