Biblical scholar D.A. Carson relates how the church today will not allow itself to be corrected by the Word of God. The traditions whether they are denominational or nondenominational rule the church throughout the Western world. Oh lip service is given and doctrinal statements abound, but not much testing of Word and practice.
After decades of writing commentaries on Paul’s letters, Gordon Fee began to see a disconnect between how Paul describes the local church and how the church operates today, something is skewed. His concern boiled down to how churches understood the person and role of the Holy Spirit.
Fee concluded that the contemporary Western church, Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal, is missing the point of the Spirit’s coming. The church is therefore “quenching the Spirit,” marginalizing and domesticating him, and ultimately making the church’s witness ineffective. Rather than ask how the Spirit “shows himself,” the church instead should be asking how it shows itself and its witness to be Spirit-driven.
Start with every position within the church and ask are their rules other than God’s Word. Do you allow non-members to hold church office, pastors to be of other denominations, require of pastors degrees, to be of a certain age, have particular vocal skills? All of it is nonbiblical and it is sin—remember if it is not of God it is sin. Can you even find a denomination in the Bible?
A careful test against God’s Word will demonstrate that an overwhelming number of churches are “quenching the Spirit”. If you want to grow your church, don’t buy another book on growth, don’t go to another conference on growth—God gives the growth go to the Bible.
Published on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 @ 5:36 AM CDT