Recently I had lunch with a great brother in the Lord I respect very much. As we enjoyed our salads and soup we were engaged in deep discussion on matters pertaining to Spirit filled believers. The comment arose that often Spirit filled Christians come across as being arrogant in the perception of non Spirit filled believers. That there may be some sort of superiority attitude communicated by those claiming to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Although I could understand the point of this precious brother's position, and his deep concern for others, I could not help but challenge that thinking by flipping the coin, "so to speak."
On the other side of that coin are the attacks of those who do not accept or believe that Holy Spirit baptism is for today. Some go as far as to declare that those believing in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and subsequently, the exercising of the spiritual gifts, are in league with the devil.
I asked him if that would be considered arrogant. I explained that true arrogance is the declaration of independence from any need of the Spirit of God to do His work in the earth. To stand and declare that by my sheer iron will and determination to live righteously I can somehow acheive heavenly goals without the heavenly prescribed help of the Spirit, is to demonstrate arrogance.
After explaining this view I simply asked, "Which is more arrogant, my profound need of the Spirit to the point of total surrender to Him, or someone else's lack of perceived need...to the point of denial?"
I have no desire to spark animosity or contempt for any believer in Christ, as we are commanded to love one another. If I am led by the Spirit, He will no doubt continue to stretch me in that practice. But I am also not inclined to acquiece to the idea that exhibiting confidence in God through trust in Him (for example: to give something as good as the gift of the Spirit and the gifts His Spirit brings with Him), is somehow arrogance.
Jesus responded to the disciples of John when they were sent to ask, "Are you the one or shall we look for another," He said, "the deaf hear, the lame walk, the blind see and the dead are raised and you go tell John that blessed is he who is not offended in Me."
I ask you, was that arrogance or confidence?
Our generation does not need hesitant, timid believers who are too afraid to take a stand for what they believe even when it may appear unpopular.
When Jesus returns will He find faith in the earth? Faith that can stand against the flood of political correctness and spiritual deadness? By the grace of God and the power of His Spirit I plan to be a voice. May He uphold me and may He likewise uphold all who are not ashamed to stand!
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.