Hello. I just wanted to let you know that I think the new web site looks real nice and express my gratitude for the work you do.
I do have a question that has been bothering me for a while, and although I've searched your archives for a response, I'm hoping you can help clarify it better. My family has moved to a new church of Christ in the last year. After speaking with some of the members, we have come away with the impression that they think the Holy Spirit is the Bible (instead of the "sword of the spirit" Ephesians 6:17). My question is how do I respond to this? As newer members we are in the minority in our beliefs and there is not an eldership in place in which to address this issue. Do we continue to just ignore it and hope they come to the truth or should we openly address it?
Thank you for your time and again for your good work.
My suspicion is that there is more to this story, but I can't guess what. I have never run across people in the church who don't understand that the Holy Spirit is one of the Godhead. Perhaps it is a case of misunderstood terminology.
What people often do in the denominations is assume that when the Bible says the Spirit does something that it always means he operates directly. They forget to look to see how things are accomplished. People get really disappointed when they learn that much of the Spirit's activity in our life is accomplished through the Bible which he gave to mankind through the apostles and prophets. See The Work of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps, in knowing that the Spirit's work is mostly through the Word of God, some there have misunderstood and thought what is meant is that the Spirit is the Word of God. What you need to do first is understand better what is being taught, why it is taught and what passages are being used. Then it will be easier to correct whatever misunderstanding has arisen.
"But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" (II Timothy 2:23-26).