Why Do People Deny Spiritual Gifts?

After reading yet another article attacking various ministries and denying spiritual gifts, I felt the need to share some thoughts. I do not post the original article, because again my purpose is not to ridicule or embarrass the author. But hopefully this might help somebody with questions in this area.

You know its interesting, most of the Saducees and Pharisees, the church leaders and intellectuals of Jesus’ time, thought he was the devil, and did not believe in the resurrection, and claimed the miracles of Jesus were satanic. Sound familiar?

After the Holy Spirit was released, the established church persecuted the believers, even going so far as to round them up and kill them. It might be wise to remember Gamaliel’s wise words to the Sanhedrin in this instance: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men…I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:34-39 NIV)

There are certainly devil-inspired charlatans and deceptive practices/movements in the world. But praying in the Spirit/tongues is scriptural. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is most definitely scriptural. Spend some time in the New Testament, especially Paul’s letters, and there is no denying this. In fact, it would take a theologian (a modern day pharisee) to argue against this.

Believe what you will, but here is my story. I grew up in a home with two loving, spirit-filled Christian parents. I witnessed many miracles and gifts of the Spirit operating in their life and my own through their intercession. It would take many paragraphs to share the miraculous events in my life. It was God moving in a spectacular way for my family in answer to prayer and in response to faith that He will do what we ask. As I have grown in the Word, I have been blessed many times by faith in God’s Word. God’s Word is true and full of life. But if you read it as a mental exercise and/or spend no time meditating on it, you will never truly HEAR it with your spirit and faith comes from hearing the Word of God.

Satan can operate even in Christians if they yield to his promptings and temptation. When I see articles like this or run across ministries that are completely focused on “exposing” other ministries – i.e. not walking in love, I question who is their spiritual father. It is definitely not the Holy Spirit because God is love.

And frankly, why be a Christian when you continually believe Him to be unwilling or unable to fulfill all of His promises in your life? What faith can you have in an impotent god? I attended a dead church for far too long. It sounded like God was a big lottery – maybe He will, maybe He will not, who knows what God will do? How can you have faith in that!? God wants you to trust Him and His Word. You can’t have true fellowship without trust (faith).

In John 10:10 – Jesus said Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give me life in abundance, to the full, until it overflows (paraphrase of AMP). I take God at His Word and desire/want/enjoy everything He promises His children. He is my Heavenly Father. Why would He not want the very best for His kids including spiritual gifts to better communicate/interact/fellowship with God who is Spirit?

I guarantee you one thing, you will never receive what you write/speak/preach against. You will destroy whatever faith you might have that way.

Have you ever really read the account of Peter ministering to Cornelius and his household? (Acts 10)
Peter had a spiritual vision. He had been filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and was operating in the gifts of the Spirit. Cornelius had seen an angel. He was not born again or Spirit filled yet, that is why an angel had to visit him, but the angel could not preach the gospel. Cornelius had to send for Peter. Peter began preaching the Word and the entire household and guests, were born again and filled with the Holy Spirt – the evidence – Peter AND the Jewish believers HEARD them praying in a spiritual language and praising God.

Peter even says that God does not show favoritism after witnessing these new believers operating in spiritual gifts. Later Paul tells us that God never changes. If Cornelius and his entire household, including guests, could be filled with the Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues, why could this same gift not be manifest in the present day? Has God changed? Has the Holy Spirit changed? Or has the church preached against it so much that few people believe anymore?

I find it a little funny that the Jewish believers that came with Peter were “astonished” that the Holy Spirt filled these new Gentile believers. Even born again spirit-filled believers still have to renew their mind and get rid of racism, religious dogma and other demonic influences that hinder faith and love.