I've been thinking about God's Holy Spirit. And I have also been thinking about church. To be sure, I've been thinking about Christians. I've probably also been thinking about myself and how in some way or other I have had experiences with all three. I suppose the experiences haven't always been the best of times or the worst of times although the experiences could have been a little more or a little less complicated. I'm not saying one way or the other.
I was thinking hard about these things the other day when I was writing a book review about a book called Four Views on the Historical Adam. I read the book with great interest and enthusiasm and then wrote my review. Around the same time I finished reading Jesus Now by Frank Viola. Then I wrote my review. While writing my review I was complaining about Viola's characterization of those who might be considered cessationists because I would probably characterize myself as one. I'm grouchy like that at times because in Bible College that's what I learned and had to defend. And I was like that in Bible College because I grew up in a church that taught such things.
The Holy Spirit is useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting us but there is simply no way the Holy Spirit heals people who are nearly dead or puts to death those who are a little too full of life (Annanias and Sapphira) even though in Junior Worship we sang songs about Annanias and Sapphira who got together to conspire, a plot, to cheat the Lord and get ahead. But speak in tongues? Well, the Holy Spirit hasn't inspired a member of the Church of Christ/Christian Church to speak in tongues since–well, Cane Ridge and even then it is debatable if it was the Holy Spirit. Isn't this what we are taught about the Spirit of Jesus?
Then I got to thinking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus, the Church and myself. I got to thinking about board meetings and committees and constitutions and by-laws. I got to thinking about how Paul said we should have order in our worship services and how we have probably ordered ourselves right out of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I got to thinking about arguing in the church and some of the stupid things we used to argue about in the last church I served. I literally got in trouble one time because some folks had donated an air hockey table to the church for a youth room. Well, someone actually used the air hockey table to play a game of air hockey and a piece of the table broke. This required a board meeting where I was skewered because of the table's brokenness.
I think the church board ought to be done away with for good and entirely. Frankly, I think the church board actually grieves the Holy Spirit of Jesus and stifles his presence among us. Why should the Spirit show up to lead and bless us when we have a church board?