Firstly, my apologies for the delay in posting the last part on Elitism. So much has been happening that I completely forgot about it (see my other blog, The Grey Lady of Oystermouth). There is another topic - The Need to See, and the conclusion to the whole series to come, so I promise to post those more often. Here is the solution for Elitism.
The Bible teaches us that all Christians have the Spirit.
For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body ... and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Cor.12:13)
Indeed, it is the Spirit which lives in us which makes us Christians.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you, and if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (Rom.8:9)
The problem is that so many Christians do not know the overwhelming power of the Spirit manifest in their lives, and when they experience it, they feel as if they never had the Spirit before. Michael Green quotes from the Catholic writer Fr. Killian McDonnell, O.S.B.:
Hence, many prefer to use other expressions to describe what is happening in the charismatic renewal. Among other alternatives which have been proposed are: "release of the Spirit", "renewal of the sacraments of initiation", "actualisation of gifts already received in potentiality", and "a manifestation of baptism, whereby the hidden grace given in baptism breaks through into conscious experience". These are all ways of saying that the power of the Holy Spirit, given in Christian initiation, but hitherto unexperienced, becomes a matter of personal conscious experience.
(I Believe in the Holy Spirit, Michael Green, pp.176-7)
We should not be satisfied with a low level of spirituality, and should encourage all to allow God to release them into deeper experiences. We must ensure that Christian initiation is the full New Testament concept, including "the water and the Spirit" (John 3:5). But let us not divide the church and accuse others of not being Christians because they are not experiencing the fullness of what God has for them.
Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? (1 Cor.4:6b-7)
In the same way, Christians with different worship styles or dress codes must look beyond the superficial and welcome one another as brothers in Christ.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! (1 Cor.10:12)
When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour ... But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honoured in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:8-11)
Previous posts in this series:
Legalism: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Magic Formulas: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Answers to Everything: The Truth,The Trap, The Solution
Scripture Twisting: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Superstition: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Elitism: The Truth, The Trap
Further posts to come in this series:
The Need to See: The Truth, The Trap, The Solution
Inventing the Individual: Book Review
2 weeks ago