The Holy Spirit. The third player in the card game known as God. According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit dwells inside every Christian. The Holy Spirit is depicted as a helper to guide people in the way of the truth. The Holy Spirit is believed to take action in a believer’s life and thoughts, producing good fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the promised “Advocate.” In the Book of John, the gift of the Spirit is equivalent to eternal life, knowledge of God, power to obey and communion with one another and with the Father. No other religion provides this helper.
So, if every Christian is supposed to have a guide built right into his or her synapses, why is there all the disagreement? Why are there approximately 38,000 Christian denominations? Is this Holy Spirit slacking as a divine walkie-talkie? Does the Holy Spirit come in 38,000 flavors? Ben and Jerry’s would be impressed. If all believers are supposed to be the body of Christ, then why is the body going in different directions?
“Free will!” I’m sure is the mental cry of all my Christian readers thus far. Just because you have a guide built in, you don’t have to follow it. You can turn the walkie-talkie on low and keep going about your life. If this is the case, doesn’t that pretty much negate your Christianity? Can you claim to be Christian and not follow that voice in your head that you call God? I guess you could if you are a hypocrite.
When Martin Luther nailed his theses to the Church in Wittenberg, he was listening to his Holy Spirit. He felt papal indulgences were wrong and should be removed. When the Pope excommunicated him, the Pope was listening to the Holy Spirit. He thought the Church should remain one unified body. It was a shame people didn’t agree. Where was the Holy Spirit in all this? When Henry VIII found it useful to replace papal rule with the supremacy of the English crown for a divorce, where was the Holy Spirit? These aren’t simple disagreements on how to worship. I understand some people enjoy quiet meditation, others like celebration and dance. But these are completely different thoughts on doctrine.
A modern example: If the Holy Spirit was truly the glue uniting all Christians, why aren’t all the elections land slides? Wouldn’t God be whispering to all the voters telling them his chosen candidate? He did in the Old Testament. Shouldn’t true Christians endowed with the Holy Spirit agree on political policy? “Radio check, radio check. 10-4 Good Christians, we’re forming a convoy. Going to bring the voting hammer down on Ron Paul in 2008, my anointed one from the lone star. Copy that? Copy that?!”
God’s thoughts, actions, wants and moral code should all be consistent. Allowing for free will, hypocrites and selfishness, there should still be a large percentage of unified Christians that are getting God’s radio in loud and clear. And this large percentage should easily be able to point out the hypocrites.
The fact is, there is no such large percentage. Republicans want you to think they are the Christian party because they hate gays and abortion. Democrats think Jesus was liberal and wanted them to start welfare and affirmative action and make government huge. You have Democratic Christians, you have Republican Christians. You have libertarian, communist and anarchist Christians. You have Baptist bake sales and Catholic mass. You do not have a unified body of Christ. There are roughly two billion self-proclaimed Christians in the world. If they all had a direct line with God, shouldn’t the world be much better than it is?
Even on campus you have ACT, CAS, CBF, CRU, IM, OCC, CCM, TCM, UBF and YL. I apologize if I missed some. All these are vying for your fellowship/worship/attention/donations. I’m sure they would be much more successful if they worked together. One large organization as opposed to almost a dozen little ones. They all have a common goal. So, where is the spirit?