The Holy Spirit, Superman and Popeye.

What do Superman and the Holy Spirit have in common?  Their superpowers are taken FROM them by an outside force.  For Superman it’s Kryptonite.  For the Holy Spirit it’s human beings.  As some believed.

What do Popeye and the Holy Spirit have in common?  Their superpowers are given TO them from an outside force.  For Popeye it’s spinach (Ugh).  For the Holy Spirit it’s human beings.  As some believe.

Kryptonite.  A long time ago the ancient ones arrested the Holy Spirit and threw Him in prison.  As a result,  if a human being wanted to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit they had to visit Him in His prison-cell.   You’re probably wondering where that was?  It turns out the Holy Spirit had been jailed within the pages of the New Testament.  Like the way Jor-El  put the two bad guys and really bad chick into that freaky, floating, transparent, one-dimensional thingy-thing in the original Superman movie.  Which was far superior to the new Superman movie.  If you ask me.  Poor Christopher Reeve!  Anyway…the Holy Spirit was in His cell for so long that in the minds of the ancient ones the New Testament and the Holy Spirit became the same thing.  The Holy Spirit is the New Testament sort of deal.  So if a human being wanted to know the Holy Spirit they did so by reading the New Testament.  And the more they read it the greater His powers to influence them became.  Which makes you wonder why He didn’t read it Himself to power-up Popeye style and break out?  …  We’ll never know.  What’s important to know here is the Holy Spirit had no superpowers beyond a human being’s willingness to read the New Testament and live out it’s meaning in the world.  He had no choice.  The Ancient Ones bound this limitation on Him simply by thinking it was true.

Could they do that?  Can mere mortals shut the Holy Spirit down with nothing more than their thoughts?  Do thoughts drain Him of His superpowers in the same way kryptonite drains Superman’s?

Spinach.   Before the ancient ones were all dead a crack team of newbies stormed the prison fortress of the New Testament and forcibly released the Holy Spirit from captivity.  Ninja-style.  Karate chops. Knives. Smoke. Guns.  Lots of blood.  Have you ever been shot?  I haven’t.  The Holy Spirit is now free to roam the earth.  Praise God!  However, before you get too excited you need to know His superpowers are still limited.  This time His superpowers depend on the happy thoughts of the human beings who liberated Him.  Like Tinkerbell needs us to believe in fairies.  Or she dies.  Unless you believe.  Then she lives.  Have you ever been to a fairy funeral?  I haven’t.   Is the Holy Spirit going to die?  If He does that’s one funeral I won’t miss.  I hate funerals.  Please don’t die, Holy Spirit.  Everybody needs to think happy thoughts.  But first don’t forget to give the Holy Spirit permission to help you (or He won’t).  Okay, now believe as hard as you can.  Believe He has the desire to help you.    Believe He has the ability to help you.  Believe He lives to ever prompt you so you’ll never have to think for yourself again (a prompting is His way of telling you what to do).   Way to go… Your happy thoughts have recharged the Holy Spirit to full power.  He is now able to to rock your world and sprinkle you with fairy dust.  Unbelievable!  And if you want Him to go on rocking and sprinkling ALL you have to do- from now on- for the rest of  your life is to remain in a perpetual state of  spiritually, spiritual Holy Spirit thoughts.  How hard can that be for a human being?  No problem.  UNLESS you get tired-  grouchy- angry-  doubtful-  forgetful- hateful.  And not to mention coming down with a case of the spiritual blues-   lapsing into momentary humanity-  or being afraid to ask Him for His help because of that thing you just did.  But at least He’s free now.  Praise God!  Or His liberators!

Can human beings do this?  Can mere mortals unleash the power of the Holy Spirit with nothing more than their thoughts?  Do thoughts empower the Holy Spirit in the same way spinach empowers Popeye?

I hope I got the part about the ancient ones right.  Most everything I know about what they believed comes from the newbies.  The newbie may be talking to me, but it’s like they don’t see me.  Instead, it seems like they’re talking to an ancient one.  And they’re fighting old battles.  The newbie is playing both parts and that’s how I know what I know about the ancients one’s “position” on the Holy Spirit.  This is only natural I suppose.  The newbies can’t really tell us how they released the Holy Spirit from captivity unless we know He was a captive in the first place.  But I have a hard time following their story.  I get lost.  And their logic doesn’t add-up.  Here’s what I mean…

It is said of  the ancients that they limited the influence of  The Holy Spirit.  Of course they didn’t say that about themselves.  Who would say such a ridiculous thing about themselves?  Can you imagine…  Just so everybody knows,  our official conviction about the Holy Spirit is one that will limit His influence in the lives of every individual believer on the face of the earth, which will impact the church negatively, which will impact the world negatively.  The ancient ones have spoken!  Believe it!  Forthwith!!!  (closing hymn sung here)

No, they didn’t say anything like that.  Rather, this is what the newbies say about their old enemy. However, not even the newbies would dare accuse the ancient ones of not believing in the Holy Spirit at all.  THAT is an extremely dangerous accusation of a high crime to level against a fellow Christian.  To say such a thing also denies common-sense. After all, if the ancient ones didn’t believe the Holy Spirit was really real,  why did they go to all the trouble of trying to understand Him with that whole “He is the New Testament” thing?  Why say anything?

The point is they did believe in the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, they believed in the Three Distinct Personalities of what we call the God-head.  Of Whom the Holy Spirit is One.  Or was.  The way newbies carry on about Him you’d think He was more important than the Other Two.  And if He likes their attention maybe He’s broken-up with the God-head?   Which would be great for newbies.  Then the Holy Spirit would have all the time in the world to blow leaves in such a way they could discern what brand of toothpaste He’s prompting them to use.  He does owe them.

Anyway, most everybody agrees the ancient ones did believe in the Holy Spirit.  So it seems their only crime was that they believed in the Holy Spirit imperfectly.  But does an imperfect understanding of the Holy Spirit limit His ability to help someone who loves Jesus? Depends on who you ask.  Newbies seem to think so.  Maybe that’s why they love the phrase “quench the spirit.”   Like a hunter loves guns.  So they focus their scopes on tombstones, pull the trigger and Boom!  Boom!  Boom!  That’s their way of telling us the ancient ones, buried in those bullet-riddled tombs, “quenched the Spirit,”  and as a result lived and worshiped and worked and died without experiencing all the blessings of God.  “Quench the Spirit?”  What does that even mean?   God invented the phrase, but I’m not sure it means what He meant when liberators hurl it at the dead.  And living.   Is quenching the same thing as misunderstanding? You’ll have to ask a newbie.

I also wonder if the ancient ones were disinherited because they may have misunderstood the Holy Spirit?  When I read Romans 8 I wonder if their misunderstanding was the one thing that did separate them from the love of Christ?  And was the Holy Spirit unwilling to pray for them with groanings too deep for words when they were silenced by grief and guilt?  Did He refuse to help them IN their weaknesses because they thought He was the New Testament?  But what if that was their weakness?

Does the Holy Spirit do everything right for the newbies because they’re right?  Or because  they “get” Him?  Does God show favoritism?  He said He didn’t.  Is God a liar?

I have a real dilemma.  If the Holy Spirit wasn’t helping the ancient ones who was watering the seeds they planted that sprouted into Christians all over the world?  How in that world did they leave the newbies a church that was growing?  Who was helping them?  And if the Holy Spirit is helping the newbies in new and improved ways why will they leave you a church that is shrinking?  If you haven’t shrank away yourself. And by the way, DO NOT ask a newbie to explain this.  They will answer your question with a question that goes something like, “Well yes… but were they converting people to Christ, or was it to the church?”  Thoughts like that are followed by great falls.

Anyhow, since saving people is God’s most favorite thing to do why aren’t the newbies using their greater awareness of the Holy Spirit to save lots and lots and lots of people.  Why aren’t they using their spinach to save the hugely growing number of marriages dissolving in the pews right before their very eyes?

… See what I mean?  Newbie logic is illogical.  The ancient ones limited the Holy Spirit, but grew.  Newbies removed the limits, but we shrink.  In more ways than numbers.  When I hear a newbie in a sermon or blog or book recall old battles the logic of their content doesn’t flow for me.  In fact, it sounds like the newbies and the ancient ones believe the same exact thing about the Holy Spirit.  The newbies pity the ancient ones for their kryptonite ways while they hand-spoon their spinach to the Holy Spirit.  What they fail to see is that their spinach IS kryptonite by another name.  When a small child is put to bed are they any less safe because they are not aware their parents have locked the doors and armed the alarm?  Would they be more safe if they were aware?  They might feel more safe, or not, but the truth remains true- either way they ARE safe.

So you see, the ancient ones and newbies are bound together by kryptonite and spinach.  The two are united as one by their common belief that the work of the Holy Spirit depends on men.  They are divided as two only because they live out their common belief in different ways.  Kryptonite or spinach?  Same thing.

None of us will ever know everything we want to know about the Holy Spirit.  Speaking personally, I’m okay with that.  I would be utterly bored to live in a world without mystery and intrigue.

Here’s everything we need to know about the Holy Spirit… The wind blows wherever it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going.

Are your thoughts like kryponite to the wind when you wish it would stop blowing your hair every which way?  And if you squeeze your brain real tight are your thoughts like spinach to the wind lifting your kite ever higher?  If you said “yes” you need to stop reading NOW and seek help.  Let me encourage you to keep your weekly appointments.  And  be patient too.  It will be four to eight weeks before the pills kick in.  Depending on your unique body chemistry.  So, take as prescribed.

The Holy Spirit is a holy, bucking wind (thanks Rich) whom no man can ride.  He goes wherever He pleases, whenever He pleases to do whatever He pleases.  His Self-sustaining, Self-Possessing, Self-defining, Self-knowing Power is such He is able to accomplish His God-given assignments in the hearts and minds of believers AND unbelievers alike.   Ask Pharaoh.  Or Saul of Tarsus.   Amazingly, He does this WITHOUT- WITHOUT- WITHOUT ever interfering with,  nor overriding a human being’s God-given right to choose and live however they want.  What?  How in the world can He accomplish the first God-given and simultaneously honor the second?  Because He can.

How so?  It’s not because He has any superpowers. The Holy Spirit IS SUPERPOWER.  That is a SUPER-Intelligence and SUPER-Brilliance and SUPER-Ability of such staggering dimension the human brain can not process it.  But we try.  And when the Holy Spirit wields His SUPERPOWERS, which is to say HIMSELF,  it is done with such SUPER-skill He remains immune to comprehension in the realm of men.  But we try.  Whether or not our conclusion is kryptonite or spinach is irrelevant to Him.

He knows where the wind has been.  And where it is going.

Up, up and away!!!


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