Sometimes I am surprised at human nature. I am not sure why. We all are human and sinful by nature prior to salvation; however, I am most surprised by those that say they are saved and born again that still act as though they are in fact sinners. Those that "belong" to some traditional denominational churces can surprise me the most.
My husband and I had been attending a local church for a number of months a few years ago. I won't call out the denomination and I will not reveal the name of the church, since it is a local church to me. The pastor and his wife visited us one night and we had a nice discussion with them, I thought. We shared our belief in the fact that God still performs miracle healings. We shared our belief that speaking in tongues was for the believers of today as much as the early church. We shared our belief that without that baptism in the Holy Spirit, we were not ready to be sent out to share the Gospel of the Kingdom. The pastor and his wife were pretty quiet and didn't say very much. After they left, I told my husband it was nice of them to stop by. I really appreciated a personal visit from the pastor and his wife. This was a Friday evening.
Sunday morning when we went to church, we had a good worship time. The pastor was not preaching because he was out of town, so the associate pastor delivered the day's sermon. My husband and I sat in stunned silence as we listened to the associate pastor talk about "those" people that believe in speaking in tongues and miracle healings. We sat and listened to him ridicule and openly mock what our Bible tells us to be Truth. He made comments such as people that believed speaking in tongues was okay and for today must be lacking intelligence. He made comments such as God doesn't perform miracles anymore and if anyone saw such miracles then they needed to warn others because it was a false god performing the signs and wonders. He had the entire congregation of probably 100 - 200 people laughing at the very things we had shared with the senior pastor and his wife just two days before. We did not return to this body of 'believers.'
Is there any wonder the Body of Christ is divided?
Any pastor that is shepherding a flock of believers needs to be aware that he will be held accountable for what he teaches. The whole Bible is God's inspired Word. Not just the parts we like or the parts we understand. But the WHOLE Bible. 1 Corinthians clearly states the impartation of the Gifts of the Spirit to believers by the Holy Spirit. In fact, verse 11 below states it is ONE and the SAME SPIRIT that workes all these things.
1Co 12:8 - For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom; and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 - and to another faith by the same Spirit; and to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 - and to another workings of powers, to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues.
1Co 12:11 - But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing separately to each one as He desires.
Heb 2:1 - Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Heb 2:2 - For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and if every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward,
Heb 2:3 - how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by those who heard Him;
Heb 2:4 - God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with different kinds of miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
God bore witness by doing these things according to His own will. How can we neglect the things the apostles reported and taught in the New Testament...in the Word of God? How can we not pay earnest heed to those things? Should we not be teaching these things in order to help equip the saints? To aid in the building of living stones together?
When things are taught from the pulpit, the congregation believes them. The pastor, shepherd, teacher, preacher is a person of authority and a spiritual leader in the congregation so therefore his word is taken at face value. When mockery and condemnation are taught from the pulpit, the people will then believe it to be okay in the name of righteousness. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ and the leadership placed in positions of authority within the Body should be emulating His example. Are you?