Can the Holy Spirit Bend

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Jim1999, May 29, 2007.

  1. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Can the Holy Spirit lead where the Word does not take you? At what point do we draw the line on the so-called "leading" of the Holy Spirit to do this or that?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  2. skypair

    skypair
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    Jim, that's a good question for those who are indwelt!

    Having the Holy Spirit means to me that you have the mind of Christ. So the "limit" would be when what we contemplate is sin, wouldn't it? And I know many of us take our "direction" from our spiritual discernment of recommendations of our pastors, our parents, our bosses, our spouses, our government, etc. If they direct us toward good that is not sin, we should take them into account.

    skypair
     
  3. WaltRiceJr

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    A couple thoughts:

    The Holy Spirit does not lead or speak contrary to the Word of God. The Father, Son, and Spirit are one, thus they do not speak in contradiction. The "leading of the Spirit" cannot overrule the written Word, as there is "no private interpretation" of divine revelation. Everything in context, everything in the full light of revealed truth, as the Spirit uses Scripture to teach us. Those who never read Scripture, yet claim to be led by the Spirit, are probably not!

    Much of the leading of the Holy Spirit seems to be in areas where Scripture does not particularly speak. Caring for one another in the body is part of the love that the Bible speaks of -- being led to care for a particular brother or a particular need may indeed be the leading of the Spirit to open my eyes and warm my heart. All things like this can be evaluated in the light of the Word, to determine whether they are good, true, praise-worthy, etc. (Think on these things!)

    Finally, sometimes the Spirit leads where my understanding of the Word has not taken me. The Spirit enlightened Peter about the cleanliness of all foods -- and thus the ministry of the gospel to all men, Jews and Gentiles. Peter's understanding of the Word and his first-hand encounters with Jesus did not take him there, but the Spirit did. Again, not in conflict with the Word, but a clearer picture of it.

    The same may be said for slavery and racism, which for so long was justified by using verses from the Bible. Christians the world over have come to the understanding that all forms of injustice and oppression, modern slavery included, are evil in the eyes of God. Has the Word changed? No, but the Spirit has brought light to our understanding, where before there was darkness.

    Thanks for the good discussion starter!

    Peace,
    Walt
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Good responses, and thank you.

    The question came up whilst discussing pentecostalism and the so-called "leading" of the Holy Spirit to do this or do that. The Spirit told me to speak in tongues..those mysterious tongues....The Spirit told me to dance in the aisles...The Spirit told me what to do.

    I understand the Word, and what context means, and historical settings, and even questionable passages. Overall, however, I am convinced that we attribute to God the Spirit often things that we want to do or have happen.

    As far as doing good things is concerned, an evil man can and has performed good things as part of his global psyche and even ethical upbringing.

    "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done..." Said Jesus....Read my line on prayer........I have come to the place where I believe we do not ask for things, but listen for things. We conform to the image of Christ and our wants become His wants because of our conformation to His image...Hence, "Not my will, but thine be done..."

    Just an old man musing, and appreciate your thoughts as well.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. canadyjd

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    Those involved in such things look to the "experience" as the validation that God was involved, not to the Word of God. I heard a lady just a few days ago speaking of a worship service where people were being "slain in the Spirit" and speaking in tongues and other things. She said, "The Holy Spirit showed up and showed out!"

    I involuntarily shuttered when she said it. It seemed very disrespectful and irreverant to God to speak of Him in such a manner.
    I find your words to be full of wisdom.:thumbs:

    peace to you:praying:
     
  6. WaltRiceJr

    WaltRiceJr
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    Quite honestly, I've never seen biblical tongues. Although I wouldn't put it past the Holy Spirit to speak through someone in a language they've never learned or to give someone hearing in a language they don't understand. If we came across it, I think we'd evaluate it according to Paul's rules for tongues in the church. If it is fake, it is unlikely to have an interpreter, nor consistent interpretation! If it is real, praise God!

    I think for most of the things the church deals with in this regard, the epistles in the NT already provide the guidance we need. Is someone claiming to prophesy? Test it against the Scriptures, check if it comes true. Is someone claiming to speak in tongues? Find an interpreter that the church may benefit, otherwise, keep it quiet. Dancing can be an expression of great joy and (my opinion) can in fact be part of one's worship. But it all falls under the principles of decency and order, of not causing one's brethren to stumble, of being "sober-minded." These things will be understood differently in each church and each culture, and that's OK, so long as it is an honest and reasonable conviction from Scripture.
     
  7. TC

    TC
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    There are many people here that are pastors. How do they know that is what they are supposed to do? Most say that the Holy Spirit led (called) them to the ministry. Now, we know that there is not one verse in scripture that says John Doe shalt be a pastor in the city of Detroit (or whatever location), so the people rely on some experience and attribute it to the Holy Spirit's leading. Why is it ok for people here to claim that they do what they do because the Holy Spirit lead them to do it but someone else cannot say that?
     
  8. WaltRiceJr

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    I don't think anybody's suggesting a double standard.

    A pastor is called of God (not usually said "of the Holy Spirit," but he's involved) to preach the Word, etc. The call is a biblical call, so a would-be-pastor's convictions and doctrine and passion can be tested according to the Scriptures. All who desire to teach in the church are NOT called to be a pastor; but by that mix of giftedness, character, and passionate desire, a pastor's call is discerned.

    Note that in most cases where somebody these days says, "the Spirit led me," it is a personal, unanswerable statement. No witnesses, no reasoning, just "the Spirit led me." A pastor's call is to be understood by his teachers, his pastor, his church. In the counsel of these many, there is wisdom. And as they submit to the Lord in prayer, the Holy Spirit will indeed lead in a way that is biblical and particular.

    There are exceptional cases where God puts the Word on a man's heart and lips and no-one can quench that fire. These modern-day prophets call the church out of her waywardness.
     
  9. skypair

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    TC,

    I find that thought intriguing in light of our current pastor. Supposedly the Spirit led him to reject our pulpit and a few months later to accept. I have to immediately question who the guy was listening to, wouldn't you?

    I think it behooves someone who believes God is calling him to be a pastor to sit down and "count the cost." Some will have to decide whether they will be able to work with people. Some will need to consider the multitude of responsibilities he'll be taking on. Then too, if one feels called, is there a way to ease into it to see if the call is from God or self. My former church had a program in its youth ministry to let "called," practicing Christian young men preach and "pastor" satellite groups of teens finding their own locations and using church buses to gather their "flock" to Bible study and refreshments.

    skypair
     
  10. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    When I was considering ministry, I was advised "If I could do anything else, do it!"

    It goes beyond mere desire to be a pastor. There seems to be something indwelt that leads in that direction. I am a trained architect, and used that once to support me in ministry, but ministry was the driving force; a combination of desire, human direction and what we term "calling".

    Do we make mistakes? We sure do. I went to one church where both I am the deacons considered my calling. We were so sure. It lasted 8 months and we were all glad to change the situation. We can and do make mistakes in this area.

    In this thread, I was directing my thoughts to offbeat events in a local church, and in particular, the Pentecostal Church versus the Baptist Church. As I thought about it, I decided we were at opposite poles theologically, yet we both claim the Spirit's leading. It is different to the arguments between Premillenialism vs Amillenialism, Calvinism vs sublapsarianism. Pentecostalism adopts totally different concepts of belief and practice.

    Now, chat on, my friends. I am listening.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Johann

    Johann
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    Walt, I cannot agree with you more. When I had that dream and that Einstein's equation, which is a law of nature written by God, was God's fingerprint of the backbone of the Bible in nature, I read scripture many times over to see if there was anything in scripture that would rebuke it. I rely on scripture to discern the truth. The more I researched, the more evidence I found for it and the more I learn about the mysteries of the Gospel and Christ. I ended up loving/growing closer to Him. I placed a link to the "Insight into Scripture from nature" in the Holy Spirit Illuminates Scripture thread if anyone is interested. The entire idea needs to be peer reviewed at this point. Thanks, Johann.
     

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