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. . . It has become increasingly common both in mainline denominations and in some (not all) of the more radical charismatically inclined bodies to blame all sorts of odd practices and aberrant behaviors on the Holy Spirit. Apparently, the “Holy Spirit” has caused many to flop backwards onto the floor, rained gold dust from convention center ceilings, provided golden tooth fillings and called the various leaders of Trinity Broadcasting Network to amass great personal wealth so that through their “prosperity” they might show forth the glory of God.
It seems that for all the contemporary talk of spiritual gifts (and there are indeed spiritual gifts) and spiritual power (which is real) and claims of being a spirit-filled this or a spirit filled that, the Holy Spirit has in truth been largely reduced to a religious euphemism for “what we want to do.” . . .
This is not at all to say that the Holy Spirit will not speak directly to contemporary circumstances (he does) or that he will not give guidance, strength, encouragement, discernment, rebuke, conviction, etc in a very personal and experiential way (he will). It is to say that you can be certain that if ever you hear a voice in your heart or experience a strong urge toward some action or behavior or decision that will put you in opposition to the Word of God, that that voice or experience or leading, no matter how peaceful, beautiful, and/or rapturous, is not of the Holy Spirit. . .