While I am working (currently night shift 5 of 7) I have been busy collecting quotes on the "Pentecostal/Charismatic Postit Notes" blog. I am constantly amazed at what an incredible resource the New Wine Magazine is because that is where most of them have come from. The five teachers who wrote most of the magazine really did seem to have had a mature understanding and outlook into the Kingdom of God - which is why it is essential that the New Wine Magazine doesn't get lost in the dusty portals of time!
By the way some new editions have been added to the online Archive here so it is worth checking regularly if you have read all of them like me!
These two quotes by Ern Baxter on the Holy Spirit really stirred me. The first speaks of the general ignorance of the Person of the Holy Spirit (that I think still persists today despite the interest in charismatic life).
"The spiritual revitalizing we have been experiencing across the earth in recent years has indicated that great cross sections of the professing Christian community have been and yet are living in considerable ignorance of the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit and of the glorious possibility of being personally related to Him in meaningful experience".
The second quote draws a disturbing parallel that I have never really considered before - the danger of systematising or institutionalizing the Holy Spirit.
"It was not until the beginning of the fourth century that the Christian community got around to any extensive definition of the Holy Spirit. It is also interesting that by this time the supernatural and charismatic manifestation of the Holy Spirit had receded considerably. This shows the danger of reducing God, Christian experience and even the Bible to systematic definitions suitable to intellectual forms while not retaining vital relationship to God through the Holy Spirit".
Let us beware of reducing the Holy Spirit and His marvellous ministry and Presence among us to simple theological definitions and attempts at cerebral understanding and boxing. He is God and is worthy of our worship and praise and adoration and welcome among us! Speaking of worshipping the Holy Spirit - the Bluefish drew attention to something that Rob Rufus did at Brighton that slightly bothered me. Rob asked us to sing the old classic song "Father - Son - Spirit we adore You" but asked us to sing the refrain;
"Spirit we love You, we worship and adore You ... glorify HIS Name".
The point was that the Spirit doesn't draw attention to Himself but points it to Jesus. This is true but it is a familiar argument to me from my home church and has proved to be the beginning of the road towards limiting the Holy Spirit's work and eventually quenching Him and ignoring Him. I was encouraged to read in the transcripts of the Westminster Conference 2006 (which certainly wouldn't claim to be charismatic in any sense!) the following quote;
"Thus we are distinctly to worship the Holy Spirit and in doing so we worship the whole Trinity. This reminds us of the statement about the Spirit in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed - "who together with the Father and Son is worshipped and glorified".