Pigeon Religion or Dove Love?

I know, I know. That is a corny title to a blog. But, I caught you laughing a bit.

One of the missing personalities in Christianity today is the Holy Spirit.  Best-selling author Francis Chan said we have completely forgotten about the Holy Spirit. Others have placed the Holy Spirit on the shelf and claimed that He is not for today. There is even a segment in culture that says the Holy Spirit is only a work of salvation and not a person of the Trinity. 

And given the sort of culture we live in today and the condition of America, there may never be a more important time in history when the Holy Spirit is needed. The main purpose of the Holy Spirit was to come alongside of believers when Jesus ascended to heaven. His role was to give Christians power to be effective witnesses for Christ. With the rise in religious pluralism, the prevalence of post-modernism and paganism, and the lukewarmness in the church, the presence of the Holy Spirit is a crucial part of the movement of Christianity and the kingdom of God.

Let me define what I believe is a great illustration of the mindset of people when it comes to the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit can be graphically pictured in the simple illustration of the personality differences between a pigeon and a dove:

PIGEON…Known as a bother on crowded busy streets, belligerent, noisy, territorial, mate with many others, dirty, and quarrelsome

DOVE…known as a symbol of peace, never fights, can’t stand noise, are not territorial, mate with only one partner, and can be wooed and taught to wrest upon your arm

What is your opinion or view of the Holy Spirit? Is our spiritual depth and understanding of the Holy Spirit more representative of the "pigeon" or the “dove”?

Just because our culture is comfortable with addressing God and Jesus, and uncomfortable about addressing the Holy Spirit, does not mean that the Holy Spirit is not real. The awakening we need in America will begin when the church returns to that biblical relationship with the Holy Spirit that is set forth in the Bible. A Glossary of terms will help as we define the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit is not an “it” or a “thing”
  • The Holy Spirit is a person with feelings, attributes, and emotions
  • The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity
  • The Holy Spirit has many roles (conviction, comforter, helper, power, truth, etc.)
Let me answer a few important questions:

Question #1 - “If I am saved, do I need the Holy Spirit again?”  

Acts 1:4-5 says, “John truly baptized with water…but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…”

John 1:24-34 says that there are two baptisms. One is of John (or, water and repentance) and the other is of Jesus (or, fire and power). *See specifically verses 26, 31, and 33

Acts 19:1-5 says, “…they had only been baptized into John’s baptism…and when they heard this they were baptized in the name of Christ Jesus.”

John 16:7 says, “…it is to your advantage that I go away…the Helper will come to you.”

John 7:37-39 says, “…He spoke of the Spirit, whom those that believed would receive…for the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Answer…Jesus is talking to His disciples who are already “born again”. Water signifies salvation and the Holy Spirit signifies declaration/power. Two obvious works of the Holy Spirit.

Question #2 - "Isn’t this evil or of the devil?"

Acts 2:2 says, “…and they were all in unity and suddenly there came FROM HEAVEN…”

Answer…The origination of this gift came in a prayer meeting and from God!

Acts 8:19 says, “…give me this power…” (spoken by a pagan magician)

Answer…Speaking of Simon, the sorcerer, if it came from hell or was evil, don’t you think that as a sorcerer he would have known of this?

Luke 11:9-13 says, “…how much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask…”

Answer…Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above!

Question #3 - "Isn’t it just for the apostles?"

Luke 24:49 says, “…Behold, I send the Promise of My Father…”

Answer…It came from God, through Jesus. It was not an apostolic gift, it was messianic!

Acts 2:38-39 says, “…repent and let each one of you receive…for the promise is for you and your children…and as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

Answer…The apostolic age ended when the apostle’s died off (around the first century). But Peter said it was for all who are to come.

Acts 19:3-5 talks of “the baptism of John…” and “…the baptism of Jesus…”

Answer…If it were for the apostle’s only it would have been of John only. But since Jesus is the originator (yesterday, today, and forever), it must be for all time and for all mankind.

Is healing for today? Is prophecy for today? Is salvation for today? To answer yes is to confirm the role of the Spirit in each of these vital areas in America also. We must be people who are listening to and following the presence of the Holy Spirit today. In doing so, we will be much more effective at the work God ahs called us to.

Is our idea of the Holy Spirit likened to a Pigeon or a Dove?