I think that emotions can be both helpful and dangerous in a religious setting. On one hand, Christians are called, more than anything else, to love (although one can debate about whether “christian” love is necessarly the same thing as “emotional” love), and, as you said, emotions can help to spur a person to a higher love for God and a desire to worship him to the fullest extent. Many people, for example, have experienced a revival in their faiths because of the emotions that are produced by Gibson’s *The Passion. *That is a good thing, as long as it lasts and leads them into truth and not sentimentalism. However, I think too much emotionalism leads to complacency (sounds contradictory, but it’s true) and it also leads into error if not handled properly. This is why you see people who look for the church that makes them “feel” good about themselves and God, rather than the church that they believe is the true church of God. I believe that God is one and unchanging. It seems to me that there is one truth about God (who says “I AM” rather than “I WAS” or “I USED TO BE” or “I WILL BE”) and not 20 or so thousand different truths. A danger of emotionalism, then, is that one may end up believing something about God that isn’t true because it “feels” good to believe it (i.e., there is no hell, everyone is saved, homosexual acts aren’t really offensive to God, etc.). I think that the things that are really true are the things that we try to talk ourselves out of believing because they challenge us and force us to sacrifice things that we don’t want to give up.
I love The Passion, and when I watch it I break down and cry in both misery and joy, and I think that this is a healthy thing. After the movie had been out a while, though, I had to realize that crying because of the suffering that Christ went through isn’t worth a whole lot if it doesn’t change me and make me a more loving person and more willing to suffer for the needs of other people.
All that said, I also believe that over-intellectualizing religion and leaving all emotion at the door is dangerous, too. If a person’s faith becomes a contest to see whose God is the most logical, then it becomes a dead faith. We must love God, but I believe that we must also be concerned with what is true about God and what isn’t.