I am a charismatic and I am unembarrased to say that I think that the charismatic movement has contributed a lot to global Christianity. But charismatic cultures do have their problems and one of those is the inability to handle sorrow in the presence of God.
Just take a look at the many volumes of charismatic worship songs (bearing in mind that in charismatic worship the songs play a far more significant role in giving shape and direction to the communal encounter with God than they do in more traditional churches). How many of those songs address issues of pain, sorrow, grief, and darkness? The answer is that hardly any do (although the number is, happily, growing). Now consider how many reflect joy, happiness, celebration and the like. The answer is, quite literally hundreds - probably thousands.
The songs reflect something of the wider culture of worship within charismatic churches and they indicate a congenital inability to know how to handle anything that is not full of glee. This is what I call 'the charismatic curse of happiness'. Wonderful in what it affirms but dreadful in what it denies.
We do not know how to think theologically about sorrow, we do not know how to make space for it in communal worship, we lack the doxological vocabulary to bring the whole of our human experiences before God and so instead we simply bury them.
We call our congregations to count their blessings, to stop thinking about the afflictions they face and to think about God instead because - 'the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.' We sing happy in the hope that we might feel happy.
Do we lack the faith and courage of Old Testament saints to lament? To refuse to keep any dimension of our human experience from God but to come before him as we are - in our joy and our pain? Can we contemplate songs that are something other than celebrations and triumph? Can we imagine a liturgy for loss? May it even be possible that our lament could be Spirit-led? That the Spirit of God might groan simultaneously in sorrow and hope through our groaning?
So the challenge is this - how can we widen and deepen charismatic worship so that we can take it beyond green pastures and still waters into the valley of the shadow of death?