Living the Christian Life in the Power of the Spirit
Recently I had a discussion with someone from a church that has made it a doctrine that certain practices and manifestations of the Holy Spirit are meant to be kept in special believers meetings. I understand why they came up with this doctrine but for the life of me cannot understand how they biblically justify it. It takes a major twisting of 1 Corinthians 14 to even come to a shred of justification for this belief.
My Experience With Supernatural Christian Living
I do understand why they do it. A couple of weeks after I gave my life to Jesus, I had an experience with the Holy Spirit, that set me down a path of being open to supernatural things happening. I had read the book by Hal Lindsey entitled “Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. In which he devoted a chapter to what he called “the tongues movement”. Well I was so ignorant and naive, that I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. So I asked a friend. What I didn’t know was my friends dad was the pastor in the Foursquare denomination. (a traditional pentecostal church). He explained to me that it was a prayer language and that you ask God and He gives it to you.
So I went home that day, went to my bedroom, asked God, and got it! No mighty rushing wind, no flames descending upon our house, and no being flattened on the ground. I just got it. I went to my church the next Sunday, and told them what had happened and they looked at me like I had swallowed a demon. Not what I expected in the least!
Supernatural Living Without Being Super-Weird
So needless to say, I soon found myself attending the Foursquare church. Now I know that every denomination and every family of churches have their healthy churches and their less than healthy ones. This one was healthy. They were open to the moving of the Holy Spirit, but nobody acted weird. They were not trying to put on a show for God and man about how “in the Spirit” they were. In fact the pastor, Jerry Cook, would constantly tell us that if we could not behave in Walmart the way we behaved in church, then we need to change the way we behave. This was my first experience with people open to the Holy Spirit.
Then I moved to the Los Angeles area to go to the Foursquare Bible college. My uncle, who was the pastor of a Pentecostal Church of God church, (a hardline pentecostal church with holiness roots) offered to mentor me. He was a fan of A.A. Allen, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Oral Roberts. Needless to say, I was introduced to a whole new breed of people who claimed to be under the Holy Spirit’s influence. I still remember, and with somewhat fond memories now, of my uncle screaming and shouting his sermons, of Sister Kathy who would fall off the piano bench under the “Spirits” power and lick the leg of the piano, of Brother Ray who would run up and down the aisles, and of many who would start shaking and seemingly convulse. I remember thinking to myself “Oh Lord, what have I gotten myself into. I now realize that Jesus was still there, but that the people had been taught, that is how God moves. You didn’t have a good church service unless those type of things happened.
So I totally understand why people would be tempted to throw the baby out with the bathwater concerning the practices and manifestations of the Holy Spirit in a church service. There have been a lot of abuses and a lot of plain old bad teaching by people who were sincere, but not very biblically literate.
Learn how to live supernaturally on page 2
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