Living with the tensions…

Holy Spirit painting

Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

Sometimes it bugs me that the church is filled with ‘camps’ with their own agendas… I guess it’s the same with most work places… however it really gets under my skin the fact that this happens within church.
Jesus says in John 13:35 –

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. (NLT)

Know I’m not saying that we should agree on EVERYTHING… that would just be crazy… the reason it would be crazy is because managing the tensions is a great way to cover the most ground. For example take men’s ministries, if they demanded all the attention then it would only diminish women’s ministries… and vice versa… or if evangelical ministries got all the funding and support then it could take away from discipleship programs. I know there is more depth to the ministries than I have given but you get my point right?

The same can be said about the orthodox camp verses the radical camp… they seem to be at each others heels all the time.

The orthodox church doesn’t seem to take anything that the radical church has to say… good or bad.

Many of us would have instances of someone giving  ‘a word from the Lord’ … and it sounds more like some just trying to manipulate a group of people than anything else… so we reject anything that sounds even remotely like that. The orthodox camp often does exactly this.

Sometimes it’s for good reason… bad teaching, false prophets etc these need to be called out on their biblical inconsistencies. However rejecting everything just because it comes out of the ‘radical camp’ could mean that you are getting close to “quenching the spirit” or treating “prophecies with contempt (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20)

However the same is true for the radical camp… often they are so eager and excited about the Holy Spirit they take it out of the biblical context that it was meant to be in… they go too far. They add to the scripture by changing interpretation so it ‘fits’ what they believe… this gets dangerous when they start listening to distortions of the truth… rather than from the Holy Spirit. They think that the Orthodox camp need to get a life and  discover the ‘freeing power’ of the Holy spirit.

The truth is… to a point they are both right… just on opposite ends of the bar.

How can both of these camps be compatible?

The orthodox church is committed to living in the truth word for word of the Gospel… however large chunks of this camp are quenching the Holy Spirit because ‘The Holy Spirit wouldn’t ask me to to that”. They are making fun that the things that are happening within the ‘radical’ church  but by doing so could themselves be treating the Holy Spirit with contempt, because how can they know which things are from God and which aren’t.

The Radical church is willing to do whatever and go where ever the Holy Spirit leads… and it’s freeing they are pushing the boundaries. They would admit that sometimes it doesn’t make sense, however they could tell you countless stories of the way God has provided and worked miracles in their lives. However these people can often be quenching the Holy Spirit by not filtering out the things that are Bibically inconsistent.

However both groups together… working on a dynamic Gospel that is based on the words of God… and is lead by the tangible leading of the Holy Spirit… and Whoa… we have a church that is both radically new able to push boundaries but that is also so clear on the words of God that it pulls itself up on anything that doesn’t quite fit… meaning it takes away the ammunition that most secular skeptics have of the church and the churches ‘prophecies’.

Could it work… of course it could… the church in Acts was made up with Jewish converts and their were even Rabbis within their numbers… With the power of the words of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit within us… we can be a truly amazing force.

“Test everything. Hold on to good. Avoid every kind of Evil” – (1 Thess. 5:21-22 NIV)


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