“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Listening to the spirit of the world

A frequent respondent to this blog who contributes under the name "impossibleape" wrote the following (see February 22, 2006 entry).
Our church administrator told me today that if the Holy Spirit directs them to serve the disabled they will but apparently the Holy Spirit has no more interest in my children than the board members do.

You know, I am very skeptical or have become very skeptical of those who claim to have such a connection to the Holy Spirit that He frequently whispers in their ears, particularly when He whispers things which are contrary to the revealed Word of God in the form of the Bible. It appears to me that the spirit they are listening to is attempting to subvert the Word of God. It occurs to me that because the Holy Spirit inspired the word of God, maybe those who claim to be hearing his voice are rather reflecting the voice of someone else who is whispering in their ears. It could be the spirit of this world which is a scary thought. Actually I wonder if the spirit they are listening to is an even more debased spirit than others as the secular world has done much to include and integrate persons with disabilities, particularly in public schools.
In relation to the issues we discuss on this blog, there are too many churches, pastors, leaders, administrators of churches, etc. who are listeing to a spirit of the world. How could one truly be seeking to hear the Spirit of God on this issue and express no interest, no priority? How evil to blame our lack of caring and love on a lack of prompting by God's Holy Spirit? In other words they are saying, "It is the fault of the Spirit of God that I am not caring for persons with disabilities. It is not the desire of God's Spirit that I do so."

Matthew 12:31-32
31 "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
32 "And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the {age} to come.
Mark 3:28-30
28 "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"--
Luke 12:10
10 "And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him.

Sure each of us are prompted in various ways to minister and to use our gifts in different ways. However, we are talking about an agent of the Church. The Church with a capital "C" that is saying it has not been guided by the Holy Spirit to respond to a group of potentially hurting people who are in need. I don't know who these leaders think people experiencing disabilities are or where they came from. That perhaps they fall from the sky, or crawl from under a rock. NO, they are parts of families and as the church ministers to families it needs to minister to all the members of the family. The Bible says we are to minister to those who are poor. Do a need a sign from God, or the Holy Spirit to speak to me in an audible voice to minister to the poor when the Bible is replete with allusions to me helping the poor? If a church leader told you that he hadn't received the prompting of the Holy Spirit to minister to the poor, what could you think other than that he is out of touch with God's Word and God's Spirit? If he said God Spirit hadn't directed him to share salvation with all people, only some, what would you think?

No, lets call this what it is. It is disobedience.



Anonymous said...

It's not only disobedience, it's making a conscious choice to reject a blessing and opportunity given freely from God. This act speaks volumes about where we are at as a Christian community as a whole. We are at a crossroads. Who are we serving ? God, or the world ?

By excluding people with disabilities, we are eliminating those blessings and opportunities to grow from that interaction. The weak and vulnerable continue to confound the worldly and strong. It was so in Jesus' day and still holds true today.

It is to the Adversary's advantage that Christian churches continue to make choices using worldly principles rather than gospel principles. Our Church leaders are not listening to the 'still, small voice', they are listening to the loud, selfish voice of the world.

Christian or not, how we interact and treat those amoungst us who the world views as 'less than', vulnerable or weak, speaks volumes about who we really are. Perhaps this is Heavenly Father's spiritual litmus test.

impossibleape said...

As I read this post and the excellent response I was literally quaking in my core.
I am delighted that my heart's cry has been heard and understood for what seems like the first time. But at the same time I wrestle with the thought that perhaps I have been harsher in my judgement of the churches who failed us than is justified. I will continue to wrestle and quake.

I have this sense that we are truly at a crossroads in God's plan for his church and just as the barriers that kept the races separated in God's family needed to be brought down so do the barriers that keep the 'last and least of these' segragated, and shunned in the evangelical church.

Anon wrote
'Christian or not, how we interact and treat those amoungst us who the world views as 'less than', vulnerable or weak, speaks volumes about who we really are. Perhaps this is Heavenly Father's spiritual litmus test.'

This echoes Jean Vanier's comment that the disabled are God's prophets for this hour. They are the agents by which God will judge the world. 'In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.' Matt. 25

impossibleape said...

Hi Jeff
Your choice of scriptures was excellent and terrible (in an old English sense).

To blaspheme against the holy spirit is the ultimate sin. To fail to love our fellow men who are made in the image of God and then blame our apathy and disregard on the holy spirit is truly a terrible and fearful thing. Perhaps it is blasphemy.

That realization may be why I was quaking as I read your piece.

I think I must pray for those who have not been there for my family and the disabled, their fate may be more terrible than I care to imagine.

I hope many more will have the opportunity to read and contemplate what you have shared.

Blessings to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

You used the scriptures of Matthew Mark and Luke WAY out of context. In these passages, the scribes were accusing (knowingly) God's spirit as having demonic origins.

Too many fundamentalists are quick to misuse this scripture to needlessly scare others--and it's a shame.