Pastor Bob and the Holy Spirit

By Wayne Jackson

We receive a considerable amount of mail from religious people who regularly visit our website. Some are angry because their beliefs have been challenged and that frustrates them. They don’t know how to respond other than by the “explosive” method.

Others are more meditative, and willing to study. In fact, increasingly we are hearing of people who have been led to the Lord as a result of studying with us. These cases thrill us.

But not a few readers — to express it rather bluntly — are “knee-jerk” reactionaries. They are exceedingly sincere, but have not developed their reasoning skills, nor their knowledge of the Scriptures. One such correspondent recently was “Pastor Bobby.”

“Bobby” had been visiting our web site seeking out articles pertaining to the Holy Spirit. He found several pieces wherein the case was argued that the Spirit does not directly lead, guide, or instruct people today, as was the case in the first century. At that time, when the revelatory process was working toward the formation of the New Testament library, the Holy Spirit acted directly. But such direct intervention ceased by the close of the apostolic age (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). The written Scriptures replaced miraculous revelation.

Unfortunately, these articles irritated our reader. So he fired off a letter that has unbelievably serious implications. The gentleman claims that each week he prepares a manuscript under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit; then, on Sunday, he delivers it to his congregation.

I responded to “Bobby,” reminding him that when the Spirit’s guidance was promised to Christ’s apostles, that they were forbidden even to “think” about what they would say before their presentations; the divine message was to be given to them “in that very hour” (Matthew 10:19; Luke 21:14-15). There was to be no preparation — no “manuscript” composition for their preaching presentations!

But that meant nothing to our “Charismatic” friend; he merely dug himself into a deeper burrow of confusion. Ignoring the biblical texts altogether, he proceeded to defend his position. He felt that it was entirely prudent to prepare his lessons because frequently he has observed a number of “Spirit-led” Pentecostals “wander all over the place” in their preaching — sometimes for 30 or 40 minutes at a time! He was quite exasperated about that.

Let us analyze his defense for a moment. I want to slightly rephrase it, doing absolutely no injustice to the content. Our friend affirms that the Holy Spirit led these Pentecostal preachers around for a half hour or more, in a confused, uncoordinated fashion that desperately was in a state that needed repair — a situation, obviously, that “Pastor Bob” could control by means of his carefully crafted preparatory exercises, thus bringing the Spirit into submission!

How did the Holy Spirit ever communicate a sensible message before “Bob” came along? Seriously, what sort of reflection does this cast upon the Spirit of God?

Words fail in describing how absolutely horrible such a claim is; yet week-after-week numerous conscientious though deluded souls sway under the mesmerizing spells, of raspy-voiced hucksters who claim to be led by the Spirit of God.

With all due respect, such is nothing short of blasphemy, and these men (and women) will give account for this gospel perversion on the day of judgment when the wrath of God is manifest against all misguided claims attributed to the Spirit of the Lord.

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.