Sunday, January 20, 2008

Aborting the Holy Spirit

I think one of the most awkward situations in life is when you are talking with a woman and you cannot help but notice that she looks like she's carrying. There's that forbidden question, much like the forbidden fruit, that you just want to ask her if she is having a baby but you can't because what if she is not. I've seen it happen before and it wasn't a pretty sight.

When that roadblock is past and the lady finally reveals that she is "eating for two" these questions always seem to follow.

"Oh, do you know if it is a boy?" or "Is it a girl?"

"How far along are you?"

"When are you due?"

"How are you feeling"

"Do you feel it moving?"

Interesting in the conversation, even among some of the most ardent pro-lifers as myself, is the use of the word "it" when describing the little guy/gal inside the mom. Notice how "personhood" is never given to the baby till after the delivery. I don't know if you can blame it on 40 years of pro-abortion propaganda or wither its just the inadequacy of the English language but either way I made an interesting connection to this. Awkward, but still interesting. What other "person" do we deny, in our speech anyway, personhood to?

Do you think of the Holy Spirit as a person? I mean, let's be honest, when you first think of the Holy Spirit you think of a Dove or some crazy, Pentecostal person getting all up in arms about Tongues. I recently wrote a book review on this subject and the author coined the phrase "the accident of the English language" when describing how the old Bibles describe the Holy Ghost.

KJV: The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us. Romans 8:26

The problem with defining the Holy Spirit is that the word Spirit is by definition void of personhood. It is neuter. Therefore when dealing with a neuter noun, the appropriate pronoun is "it". This is a problem for the English, Hebrew, and the Greek because spirit is neuter in all three.

This can be overlooked by many as pure semantics but the problem does go beyond. As I showed earlier when we usually think of the Holy Spirit images of a dove, oil, FIRE, or some other impersonal, inanimate object flood are cognition. However, that is clearly not the case in Scripture because the Holy Spirit is a person who thinks, talks, dwells, feels emotions (weird one to think about), and finally abides in believers. Scripture points clearly,even if language does not, that the person of the Holy Spirit is a person.

It is interesting then that many who poke fun at Christians for believing in a God who is "three persons" but still "wholly God" are also the ones to tell us that a "fetus" is not a person. They gawk at our defining of personhood but then do the same thing they are gawking at by defining personhood so loosely that they can justify killing an unborn child. Because if the "it" became a "he/she" then it becomes a whole other situation. When we shift our thinking from "it" to "he/she" it demands a change. When we consciously stop "aborting" the Holy Spirit and realize He is a person that is meant to be a part of our lives, things begin to change. Life changes. Instead of the impersonal, you have a person. Instead of the inanimate, you have the animate. Instead of victimless crimes, you have a person to hurt. Instead of loneliness, you have a friend. When *it* changes, everything changes.

Let's hope *it* changes.


"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14