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.”
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Just how much response is prompted by the Holy Spirit, and how much is prompted by conditioning.[/perfectpullquote]
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.