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Synonyms: Pharisaical; religious spirit; jezebel; disloyal; touching God’s anointed; too much Word, not enough Spirit;  Absalom spirit…

And I’m sure there are more.

These epithets are often thrown at the person who dares to question; the person who reveals contradiction between the currently hot book and the scriptures; the person who asks if what was implied was what was meant to be conveyed.

The person who does not jump into every fad that sweeps through the congregation is seen as somehow less attune to the Spirit, less able to ‘let go and let God,’ uptight, overly cautious, less prophetic, less gifted. This person may even be forever labeled and outcast as rebellious, factious, and unwilling to submit to the ‘pastor’s vision.’

In a recent post to another commenter, I stated, “If anyone even implies that honest questions are rebellious, run away as fast as you can. They do not know the power of God.”

There is such a thing as a factious man in scripture. This is a person who stirs up conflict to get attention or to cause confusion and turmoil. This is not to be confused with the believer who asks for clarification, especially clarification regarding what was said or taught and how that lines up with scripture.

God is not offended by honest questions and neither are real men and women of God. The truth of God can stand up to scrutiny. How is a believer to learn and grow if they cannot ask questions? How is a person to learn discernment and rightly handling the Word of truth without a fair discussion including questions?

Scripture does teach us about quenching the Spirit in 1 Thessalonians 5. The context of the verse is to appreciate elders in the congregation, to be at peace with others, to remain thankful, to pray, to not despise prophecy, but also to be sober and understand the times, and to examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; and  abstain from every form of evil.

There is nothing in this passage and the admonition to not quench the Spirit which suggests you should ignore any reservations you have and spontaneously jump into any practice promoted at your church. I am particularly disturbed when I hear preachers from the pulpit bully members of the congregation into joining into some kind of song or declaration or practice under pressure of time, such as “if you don’t come up here now, you’re going to ‘miss’ the move of God,” etc.

For more resources on this topic, you might want to check out the following articles:
The Prophetic Calling of Every Believer
Quenching the Spirit
How the Seeker Sensitive Movement Quenches the Holy Spirit

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