I have a growing concern for the downward trend amongst this present generation. Among Evangelical Christians and Millennial's, this generation is leaving the church in droves! It has become commonplace for ministers of the Gospel to focus more on what the church down the road is saying or doing than the Power of the Gospel to provide us with everything that pertains to life and Godliness. Here is just one of the many examples that I have experienced and believe has fostered this downward trend in our churches.
Just one Example on the Subject of the Holy Spirit
The word Pneumatology comes from two Greek words which means "wind, air, spirit" and "word" - combining to mean "the study of the Holy Spirit." Pneumatology is the study of God the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. It answers numerous important questions about the Holy Spirit:
The problem in this day and age is that everyone has a different take on what the infilling or empowering of the Holy Spirit is supposed to look like. We differ greatly on what the Word of God says concerning it and other Tenants of Faith in Christianity. This subject matter of the Holy Spirit along with a whole host of other topics, more often than not has become a divisive wedge in our churches. It is all to common for pastors to take upon themselves the responsibility to call out or reference other ministers and their works as heretical because their perceptions, processes, priorities, teaching, and experiences are different from their own. I can say with certainty that this stems from nothing more than pride, self-righteousness, and religiosity because for a season I was guilty of it myself. Having discerned my own depravity, I can say these things with authority, knowing that I was once guilty of the same things.
Who do we think we are?
So, my question is this. When did we become the Agent of the Holy Spirit? When did we become the Agent of God on say... matters of repentance? Doesn’t Romans declare that it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance? And, here is why I ask these questions. As a point of observation on matters of the Holy Spirit, I was brought up in a Pentecostal environment. I have seen the extremes of some denominations and the absence of any work of the Holy Spirit in others. I have noted balanced teaching on the subject matter and even heretical perspectives that cannot be seen in scripture. But, here’s the deal. I was still filled with the Holy Spirit, I still am filled with the Holy Spirit, I do have a prayer language, I know people who are full of the Spirit but do not speak in tongues, I still pray in the Spirit daily, and I still see the fruits of His ministry in my life. I say all of this to let you know that, The Holy Spirits impact on my life didn’t have anything to do with anyone’s opinion of the process, or position on the process. Neither was it the profound thoughts of someone else that developed my commitment to the Lord’s house, my love for the Word of God, or my desire to serve Him. In fact, and to the contrary, It was all Him!
One of the many promises that Jesus made before He left this earth was…
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
I have been slapped on the forehead, told to say Jesus over and over again, walked through prayer lines, told I had sin in my life and that I wouldn’t receive anything from the Spirit until I dealt with my issues. I have been told to wait, press in, fall down, and raise my hands, cry, shout, rebuke, and a whole lot of other nonsense! It has only confirmed that it wasn’t any of that. Interestingly enough though, some of the nonsense came from folks that just wanted me to experience a taste of the work that the Spirit had done in them.
What was it simplistically, that allowed me to experience this work in my own life? I was alone with Him, I just asked, and He gave this gift during a simple conversation with Him.
I’m sharing these things because as I said before, there are to many shepherds beating up on other ministries and pastors and you don’t have time for that! If you are one that has veered from a focus on just Jesus and the Truth of the Gospel in order to identify or separate yourself from other pastors, ministries or believers, then know this. You have gotten off point! The Work of the Spirit is accomplished through the One who sent Him and has nothing to do with you, or I, our positions or the perspectives on others views and ministries especially from the pulpit. Free yourself from self-righteous pride and just focus your people on Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith. Some may find this a hard thing to swallow or even think me to be heretical! Go ahead and lump me in with the others if you must! But know this!
2 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Let’s just preach the Good News!