Thursday, November 11, 2004


I've been thinking,
Is it possible to have a church where power does not exist?


It depends what type of power you are talking about, if you mean holy spirit power, it probably is possible to have a church, but that church certainly wont be doing anything if there is no holy spirit power. It is only when churches call on the Power of the Holy Spirit that things start to happen in a mighty way.

If you are talking about power as in power base of people... different story.

By Blogger Listeningear, at 9:28 PM  

No I think that power has to exist in any human institution, regardless of whether or not the Spirit is present. If humans are present then a power struggle is also present.

At WGA there are those that have tremendous power over people's lives, but it is how they wield that power that is awe inspiring. They have power in order to empower the broken and beaten and abused of the world. They use their power to give voice to the voiceless. They have a lot of power, probably because they pour that power into other's lives with little or no concern about keeping any for themselves.

But I keep seeing churches, including my own, that a few wield power and work constantly to keep it. Those that try to gain power for whatever reason are either given it if not seen as a threat or are denied it and in extreme cases driven forceably from that church because they are a threat to someone else's power.

Few church splits are really over doctrinal issues (especially ones that matter). All of the ones that I have seen are over power masking itself over one particular issue and two or more people to stubborn to back down and let go of their power.

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:28 AM  

Hi, Bill!

Are we talking about a "church" as a building or denomination, or a group of people?

The Holy Spirit was to come upon the disciples as the Lord left to go to heaven. He was to bring "power" for the disciples to evangelize.

The "power" was given to the people individually, not to a church structure. It seems we have chosen to build buildings and denominations which often lack in power of the Holy Spirit.

If there are members of a church body who lack power, I would contend that it is because they have chosen not to accept the power of the Holy Spirit, or if they have it, they choose to stagnate and ignore it.

It does affect the kind of evangelists they become - real or shallow? Thus, they either use the power of the Holy Spirit or stifle it!

God bless you!

Lloyd Michael Fletcher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 AM  

Lloyd said, "If there are members of a church body who lack power, I would contend that it is because they have chosen not to accept the power of the Holy Spirit, or if they have it, they choose to stagnate and ignore it.

It does affect the kind of evangelists they become - real or shallow? Thus, they either use the power of the Holy Spirit or stifle it!"

What if the power that is being spoken of is not from the Spirit but from the individual? I have seen those with power from the Spirit being emotionally slaughtered by those who are using their own power over people. What if the power that Bill is asking about is the type that is the stumbling block for the rest of us? What I mean by that is what if the power structure that the protestant church, even the SA, has become abusive in nature and actually works against the Spirit. What if the Spirit is working in spite of us and our structure instead of with us and our structure?

We all know that there are those that seek power in order to lord it over others. I know that Jesus' power was incredible because he gave it away. Our structures in church and even in small groups, where a pecking order must be in place before anything real can happen, setup a dichotomy of those with power and those without. Those without power are dependent on those that are and thus the priesthood of all believers becomes the high priesthood of the chosen ones and the codependency of the rest. For those that do not fall into line on these issues, I have seen the chosen ones brutally and swiftly bring public disgrace on those that will not be codependant and will not join the chosen ones.

Also, I found those two paragraphs abusive in nature and a little too black and white. Is the Holy Spirit limited only to evangelism in people's lives? Also if one is not manifesting the power of the Spirit is it possible that there is another reason beside either not accepted or ignoring it. What if they were beaten into not using it by a pastor? What if they were taught that they alone are not worthy of receiving God's grace and even though they are a Christian they cannot accept God's love and walk in that? I guess I see more than two options for why the church, especially the American church is not demonstrating the power of Christ. I would generally pinpoint it back to human power overriding God's power in someone's life.

Lloyd, I am not trying to attack you here. I just think that there is more to it than those that have the Spirit and use it and those that have the Spirit and the individual chooses to either deny or ignore the Spirit's work. I believe that others play a huge role in that outgrowth as well and we need to take responsibility for our actions in other's lives and work to change our negative interactions with each other.

By Blogger Dwight, at 11:35 AM  


I can understand what you are saying and I don't disagree. However, if people in the church lack power - they have not chosen to follow the Holy Spirit because He has already indwelt them at the moment of conversion.

If they continue on their way of hurting, manipulating, or involving themselves in "earthly" power plays, that isn't of the Holy Spirit. They may blame the Holy Spirit for that, but we know different. Nor should they be doing things contrary to the Holy Spirit and claim justification for doing it.

My answer may appear to be "black and white," but not given as a harsh indictment. There are those whom the Holy Spirit empowers, but you only see the Holy Spirit shine through. It can be a lovely thing when that happens. I have seen the manipulation which you speak in denominations, cell groups, etc. (even our own denomination) and they may be characterized as coming from the Holy Spirit and His power, but I highly doubt it. He has a way of cutting through the falsehood, so that His truth shines forth.

I still contend that God's Holy Spirit is there for us like Jesus Christ promised. He was sent to help us and infill us with His power if we are willing to accept it and follow Him. Do we possess the Holy Spirit, or does He possess us?

I am speaking of people taking responsibility. If God wants us to have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we are to be responsible to wait and claim it. It is our responsibility to do things that uplift the body of Christ and the Lord Jesus Christ, not to play games or be untruthful in any way. Otherwise, the power of the Holy Spirit has not really reached us in a tangible way.

The early disciples waited for the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon them and the history of the church followed. Some of the history has been good and the power of the Holy Spirit has been evident. Some of the history has not been so good with people claiming the Holy Spirit's power, but lacking it and it shows! Some reflect the fruit in Galatian 5:22-23, while others do not!

God bless you!

Lloyd Michael Fletcher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:32 AM  

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