Years ago during an evangelical service, there was an unusual, unmistakable stirring of the Holy Spirit. The senior pastor, sensing this unwelcome Presence, spoke of non-essential matters in a rapid-fire manner. Instantly, the Spirit lifted. Mission accomplished.
This leads to pertinent questions….
How can one man quench the omnipotent Holy Spirit?
As the Holy Spirit honors the individual’s free will, He likewise honors the collective free will of a congregation. That pastor was in a place of authority by collective will; the congregation had chosen him as their agent. Thus, in every assembly, one man retains sufficient power to quench the Holy Spirit.
But why did that pastor suppress the Holy Spirit?
Suppressing the Holy Spirit is something we all have done, and most do. Only the “Spirit of Christ” can bring Jesus Christ, steadfastly, to the forefront of our thoughts, our hearts, our lives; the fact this is seldom accomplished is ample evidence most do stifle the Holy Spirit.
It should be so very, very obvious the Lord Jesus Christ is not lord of most christian gatherings. [See note.] This is not to say the Lord Jesus is not influential; He certainly is. That divine influence varies from congregation to congregation (just as it varies from christian to christian).
Is that pastor accountable to Lord Jesus for quenching the Holy Spirit?
Certainly he is…. as is the congregation. Serious remorse is forthcoming.
Neither a pastor nor a congregation can serve two masters, Jesus and denominational lords.
Evidence of serving Christ is obedience to Scripture. Evidence of serving man is obedience to traditional policies contrary, or additional, to Scripture.
What would happen if a pastor bowed to the leadership of the Holy Spirit?
He would, after ample warning from superior controllers, be replaced. Breaking ranks seriously threatens ‘the way it is’ and is therefore not tolerated.
A pastor (or anyone) choosing the governance of the Holy Spirit is actually choosing the governance of Christ. While consequences will be challenging, benefits will be enormous and eternal.
NOTE: In over four decades of christianity, I have never been in an assembly whereby the saints were solely gathered unto Christ and governed by the Holy Spirit.