Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Holy Spirit, the Church, and the Status Quo

Today we're looking at the Holy Spirit in my Theology 101 group. I came across this statement from Clark Williamson's Way of Life, Way of Blessing, (Chalice Press, 1999). I think it speaks to the modern condition!

One of the typical functions of religion is to provide stability to people. Stability is not, as such, bad. Yet insistence on stability may be a church's first and last line of defense against the work of the Spirit. God is not the God of the status quo. God is the God who called Abraham and Sarah out of the status quo into God's future for them. God is the God who called a motley crew of Galilean fishermen away from business as usual into a movement of the kingdom. Abraham, Sarah, and Peter could have said, "But we've never done it that way before." Thanks to the work of the Spirit, they did not. (p. 237).


In a world of constant change, many look to the church for stability, a rock to which they can anchor their lives. They find this stability in the hymns of their youth and the message of their past. Letting go of that can be difficult. But as Clark notes, God is not the God of the status quo. God called Abraham, Sarah, and us out of that status quo. The question then is -- where is God leading us. And we don't always know before we get there. Walking with the Spirit can be dangerous!

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