Growing up in a small, rural Southern Baptist Church, I heard all about Jesus – how He lived a perfect life, died for my sins, rose again on the third day, is coming again one day. I heard a lot about God – He is the creator, He sent Jesus to die for my sins, He is who I should pray to, He lives in heaven and He is going to judge the world one day, especially America for our sins of homosexuality, abortion, alcohol and dancing. And that’s pretty much where it left off at.
Sure the Holy Spirit was mentioned every once in awhile, but He was always treated like the crazy uncle in the Trinity family. “Don’t hang around Him too much or you’ll start doing crazy things!” About all that was ever said was that when we get saved, He comes to live inside us (well, Him or Jesus or both, they never really explained that).
Having grown up and expanded my area of knowledge, it seems to me that too often many Southern Baptist (and probably Christians in general) worship a Holy Duoity instead of a Trinity. Jesus: I can understand Him. God the Father: Not as much, but I can still grasp what He’s about. Holy Spirit: Whoa, let’s not get too emotional or charismatic here.
To our detriment we ignore 1/3 of the Godhead because we are afraid it might make us too much like other denominations. We worry that if we acknowledge Him and His work in our lives, we might end up embracing the excesses of other groups.
That is essentially the problem, we have been able to safely (not wisely) construct boxes to contain Jesus and God the Father, but we can’t fit the Holy Spirit in one – so we ignore Him. We can’t force Him to fit our neat, packaged ideas, so we don’t want Him running lose messing up our organized worship service.
Can you imagine what would happen if during the offering someone got up and gave a testimony instead of having the organ and piano play softly? Think about all the chaos that would result from doing more songs that listed on the order of service or even less.
Maybe it’s better this way to essentially worship 2/3 of who God is. I mean sure, we give up having the power of God behind our services, but we do things so much more organized and frankly better than the Holy Spirit could. I think after perfecting our worship service for over 100 years we know more about how to worship God than the Holy Spirit even though He has been worshipped and seen worship for eternity past.
In all seriousness, many of us need to be taught how to relate to the Holy Spirit, much like those with a dead-beat dad have trouble connecting with God as Father. I think it is time for us to do the work needed to have a complete, Biblical picture of who God is. it’s time that we come to the realization that God knows exactly how He wants to be worshipped. Let’s let Him decide and let’s worship God in His entirety, not just the part we are comfortable with.