Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Holy Spirit - a digression

I was going to continue with what I had started in this post, a discussion of what I read in the Bible about the Holy Spirit, but today I looked up a "school" on the internet that some acquaintances follow - I'm not sure if follow is the right word, but for them, it's a substitute for church, and they take part in it over the internet. It's called the New Zealand School for Prophets and Intercessors. I did a little browsing, and started reading this article.

I don't want to condemn them entirely as they evidently mean so well and want to discover truth. I don't want to sound too damning and I don't want to be too negative about something that despite all my instincts may be true in its entirety. But what I read made me angry.

Rightly divided, Scripture sets out for each Seeker, the way of Salvation.
The Way is an inward spiritual journey for which sequential teaching
progressively casts light upon divinely ordered steps. His Word –
ministered as the Holy Spirit reveals and quickens it –comes in power to judge
and subsequently change the inward parts, thus bringing healing and restoration
to a damaged soul. This is Salvation.

It is an on going – not instant – process, bringing also physical healing
to the body as the soul prospers under restoration. The simple fact is
that when one does not properly minister the Word in this way, the Christian
religion becomes little more than a superficial palliative, only touching skin
deep, where people – if they are honest with themselves – are living in a state
of pretence. God calls that hypocrisy

I can cope with the idea that salvation is a healing of a damaged soul. What this man goes on to say, however - that physical healing is inevitable - is in my experience a lie. A grotesque lie. Made even more frightening to me by the fact that my acquaintance who follows these teachings is themselves at this moment gravely ill, well before their time. They have followed faithfully where the Spirit leads for a long time now and to teach that this person is a hypocrite, and their faith is superficial, is a libel. It is even frightening to me because if this person, undergoing the most difficult trial of their life over these last months, listens to these teachings, what are they to conclude? That everything they have believed and experienced so vividly is a lie? That they are not really accepted by God?

The writer of this article talks about how the modern "so-called" Church is no longer led by God but is generally made up of hypocrites. But he fails to see what is in evidence every day in your average community church, the living out of Jesus' command: "By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you show love one for another." (John 13:35) It is not love for your fellow Christian to attack their faith when they are most in need of it. It is just not, and I will never accept that. Granted, the "modern Church" is in many ways stumbling off track, myself included - just as the early Church or the medieval Church or the Renaissance Church or the Reformation Church (etc) did. But it is the age-old Church's capacity to love and encourage and nourish believers and non-believers alike, and to help them through dark times, that is in my opinion the greatest proof of God's hand. It is when we fail in that respect that we most tellingly demonstrate to the world our hypocrisy. And to my mind, this writer has just failed his suffering brother/sister, who is a faithful servant of the God we all try our best to serve.

There was a lot of other things in the article that annoyed me, and some things that were okay, but you can read it for yourself if you really want to. It is this issue that I find the most objectionable of all.


LEstes65 said...


Linda said...

Oh, I see we have this in common, too ... God likes me!