Holy Spirit on Extended Vacation

kinnon —  December 1, 2010 — 9 Comments

UPDATE: Robin Dugall furthers the conversation.

I confess that I have grown tired of those folk who want to tell us how the church has gotten just about everything wrong for the past seventeen hundred years – and somehow they are the ones who now see clearly.

It's as if they think the Holy Spirit has been on an extended vacation.




A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

9 responses to Holy Spirit on Extended Vacation

  1. I bet the Pope thinks the same thing every day.

  2. Love it.

    Seems like there’s a group of people for every era, picking that as the key bit of the Spirit’s work. Some choose 300, some choose 1300, some 1600, some now. All of ’em miss out on the good bits of the Spirit work that has been done throughout all eras.

  3. Can you elaborate on this? Is this a change of heart for you? Is there a difference between telling “us how the church has gotten just about everything wrong for the past seventeen hundred years” and the missional conversations of our day? I tend to agree with your post but find I have done my fair share of griping about the church. I guess I’m kind of tired of me. 🙂

    I’d love to get your additional insights to what you mean here.

  4. great post Bill…again you demonstrate that you have the pulse of what God is up to…

  5. 1700 years, 1200 years – do 500 years make a big difference in your mind when it comes to your personal evaluation of the Reformation as a genuine movement of the Spirit of God? The point of the Reformation was not that the Holy Spirit took an extended vacation and that the church got just about everything wrong, but that it’s “official” and dominant version had strayed from the original gospel message in some keys areas.

    And if we take the Reformers’ message of the church as ALWAYS in need of reforming (“ecclesia semper reformanda”) seriously, then we have to be open to the Spirit uncovering a lot of mistaken views, even in some other key areas. Wouldn’t that be a consequent conclusion actually from a quite orthodox view of “utter depravity” and the way it influences the idolatrous tendencies in our theology?

    How do you know, Bill, how much the Holy Spirit has already uncovered and convicted us here, and how much work is still to be done? May I remind you how long the church got both the woman issue and the slavery issue wrong? This is not a question of Holy Spirit vacation time but a personal evaluation of where the Spirit has finished a job or not.

  6. Josh,

    Thanks for proving Bill right. Let me know when the Spirit has finished the job…

    Thanks for this; praying for your back.

  7. Umm, where exactly is my “personal evaluation of the Reformation as a genuine movement of the Spirit of God”. (Not that I’m suggesting it wasn’t but it would seem you are inferring I’m neo-Reformed. I’m not, though I have many friends who are.)

    My point would seem to be rather obvious, Josh. That I believe the Spirit was, is and continues to move – and that the church often, but not always, hears the voice of the Spirit.

    Those who claim the church universal has been wrong for the past 1,700 years and that they now have the “correct understanding” – the statement that triggered this post – are simply arrogant.

  8. Thanks, Dan. I wish my neck didn't hurt as much as it does or I be typing more and playing with Photoshop and Illustrator less. (Using the mouse hurts less than using the keyboard, oddly enough.)

  9. Scott,
    My damaged neck limits the amount I can type so let me just type this; this graphic was in response to someone who thinks they have it all figured out – and are convinced the church has been wrong for the last 1,700 years on just about everything. Does the church get lots of things wrong – you bet! But when folk suggest that they've heard from the Holy Spirit and they now have the correct understanding (after 17 centuries), my B.S. detectors go off rather shrilly. We all see as through a glass dimly. And I'm rather "tired of me", as well.


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