a Holy Ghost explosion?

“…the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

The Holy Ghost is scheduled to be on our campus Friday, from 7-9 p.m.

I know this, because I saw the poster. There is a Holy Ghost Explosion in the Plaza with one of the summer music teams. I find this curious, since I have always assumed He came at a time and a place of His own choosing.

But when I was a kid people tried to schedule an Appearance with a tent on the outskirts of town and an evangelist in a plaid sports coat. Today you can do the same thing with a couple of bands.

He might come, however, especially if people are praying. But he is unlikely to bring two hours of peace and music, as the poster suggests.

Typically He brings conviction of sin, bearing testimony to the person and work of Christ. At least that’s what Jesus said He would do. The peace comes after that.

And I hope that is what they want.

But I am concerned with a more generalized need for a fuzzy feeling or a shared experience. The Mormons have their warm glow. The Pentecostals have their speaking in tongues. The Baptists have their altar calls.

But so do witch doctors in Haiti and various Jewish and Muslim mystical cults. I guess I’m just saying people jumping up and down and waving their arms to the beat of loud music does not necessarily mean the Holy Spirit is present or working.

He will be there in some sense, of course, because believers will be there. He anoints us, seals us, regenerates us—there is so much the Holy Spirit does because He dwells in us. In this way he teaches us and convicts us and points us to Christ.

Unfortunately we are not always paying attention. It is the paying attention that we need.

Sometimes His work is large and loud, as in the Great Awakenings in each of the last three centuries. All of these involved a lot of people praying and seeking God at the same time. And all of them required more of this praying and seeking than has probably gone into Friday night.

But most often His work is so unobtrusive we miss it altogether. There is not an explosion—there is just people making the right choices in moments of temptation, or drawing the right conclusions in studying the Scripture, or seeing with clarity the truth of the gospel and proclaiming it boldly, as they did in Acts.

No loud speakers are required for this.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

3 Responses to “a Holy Ghost explosion?”

  1. This whole week, every time my eyes have been assaulted by the sight of one of those absurd “Holy Ghost Explosion” posters, I have grumbled vicious sentiments under my breath. Your post is much more well-reasoned and gracious than my grumblings. Thank you so much for this post!

  2. Even though I haven’t seen the posters you are talking about, I have wrestled this idea in my head over many churches that would wish for the same thing. Your post expresses what I have been trying to find the words to say for months.

  3. The beginning of your post made me laugh out loud! Thank you for the laugh, the stark insight, and the putting to words of the grumblings and inarticulate thoughts of a lot of us trying to navigate through our culture.

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