Is It Acceptable To Praise (Worship) The Holy Spirit

Recently I heard two really beautiful songs, "Come Holy Spirit (Fall On Me)" as well as "Come Holy Spirit (Fall Afresh On Me)". Lovely tunes, really made my heart soar, but then one of my uncles took a look at the songs and shook his head, and said they were 'wrong'.

"We don't worship the Holy Spirit," he said, "We worship God the Father and that's it. The Holy Spirit is the Counsellor given to us to help us and guide us, not for us to worship. Sure, you can pray to Jesus, but it's explicitly clear that we worship God the Father alone,"

Hmmm... Now, I know there's probably someone out there with the issue, "Do I pray to Jesus or God the Father?" But for this topic I'd like to discuss the very 'simple' question: Is it acceptable to sing songs that praise the Holy Spirit?

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Greg, yes, it is nice to be able to talk about 'worshipping the Spirit' in these dialogues. I had forgotten all about this discussion and have enjoyed reading the comments.

James, looking back at the comments I've just realised that I had mentioned the use of 'it' on the first page.  It bugged me then and I'm afraid I have not relented - it still bugs me now!  What gets me is that prayers are produced, approved and given out at church which often refer to the Holy Spirit as 'it' and I'm asking myself 'hasn't anyone picked up on this'?

Perhaps it's the whole uncomfortable thing of our language, after centuries and centuries and Dr. Johnson and Noah Webster and a thousand linguists, still not having a decent pronoun to describe a person in a ungendered way.  So you have some saying "God" fourteen times in a sentence, others insisting on "He", and some incredibly silly folk alternating the gender every few times; others yet try to coin new pronouns or combinations, as "heesh", "he/she", or I suppose you could go back to the old-fashioned "one." ("one is not going to wait forever for one's happiness, is one?", as Harold Hill ventured), to the delight of the audience in Music Man).

One of my pastors simply says, "Holy Spirit", instead of "The Holy Spirit."  There is some Biblical backing for this.  Acts 2:4 omits the article "the" in the Greek, and John's Gospel is about half-and-half on using "the."  Then again, the Gospels often refer to "The Jesus" and "The God", and in Greek, Judas' name starts with a capital J, but God's always uses a small "d."  So take that for what it's worth!

But I'm all for killing "it" mercifully and finding a better way to express ourselves about the Holy Spirit.

...and this, which I just picked up, a quote from Paul Brand ("In His Image") quoting Dorothy Sayers, quoting an apocryphal Japanese gentleman: "Honourable father, very good; Honourable Son, very good; but Honourable Bird I do not understand at all."

Lorraine Doswell said:

Greg, yes, it is nice to be able to talk about 'worshipping the Spirit' in these dialogues. I had forgotten all about this discussion and have enjoyed reading the comments.

James, looking back at the comments I've just realised that I had mentioned the use of 'it' on the first page.  It bugged me then and I'm afraid I have not relented - it still bugs me now!  What gets me is that prayers are produced, approved and given out at church which often refer to the Holy Spirit as 'it' and I'm asking myself 'hasn't anyone picked up on this'?

You and me both.  I was reading the quote expecting something really inspiring but 'Honourable Bird' I just don't get.

The Dove descending (Jesus' baptism, and the many pictures of the Holy Spirit, such as the logo for Maranatha! Music).

I love the symbol of the Dove and often use it myself but strangely enough when 'Honourable Bird' was mentioned the Dove never crossed my mind and I'm not sure why, as it should have done.

It's such a weird antimetaphor, I looked at it and said "what?" at first.  I wouldn't be surprised if Dorothy Sayers had invented the apocryphal saying herself!

But there are many times I am struggling desperately to figure out a joke (though sitting at the potluck-table I have dutifully laughed) or a comment, when someone asks me a question about it, requiring me to have understood the original joke.  I'm toast!

So I am very glad for social media, in which an instant or visible response is unneccessary.

I'm thinking 'The Emperor's New Clothes' on this quote : )

Like waking up during a dull sermon when the pastor says, "Can you give me a big Amen?"  and having no idea of what he was saying, raise my hand halfway and mumble amen.

Ha, oh how I love honesty : )

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