One of the few Godbloggers I’ve met in person is Jared Wilson, author of Your Jesus Is Too Safe. We chowed down on McDonald’s in Nashville one night and talked writing.
I like the title of Jared’s book. Yet the more I think about it, the more I think that it’s not Jesus who causes the most trouble for Christians.
When the Holy Spirit shows up in power in a church, the status quo changes. Those people especially touched by Him, ones who were often sideline sitters, suddenly are empowered to take on new roles and responsibilities within the body of Christ. The old ways of doing church fall into line with God’s way. Distracting programs and costly plans end up abandoned. Miracles happen. The charismatic gifts break out. And on and on.
And that threatens a lot of people. Especially those in charge.
The Holy Spirit’s penchant for busting up idols in a church, no matter how cherished they might be, is one of the most unnerving realities some church leaders face. Some denominations even take a formal stance against anything “charismatic” happening in their churches. Books are written by “safe” Christian authors/pastors/leaders about the need to keep “that stuff” down. You hear supposedly mature Christians ranting about what they don’t want the Holy Spirit to do in their churches.
So much for faith and humble submission! And while we’re at it, let’s just scrap the empowering for miraculous ministry, too.
So while Jesus may be relegated by some to a meek and mild Good Shepherd position, in too many churches the Holy Spirit is denied and unwanted because He’s perceived as downright threatening.
Why is the Church in America so timid and powerless? This issue is a great place to start.
Something to think about for 2010 and beyond.