Monday, June 25, 2007

Two Quotations for Today

The following quotations are taken from an entry written by Dr. Sam Horn (a pastor in Wisconsin and member of the staff of Northland Baptist Bible College) in Sharper Iron (see link at right), in an article entitled "The Spirit and the Church, Part 2." I recommend Sharper Iron and I certainly believe this particular comment is very insightful, particularly where the unsaved are concerned.

"Sadly, the world no longer trembles at the reproof of the Spirit. This sad state has not come about simply because the world has progressed in hardness and wickedness—it has always been wicked and hard of heart. Rather, it has come about as believers have become increasingly more like the world they are to reprove by the Spirit. When unbelievers see believers adopting the values, activities, and lifestyles of the world around them, they have no real reason to value the Spirit who indwells these worldly believers." [Italics mine]
The second quotation deals with what fundamentalist Christians may face in the future if the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is not properly understood, and also speaks to the badly-misunderstood-today concepts of the Spirit's role in our worship:

"The contemporary emphasis on worship has created a new interest and focus on the Spirit. Unfortunately, the lack of theological understanding on the part of most worshipers has led—and will continue to lead—the church at large into a precarious and shallow view of the Holy Spirit.

Additionally, there has been a distinct move away from corporate and controlled worship to a more spontaneous and individual expression of worship. Praise has replaced proclamation as the center of much contemporary worship. Singing is rapidly replacing preaching as the medium of biblical communication and instruction. While there is little doubt that the biblical role of singing did include instruction, the content of much of what is being sung in praise and worship is appallingly shallow in theological content. Furthermore, the worship of the contemporary church has become increasingly infiltrated by the values and mediums of the surrounding culture. This change has resulted in the unconverted feeling as comfortable with the church as they do with the world. Much of this worship is done in the name of the Spirit or with the Spirit as its focus. This development has grave ramifications for the future of evangelical Pneumatology." [Italics mine]

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