The Babylon Bee, a Christian humor site, recently published an article lampooning progressive Evangelicals for rejecting Sola Scriptura in favor of the doctrine of Sola Feels. From the article:
“Quite simply, ‘Sola Feels’ means that all spiritual truths only become true once they’re filtered through and accepted by our feels—all the feels,” popular author and speaker Jane Hansen told reporters after the meeting. “Thus, things that make us feel bad, those are wrong. The things that give us all the happy feels, those are true, right, and good.”
“At least, that’s how we feel at the moment, I feel,” she noted.
Is this satire unrealistic? Is that what people really do?
Today I was dialoguing with a man who has rejected justification by faith apart from works. How did he come to that conclusion, you wonder? By careful study of the Word, and by comparing Scripture with Scripture?
Here’s what happened:
Don’t be sad for me. My revelation came after a 30 day fast, with 24 hour prayer and study, calling out to God. It was physically the hardest thing I have ever done; 43 pounds later God showed me this age and this modern Protestant Church has many problems, Forensic Justification is only one of them. As for the Scriptures you mentioned, I can now read the bible and the words of Christ and take them at face value without having to bend and tweak the Scriptures to fit my silly manmade systems. By the way, Sola Scriptura is garbage too; it’s part of the problem.
In sum, this man rejected sola fide after having a religious experience. I don’t know how you can read Gal 2:16 “at face value” and reject sola fide, but this man starved his brain of essential nutrients long enough that that makes sense to him.
That’s “sola feels.”
Similarly, the other day, in a Pentecostal Theology Facebook group I belong to, someone posted this:
The “father” of contemporary Pentecostal scholarship, Walter Hollenweger, famously argued that what is distinctive about Pentecostalism is really not any particular theological theme like Spirit Baptism (as important as that is!) but rather– how Pentecostals gave historically “theologised.” That is, their “methods of theology”; the methodological disciplines they used for theologizing, at the grassroot level of experience with God. Some of these methods have included: visions, healings, and coming under the power of God.
The poster then linked to this video from the Brownsville Revival as an example of theologizing from your experiences. A woman is shaking visibly and explaining what her experiences have taught her about what God does and feels.
That, too, is “sola feels.”
(By the way, many of the comments on that video, both negative and positive, also seem to base their evaluation on how they feel about it!)
To me, Sola Feels makes no sense because my feelings are unstable, and my experiences are contradictory. They’ll lie to me sooner than give me the truth.
By contrast, Jesus said, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17b). If it comes from the Bible, it is true. If it comes from my feelings, who knows? That’s why I believe in Sola Scriptura, not Sola Feels.