Monday, February 09, 2009

Those Controversial Gifts of God

I am of the conviction that those who fail to exercise their God given spiritual gifts will get spiritually, emotionally and physically sick. Not as a punishment from God but as result of failing to fully utilize the spiritual energy that resides within them.

It is a mystery to me why so few ministers, ministries and churches teach about or encourage their people to discover and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is clear that the Bible teaches that every Christian has the Holy Spirit within them and that every Christian has spiritual gifts, yet George Barna, who is a top researcher on all things religious, has a report out on the confusion of Christians about the gifts. Here are a few of his conclusions.

Awareness of spiritual gifts was most common among self-described Christians who live in the South (75%) and West (71%), and least common among those living in the Midwest (63%) and Northeast (58%).

Such awareness also varied within the various segments of the self-described Christian population. For instance, 99% of evangelicals have heard of spiritual gifts, far more than the 74% among non-evangelical born again Christians and 58% among notional Christians. Similarly, there was a large gap between Protestants (75%) and Catholics (54%) in awareness.

Even within the Protestant community there was a noteworthy gap between those who attend a mainline church (68% awareness) and those who attend a Protestant congregation not associated with a mainline denomination (78%).

What do you think about the gifts? Do you believe in the gifts as outlined in I CO 12? Hit the comment button and let it fly.


stephen peele said...

I beleieve in the gifts, not only because the Word tells me they are real and useful but because I have seen, experienced, and benefitted from their operation. When we desire the best things from God we are willing to seek them and walk in them. For some of us, nothing short of a demonstration will cause us to believe and you know, God is up to that!

Gary Sweeten said...

Amen! Unfortunately, many have never seen or experienced the gifts personally so they are mysterious and frightening to them. I am happy that some leaders like you believe and practice the gifts of God.

I have an acrostic TIP that stands for Theory/Theology Into Practice. PTL for the entire enchilada.