"Denying the Holy Spirit?"

Awhile back, I had a conversation with a woman who had visited my little "soulcafe" church Jen and I used to attend. It's still there - a group of 20 or 30 people, mostly senior married couples, who somehow found resonance with language about "progressive" and "postmodern" Christianity. They are a wonderful church - one of the most welcoming congregations I've ever encountered.

This woman visited, but didn't return because it wasn't right for her.

"They were sweet people," she explained, "but I need to be in a place where they are living out the gifts of the spirit."

I said, "hold on, they are certainly functioning in the gifts of the spirit. Those women are volunteering at the hospital, cooking dinners for their neighbors, and I've never seen a group that prays so much."

She said, "yes," but no one there could lay "annointed hands" on her if she was sick, or pray over her in tongues when she needed strength.

Apparently, she needed her needs met at all costs.

I suggested, humbly, that I had left my last church because I felt they had turned God into a gift-dispenser. I said that I didn't speak in tongues because I had watched too many young people in the youth group admit to "faking it" simply because it was the expectation. I didn't want to be a part of that, so I spent my prayer time in quietness before the Lord.

She told me I was denying the Holy Spirit because I didn't speak in tongues.

I answered that I revered the Holy Spirit too much to play games with it.

It was an awkward conversation. She smiled a huge grin the entire time, but I felt her hating me from behind her eyes, somehow.

1 comment:

Emily's Man said...

It would seam that some people smile the most right before they decide: that you no longer matter to them. . . and how could you possibly be so stupid . . .

I think it makes "them" feel good about judging.

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