Monday, May 24, 2010

#156-Thinking Having the Holy Ghost Makes You Superhuman

The Holy Ghost is fantastic. It's one of the things that gets me excited about being Apostolic. The power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost as a comforter. Speaking in tongues. Witnessing someone receive the infilling of the Holy Ghost for the first time. Fire. Catharsis. A guide. An intercessor. God dwelling within me.

However . . .

The power to overcome sin ≠ less inclined to commit sin
The Holy Ghost is definitely a big dose of supernatural help, but it doesn't change our human natures. I've been told many times "You have the Holy Ghost!" in an incredulous tone by someone trying to exhort me or admonish me in the Lord, especially by those old faithfuls whose young days were lived out in revelry. Example:

"When I was your age, I lived like a heathen. Sure did. I didn't know the Lord. I was involved in all kinds of crazy things and it's only by the grace of God that I'm here today. But you . . . raised up in this precious faith. You have the Holy Ghost!" (read: How dare you act like a human being?)

The takeaway
You were once young, did whatever you wanted (you didn't have the Holy Ghost, so you can't be blamed) but now that you're older and wiser and found the Lord, you're good. I, young as you once were, am barred from succumbing to human frailty because I have the Holy Ghost (therefore the reasons you did stupid stuff when you were young are non-existent for me). No slack is cut for me because, by golly, I have the Holy Ghost! I'm supposed to be above failure.

The reality
I'm thankful for the Holy Ghost. His spirit within me is one of the ways I know He's real. But it doesn't erase our humanity. As much as I wish it did, the Holy Ghost does not make people superhuman. I mean, who wouldn't want to leap tall buildings in a single bound?


  1. Yeah, I know what you mean. But they expect us to be more in tune with the Spirit of God so that we can avoid sin and have greater will power to resist sin and although they can sometimes have so great an expectation for you that they put a big weight around your neck making you feel like if you do mess up that you've messed up big time and THATS no fun at all.

    But I do think that once we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost the power to overcome sin does equate to being less inclined to sin, its just a matter of how soft the cushion is if we fall and that's where other people and their "YOU HAVE THE HOLY GHOST" rant comes in to play. I know for me it brought a level of guilt for bringing shame to myself and other people because of their high expectations. Sometimes you wanna trade in your spirituality just to be "human" in my awkward Gemini state of mind I think i just agreed with you and disagreed with you, but moreso agree with you and where you're coming from lol.

    P.S. Don't tell anybody else this but when I receieved the Holy Ghost I also received the ability to produce fire on my head like in Acts 2 and I can teleport like Philip did in Acts i lowkey AM a superhero...shhhhh

  2. Thank you, Louis, for understanding exactly what I meant. I really didn't want to come off as demeaning the power of the Holy Ghost, and after reading your comment, I agree that the Holy Ghost can equate to being less inclined to sin.

    I guess, really, my issue is not what I think the Holy Ghost can do, but rather the burden of high expectations and the guilt associated with not living up to them.

  3. This is such a huge conflict in my life, and I think many a youth's life. While perfection should never be expected (for as I John tells us, "anyone who says he is without sin is a liar"), there is definitely a kind lifestyle upon being reborn that does not allow or expect sin. As Paul says in Romans 6, through baptism we are dead to sin. Romans 8 says we are now led by the Spirit and therefore not condemned by the law but rather fufill the law of liberty.

    Mercy and grace and it all over again should be our message. But we must not allow an anything goes mentality.

    I know I am taking your topic two steps to the left of where you intended it Chantell. but I am just pointing out that there is this kind of contradiction in the gospel message, and it's so hard to keep both perspetives balanced (usually one ends up falling either to a kind of antinomianism or to a side of legalism that says imperfections are not allowed).

    I think I have settled the issue I guess in my own heart with the idea of being reborn comes the ability for God living in us which brings about the possibility of a transformation process wehre we are patiently continuing our pursuit of the mind of Christ. It is therefore up to us to how much transformation we allow in ourlives by the amount we follow the our flesh or the Spirit.

    I guess ultimately my point is, that while the older generation is wrong to accuse and to think sin is not allowable, I can at least see their viewpoint and where they are getting such a concept from.

  4. I've come to believe that the only way to truly understand Christ and his message about the kingdom, etc. is to reconcile contradictory and opposing statements as equally valid and understanding that they're not mutually exclusive (and i'm not saying anybody said they were, just glad I get a chance to try to articulate this with people because I tried before and nobody could see what I meant lol).

    Pretty much along the lines of what Joel was saying, it seems like everything in the universe has or has the potential to be dual natured. Being a Christian we're told that we sit in heavenly places, that we are sons and daughters of God by adoptio, joint-heirs with Christ pretty much we're royalty and we should keep that in view and then somewhere else we're reminded that we're slaves to Christ and how we shouldn't forget that. Even the nature of salvation...we ARE saved by accepting Christ, we are BEING saved through santification, and we WILL be saved in the Resurrection. All too often one group of Christians will get hung up on one part of something and give little attention to the other and miss out on something. Like you guys mentioned earlier, as Holiness people we stress the fact that we are to be holy as he is holy, and all the other great verses we remember. while the other camp seems to have an anything goes attitude.

    In order to try to reconcile it all together I try to harmonize all of the verses concerning the born-again believer and sin and I pretty much come up with the median. I should strive to live perfect and 100% holy, not because I have to walk in fear that God will strike me down but because I love God. Now because I have the Holy Ghost when my flesh starts getting out of hand I have the power to resist, BUT if I mess up Jesus is there to plead my case and I shouldn't worry. Just dust myself off and try again. My friend wouldn't get with the last part. I think as soon as you enter that BUT people think you're losing your holiness standard. But once I realized that God is pretty understanding and his Word makes that plain the guilt about my sin goes away. I just pick myself up and learn from my mistake and avoid it. Some people as we know abuse that and since its hard to discern the abuser and the genuine stumbler Apostolics tend to villanize and victimize the whole lot...which has us on Code Red alert at all times.

    But I really think if we qualified and reconciled the multiple natures of things then we'd have a better view and understanding of things...i.e. salvation, righteous living, Christian identity, the issue of modesty (because looking homely is not modest, just like looking like a hooker isnt...i wish some Holiness people would get that) and even the nature of the Godhead (as oneness people i think we sometimes miss the power of the 3ness of his manifestations and we downgrade Christ's dual nature, highlighting his deity and forgetting his humanity, both are equally important.)

    Sorry for the rambling.