So what denomination....

They say that for evangelicals it is all about the cross. So what about me then for whom it is all about the cross, the resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

I have begun to realise how important particularly is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In Joel 2, we are promised that this will happen and in Acts 2 it does. Without the Holy Spirit, I am not sure how we could come to know God, and Jesus tells us he absolutely had to go to the Father in order for this to happen. Jesus' influence has gone world-wide since the outpouring, whereas before this it was limited to his home geography. So why doesn't the average, middle-of-the-road Anglican church make more of this event, celebrate it, teach it, welcome the Spirit? I just don't get it, surely it's the most amazing thing, alongside the incarnate Son of God and his victory over death to have happened since the beginning of time, pre-time even. How do we more effectively convey the magnificence of this event? How do we encourage our brothers and sisters to eagerly desire the Spiritual gifts, to welcome the Spirit to take up residence in their lives? Anyone got any ideas before I turn pentecostal? ;-)


Anonymous said...

'Balance' is such a boring word, but it's a blessed relief for anyone who has ever suffered from inner ear infection. I enjoy charismatic-style worship and sometimes pray in tongues and pray for healing of others. I long for authenticity and reality in my spiritual life, and never like to acknowledge the continuing fact of sin and sins within me - pride, fear and sloth among the more eminent of these. Would/could I move on to a higher plane of intimacy with the Lord, yet bring along the old me?
No branch of the church is free from sin, and one fact that drives me back the primacy of the Cross of the Son of God is the periodic 'crash and burn' we see in the charismatic star du jour - whether a 'Kansas City Prophet' or a Jimmy Bakker or a Todd Bentley or whoever, woeful, even heretical exegesis, self-promotion and histrionics are too often followed by seedy revelations of immorality. Why is this? Is it the lack of accountability in the free market of religion?
Of course, others' sins are easier to detect than my own. The ministry of the Spirit is a pervasive one, and it must never be sought without actively cultivating humility as well. Years ago I read Jim Packer's 'Keep in Step with the Spirit' and I still find it one of the best understandigns of the Spirit's work, from a neo-Puritan perspective.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Anon 1
Astute and balanced as ever. I guess it's about holding a lot of things in tension and walking intimately with the Spirit can be amazing but then there are also gentler expressions of spirituality - care, compassion, humility, study of the word, being able to listen, pray etc The Holy Spirit equips us to do many things, bringing us into the full truth of what the cross and the resurrection are all about.

Thanks for the contribution.
I've picked up Packer's book in Wesley Owen but put it back again because he is assoc in my mind with a reformed expression of Christianity but perhaps I'll give it a try. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

'...there are also gentler expressions of spirituality - care, compassion, humility, study of the word, being able to listen, pray etc The Holy Spirit equips us to do many things'

You are right. I don't believe the Holy Spirit fundamentally changes out personality type - the boisterous and the reflective, the activist listener all belong to Him; but what He does is sanctify what we are by nature, making the boisterous more sensitive or the listener wise in her words. Look how the Lord dealt with the angry Boanerges boys and headstrong Peter. Packer has a lot of interesting things to say on this, drawing on the great American theologian of revivalism, Jonathan Edwards, who had some very perceptive things to say about the Spirit, guidance and our emotions (or 'affections', as they said in the 18th century). Perhaps Anglicanism, being bookish and established, has tended towards the quieter end of spirituality and discipleship; but in the world of missions it has been the activist kind that has been more effective (ISTM).


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