The Other Question

This Could Turn into a Rant!

In the interests of full disclosure, this question was asked before the question I posted about this morning. You can read the earlier post here.

The question was: Do you see the Holy Spirit working in this church?

When that question was posed by the Teacher, you could hear a pin drop; silence.

This morning’s question was posed next because there was no response at all to the first question.  That struck me as telling, but I’m a mere visitor, a “new kid” you might say, so I could be mistaken.  I certainly hope so.

I know one thing for sure: If I could go back to where I’ve recently come from, and I asked that question to a similar group of people, they would have all said yes to that question, and then cited example after example of the Spirit working in their midst, not to mention in their lives.  Silence?  There’s no way you would’ve shut them up after asking a question like that…Arlington 9413 023

The Holy Spirit works in many ways within the life of a church, if the church has the same covenant priorities as the Spirit, namely making disciples.

Are you thinking that I am repeating “making disciples” too often?

How can I say it too often?  It is our commission! (Matt. 28:18-20)

Sadly, making disciples gets little more than lip-service all too often.  So many of us, and so many of our churches are more concerned with maintaining our traditions than with making disciples!  Yes, that’s right, maintaining traditions, like having the music just like it always was, or by having a certain order of things, or dressing a certain way, or using certain words or expressions.  It might be having a certain kind of seating, or a certain kind of bulletin, or whatever it might be…

It might even be the annual church ice cream social that only the old-timers attend.

 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Colossians 2:20-23

Our traditions are not what make disciples for Jesus Christ, our godly relationships are what it takes to accomplish our commission.  This is not to say that our old ways are terrible or wicked, but rather to say that our priorities must not be on their maintenance, since we have received no such command from the Lord.  His command is about making disciples.  If we can make disciples according to the ways of the past, great.  If not, what choice will we make?

I can say one thing for certain, based upon personal experience:  When our priorities change and come into line with those of the Holy Spirit, the transformation of the local church will amaze you, and you, too, will rant about it!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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11 Responses to The Other Question

  1. Bargo says:

    I will not be so kind. Oh well then that’s me and you can take it.
    If I was there and heard silence when the teacher asked “do you think the Spirit is at work here in our church”, it would have made me so sad I may have cried….
    Why would it make any difference where you are to make corrections or add advice or Carpe Diem??? At MCC you would have not just sat there and absorbed the teacher’s words. You would have whacked them aside of the head with a LVS (an acronym for you to puzzle on), so they throw you out, that would have made the question more memorable and aided in true discussion/change in the church. Visitor, bah humbug. When you are flabbergasted you know you are on track and it’s time to stand up and lead. I know you, it would not been the first time you were asked to leave and establishment (-:
    The real question to this comment is as follows:
    We tend to let the spirit lead us when we feel qualified, adequate, seasoned or on top of our game. Why is that? Is not the Holy Spirit there to lead us into the fight as well? Give us courage when we are weak?
    En Guard or Attack?
    Love you Don, your brother Bargo
    “Praise loudly, discipline softly”

  2. nrichmyleads says:

    Today September 11th is Christ’s 2016th birthday, if the description of the heavens at the time of the birth are to be believed from Revelations 12:1,2 but tradition tries to maintain a much later date. An active spiritual life is supposed to be a hallmark of a follower of Jesus Christ. Does you church spend much time teaching I Co 12-14? God had written that he would not have us ignorant of things of the spirit “pneumatikos” a littoral might be things that pertain to the spirit or simply spiritual matters I Co 12 : 1 gifts is wrongly supplied here as the next three chapters describe more than just gifts. You can’t fault most churches because like the gentiles they can only go as they are taught and some pastors just do not teach what the scriptures witness about the gift of holy spirit. Some out of ignorance but more because it is not a denomination approved subject. Selah.

  3. nrichmyleads says:

    Don in articles posted on my blog I try to clear up some of those misconceptions Would love for you to read my blog and give more than a 2 sentence comment about whether you feel it is helpful at clearing up those misconceptions or not.

    • Don Merritt says:

      I think you have indeed addressed these topics on your blog, and I hope you’ll keep it up! I also might add that I have as well, and will continue to do so in various ways.

  4. Sadly, many congregations are proud of their conversion rate – but don’t give a second thought to actually making disciples. If the new believer continues to come on Sunday morning, they’re considered to be “in.”

    Didn’t Jesus commission us to “make disciples,” and Paul state that one plants, another waters, and GOD gives the increase?

    How have we moved so far from the Lord’s directives?


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