Can you imagine a church that didn't want God mentioned?
Can you imagine a church that doesn't want Jesus proclaimed?
Can you imagine a church that refuses to acknowledge the Holy Spirit's activity?
No. No. And yes.
How can the latter survive? How can such a false doctrine get such headlines among Bible students? To believe the Spirit has disengaged is to be virtually stranded in a quagmire and thud of humanistic rationalism with communion passed every Sunday.
Whether I'm right or wrong, I didn't come to the conclusion of the Holy Spirit working in our lives because it was a trend. No one around me believed in him....no one. We skirted and feathered our way off of such a topic because the strong word out was the Holy Spirit does not work in a Christian's life today and to believe so is heresy of the most ignorant crime. After all....everyone was convinced Pat Boone had gone of the deep end!
The Word of God was relentless in birthing me from such a dark as well as crippling stance. It insists the Spirit lives in us and works with and from us. Those words will not go away. We can roll our eyes and sigh all we want....but the word of God will not support our traditional posture of the Holy Spirit operates only in the Word. Men---well-intentioned or not---made that up.
I am elated that our brotherhood is awakening to the Holy Spirit. When I wrote The Holy Spirit Makes No Earthly Sense (meaning he does make heavenly sense) in the mid 80s, I was branded, beaten and thumped. I couldn't help it. Somebody needed to say so.
Where were the voices on this matter? Were those brave enough to say so muffled by hysteric opponents? Possibly. Were there great communications on this matter and I just didn't get to hear of it? Could be. I've learned since that several in our heritage had stood for the same; Barton Stone, David Lipscomb, and James Harding are a few. But their view got pushed out by louder voices. The flesh will always succumb to the logical. The human spirit will always hunger for the Holy Spirit.
Today the revision (three times) of that first book is now out in the workbook form of Empowering the Ordinary. We send a shipment out about every two weeks to some church in our land. Yesterday 30 copies went to Indiana. I know it is translated into Russian and is used as a study guide in the Philippines. Where else? I love to imagine.
Francis Chan's Forgotten God is a very good work on this topic as well. My point is whether my little book or Chan's or whatever, the love of God is arising in Holy Spirit form and interest in this topic is being renewed day by day by day.
The Bible is the ultimate voice about this subject....and it's voice must be heard. Several of us can give opinions. And our opinions can be accepted or rejected....freely so. But the Word....the Bible....the Holy Spirit authored version.....it will stand even if those of us who try to believe well fail.