It seems so long since I responded to Adrian Warnock. But my last post on Mark Driscoll prompted me to respond on a post by Adrian which I found sad (again), it is on some teaching by his pastor Tope Koleoso: Receiving the Holy Spirit. Lots of the normal techniques of selected Bible verses dotted all over the New testament rather than proper exegesis of any. Even though there is a reference to 1 Corinthians 12 the impact is totally ignored in that Paul makes it clear that we are all different and should not all expect the same gifts.
Sadly the the post repeats the same views and methods we have heard from Adrian many times:
- You will be able to talk in tongues and this is how we know you have received the Holy Spirit. Poor Paul so much of his teaching still ignored today.
- This is all about you. An incredibly individualistic re-interpretation of the gospel (there is essentially no recognisable gospel here).
- No mention of the purpose of the Holy Spirit in terms of other people (the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians for example or the teaching of Jesus which gets barely a mention).
- Hiding from the impact of the Bible. The Well in John 4 is mentioned but of course the way that passage demolishes New Frontiers understanding of Male Headship is not mentioned.
- We have programmed what it is to become and be a Christian. It is now 4 simple steps that will happen exactly like this: (Repent of your sins; Be Baptised in water; Be Filled with the Holy Spirit; Be Added to the Church). As always limit God to our pre-determined pattern (ignoring for example the many people who receive the Holy Spirit before Baptism in Water and for whom Water Baptism is a response to what the Holy Spirit has already done). Or those who serve the Church for many years before receiving the Holy Spirit (depending on your understanding of the events in Aldersgate Street this might well include John Wesley).
- The utter sinfulness of doubt. You cannot receive the Holy Spirit until you drive away your doubts.
I feel like a good, biblical lament at this waste. Waste of the wonderful gift that is Scripture. Waste of the enthusiasm and dedication of these devoted Christians. Waste of the 50% of humanity that they believe have nothing to say and who cannot help correct this bad theology & exegesis.
As an alternative I would suggest reading the 4 passages from the Lectionary today. They don't need a lot of explanation, simply a challenge to respond:
- Micah 6:1-8
- Psalm 15
- 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
- Matthew 5:1-12