Legalism and Intellectualism

There are two things in today’s church that can stop the new wine from flowing. Both of these oppose the reintroduction of apostles and thus the fresh move of the Holy Spirit and the new wine. They are legalism and intellectualism. Legalism and intellectualism cannot remain operational when God’s people begin to bring the supernatural and walk in the power of God. The new wine and legalism/intellectualism are opposed to each other.

This is not to say that those who accept the move of the spirit live without rules or regulations. It is not to say that we don’t read, study, and are against learning more. It is saying that if a person or a church (even a movement or denomination) needs rules made by man to allow people to be controlled and to keep them feeling safe and secure – good with God and accepted by their church – then they will not welcome the new wine. The new wine brings freedom from man’s rules, regulations, and traditions and usually brings with it new ways of functioning, organizing, and ministering. Life takes on a new freedom and often an uncertainty as we follow the leading of the Spirit and a legalistic approach to the faith simply cannot embrace this freedom. The new wine is embraced relationally and not legalistically.

As well, often those who need to understand everything and approach every aspect of the faith rationally do not welcome the new wine, the move of the Holy Spirit, or something new or renewed like the ministry of apostles and the apostolic/missional approach to church life. It simply does not “make sense” to them. And, it is true, not everything in the spirit realm makes sense and the supernatural cannot always be understood. However, this does not mean that those who are involved in the new wine are uneducated and don’t read. it simply means that they value information and education (so read and study) but can approach and embrace the moving of the Holy Spirit without having to first understand it fully.

So, among the many enemies of the new wine – tradition, dispensationalism, denominationalism, apathy, lethargy, laziness, and neglect… legalism and intellectualism are, in my mind, the two that will lead the opposition against the current move of the Spirit and the reintroduction of the role and ministry of apostles. And, they are firmly entrenched in many churches often in ways that the non-leaders are amazingly unaware that they are even there and that they form such a non-biblical filter for life in the Spirit.

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