Stop Picking On My Little Brother "Pentecostal" (10.18.12)
Paul tells Titus, his "true [Spiritually] born son in the faith" (1,4), not to let any of the flock despise him and so disregard his authority:
"Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you."
As the Apostle Paul tells it- the body of Christ is not designed to have any whipping boys.
So, whoever you are, stop picking on my little brother, "Pentecostal."
Ok mayby I'm a little over sensitive, it's my brother for pity's sake.
And I'm sure he can handle himself, among such a diverse lot, in that he's growing up fast.
But then again just the other day I read an ad by a church seeking their kind of pastor. You might have seen these ads. Some leave little room for what God might want.
I'll parse and paraphrase:
"We don't take scripture very seriously anymore, especially when it comes to dated moral norms, because we are enlightened. And though we have no idea of the basis of our enlightenment, we are forging ahead anyway, and looking for a pastor just like us."
And then comes the concluding, bluntly specific, durum kernal (representing the ultimate in human wisdom): ___________ and Pentecostals and ___________ need not apply.
Something kicked up in me (even for the two blanks above too).
Couldn't our board scribe have been gentler, saying "we're not adherents of baptism in the Spirit?"
To tell the truth I was a little surprised at my reaction. I'm no stranger to such ordinary, turfy huffiness.
But since I have seen "Pentecostals" singled out yet and again, in and out of the church, I'm now convinced that when we go even slightly out of our way to publicly rank on, or put down, or even un-gently describe any fellow Christian, it grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians4,30).
It's surely not like I think Pentecostals should be treated with kid gloves.
Oh those Pentecostals- always piping up about what the Spirit is saying to the churches, always thinking Jesus wants to get in a timely word in edgewise.
Yes, precisely. Just kindly drop the attitude down a notch, and we'll be the best of friends.
And, yes, perhaps we who defend baptism in the Spirit as a distinct and way important experience that is for yesterday and today haven't represented him overly well.
But then again, perhaps way too many of us in the body of Christ can't say with the Apostle Paul that we know the Spirit of God lives in us:
9 "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."
Fellow Christians this word says we can know the great Spiritual things that are freely given to us in Jesus.
It also says we all can have this amazing knowledge after we have received the Spirit who is from God.
And of course we Pentecostals assess this word, and many just like it, and our own experience of the better baptism, Holy Ghost baptism, and we are very grateful to be able to say we know that the Holy Ghost lives inside us.
Dear fellow Christians- can you say you know, by Holy Spirtual experience, that God lives inside you?
If not, or even if you can praise God, kindly stop picking on my little brother, "Pentecostal."
Shalom In Jesus NAME
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...