Here is the  fourth installment of my “Here I Stand” series.  First we looked at the Scriptures, then God, His attributes and triune nature, and the last post was on the Person of Jesus Christ.  This post I would like to share my position on the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service, (Article IV. 1950 EFCA Statement of Faith).

I believe that God the Spirit, the third member of the Trinity, is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son.  We are commanded to baptize not only in the name of the Father and the Son, but also in the name of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19).   Jesus also cautions His followers not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 12:22-32).  The Holy Spirit was also involved in creation, (Genesis 1:2).

We also see in Acts 5:3-4 we see in Peter’s words that to lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God:

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God,”(Acts 5:3-4, ESV, emphasis mine).

The Holy Spirit possesses the same attributes and nature that God the Father and God the Son possess, for instance:

  • The Holy Spirit is eternal, (Genesis 1:2).
  • The Holy Spirit is omniscient, (Isaiah 40:13-14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
  • He is omnipresent, (Psalm 139:7-8).
  • He is omnipotent, (Job 33:4; Psalm 104:30).
  • The Holy Spirit is life, (Romans 8:2).
  • The Spirit is truth, (1 John 5:6).
  • He has a will, (1 Corinthians 12:11).
  • Gives new spiritual life when they become Christians which is something only God can do, (John 3:5-7).
Through the Spirit’s work came the inspired, written Word of God, (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21), and through the Holy Spirit’s power, the living Word of God – Logos, Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary, (Luke 1:35).  As prophesied in the Old Testament, (Joel 2:28-29), and promised by Jesus before His ascension, the Holy Spirit baptized the believers gathered at Pentecost and the Church was then established, (Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-2).
 
Regarding the work of the Holy Spirit…

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you,” (John 16:13-14, ESV).

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit guides His followers to all truth.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, (John 14:17).  The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son.  If anything diminishes Jesus Christ’s glory, Scriptures says, is the spirit of the antichrist, (1 John 4:2-3).

The Holy Spirit is active in the work of salvation by convicting the unsaved person regarding their spiritual condition, (John 16:8-11; Acts 7:51) and regenerates sinners, (John 3:8; Titus 3:5).  The Spirit resides in those who have been regenerated (born again), (John 3:5; Acts 10:44; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13).  He also seals (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) and fills believers, (Ephesians 5:18).

The Holy Spirit works in the lives of Christians by teaching and illuminating truth, (John 14:26; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 14-15), guides, (Romans 8:14), and intercession, (Romans 8:26-27).  The Holy Spirit comforts the believer, (John 14:16), assures the believer, (Romans 8:16), sanctifies, (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2) and brings forth spiritual fruit in the life of a believer, (Galatians 5:22-23).  Believers are also empowered (Acts 1:8) and enabled for ministry through the giving of spiritual gifts, (1 Corinthians 12:11) for the edification of the Church.

    Sign Gifts

    Of all the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament, (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11) five are considered to be “sign gifts”.  All are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:28-30, they are: miracles, healing, prophecy, tongues and the interpretation of tongues.  I do not exercise said gifts, nor would I encourage their use, but I believe that they are still in use today.

    Much of what we have seen regarding the usage of “sign gifts” in the United States today I believe is neither biblical or orderly, (1 Corinthians 14).  I believe in their continued use, because I have not studied convincing biblical proof concerning their cessation and I believe our God is big enough to accomplish what He wants through whomever He wants in what ever means He desires for the glorification of Himself.

66 comments
  1. “I do not exercise said gifts, not to I encourage their use, but I believe that they are still in use today.”

    What? I need clarification. Isn’t that like saying you believe the bank is a good place for your money, but you keep your money in a box in the freezer?

  2. “I do not exercise said gifts, not to I encourage their use, but I believe that they are still in use today.”

    What? I need clarification. Isn’t that like saying you believe the bank is a good place for your money, but you keep your money in a box in the freezer?

  3. “I do not exercise said gifts, not to I encourage their use, but I believe that they are still in use today.”

    What? I need clarification. Isn’t that like saying you believe the bank is a good place for your money, but you keep your money in a box in the freezer?

  4. First off, “not to” is a typo which I need to fix. Oops.

    I wouldn’t quite compare my statement to that, but I get your point. Some context – I should have clarified this more on the blog. This section was originally part of my ordination thesis for the EFCA. You have to understand the make-up of the EFCA we have people who believe sign gifts have ceased. Then we also have some individuals, not many, who practice tongues, etc.

    My position not to encourage meant I wouldn’t be asking for people to come forward with tongues. The prophetic gift there is some debate… is the gift of prophecy preaching? In one sense I would say yes because preaching is the forthtelling of the Word of God. But preaching doesn’t foretell – so I think that is where that falls short.

    I wouldn’t forbid their use either – if I, as a pastor, had somebody come to me and say, “I have a message in tongues to share with the congregation.” I would want to know first off – who has the interpretation, and I don’t believe it should be the same person. I would want the elders to hear it and then if there is a message in tongues and there is an interpretation that gives with Scripture. Then go ahead.

    Same with prophecy. Miracles and healing, I think James gives the context where that should be practiced.

    Miracles the question to ask of the person involved is… does this glorify Christ or themselves?

    The reason I said that I wouldn’t encourage their use is due to the fact it can be a dividing issue, at least in the churches I have served. I believe that Scripture teaches us to be much more concerned with the fruit of the Spirit than the gifts.

    Take the Corinthian church for example. They had the gifts, but no fruit so Paul had to rebuke them since they were a carnal church.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

  5. First off, “not to” is a typo which I need to fix. Oops.

    I wouldn’t quite compare my statement to that, but I get your point. Some context – I should have clarified this more on the blog. This section was originally part of my ordination thesis for the EFCA. You have to understand the make-up of the EFCA we have people who believe sign gifts have ceased. Then we also have some individuals, not many, who practice tongues, etc.

    My position not to encourage meant I wouldn’t be asking for people to come forward with tongues. The prophetic gift there is some debate… is the gift of prophecy preaching? In one sense I would say yes because preaching is the forthtelling of the Word of God. But preaching doesn’t foretell – so I think that is where that falls short.

    I wouldn’t forbid their use either – if I, as a pastor, had somebody come to me and say, “I have a message in tongues to share with the congregation.” I would want to know first off – who has the interpretation, and I don’t believe it should be the same person. I would want the elders to hear it and then if there is a message in tongues and there is an interpretation that gives with Scripture. Then go ahead.

    Same with prophecy. Miracles and healing, I think James gives the context where that should be practiced.

    Miracles the question to ask of the person involved is… does this glorify Christ or themselves?

    The reason I said that I wouldn’t encourage their use is due to the fact it can be a dividing issue, at least in the churches I have served. I believe that Scripture teaches us to be much more concerned with the fruit of the Spirit than the gifts.

    Take the Corinthian church for example. They had the gifts, but no fruit so Paul had to rebuke them since they were a carnal church.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

  6. First off, “not to” is a typo which I need to fix. Oops.

    I wouldn’t quite compare my statement to that, but I get your point. Some context – I should have clarified this more on the blog. This section was originally part of my ordination thesis for the EFCA. You have to understand the make-up of the EFCA we have people who believe sign gifts have ceased. Then we also have some individuals, not many, who practice tongues, etc.

    My position not to encourage meant I wouldn’t be asking for people to come forward with tongues. The prophetic gift there is some debate… is the gift of prophecy preaching? In one sense I would say yes because preaching is the forthtelling of the Word of God. But preaching doesn’t foretell – so I think that is where that falls short.

    I wouldn’t forbid their use either – if I, as a pastor, had somebody come to me and say, “I have a message in tongues to share with the congregation.” I would want to know first off – who has the interpretation, and I don’t believe it should be the same person. I would want the elders to hear it and then if there is a message in tongues and there is an interpretation that gives with Scripture. Then go ahead.

    Same with prophecy. Miracles and healing, I think James gives the context where that should be practiced.

    Miracles the question to ask of the person involved is… does this glorify Christ or themselves?

    The reason I said that I wouldn’t encourage their use is due to the fact it can be a dividing issue, at least in the churches I have served. I believe that Scripture teaches us to be much more concerned with the fruit of the Spirit than the gifts.

    Take the Corinthian church for example. They had the gifts, but no fruit so Paul had to rebuke them since they were a carnal church.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

  7. I have real mixed feelings about this. I think one of the biggest weaknesses of the church right now is our lack of understanding of the gifts (ie. tongues in church meetings vs. private edification), our inability to utilize the power we have freely available to us through the Spirit, and our fear of division due to the legitimate use of that power.

    The way E-Free churches and most other evangelical churches have avoided the issue has done little for the Gospel in my humble opinion. And charismatic churches have focused so much on it that the pendulum swing has robbed them of maturity in most other areas.

    On the other hand, if I was a pastor, it’d be a lot easier to just not deal with it corporately.

  8. I have real mixed feelings about this. I think one of the biggest weaknesses of the church right now is our lack of understanding of the gifts (ie. tongues in church meetings vs. private edification), our inability to utilize the power we have freely available to us through the Spirit, and our fear of division due to the legitimate use of that power.

    The way E-Free churches and most other evangelical churches have avoided the issue has done little for the Gospel in my humble opinion. And charismatic churches have focused so much on it that the pendulum swing has robbed them of maturity in most other areas.

    On the other hand, if I was a pastor, it’d be a lot easier to just not deal with it corporately.

  9. I have real mixed feelings about this. I think one of the biggest weaknesses of the church right now is our lack of understanding of the gifts (ie. tongues in church meetings vs. private edification), our inability to utilize the power we have freely available to us through the Spirit, and our fear of division due to the legitimate use of that power.

    The way E-Free churches and most other evangelical churches have avoided the issue has done little for the Gospel in my humble opinion. And charismatic churches have focused so much on it that the pendulum swing has robbed them of maturity in most other areas.

    On the other hand, if I was a pastor, it’d be a lot easier to just not deal with it corporately.

  10. Yeah, I’m trying to be balanced and people are still not happy :). In my study of 1 Corinthians 12-14, I think Paul was trying to correct an over emphasis on tongues. His view… if you want one gift over another, desire prophecy. I don’t want to avoid the issue, but it is complex within a corporate setting. I also think it takes a lot of discernment to know whether it is of the Lord or another spirit.

    Which is why I would say it would need to go before the elders before being shared with the congregation. I guess I have (at least I thought I did) a middle ground position.

    There has been a lot of teaching and emphasis on spiritual gifts in general, and a lot of it misses the boat. We are to serve. In the process of serving we find out how we are gifted and where our passions lay. But the most important thing is that we stay connected to “the Vine” so that we bear fruit, (John 15:5). Without Jesus we can accomplish nothing of eternal significance.

    My intent wasn’t to create a squabble, and I have many charismatic brothers and sisters whom I love. I just feel like too much emphasis has been placed on tongues and gifts. Sometimes it seems that people are more concerned about the signs and wonders than they are about the One who allows miracles to take place.

    Anyway, what I laid out for Meredith probably has more to do with orthoproxy than orthodoxy. I believe these gifts exist still. How are they practiced in a way that is biblical and Christ honoring?

  11. Yeah, I’m trying to be balanced and people are still not happy :). In my study of 1 Corinthians 12-14, I think Paul was trying to correct an over emphasis on tongues. His view… if you want one gift over another, desire prophecy. I don’t want to avoid the issue, but it is complex within a corporate setting. I also think it takes a lot of discernment to know whether it is of the Lord or another spirit.

    Which is why I would say it would need to go before the elders before being shared with the congregation. I guess I have (at least I thought I did) a middle ground position.

    There has been a lot of teaching and emphasis on spiritual gifts in general, and a lot of it misses the boat. We are to serve. In the process of serving we find out how we are gifted and where our passions lay. But the most important thing is that we stay connected to “the Vine” so that we bear fruit, (John 15:5). Without Jesus we can accomplish nothing of eternal significance.

    My intent wasn’t to create a squabble, and I have many charismatic brothers and sisters whom I love. I just feel like too much emphasis has been placed on tongues and gifts. Sometimes it seems that people are more concerned about the signs and wonders than they are about the One who allows miracles to take place.

    Anyway, what I laid out for Meredith probably has more to do with orthoproxy than orthodoxy. I believe these gifts exist still. How are they practiced in a way that is biblical and Christ honoring?

  12. Yeah, I’m trying to be balanced and people are still not happy :). In my study of 1 Corinthians 12-14, I think Paul was trying to correct an over emphasis on tongues. His view… if you want one gift over another, desire prophecy. I don’t want to avoid the issue, but it is complex within a corporate setting. I also think it takes a lot of discernment to know whether it is of the Lord or another spirit.

    Which is why I would say it would need to go before the elders before being shared with the congregation. I guess I have (at least I thought I did) a middle ground position.

    There has been a lot of teaching and emphasis on spiritual gifts in general, and a lot of it misses the boat. We are to serve. In the process of serving we find out how we are gifted and where our passions lay. But the most important thing is that we stay connected to “the Vine” so that we bear fruit, (John 15:5). Without Jesus we can accomplish nothing of eternal significance.

    My intent wasn’t to create a squabble, and I have many charismatic brothers and sisters whom I love. I just feel like too much emphasis has been placed on tongues and gifts. Sometimes it seems that people are more concerned about the signs and wonders than they are about the One who allows miracles to take place.

    Anyway, what I laid out for Meredith probably has more to do with orthoproxy than orthodoxy. I believe these gifts exist still. How are they practiced in a way that is biblical and Christ honoring?

  13. a couple quick thoughts while packing away…(smile)

    first off, God is not a respector of persons…what He has laid out for us to do as believers will be offensive to most. He offends our mind to speak to our heart. Hopefully the ‘sign’ gifts would be accurately represented to someone to offend their mind & get to the heart of what God is trying to speak to them.

    I agree that there is a big swing in this whole thing with signs, wonders & miracles. In my opinion, Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA is the best teacher in this area of living out the gospel w/ the supernatural lifestyle.

    What I have found in my own personal journey of this issue of the Holy Spirit is that I essentially grew up believing what you have laid out here in this post. But, I had a lack-luster, works based, be a good girl, go to church & live my life type of faith. I also came to a crisis of my faith b/c I had no understanding of who the Holy Spirit really is. It wasn’t until I was baptized by the Holy Spirit that I felt alive & empowered to do the things God has laid out for us to do. After that baptism of the Holy Spirit (for me) came speaking in tongues, healings by my own laying on of hands, I have rec’d healing by others laying on hands & have had/rec’d many words of prophesy from others. Once I became open to God working through me in a way I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with, then I was blown away by the depth of God…by His love for me, for us…ahhh…i can’t explain it all in a blog comment!

    By trying to please/apease the masses of a congreation, you will indeed do a dis-service to the Gospel.

    What I have found in my own experiences is that Jesus called us to bring the gospel & he equipped us specifically with the HOly Spirit to do such a thing with authority & power. I think that normal christian life would be walking in signs, wonders & miracles…operating in the ‘sign’ gifts –however we are gifted. i don’t think all believers have all the gifts, but I do believer that most of american christians have said, well all the gifts aren’t for everyone, so i am just going to pick the ones i am comfortable with.

    i understand that there is a difference in living your everyday life & leading a congregation…there is much more responsibility to not ‘lead the flock astray’. but, by virtually ignoring this part of the bible, saying “i don’t know about the sign gifts so I am taking a step back, not operating in them, etc” is that leading them astray as well??

    wouldn’t a better course of action be to learn all you can about these gifts w/ an open mind to what God, through the Holy Spirit, will reveal to you? the Holy Spirit is here to lead us in ALL truth…i just read that this AM.

    don’t get me wrong, i am not in the least bit offended by this conversation and I hope you aren’t either. i love, love, love these types of discussions.

    i have many more thoughts on your comments, especially the orderly service stuff…but that will have to keep for another day! the little ones are starting to stir.

    blessings~

  14. a couple quick thoughts while packing away…(smile)

    first off, God is not a respector of persons…what He has laid out for us to do as believers will be offensive to most. He offends our mind to speak to our heart. Hopefully the ‘sign’ gifts would be accurately represented to someone to offend their mind & get to the heart of what God is trying to speak to them.

    I agree that there is a big swing in this whole thing with signs, wonders & miracles. In my opinion, Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA is the best teacher in this area of living out the gospel w/ the supernatural lifestyle.

    What I have found in my own personal journey of this issue of the Holy Spirit is that I essentially grew up believing what you have laid out here in this post. But, I had a lack-luster, works based, be a good girl, go to church & live my life type of faith. I also came to a crisis of my faith b/c I had no understanding of who the Holy Spirit really is. It wasn’t until I was baptized by the Holy Spirit that I felt alive & empowered to do the things God has laid out for us to do. After that baptism of the Holy Spirit (for me) came speaking in tongues, healings by my own laying on of hands, I have rec’d healing by others laying on hands & have had/rec’d many words of prophesy from others. Once I became open to God working through me in a way I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with, then I was blown away by the depth of God…by His love for me, for us…ahhh…i can’t explain it all in a blog comment!

    By trying to please/apease the masses of a congreation, you will indeed do a dis-service to the Gospel.

    What I have found in my own experiences is that Jesus called us to bring the gospel & he equipped us specifically with the HOly Spirit to do such a thing with authority & power. I think that normal christian life would be walking in signs, wonders & miracles…operating in the ‘sign’ gifts –however we are gifted. i don’t think all believers have all the gifts, but I do believer that most of american christians have said, well all the gifts aren’t for everyone, so i am just going to pick the ones i am comfortable with.

    i understand that there is a difference in living your everyday life & leading a congregation…there is much more responsibility to not ‘lead the flock astray’. but, by virtually ignoring this part of the bible, saying “i don’t know about the sign gifts so I am taking a step back, not operating in them, etc” is that leading them astray as well??

    wouldn’t a better course of action be to learn all you can about these gifts w/ an open mind to what God, through the Holy Spirit, will reveal to you? the Holy Spirit is here to lead us in ALL truth…i just read that this AM.

    don’t get me wrong, i am not in the least bit offended by this conversation and I hope you aren’t either. i love, love, love these types of discussions.

    i have many more thoughts on your comments, especially the orderly service stuff…but that will have to keep for another day! the little ones are starting to stir.

    blessings~

  15. a couple quick thoughts while packing away…(smile)

    first off, God is not a respector of persons…what He has laid out for us to do as believers will be offensive to most. He offends our mind to speak to our heart. Hopefully the ‘sign’ gifts would be accurately represented to someone to offend their mind & get to the heart of what God is trying to speak to them.

    I agree that there is a big swing in this whole thing with signs, wonders & miracles. In my opinion, Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA is the best teacher in this area of living out the gospel w/ the supernatural lifestyle.

    What I have found in my own personal journey of this issue of the Holy Spirit is that I essentially grew up believing what you have laid out here in this post. But, I had a lack-luster, works based, be a good girl, go to church & live my life type of faith. I also came to a crisis of my faith b/c I had no understanding of who the Holy Spirit really is. It wasn’t until I was baptized by the Holy Spirit that I felt alive & empowered to do the things God has laid out for us to do. After that baptism of the Holy Spirit (for me) came speaking in tongues, healings by my own laying on of hands, I have rec’d healing by others laying on hands & have had/rec’d many words of prophesy from others. Once I became open to God working through me in a way I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with, then I was blown away by the depth of God…by His love for me, for us…ahhh…i can’t explain it all in a blog comment!

    By trying to please/apease the masses of a congreation, you will indeed do a dis-service to the Gospel.

    What I have found in my own experiences is that Jesus called us to bring the gospel & he equipped us specifically with the HOly Spirit to do such a thing with authority & power. I think that normal christian life would be walking in signs, wonders & miracles…operating in the ‘sign’ gifts –however we are gifted. i don’t think all believers have all the gifts, but I do believer that most of american christians have said, well all the gifts aren’t for everyone, so i am just going to pick the ones i am comfortable with.

    i understand that there is a difference in living your everyday life & leading a congregation…there is much more responsibility to not ‘lead the flock astray’. but, by virtually ignoring this part of the bible, saying “i don’t know about the sign gifts so I am taking a step back, not operating in them, etc” is that leading them astray as well??

    wouldn’t a better course of action be to learn all you can about these gifts w/ an open mind to what God, through the Holy Spirit, will reveal to you? the Holy Spirit is here to lead us in ALL truth…i just read that this AM.

    don’t get me wrong, i am not in the least bit offended by this conversation and I hope you aren’t either. i love, love, love these types of discussions.

    i have many more thoughts on your comments, especially the orderly service stuff…but that will have to keep for another day! the little ones are starting to stir.

    blessings~

  16. As much as it scares me (I grew up in a church that believed the gifts were for today but were ver privately worked utilized), I agree with Meredith. I’m comfortable with messy spirituality and find our obsession with “order” in the church to be perverted. We are to protect the assembly from chaos – not the gifts.

    I believe a church with a healthy understanding of the gifts (which is rare because the Pentecostal churches are REACTING to the rest of the church and, consequently, go over the top) will exercise them appropriately and the few times they are misused will be relatively obvious and easily dealt with assuming the leadership has some kahunas.

    My biggest concern with those who STRIVE after particular gifts or who become haughty in their faith because they have an understanding of the gifts end up marginalizing themselves not only from other believers, but the community they are charged with reaching.

    I think the gifts (ALL OF THEM), if tactfully used within the body for the edification of the saints and the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry will be done in a way that does not marginalize us from the lost. I’m hyper-sensitive about not adding foolish behavior to a Gospel that is, already in itself, “foolish” to the depraved mind. That is where, I think, most charismatic believers have failed miserably, thereby tempting the rest of us to become “Spirit-“tually challenged.

  17. As much as it scares me (I grew up in a church that believed the gifts were for today but were ver privately worked utilized), I agree with Meredith. I’m comfortable with messy spirituality and find our obsession with “order” in the church to be perverted. We are to protect the assembly from chaos – not the gifts.

    I believe a church with a healthy understanding of the gifts (which is rare because the Pentecostal churches are REACTING to the rest of the church and, consequently, go over the top) will exercise them appropriately and the few times they are misused will be relatively obvious and easily dealt with assuming the leadership has some kahunas.

    My biggest concern with those who STRIVE after particular gifts or who become haughty in their faith because they have an understanding of the gifts end up marginalizing themselves not only from other believers, but the community they are charged with reaching.

    I think the gifts (ALL OF THEM), if tactfully used within the body for the edification of the saints and the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry will be done in a way that does not marginalize us from the lost. I’m hyper-sensitive about not adding foolish behavior to a Gospel that is, already in itself, “foolish” to the depraved mind. That is where, I think, most charismatic believers have failed miserably, thereby tempting the rest of us to become “Spirit-“tually challenged.

  18. As much as it scares me (I grew up in a church that believed the gifts were for today but were ver privately worked utilized), I agree with Meredith. I’m comfortable with messy spirituality and find our obsession with “order” in the church to be perverted. We are to protect the assembly from chaos – not the gifts.

    I believe a church with a healthy understanding of the gifts (which is rare because the Pentecostal churches are REACTING to the rest of the church and, consequently, go over the top) will exercise them appropriately and the few times they are misused will be relatively obvious and easily dealt with assuming the leadership has some kahunas.

    My biggest concern with those who STRIVE after particular gifts or who become haughty in their faith because they have an understanding of the gifts end up marginalizing themselves not only from other believers, but the community they are charged with reaching.

    I think the gifts (ALL OF THEM), if tactfully used within the body for the edification of the saints and the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry will be done in a way that does not marginalize us from the lost. I’m hyper-sensitive about not adding foolish behavior to a Gospel that is, already in itself, “foolish” to the depraved mind. That is where, I think, most charismatic believers have failed miserably, thereby tempting the rest of us to become “Spirit-“tually challenged.

  19. Hi Meredith, I hope you guys have a great vacation.

    I’m glad you are not offended by this post, and I welcome the conversation. I want you to know that this issue is not a “hill I’ll die on” type of conversation. I fully admit I could be wrong in part or in full.

    Also I want to mention, that I am not trying to “appease”. This is what I sincerely believe, nor do I ignore these part of pneumaology – if I wanted to do that I wouldn’t have even included it in this post ;).

    A little of my own personal story. I came to Christ at 20. I was radically changed… my attitude, behavior, and life were turned upside down by Jesus. I was an abuser of alcohol… and the Holy Spirit took the desire away.

    About a month after that I picked up a book called Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. I didn’t even get through the book and as a new believer I was able to discern that it was error. I had not been taught that yet. But I knew God was giving me discernment by the Holy Spirit – as the Spirit leads to all truth.

    The main issue, and please understand I’m not lumping you in with Benny Hinn, was the Holy Spirit was being elevated above Jesus Christ. Biblically speaking, that is wrong, wrong, wrong, as one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son.

    There were other issues, and one that I took issue with then and still do today is the issue of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Scripture teaches and in Acts you see (with the exception of the very first followers). That baptism of the Spirit immediately follows repentence and belief. You see that in Acts. The Holy Spirit is at work before that, but that is a salvation issue… and I’ll have that discussion when I post on it – regarding regeneration.

    I know tongues was a sign of baptism earlier in Acts, but you see later in the book that isn’t necessarily the case. I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. How do I know this? I have spiritual gifts… it took some time serving to figure out what they were (like I thought I had the gift of administration, but then quickly realizing in ministry that wasn’t the case). I do believe I have the gift of teaching, leading and evangelism (some may argue that Ephesians 4:11 is referring to gifted people, not spiritual gifts themselves and I can see both sides of that – for instance you different evangelists share the gospel in different ways, etc.).

    Also I know I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit because of demonstrating spiritual fruit (obviously this is an ongoing thing), being sanctified and His continual sanctifying work, having been sealed and having assurance of my salvation as the Holy Spirit is the deposit of salvation.

    I have never spoken in tongues. I’ve people tell me I have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit. I do not agree with them by expreience and by what Scripture teaches.

    Regarding miracles and healing. I’ve prayed for people and they have been healed. This doesn’t happen consistently. Do I have the gift? Who knows? I’d rather God get the glory anyway. Will I continue to pray for people to be healed? Of course, I think that is biblical. If someone is not healed does that mean they are lacking faith? (not saying that is your posiiton, but I have seen this posiition held by charismatics) I don’t think Scripture teaches that at all.

    Regarding prophecy… I think that it likely looks different today than it did before we had the New Testament. I too have had people approach me with a “word of knowledge” and some have been true… like a pastor who told me that Cheryl and I were going to have a child… four months later she was pregnant. Other times it has not come to pass.

    Again discernment is needed. 1 John says we are to test the spirits. We are also to mindful and guard against false prophets and false teachers.

    Regarding your experience – I can’t dispute what happened to you. It could be a discovery of a gift that you already had and needed encouragement to use. I don’t know. What I don’t believe is if you were a follower of Christ that the Holy Spirit hadn’t already made residence in you. I liken your experience to my not thinking that I had a gift of evangelism… I didn’t realize I did because I wasn’t faithful in evangelizing. When I became a faithful witness I saw more fruit. We can neglect gifts, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t given them when we were saved.

    Also, I want to make it clear that I was addressing the gift of tongues in corporate worship. I have no problem with individual use without interpretation. It is just without interpretation, Paul writes it doesn’t edify the Body.

    Well, I don’t want my comment to be longer than the origianl post (may be too late for that), so I’ll end here and let you respond when you get back.

  20. Hi Meredith, I hope you guys have a great vacation.

    I’m glad you are not offended by this post, and I welcome the conversation. I want you to know that this issue is not a “hill I’ll die on” type of conversation. I fully admit I could be wrong in part or in full.

    Also I want to mention, that I am not trying to “appease”. This is what I sincerely believe, nor do I ignore these part of pneumaology – if I wanted to do that I wouldn’t have even included it in this post ;).

    A little of my own personal story. I came to Christ at 20. I was radically changed… my attitude, behavior, and life were turned upside down by Jesus. I was an abuser of alcohol… and the Holy Spirit took the desire away.

    About a month after that I picked up a book called Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. I didn’t even get through the book and as a new believer I was able to discern that it was error. I had not been taught that yet. But I knew God was giving me discernment by the Holy Spirit – as the Spirit leads to all truth.

    The main issue, and please understand I’m not lumping you in with Benny Hinn, was the Holy Spirit was being elevated above Jesus Christ. Biblically speaking, that is wrong, wrong, wrong, as one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son.

    There were other issues, and one that I took issue with then and still do today is the issue of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Scripture teaches and in Acts you see (with the exception of the very first followers). That baptism of the Spirit immediately follows repentence and belief. You see that in Acts. The Holy Spirit is at work before that, but that is a salvation issue… and I’ll have that discussion when I post on it – regarding regeneration.

    I know tongues was a sign of baptism earlier in Acts, but you see later in the book that isn’t necessarily the case. I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. How do I know this? I have spiritual gifts… it took some time serving to figure out what they were (like I thought I had the gift of administration, but then quickly realizing in ministry that wasn’t the case). I do believe I have the gift of teaching, leading and evangelism (some may argue that Ephesians 4:11 is referring to gifted people, not spiritual gifts themselves and I can see both sides of that – for instance you different evangelists share the gospel in different ways, etc.).

    Also I know I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit because of demonstrating spiritual fruit (obviously this is an ongoing thing), being sanctified and His continual sanctifying work, having been sealed and having assurance of my salvation as the Holy Spirit is the deposit of salvation.

    I have never spoken in tongues. I’ve people tell me I have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit. I do not agree with them by expreience and by what Scripture teaches.

    Regarding miracles and healing. I’ve prayed for people and they have been healed. This doesn’t happen consistently. Do I have the gift? Who knows? I’d rather God get the glory anyway. Will I continue to pray for people to be healed? Of course, I think that is biblical. If someone is not healed does that mean they are lacking faith? (not saying that is your posiiton, but I have seen this posiition held by charismatics) I don’t think Scripture teaches that at all.

    Regarding prophecy… I think that it likely looks different today than it did before we had the New Testament. I too have had people approach me with a “word of knowledge” and some have been true… like a pastor who told me that Cheryl and I were going to have a child… four months later she was pregnant. Other times it has not come to pass.

    Again discernment is needed. 1 John says we are to test the spirits. We are also to mindful and guard against false prophets and false teachers.

    Regarding your experience – I can’t dispute what happened to you. It could be a discovery of a gift that you already had and needed encouragement to use. I don’t know. What I don’t believe is if you were a follower of Christ that the Holy Spirit hadn’t already made residence in you. I liken your experience to my not thinking that I had a gift of evangelism… I didn’t realize I did because I wasn’t faithful in evangelizing. When I became a faithful witness I saw more fruit. We can neglect gifts, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t given them when we were saved.

    Also, I want to make it clear that I was addressing the gift of tongues in corporate worship. I have no problem with individual use without interpretation. It is just without interpretation, Paul writes it doesn’t edify the Body.

    Well, I don’t want my comment to be longer than the origianl post (may be too late for that), so I’ll end here and let you respond when you get back.

  21. Hi Meredith, I hope you guys have a great vacation.

    I’m glad you are not offended by this post, and I welcome the conversation. I want you to know that this issue is not a “hill I’ll die on” type of conversation. I fully admit I could be wrong in part or in full.

    Also I want to mention, that I am not trying to “appease”. This is what I sincerely believe, nor do I ignore these part of pneumaology – if I wanted to do that I wouldn’t have even included it in this post ;).

    A little of my own personal story. I came to Christ at 20. I was radically changed… my attitude, behavior, and life were turned upside down by Jesus. I was an abuser of alcohol… and the Holy Spirit took the desire away.

    About a month after that I picked up a book called Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. I didn’t even get through the book and as a new believer I was able to discern that it was error. I had not been taught that yet. But I knew God was giving me discernment by the Holy Spirit – as the Spirit leads to all truth.

    The main issue, and please understand I’m not lumping you in with Benny Hinn, was the Holy Spirit was being elevated above Jesus Christ. Biblically speaking, that is wrong, wrong, wrong, as one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son.

    There were other issues, and one that I took issue with then and still do today is the issue of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Scripture teaches and in Acts you see (with the exception of the very first followers). That baptism of the Spirit immediately follows repentence and belief. You see that in Acts. The Holy Spirit is at work before that, but that is a salvation issue… and I’ll have that discussion when I post on it – regarding regeneration.

    I know tongues was a sign of baptism earlier in Acts, but you see later in the book that isn’t necessarily the case. I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. How do I know this? I have spiritual gifts… it took some time serving to figure out what they were (like I thought I had the gift of administration, but then quickly realizing in ministry that wasn’t the case). I do believe I have the gift of teaching, leading and evangelism (some may argue that Ephesians 4:11 is referring to gifted people, not spiritual gifts themselves and I can see both sides of that – for instance you different evangelists share the gospel in different ways, etc.).

    Also I know I have been baptized by the Holy Spirit because of demonstrating spiritual fruit (obviously this is an ongoing thing), being sanctified and His continual sanctifying work, having been sealed and having assurance of my salvation as the Holy Spirit is the deposit of salvation.

    I have never spoken in tongues. I’ve people tell me I have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit. I do not agree with them by expreience and by what Scripture teaches.

    Regarding miracles and healing. I’ve prayed for people and they have been healed. This doesn’t happen consistently. Do I have the gift? Who knows? I’d rather God get the glory anyway. Will I continue to pray for people to be healed? Of course, I think that is biblical. If someone is not healed does that mean they are lacking faith? (not saying that is your posiiton, but I have seen this posiition held by charismatics) I don’t think Scripture teaches that at all.

    Regarding prophecy… I think that it likely looks different today than it did before we had the New Testament. I too have had people approach me with a “word of knowledge” and some have been true… like a pastor who told me that Cheryl and I were going to have a child… four months later she was pregnant. Other times it has not come to pass.

    Again discernment is needed. 1 John says we are to test the spirits. We are also to mindful and guard against false prophets and false teachers.

    Regarding your experience – I can’t dispute what happened to you. It could be a discovery of a gift that you already had and needed encouragement to use. I don’t know. What I don’t believe is if you were a follower of Christ that the Holy Spirit hadn’t already made residence in you. I liken your experience to my not thinking that I had a gift of evangelism… I didn’t realize I did because I wasn’t faithful in evangelizing. When I became a faithful witness I saw more fruit. We can neglect gifts, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t given them when we were saved.

    Also, I want to make it clear that I was addressing the gift of tongues in corporate worship. I have no problem with individual use without interpretation. It is just without interpretation, Paul writes it doesn’t edify the Body.

    Well, I don’t want my comment to be longer than the origianl post (may be too late for that), so I’ll end here and let you respond when you get back.

  22. Eric – careful what you say about order – 1 Corinthians 14 is very clear that we have to have order because God is a God of order.

    I think what you are reacting to isn’t so much order, as it is a lack of spontinaity (sp? I wish comments had spell check), and a lack of being sensitive to the Spirit’s leading which is an entirely different matter.

    I don’t want to say that all charismatics don’t practice order. I’ve been to Assemblies of God services in my work with SOY where I haven’t heard tongues. I’ve been to youth services where they were being blurted out and it was chaotic and the focus was taken off of Jesus and placed onto the experience of tongues – which is ultimately idolatry.

    So I’m not arguing that they have ceased… I think I’m being pretty clear on that. It is how they are practiced, and maybe I am being hypersensitive or maybe I’m using discernment because I want to protect my flock and want to be faithful to the word. As I commented to Meredith, I could be wrong. This isn’t “a hill I’ll die on position”. I have grown in this area – I used to believe that they had ceased, and when I studied it further, I realized that I couldn’t defend that position biblically.

    So my main concern is not with private usuage. My concern is with how they are exercised corporately. Also, when I said that I wouldn’t encourage… I was thinking corporately. I WASN’T saying I wouldn’t teach on them. I’m just not going to elevate them beyond all the other gifts. Nor will I say that they’ll be a regular part of our worship services.

  23. Eric – careful what you say about order – 1 Corinthians 14 is very clear that we have to have order because God is a God of order.

    I think what you are reacting to isn’t so much order, as it is a lack of spontinaity (sp? I wish comments had spell check), and a lack of being sensitive to the Spirit’s leading which is an entirely different matter.

    I don’t want to say that all charismatics don’t practice order. I’ve been to Assemblies of God services in my work with SOY where I haven’t heard tongues. I’ve been to youth services where they were being blurted out and it was chaotic and the focus was taken off of Jesus and placed onto the experience of tongues – which is ultimately idolatry.

    So I’m not arguing that they have ceased… I think I’m being pretty clear on that. It is how they are practiced, and maybe I am being hypersensitive or maybe I’m using discernment because I want to protect my flock and want to be faithful to the word. As I commented to Meredith, I could be wrong. This isn’t “a hill I’ll die on position”. I have grown in this area – I used to believe that they had ceased, and when I studied it further, I realized that I couldn’t defend that position biblically.

    So my main concern is not with private usuage. My concern is with how they are exercised corporately. Also, when I said that I wouldn’t encourage… I was thinking corporately. I WASN’T saying I wouldn’t teach on them. I’m just not going to elevate them beyond all the other gifts. Nor will I say that they’ll be a regular part of our worship services.

  24. Eric – careful what you say about order – 1 Corinthians 14 is very clear that we have to have order because God is a God of order.

    I think what you are reacting to isn’t so much order, as it is a lack of spontinaity (sp? I wish comments had spell check), and a lack of being sensitive to the Spirit’s leading which is an entirely different matter.

    I don’t want to say that all charismatics don’t practice order. I’ve been to Assemblies of God services in my work with SOY where I haven’t heard tongues. I’ve been to youth services where they were being blurted out and it was chaotic and the focus was taken off of Jesus and placed onto the experience of tongues – which is ultimately idolatry.

    So I’m not arguing that they have ceased… I think I’m being pretty clear on that. It is how they are practiced, and maybe I am being hypersensitive or maybe I’m using discernment because I want to protect my flock and want to be faithful to the word. As I commented to Meredith, I could be wrong. This isn’t “a hill I’ll die on position”. I have grown in this area – I used to believe that they had ceased, and when I studied it further, I realized that I couldn’t defend that position biblically.

    So my main concern is not with private usuage. My concern is with how they are exercised corporately. Also, when I said that I wouldn’t encourage… I was thinking corporately. I WASN’T saying I wouldn’t teach on them. I’m just not going to elevate them beyond all the other gifts. Nor will I say that they’ll be a regular part of our worship services.

  25. I’m waiting for cessationists to come over here and bludgeon me :). Again in all of this I want to emphasize I do not want to place God in a box.

    As with every gift – it isn’t about us – it is about His glory and His kingdom.

    Eric, with what you said, I mostly agree. The only difference would be that it would come before the leadership before it would the congregation.

  26. I’m waiting for cessationists to come over here and bludgeon me :). Again in all of this I want to emphasize I do not want to place God in a box.

    As with every gift – it isn’t about us – it is about His glory and His kingdom.

    Eric, with what you said, I mostly agree. The only difference would be that it would come before the leadership before it would the congregation.

  27. I’m waiting for cessationists to come over here and bludgeon me :). Again in all of this I want to emphasize I do not want to place God in a box.

    As with every gift – it isn’t about us – it is about His glory and His kingdom.

    Eric, with what you said, I mostly agree. The only difference would be that it would come before the leadership before it would the congregation.

  28. I did not mean a lack of spontaneity when I said “order.” I think going to a group of elders or a pastor and asking for their blessing to use a spiritual gift is less than Biblical and impractical. Pastors are TERRIFIED of something not going right during a service. This is not healthy and the result of an unhealthy focus on an office in the Church that could be argued is unbiblical. The Spirit wants to do great things on occasion during a corporate worship time but we don’t allow for that because it’s scary for leadership. I think that is very sad.

    It is very clear to me that the entire context of 1 Cor. is to make sure that the gifts of the spirit (namely tongues and prophesy) are done in order to “edify” and meets the mission of the assembly which the scriptures say is to equip the body. That is the order it is referring to – to make sure each event in the service serves the purpose of edification. Any other “order” imposed on the assembly is, by default, putting God in a box.

    So what if someone goofs up and speaks in tongues without an interpreter? It’s a great way for the pastor, teacher, or elder to address the situation lovingly right there on the spot. Or take that person aside and instruct them. If the group is mature, it won’t kill anyone. 🙂 I’ve never experienced that happening and I have friends who have the gift of tongues that have never used it in front of me. In a normal, healthy body of believers that are well taught by gifted teachers, the practicing of the gifts is rarely an issue, especially prophesy – the most misunderstood gift.

    The fact remains that the gifts are still here. That the Holy Spirit has use for them individually AND corporately. And we don’t use them. We basically tell God, “No thanks. I’m not comfortable with that.”

    I have been guilty of this most of my life as a believer. And I’m ashamed.

    Your views on this are aligned with most evangelicals today and are not in any way out of the mainstream. I just don’t feel the church today, generally, has done much of a service by not encouraging the gifts corporately or allowing themselves to revolt against that and become Pentecostal. The Biblical middle ground of exercising ALL the gifts individually and corporately is where we should all be aiming for.

  29. I did not mean a lack of spontaneity when I said “order.” I think going to a group of elders or a pastor and asking for their blessing to use a spiritual gift is less than Biblical and impractical. Pastors are TERRIFIED of something not going right during a service. This is not healthy and the result of an unhealthy focus on an office in the Church that could be argued is unbiblical. The Spirit wants to do great things on occasion during a corporate worship time but we don’t allow for that because it’s scary for leadership. I think that is very sad.

    It is very clear to me that the entire context of 1 Cor. is to make sure that the gifts of the spirit (namely tongues and prophesy) are done in order to “edify” and meets the mission of the assembly which the scriptures say is to equip the body. That is the order it is referring to – to make sure each event in the service serves the purpose of edification. Any other “order” imposed on the assembly is, by default, putting God in a box.

    So what if someone goofs up and speaks in tongues without an interpreter? It’s a great way for the pastor, teacher, or elder to address the situation lovingly right there on the spot. Or take that person aside and instruct them. If the group is mature, it won’t kill anyone. 🙂 I’ve never experienced that happening and I have friends who have the gift of tongues that have never used it in front of me. In a normal, healthy body of believers that are well taught by gifted teachers, the practicing of the gifts is rarely an issue, especially prophesy – the most misunderstood gift.

    The fact remains that the gifts are still here. That the Holy Spirit has use for them individually AND corporately. And we don’t use them. We basically tell God, “No thanks. I’m not comfortable with that.”

    I have been guilty of this most of my life as a believer. And I’m ashamed.

    Your views on this are aligned with most evangelicals today and are not in any way out of the mainstream. I just don’t feel the church today, generally, has done much of a service by not encouraging the gifts corporately or allowing themselves to revolt against that and become Pentecostal. The Biblical middle ground of exercising ALL the gifts individually and corporately is where we should all be aiming for.

  30. I did not mean a lack of spontaneity when I said “order.” I think going to a group of elders or a pastor and asking for their blessing to use a spiritual gift is less than Biblical and impractical. Pastors are TERRIFIED of something not going right during a service. This is not healthy and the result of an unhealthy focus on an office in the Church that could be argued is unbiblical. The Spirit wants to do great things on occasion during a corporate worship time but we don’t allow for that because it’s scary for leadership. I think that is very sad.

    It is very clear to me that the entire context of 1 Cor. is to make sure that the gifts of the spirit (namely tongues and prophesy) are done in order to “edify” and meets the mission of the assembly which the scriptures say is to equip the body. That is the order it is referring to – to make sure each event in the service serves the purpose of edification. Any other “order” imposed on the assembly is, by default, putting God in a box.

    So what if someone goofs up and speaks in tongues without an interpreter? It’s a great way for the pastor, teacher, or elder to address the situation lovingly right there on the spot. Or take that person aside and instruct them. If the group is mature, it won’t kill anyone. 🙂 I’ve never experienced that happening and I have friends who have the gift of tongues that have never used it in front of me. In a normal, healthy body of believers that are well taught by gifted teachers, the practicing of the gifts is rarely an issue, especially prophesy – the most misunderstood gift.

    The fact remains that the gifts are still here. That the Holy Spirit has use for them individually AND corporately. And we don’t use them. We basically tell God, “No thanks. I’m not comfortable with that.”

    I have been guilty of this most of my life as a believer. And I’m ashamed.

    Your views on this are aligned with most evangelicals today and are not in any way out of the mainstream. I just don’t feel the church today, generally, has done much of a service by not encouraging the gifts corporately or allowing themselves to revolt against that and become Pentecostal. The Biblical middle ground of exercising ALL the gifts individually and corporately is where we should all be aiming for.

  31. Eric, this is our first disagreement. The honeymoon is over, LOL!

    ” I think going to a group of elders or a pastor and asking for their blessing to use a spiritual gift is less than Biblical and impractical. Pastors are TERRIFIED of something not going right during a service. This is not healthy and the result of an unhealthy focus on an office in the Church that could be argued is unbiblical. The Spirit wants to do great things on occasion during a corporate worship time but we don’t allow for that because it’s scary for leadership. I think that is very sad.”

    I disagree. First off it isn’t asking our blessing, now that may be true for some, but it isn’t for me. I can only answer for me. I think in Paul’s epistles that it is the role of the shepherds to oversee teaching, prophecy, tongues. It is protective. I think there is a way to do this without being overbearing.

    Secondly, I don’t think it is dissimilar to somebody who wants to teach. Well are we going to unleash them without any guidance? I hope not. I see this also as an equipping function, (Eph. 4:11).

    Will it be the end of the world if somebody speaks in tongues without an interpretation? No. I’m not saying that.

    Personally I think too much emphasis has been place on spiritual gifts period. Regardless of the gift. I’m sick of hearing people say “I’m not an evangelist.” Well we are all to do the work of an evangelist. We are all to be witnesses. “I don’t have the gift of giving.” Well we are all to give cheerfully and give to God our first fruits. “I don’t have the gift of teaching.” (or prophecy – depending on how you define it). Well we are to be teachers if we are parents. Training up our kids in the way they should go. We are all to speak truth in love.

    Well I don’t have the gift of service or of mercy. We are all to serve, we are all to extend mercy.

    We don’t have a gift problem as much as we have a FRUIT problem. That will be far more effective in ministry and in seeing the Gospel advanced than our spiritual gifts.

    So if you speak in tongues, have a leadership gift, can teach or evangelize – it doesn’t mean jack squat if your character sucks.

    There are far too many fruitless Christians out there. For me… sign gifts are a minor issue. Again, our disagreement is with practice, not doctrine.

    I don’t want it to be something that divides the Church The Holy Spirit should be uniting us. We really are that far off on this. It is a matter of spiritual leadership and authority. I think it is quite biblical to submit to godly spiritual leaders. They are overseeers and shepherds. This is what God has called them to do.

    I am also aware that this isn’t always experienced in every church and also has been abused. I want to be sensitive to that. I would say then… time to find a different church.

  32. Eric, this is our first disagreement. The honeymoon is over, LOL!

    ” I think going to a group of elders or a pastor and asking for their blessing to use a spiritual gift is less than Biblical and impractical. Pastors are TERRIFIED of something not going right during a service. This is not healthy and the result of an unhealthy focus on an office in the Church that could be argued is unbiblical. The Spirit wants to do great things on occasion during a corporate worship time but we don’t allow for that because it’s scary for leadership. I think that is very sad.”

    I disagree. First off it isn’t asking our blessing, now that may be true for some, but it isn’t for me. I can only answer for me. I think in Paul’s epistles that it is the role of the shepherds to oversee teaching, prophecy, tongues. It is protective. I think there is a way to do this without being overbearing.

    Secondly, I don’t think it is dissimilar to somebody who wants to teach. Well are we going to unleash them without any guidance? I hope not. I see this also as an equipping function, (Eph. 4:11).

    Will it be the end of the world if somebody speaks in tongues without an interpretation? No. I’m not saying that.

    Personally I think too much emphasis has been place on spiritual gifts period. Regardless of the gift. I’m sick of hearing people say “I’m not an evangelist.” Well we are all to do the work of an evangelist. We are all to be witnesses. “I don’t have the gift of giving.” Well we are all to give cheerfully and give to God our first fruits. “I don’t have the gift of teaching.” (or prophecy – depending on how you define it). Well we are to be teachers if we are parents. Training up our kids in the way they should go. We are all to speak truth in love.

    Well I don’t have the gift of service or of mercy. We are all to serve, we are all to extend mercy.

    We don’t have a gift problem as much as we have a FRUIT problem. That will be far more effective in ministry and in seeing the Gospel advanced than our spiritual gifts.

    So if you speak in tongues, have a leadership gift, can teach or evangelize – it doesn’t mean jack squat if your character sucks.

    There are far too many fruitless Christians out there. For me… sign gifts are a minor issue. Again, our disagreement is with practice, not doctrine.

    I don’t want it to be something that divides the Church The Holy Spirit should be uniting us. We really are that far off on this. It is a matter of spiritual leadership and authority. I think it is quite biblical to submit to godly spiritual leaders. They are overseeers and shepherds. This is what God has called them to do.

    I am also aware that this isn’t always experienced in every church and also has been abused. I want to be sensitive to that. I would say then… time to find a different church.

  33. Eric, this is our first disagreement. The honeymoon is over, LOL!

    ” I think going to a group of elders or a pastor and asking for their blessing to use a spiritual gift is less than Biblical and impractical. Pastors are TERRIFIED of something not going right during a service. This is not healthy and the result of an unhealthy focus on an office in the Church that could be argued is unbiblical. The Spirit wants to do great things on occasion during a corporate worship time but we don’t allow for that because it’s scary for leadership. I think that is very sad.”

    I disagree. First off it isn’t asking our blessing, now that may be true for some, but it isn’t for me. I can only answer for me. I think in Paul’s epistles that it is the role of the shepherds to oversee teaching, prophecy, tongues. It is protective. I think there is a way to do this without being overbearing.

    Secondly, I don’t think it is dissimilar to somebody who wants to teach. Well are we going to unleash them without any guidance? I hope not. I see this also as an equipping function, (Eph. 4:11).

    Will it be the end of the world if somebody speaks in tongues without an interpretation? No. I’m not saying that.

    Personally I think too much emphasis has been place on spiritual gifts period. Regardless of the gift. I’m sick of hearing people say “I’m not an evangelist.” Well we are all to do the work of an evangelist. We are all to be witnesses. “I don’t have the gift of giving.” Well we are all to give cheerfully and give to God our first fruits. “I don’t have the gift of teaching.” (or prophecy – depending on how you define it). Well we are to be teachers if we are parents. Training up our kids in the way they should go. We are all to speak truth in love.

    Well I don’t have the gift of service or of mercy. We are all to serve, we are all to extend mercy.

    We don’t have a gift problem as much as we have a FRUIT problem. That will be far more effective in ministry and in seeing the Gospel advanced than our spiritual gifts.

    So if you speak in tongues, have a leadership gift, can teach or evangelize – it doesn’t mean jack squat if your character sucks.

    There are far too many fruitless Christians out there. For me… sign gifts are a minor issue. Again, our disagreement is with practice, not doctrine.

    I don’t want it to be something that divides the Church The Holy Spirit should be uniting us. We really are that far off on this. It is a matter of spiritual leadership and authority. I think it is quite biblical to submit to godly spiritual leaders. They are overseeers and shepherds. This is what God has called them to do.

    I am also aware that this isn’t always experienced in every church and also has been abused. I want to be sensitive to that. I would say then… time to find a different church.

  34. Oh, by the way, regarding the pastor/elder role are you saying the unhealthy focus or the role itself is unbiblical? I was confused by that statement. I would say in some churches there is an unhealthy focus on the senior pastor. But I think submitting to a plurality of leaders in the form of elders… with some being Pastor-Teachers is very biblical.

  35. Oh, by the way, regarding the pastor/elder role are you saying the unhealthy focus or the role itself is unbiblical? I was confused by that statement. I would say in some churches there is an unhealthy focus on the senior pastor. But I think submitting to a plurality of leaders in the form of elders… with some being Pastor-Teachers is very biblical.

  36. Oh, by the way, regarding the pastor/elder role are you saying the unhealthy focus or the role itself is unbiblical? I was confused by that statement. I would say in some churches there is an unhealthy focus on the senior pastor. But I think submitting to a plurality of leaders in the form of elders… with some being Pastor-Teachers is very biblical.

  37. If we disagree on anything, Shane, I’d rather it be on how to practice the gifts we both believe exist than anything else.

    People say that they are not “evangelists” and therefore don’t have to evangelize because teaching on the gifts is anemic at best. We need MORE teaching and prophesy on the gifts…not less.

    I think the role of pastor as is commonly known in Western Christendom is unbiblical. Nowhere in the Scriptures does it put a focus on pastors or teachers as the “leader” of any given church. I don’t think shepherding (caring for the practical and spiritual needs of the flock) is any more a leadership position than speaking the heart of God through prophesy, expounding on the truth of the Scriptures through teaching, bring new believers into the fold through evangelism, starting new spiritual ventures and expanding the Kingdom’s activities through apostleship, etc. They are meant to work together and elders should have diverse gifts in each body and share the authority without some rock-star pastor leading the show with the backing of a corporate-style board of yes-men or a congregation usurping the authority of elders by voting.

    This issue is way more about a problem I have with Calvary Chapels, E Free Churches, and the mainline denominational churches than any disagreement I have with you, btw.

  38. If we disagree on anything, Shane, I’d rather it be on how to practice the gifts we both believe exist than anything else.

    People say that they are not “evangelists” and therefore don’t have to evangelize because teaching on the gifts is anemic at best. We need MORE teaching and prophesy on the gifts…not less.

    I think the role of pastor as is commonly known in Western Christendom is unbiblical. Nowhere in the Scriptures does it put a focus on pastors or teachers as the “leader” of any given church. I don’t think shepherding (caring for the practical and spiritual needs of the flock) is any more a leadership position than speaking the heart of God through prophesy, expounding on the truth of the Scriptures through teaching, bring new believers into the fold through evangelism, starting new spiritual ventures and expanding the Kingdom’s activities through apostleship, etc. They are meant to work together and elders should have diverse gifts in each body and share the authority without some rock-star pastor leading the show with the backing of a corporate-style board of yes-men or a congregation usurping the authority of elders by voting.

    This issue is way more about a problem I have with Calvary Chapels, E Free Churches, and the mainline denominational churches than any disagreement I have with you, btw.

  39. If we disagree on anything, Shane, I’d rather it be on how to practice the gifts we both believe exist than anything else.

    People say that they are not “evangelists” and therefore don’t have to evangelize because teaching on the gifts is anemic at best. We need MORE teaching and prophesy on the gifts…not less.

    I think the role of pastor as is commonly known in Western Christendom is unbiblical. Nowhere in the Scriptures does it put a focus on pastors or teachers as the “leader” of any given church. I don’t think shepherding (caring for the practical and spiritual needs of the flock) is any more a leadership position than speaking the heart of God through prophesy, expounding on the truth of the Scriptures through teaching, bring new believers into the fold through evangelism, starting new spiritual ventures and expanding the Kingdom’s activities through apostleship, etc. They are meant to work together and elders should have diverse gifts in each body and share the authority without some rock-star pastor leading the show with the backing of a corporate-style board of yes-men or a congregation usurping the authority of elders by voting.

    This issue is way more about a problem I have with Calvary Chapels, E Free Churches, and the mainline denominational churches than any disagreement I have with you, btw.

  40. okay….oh my, there is so much here. i wish we were all around a table, bibles ready, coffee brewing.

    first of all, eric: what the heck? “as much as it scares you, i agree with meredith”??? have you seen me? i in no way can intimidate on this issue…;)

    here it goes. in no way will i be able to address everything, just what i feel the Holy Spirit is prompting me to share.

    i think to say one or group or another group as the market on any of the bible or spiritual gifts is wrong. it is just as wrong for someone to say you aren’t baptized in the Holy Spirit unless you speak in tongues as it is to say that all pentecostals are way to reactionary to the things of the Spirit.

    here is the deal. God 1/3, Jesus 1/3, Holy Spirit 1/3 equals the trinity. far too often the pentecostals are focused on the Spirit…the gifts, the signs wonders…we all agree here. But, just as guilty is the rest of the population of evangelical christians who profess Jesus as their savior, yet do not operate in these gifts. They are focused solely on Jesus…many times leaving out both God our father & the Holy Spirit.

    no one has it right. well, one guy did. these words are in red in my bible…making them extra important (so i’ve learned)…mark 16:15-18, “go into all the world & preach the good news to all creation. whoever believes & is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. AND THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well”.

    there are several things that amaze me about this scripture. first off, he says believers–not first generation apostles, not pentecostals or e-freers….believers. you & me & joe down the street will have this signs prove they believe in Jesus.

    second, the signs he talks about are not he will have a well planned church service, he will discple the kid from youth group, he will speak and wow hundreds with his teaching. they are all things that without the Holy Spirit we would fail at.

    For my entire life, i have focused on trying my hardest to live like Jesus….i would say the majority of american christians struggle with this on a daily basis. they have 2/3s of the equation, but they are missing the part that empowers them.

    Operating in the sign gifts, whatever they are is allowing for ourselves to be surrendered to the power that lives inside us. It isn’t about worshipping the holy spirit more than God…the key here is that for too long the HS has been overlooked as part of that equation-dare I say ‘grieving the Holy Spirit’ which are told not to do.

    As I said before, i think that it is faulty doctrine to say that proof of baptism with the HS is tongues…although, it is one of the things that Acts does talk about happening in chapter 2. i would challenge you & whomever to think that maybe they didn’t recorded every time some one got baptized in the HS & got tongues b/c it became so common place? i do not know that answer…

    about 1 john and the testing of spirits…i would also challenge whomever to look at through the eyes that all of those believers were acting in the sign gifts & so it was important for them to distinguish the spirits. so many times in Church, we say if we have to test it, then we better not do it…just stay away. like it is too much effort & gray area, we aren’t even going there.

    i believe this is satan putting the division in the church. who better to try to disuede us from finding out more aobut the HS & walk in the Spirit.

    for the past several weeks, every morning i have been drawn to romans 8–life through the spirit is the title…this whole section of scripture talking about being submissive to the Holy Spirit…living a life controlled by the Holy Spirit…it is what we are born to be as Christians. How can we be that if we are un-experienced in all that the HS has to offer for us?

    it is such a journey. i do not have all the answers, but i do know where i’ve been & what God has taught me thus far. life before knowing the Holy Spirit & operating in these gifts was dull & lifeless. Now i feel a faith that is vibriant and alive! instead of just giving lip service to all those things we are called to do, i am actually doing them. not by my own might, but through the power of the HS.

    i am a simple minded person. i have a simple faith.

  41. okay….oh my, there is so much here. i wish we were all around a table, bibles ready, coffee brewing.

    first of all, eric: what the heck? “as much as it scares you, i agree with meredith”??? have you seen me? i in no way can intimidate on this issue…;)

    here it goes. in no way will i be able to address everything, just what i feel the Holy Spirit is prompting me to share.

    i think to say one or group or another group as the market on any of the bible or spiritual gifts is wrong. it is just as wrong for someone to say you aren’t baptized in the Holy Spirit unless you speak in tongues as it is to say that all pentecostals are way to reactionary to the things of the Spirit.

    here is the deal. God 1/3, Jesus 1/3, Holy Spirit 1/3 equals the trinity. far too often the pentecostals are focused on the Spirit…the gifts, the signs wonders…we all agree here. But, just as guilty is the rest of the population of evangelical christians who profess Jesus as their savior, yet do not operate in these gifts. They are focused solely on Jesus…many times leaving out both God our father & the Holy Spirit.

    no one has it right. well, one guy did. these words are in red in my bible…making them extra important (so i’ve learned)…mark 16:15-18, “go into all the world & preach the good news to all creation. whoever believes & is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. AND THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well”.

    there are several things that amaze me about this scripture. first off, he says believers–not first generation apostles, not pentecostals or e-freers….believers. you & me & joe down the street will have this signs prove they believe in Jesus.

    second, the signs he talks about are not he will have a well planned church service, he will discple the kid from youth group, he will speak and wow hundreds with his teaching. they are all things that without the Holy Spirit we would fail at.

    For my entire life, i have focused on trying my hardest to live like Jesus….i would say the majority of american christians struggle with this on a daily basis. they have 2/3s of the equation, but they are missing the part that empowers them.

    Operating in the sign gifts, whatever they are is allowing for ourselves to be surrendered to the power that lives inside us. It isn’t about worshipping the holy spirit more than God…the key here is that for too long the HS has been overlooked as part of that equation-dare I say ‘grieving the Holy Spirit’ which are told not to do.

    As I said before, i think that it is faulty doctrine to say that proof of baptism with the HS is tongues…although, it is one of the things that Acts does talk about happening in chapter 2. i would challenge you & whomever to think that maybe they didn’t recorded every time some one got baptized in the HS & got tongues b/c it became so common place? i do not know that answer…

    about 1 john and the testing of spirits…i would also challenge whomever to look at through the eyes that all of those believers were acting in the sign gifts & so it was important for them to distinguish the spirits. so many times in Church, we say if we have to test it, then we better not do it…just stay away. like it is too much effort & gray area, we aren’t even going there.

    i believe this is satan putting the division in the church. who better to try to disuede us from finding out more aobut the HS & walk in the Spirit.

    for the past several weeks, every morning i have been drawn to romans 8–life through the spirit is the title…this whole section of scripture talking about being submissive to the Holy Spirit…living a life controlled by the Holy Spirit…it is what we are born to be as Christians. How can we be that if we are un-experienced in all that the HS has to offer for us?

    it is such a journey. i do not have all the answers, but i do know where i’ve been & what God has taught me thus far. life before knowing the Holy Spirit & operating in these gifts was dull & lifeless. Now i feel a faith that is vibriant and alive! instead of just giving lip service to all those things we are called to do, i am actually doing them. not by my own might, but through the power of the HS.

    i am a simple minded person. i have a simple faith.

  42. okay….oh my, there is so much here. i wish we were all around a table, bibles ready, coffee brewing.

    first of all, eric: what the heck? “as much as it scares you, i agree with meredith”??? have you seen me? i in no way can intimidate on this issue…;)

    here it goes. in no way will i be able to address everything, just what i feel the Holy Spirit is prompting me to share.

    i think to say one or group or another group as the market on any of the bible or spiritual gifts is wrong. it is just as wrong for someone to say you aren’t baptized in the Holy Spirit unless you speak in tongues as it is to say that all pentecostals are way to reactionary to the things of the Spirit.

    here is the deal. God 1/3, Jesus 1/3, Holy Spirit 1/3 equals the trinity. far too often the pentecostals are focused on the Spirit…the gifts, the signs wonders…we all agree here. But, just as guilty is the rest of the population of evangelical christians who profess Jesus as their savior, yet do not operate in these gifts. They are focused solely on Jesus…many times leaving out both God our father & the Holy Spirit.

    no one has it right. well, one guy did. these words are in red in my bible…making them extra important (so i’ve learned)…mark 16:15-18, “go into all the world & preach the good news to all creation. whoever believes & is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. AND THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well”.

    there are several things that amaze me about this scripture. first off, he says believers–not first generation apostles, not pentecostals or e-freers….believers. you & me & joe down the street will have this signs prove they believe in Jesus.

    second, the signs he talks about are not he will have a well planned church service, he will discple the kid from youth group, he will speak and wow hundreds with his teaching. they are all things that without the Holy Spirit we would fail at.

    For my entire life, i have focused on trying my hardest to live like Jesus….i would say the majority of american christians struggle with this on a daily basis. they have 2/3s of the equation, but they are missing the part that empowers them.

    Operating in the sign gifts, whatever they are is allowing for ourselves to be surrendered to the power that lives inside us. It isn’t about worshipping the holy spirit more than God…the key here is that for too long the HS has been overlooked as part of that equation-dare I say ‘grieving the Holy Spirit’ which are told not to do.

    As I said before, i think that it is faulty doctrine to say that proof of baptism with the HS is tongues…although, it is one of the things that Acts does talk about happening in chapter 2. i would challenge you & whomever to think that maybe they didn’t recorded every time some one got baptized in the HS & got tongues b/c it became so common place? i do not know that answer…

    about 1 john and the testing of spirits…i would also challenge whomever to look at through the eyes that all of those believers were acting in the sign gifts & so it was important for them to distinguish the spirits. so many times in Church, we say if we have to test it, then we better not do it…just stay away. like it is too much effort & gray area, we aren’t even going there.

    i believe this is satan putting the division in the church. who better to try to disuede us from finding out more aobut the HS & walk in the Spirit.

    for the past several weeks, every morning i have been drawn to romans 8–life through the spirit is the title…this whole section of scripture talking about being submissive to the Holy Spirit…living a life controlled by the Holy Spirit…it is what we are born to be as Christians. How can we be that if we are un-experienced in all that the HS has to offer for us?

    it is such a journey. i do not have all the answers, but i do know where i’ve been & what God has taught me thus far. life before knowing the Holy Spirit & operating in these gifts was dull & lifeless. Now i feel a faith that is vibriant and alive! instead of just giving lip service to all those things we are called to do, i am actually doing them. not by my own might, but through the power of the HS.

    i am a simple minded person. i have a simple faith.

  43. Meredith, I appreciate your comments. Eric, you too. This has been stretching for me. I am going to eat some humble pie here and say first off, I need to study this more. Secondly, I would like to experience a church that does exercise sign gifts, doesn’t elevate them above all the others, and yet does it according to 1 Corinthians 14. Know of any such churches in Des Moines?

    Praying about this and talking with my wife about this post. I think I’ve am being too rigid about coming to the elders. Prophecy yes, tongues… are more spontaneous aren’t they? It isn’t like you can memorize it right? I honestly don’t know. So Eric, you are probably right when you say that position would stifle the Holy Spirit, and yes if there isn’t interpretation we need to lovingly challenge that.

    I still have concerns and I’m still not sure how it would flesh out, but I am going to concede that I’m likely wrong on what I said in my first comment.

    Eric… regarding pastoring/shepherding – true spiritual leadership I don’t think looks quite like what we see in a lot of churches. It is servant leadership. It is humble. But the very nature of a shepherd is to protect the flock. To guard it, so therein lies the authority. Anyway, that’s my take.

  44. Meredith, I appreciate your comments. Eric, you too. This has been stretching for me. I am going to eat some humble pie here and say first off, I need to study this more. Secondly, I would like to experience a church that does exercise sign gifts, doesn’t elevate them above all the others, and yet does it according to 1 Corinthians 14. Know of any such churches in Des Moines?

    Praying about this and talking with my wife about this post. I think I’ve am being too rigid about coming to the elders. Prophecy yes, tongues… are more spontaneous aren’t they? It isn’t like you can memorize it right? I honestly don’t know. So Eric, you are probably right when you say that position would stifle the Holy Spirit, and yes if there isn’t interpretation we need to lovingly challenge that.

    I still have concerns and I’m still not sure how it would flesh out, but I am going to concede that I’m likely wrong on what I said in my first comment.

    Eric… regarding pastoring/shepherding – true spiritual leadership I don’t think looks quite like what we see in a lot of churches. It is servant leadership. It is humble. But the very nature of a shepherd is to protect the flock. To guard it, so therein lies the authority. Anyway, that’s my take.

  45. Meredith, I appreciate your comments. Eric, you too. This has been stretching for me. I am going to eat some humble pie here and say first off, I need to study this more. Secondly, I would like to experience a church that does exercise sign gifts, doesn’t elevate them above all the others, and yet does it according to 1 Corinthians 14. Know of any such churches in Des Moines?

    Praying about this and talking with my wife about this post. I think I’ve am being too rigid about coming to the elders. Prophecy yes, tongues… are more spontaneous aren’t they? It isn’t like you can memorize it right? I honestly don’t know. So Eric, you are probably right when you say that position would stifle the Holy Spirit, and yes if there isn’t interpretation we need to lovingly challenge that.

    I still have concerns and I’m still not sure how it would flesh out, but I am going to concede that I’m likely wrong on what I said in my first comment.

    Eric… regarding pastoring/shepherding – true spiritual leadership I don’t think looks quite like what we see in a lot of churches. It is servant leadership. It is humble. But the very nature of a shepherd is to protect the flock. To guard it, so therein lies the authority. Anyway, that’s my take.

  46. Meredith – it was the object of our agreement (the subject of spiritual gifts) that scared me…not you. 🙂

    I agree with you, also, that this conversation would have been fun around a coffee table – especially since I don’t think you and I have ever actually met in person. Which is weird, considering the myriad of mutual friends…

    I appreciate where you are coming from, Shane – both your background and where you are at with the issue. I am still struggling, however, to see how even the gift of prophesy can be effectively exercised if it has to be cleared with and elder. What happens when something is said in a church service or someone is praying over an illness or situation and God tells a prophet in the room to speak something encouraging about where God’s heart is on the matter? What if he feels led to share a verse and expound on it for a sentence or two? Does that person need to yell “Time Out!” and take the pastor aside for a conclave on whether he should share it? That is a great example of the gift of prophesy, to me, and I’m trying to see how that would work for you.

    Thanks for being willing to hash some of this out.

  47. Meredith – it was the object of our agreement (the subject of spiritual gifts) that scared me…not you. 🙂

    I agree with you, also, that this conversation would have been fun around a coffee table – especially since I don’t think you and I have ever actually met in person. Which is weird, considering the myriad of mutual friends…

    I appreciate where you are coming from, Shane – both your background and where you are at with the issue. I am still struggling, however, to see how even the gift of prophesy can be effectively exercised if it has to be cleared with and elder. What happens when something is said in a church service or someone is praying over an illness or situation and God tells a prophet in the room to speak something encouraging about where God’s heart is on the matter? What if he feels led to share a verse and expound on it for a sentence or two? Does that person need to yell “Time Out!” and take the pastor aside for a conclave on whether he should share it? That is a great example of the gift of prophesy, to me, and I’m trying to see how that would work for you.

    Thanks for being willing to hash some of this out.

  48. Meredith – it was the object of our agreement (the subject of spiritual gifts) that scared me…not you. 🙂

    I agree with you, also, that this conversation would have been fun around a coffee table – especially since I don’t think you and I have ever actually met in person. Which is weird, considering the myriad of mutual friends…

    I appreciate where you are coming from, Shane – both your background and where you are at with the issue. I am still struggling, however, to see how even the gift of prophesy can be effectively exercised if it has to be cleared with and elder. What happens when something is said in a church service or someone is praying over an illness or situation and God tells a prophet in the room to speak something encouraging about where God’s heart is on the matter? What if he feels led to share a verse and expound on it for a sentence or two? Does that person need to yell “Time Out!” and take the pastor aside for a conclave on whether he should share it? That is a great example of the gift of prophesy, to me, and I’m trying to see how that would work for you.

    Thanks for being willing to hash some of this out.

  49. on vacation & i still can’t get away from this conversation.

    eric, i agree with you about the issue of bringing these things before elders–squelches the spirit…and i am not sure that we are that far off on what we believe. a conversation would do us much better–i am much better at finishing thoughts in person. 🙂 sorta.

    shane, so glad to hear that this conversation is stretching you–that is just what happened with me. i was challenged to see what the bible laid out as true christian life & wondered why i looked around and never found it in any church that i’ve ever attended.

    as far as churches in DSM…i only know about heartland assembly in ankeny. i think a lunch with their pastor dave would be a great way to start. he is an awesome (and very regular) guy.

    well, on vacation…at the library…with only 10 minutes left of time…need to check some more of the 43 emails in my inbox…i just can’t stay away. it is sick & wrong.

    although, i did spend most of the day on a boogie board, riding the waves. something i have never done before & it totally rocked!

  50. on vacation & i still can’t get away from this conversation.

    eric, i agree with you about the issue of bringing these things before elders–squelches the spirit…and i am not sure that we are that far off on what we believe. a conversation would do us much better–i am much better at finishing thoughts in person. 🙂 sorta.

    shane, so glad to hear that this conversation is stretching you–that is just what happened with me. i was challenged to see what the bible laid out as true christian life & wondered why i looked around and never found it in any church that i’ve ever attended.

    as far as churches in DSM…i only know about heartland assembly in ankeny. i think a lunch with their pastor dave would be a great way to start. he is an awesome (and very regular) guy.

    well, on vacation…at the library…with only 10 minutes left of time…need to check some more of the 43 emails in my inbox…i just can’t stay away. it is sick & wrong.

    although, i did spend most of the day on a boogie board, riding the waves. something i have never done before & it totally rocked!

  51. on vacation & i still can’t get away from this conversation.

    eric, i agree with you about the issue of bringing these things before elders–squelches the spirit…and i am not sure that we are that far off on what we believe. a conversation would do us much better–i am much better at finishing thoughts in person. 🙂 sorta.

    shane, so glad to hear that this conversation is stretching you–that is just what happened with me. i was challenged to see what the bible laid out as true christian life & wondered why i looked around and never found it in any church that i’ve ever attended.

    as far as churches in DSM…i only know about heartland assembly in ankeny. i think a lunch with their pastor dave would be a great way to start. he is an awesome (and very regular) guy.

    well, on vacation…at the library…with only 10 minutes left of time…need to check some more of the 43 emails in my inbox…i just can’t stay away. it is sick & wrong.

    although, i did spend most of the day on a boogie board, riding the waves. something i have never done before & it totally rocked!

  52. Hey Meredith, you are committed checking this on vacation. Glad you are having a good time.

    I haven’t met Pastor Dave, I take that back I have very informally & briefly, but I have been in meetings with a couple of the associates there.

    I guess when it comes to sign gifts, in particular tongues, I found Assemblies hold a position that I am still in stauch disagreement with (at least when I looked at their statement of faith) and that is tongues being the exclusive proof of being baptized by the Holy Spirit.

    So do they not hold that position? No churches that say hold Eric’s position or do they?

    They are also Arminian, but that is for a different post ;). I agree that having a conversations in person with this stuff is better as well. To much misunderstanding can take place on blogs (and e-mails).

  53. Hey Meredith, you are committed checking this on vacation. Glad you are having a good time.

    I haven’t met Pastor Dave, I take that back I have very informally & briefly, but I have been in meetings with a couple of the associates there.

    I guess when it comes to sign gifts, in particular tongues, I found Assemblies hold a position that I am still in stauch disagreement with (at least when I looked at their statement of faith) and that is tongues being the exclusive proof of being baptized by the Holy Spirit.

    So do they not hold that position? No churches that say hold Eric’s position or do they?

    They are also Arminian, but that is for a different post ;). I agree that having a conversations in person with this stuff is better as well. To much misunderstanding can take place on blogs (and e-mails).

  54. Hey Meredith, you are committed checking this on vacation. Glad you are having a good time.

    I haven’t met Pastor Dave, I take that back I have very informally & briefly, but I have been in meetings with a couple of the associates there.

    I guess when it comes to sign gifts, in particular tongues, I found Assemblies hold a position that I am still in stauch disagreement with (at least when I looked at their statement of faith) and that is tongues being the exclusive proof of being baptized by the Holy Spirit.

    So do they not hold that position? No churches that say hold Eric’s position or do they?

    They are also Arminian, but that is for a different post ;). I agree that having a conversations in person with this stuff is better as well. To much misunderstanding can take place on blogs (and e-mails).

  55. I’m also on vacation but found a few wifi spots within 5-10 minutes of the cabin.

    Hackensack, MN is a cute town and a beautiful area. This is our family’s second time up here.

    I’m with Shane – I tend to disagree with many things the Assemblies of God believe when it comes to how they incorporate the Holy Spirit into their lives and their services. I also haven’t been impressed by their ability to relevantly reach their neighbors. However, I’m sure there are pastors and individuals in the Assemblies that have their stuff together just like anywhere else.

    We should all do lunch! A blogger’s lunch of sorts. 🙂

  56. I’m also on vacation but found a few wifi spots within 5-10 minutes of the cabin.

    Hackensack, MN is a cute town and a beautiful area. This is our family’s second time up here.

    I’m with Shane – I tend to disagree with many things the Assemblies of God believe when it comes to how they incorporate the Holy Spirit into their lives and their services. I also haven’t been impressed by their ability to relevantly reach their neighbors. However, I’m sure there are pastors and individuals in the Assemblies that have their stuff together just like anywhere else.

    We should all do lunch! A blogger’s lunch of sorts. 🙂

  57. I’m also on vacation but found a few wifi spots within 5-10 minutes of the cabin.

    Hackensack, MN is a cute town and a beautiful area. This is our family’s second time up here.

    I’m with Shane – I tend to disagree with many things the Assemblies of God believe when it comes to how they incorporate the Holy Spirit into their lives and their services. I also haven’t been impressed by their ability to relevantly reach their neighbors. However, I’m sure there are pastors and individuals in the Assemblies that have their stuff together just like anywhere else.

    We should all do lunch! A blogger’s lunch of sorts. 🙂

  58. Dude, you found the internet in the boonies! My family just went up to MN for a family reunion. I stayed behind to study and have to preach on Sunday.

    A blogger’s lunch sounds good… maybe we can convince Meredith to do some blogging over here?

  59. Dude, you found the internet in the boonies! My family just went up to MN for a family reunion. I stayed behind to study and have to preach on Sunday.

    A blogger’s lunch sounds good… maybe we can convince Meredith to do some blogging over here?

  60. Dude, you found the internet in the boonies! My family just went up to MN for a family reunion. I stayed behind to study and have to preach on Sunday.

    A blogger’s lunch sounds good… maybe we can convince Meredith to do some blogging over here?

  61. back from vacation & still trying to catch up. vacation is not for sissys. i am being to think it is better to vacation once the kids are old enough to carry their own suitcase from the van to the house.

    i’d love to do lunch sometime!

  62. back from vacation & still trying to catch up. vacation is not for sissys. i am being to think it is better to vacation once the kids are old enough to carry their own suitcase from the van to the house.

    i’d love to do lunch sometime!

  63. back from vacation & still trying to catch up. vacation is not for sissys. i am being to think it is better to vacation once the kids are old enough to carry their own suitcase from the van to the house.

    i’d love to do lunch sometime!

  64. Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden

    Why does the revival tarry? It is because God’s
    people tarry to obey the powerful command of
    the Lord in Rev. 18:4. This is the most powerful
    revival message of the Lord to his people in our time.
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

    As in the days of Lot, it is now. Lot was not interested
    to leave Sodom. God sent two angels to rescue him,
    and they must persuade him to leave Sodom. When
    he yet lingered, one of the angels said to him:
    “Flee for your life sake …”
    Just like as Lot, God’s people are not interested to
    leave the great Babylon, but finally they must flee
    for their life from there.
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE88.HTM

    God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
    because their preachers have rejected knowledge.
    Hosea 4:6-11. Instead to preaching the truth of the
    Assembly of God, they have preached lies about the
    Assembly of God. The Pentecostalists have abused
    the expression “Assembly of God” and used it as a
    name of their church.

    Evil spirits in the churches
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/SPIRITS.HTM

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM#Antichrist

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM

    The coming revival, a nameless revival
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/POWERFUL.HTM

    The spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit are neccessary
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE79.HTM

  65. Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden

    Why does the revival tarry? It is because God’s
    people tarry to obey the powerful command of
    the Lord in Rev. 18:4. This is the most powerful
    revival message of the Lord to his people in our time.
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

    As in the days of Lot, it is now. Lot was not interested
    to leave Sodom. God sent two angels to rescue him,
    and they must persuade him to leave Sodom. When
    he yet lingered, one of the angels said to him:
    “Flee for your life sake …”
    Just like as Lot, God’s people are not interested to
    leave the great Babylon, but finally they must flee
    for their life from there.
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE88.HTM

    God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
    because their preachers have rejected knowledge.
    Hosea 4:6-11. Instead to preaching the truth of the
    Assembly of God, they have preached lies about the
    Assembly of God. The Pentecostalists have abused
    the expression “Assembly of God” and used it as a
    name of their church.

    Evil spirits in the churches
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/SPIRITS.HTM

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM#Antichrist

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM

    The coming revival, a nameless revival
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/POWERFUL.HTM

    The spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit are neccessary
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE79.HTM

  66. Hi.
    I found your Web Site by Google
    And I wish you the best you can get,
    the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Welcome to visit my Site.
    Allan Svensson, Sweden

    Why does the revival tarry? It is because God’s
    people tarry to obey the powerful command of
    the Lord in Rev. 18:4. This is the most powerful
    revival message of the Lord to his people in our time.
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM

    As in the days of Lot, it is now. Lot was not interested
    to leave Sodom. God sent two angels to rescue him,
    and they must persuade him to leave Sodom. When
    he yet lingered, one of the angels said to him:
    “Flee for your life sake …”
    Just like as Lot, God’s people are not interested to
    leave the great Babylon, but finally they must flee
    for their life from there.
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE88.HTM

    God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge
    because their preachers have rejected knowledge.
    Hosea 4:6-11. Instead to preaching the truth of the
    Assembly of God, they have preached lies about the
    Assembly of God. The Pentecostalists have abused
    the expression “Assembly of God” and used it as a
    name of their church.

    Evil spirits in the churches
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/SPIRITS.HTM

    What does hinder the Antichrist to appear?
    What is the Restrainer?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/MESSAGE.HTM#Antichrist

    Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM

    The coming revival, a nameless revival
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/POWERFUL.HTM

    The spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit are neccessary
    http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/PAGE79.HTM

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