Ruminations

The chewy thoughts of a queer Christian

Holy Spirit

Today at Church something special happened. My Church done gone all Pentecostal on me.

I did not know when I wandered to Church this morning that the Holy Spirit would be coming down and all this would happen. I don’t think anyone did; I’m fairly sure it wasn’t planned.

During the singing, one member of the congregation had a vision of the Holy Spirit coming down and touching our hearts. Pastor M then took the opportunity to push for an invitation of the Holy Spirit and spontaneous worship followed. People began to speak in tongues, sing aloud, and cry out all to the praise of God.

My response to Church has always been to remain sincere to what I genuinely feel; not to offer resistance, not to hold on too much to my mentally constructed image of myself (ego), but at the same time, never to fake what I was feeling. I took part, although I’ll go easy on the details.

God is great. God is awesome. I love to pray to Him, I love to be His Son, I love that He made me.

– What I felt at church today, among other things, and what I really believe now

I suspected that this might happen at some point; all the signs were there. Whether or not the ‘gifts of the spirit’ are a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, what they are is a letting go of ego.  They are a letting go of self in worship for that which is Holy, Perfect and Beyond. They are an affirmation of the Unmanifested. What I witnessed today in Church  – what I tentatively stepped into – was people praising God with all they had. With all they had; with barriers lowered before the supreme Divine.

This is a challenge. When I was sifting through Churches, ‘Pentecostal’ was not high on my list. Quakers were a viable option. I am fairly sure that you cannot get much more opposite worship styles than silent Quaker meetings and charismatic praise.

But I am faced with a choice. How will I continue engaging with this church? I once made the statement that if they started speaking in tongues at my church I would probably leave. But from this side of the experience, it seems a little extreme. The core question is: am I being manipulated? Having once experienced ‘the power of the Holy Spirit’, I think one is supposed to grant authority, basically, to the pastor, who is (almost by definition) the main channel of the Spirit into the Church, the one who is most open to it, and therefore of the most ‘powerful’ gifts. But are these, in fact, ‘of the Holy Spirit’? What should that even mean?

Nonetheless the purpose of the gifts themselves is to glorify God and not people. If I want to stick with God, and to worship Him, this Church is an excellent way to do it. Does turning away from that church mean turning away from God? Rejecting his ‘gifts’? (But if it is God who allows us the Gifts by which we worship Him, is He not just worshiping Himself?)

On the other hand, I can kind of see why Christians have faith in God now. God is just so simple. Before… I didn’t really believe in God’s power. But now I do. I feel like I’ve somehow shifted sides. And I feel like I shouldn’t problematise this.

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