1. Doctrinal Whiplash
In the Church of Christ we tend to have what I think of as “doctrinal whiplash.” The Baptists talk about witnessing so we don’t like that term any more. The Pentecostals emphasize the Holy Spirit so we shy away from it. And so on. That can be very detrimental to our own understanding of scripture and even our relationship with God. I believe that is one reason we have said little concerning the work of the Holy Spirit.
2. Lock box Mentality
I think another reason we don’t talk about the Holy Spirit as much in Churches of Christ is because we have been very logical thinkers and like our understanding of things to be locked down with little room for any differences. The Holy Spirit doesn’t play by our rules. The Spirit is not something you can memorize or gain control over. In essence, the Holy Spirit is more of a wild card and I think that has frightened many to the point of just leaving the Spirit out entirely. We are much more comfortable with scripture because we know what is there, we can study it, and think we can just about master it and get it locked down. In essence, to gain control of it rather than letting it gain control of us. We can’t lock the Spirit down and so we have left the Spirit out. Thank goodness the Spirit hasn’t left us out for doing so!
3. Forming Opinions Before Approaching the Text:
A third reason we don’t discuss the Spirit is paradoxical. We pride ourselves on how seriously we take scripture but when it comes to the Holy Spirit many have just ignored what is there. Or almost as bad, many have decided what they think about the Holy Spirit by what was mentioned in reason one. They look to other groups and don’t like what they see so they form an opinion that the Holy Spirit can’t have much to do with us today. They form their opinion before approaching scripture rather than letting scripture form their opinion.
So let’s face the music and have a little discussion on the Holy Spirit!