Sunday 10 January 2021

To receive the guidance and comfort of the Holy Ghost - you need to be a Christian (i.e. committed follower of Jesus Christ)

My understanding of the nature of the Holy Ghost - drawn from the Fourth Gospel primarily - is that he is the spirit of the ascended Jesus Christ. 

The Holy Ghost can potentially be accessed by anybody, anywhere, at any time - and will provide us with the divine guidance and comfort of Jesus Christ... But

That is to say potentially. 

In practice the Holy Ghost is only 'accessible' to Christians; because, to understand and respond appropriately to guidance and comfort, entails that we know the identity and motivations of the source of communication. 

When a non-Christian accesses the Holy Ghost, seeks and receives a communication; then the guidance and comfort is Not acknowledged to be from our Saviour - but from some-one or some-thing else. 

How a person does regard that source of communications would, presumably, vary. He might regard the communication as the voice of his conscience, memories of some earthly authority (parents, mentor, guru?), or coming from some other God or gods (like Socrates' daemon - who seems to have been an emanation of Apollo). 

Yet, if we assume that the Holy Ghost really is from Jesus Christ; then to assume that HG guidance and comfort actually come from something else is a mistake. 

Having mistaken the identity; we are then bound to misunderstand the communications: to misunderstand the authority and purpose of the communications. 

For Christians; the guidance and comfort of Jesus Christ is 'designed' for our salvation; that is, so that we personally may follow Jesus to resurrected life in Heaven. 

That purpose - and not something else - is what such guidance and comfort is for

Because if we mistake the provenance of the guidance and comfort, then we will evaluate it wrongly

For example, we might suppose it was designed to make us happier here and now, or be more successful in earthly life, or that it was supposed to gratify our desires and ambitions. 

However, knowing that the Holy Ghost speaks for Jesus, we also know that the timescale of His communications stretches across eternity; and the source will therefore understand our specific present situation in this mortal earthly life in a Heavenly context - in terms of divine plans, meanings and purposes. 


Francis Berger said...

"For example, we might suppose it was designed to make us happier here and now, or be more successful in earthly life, or that it was supposed to gratify our desires and ambitions."

This is an extremely important point! In my experience, many Christians mistakenly equate the Holy Spirit with some kind of guardian angel whose sole purpose is to improve our temporal lives by helping us out in important job interviews, providing winning lottery numbers, ensuring our children grow up to be global superstars, and so on. Sure enough, faith in the Holy Spirit dims as these earthly desires and ambitions fail to materialize.

The point you make about mortal lives within the context of eternity is definitely something Christians need to sort out. When it comes to the Holy Spirit, many have fallen into the trap reflected in the old adage about not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Thanks for bringing-out that aspect - it is absolutely vital.

Probably the main problem for Christians is to equate the temporal success of their church organization, with the workings of the Holy Ghost.

Of course, the churches have encouraged and enforced this view; and at times in the past it has been true - but here and now churches are usually little more than Christian labels stuck-onto evil-aligned corporations, locked-into The System - yet many Christians continue to work and pray for their 'success'...

And, as is the way with evil, their 'reward' for worldliness has been the all-but annihilation of Christian churches in 2020 - the more converged the church, them more thoroughly destroyed.