Another relatively straightforward and non-controversial topic today, except insofar as it lays the groundwork for an extremely controversial topic next week. I think, like the earlier “Growing in Christ,” doctrine, the concept that the Holy Spirit gives us gifts to be used in service for God and others is such a basic assumption of the Christian life that it probably doesn’t even need to be in a statement of any church’s official doctrines (not that there’s anything wrong with it being there). I do think there are some interesting questions to be raised and discussed around spiritual gifts, some of which I try to touch on very briefly in this video. For example: What’s the relationship between our spiritual gifts and our natural talents? Are they one and the same? Also, how do we explain the fact that some of the gifts that seemed most impressive and important in the early church — miraculous healing comes to mind as the obvious example — are so rarely witnessed in the church today? While I don’t believe any of these are major doctrinal points, they are certainly worth some Bible study and discussion.
However, I believe the main reason we as Adventists have a Fundamental Belief about spiritual gifts is that we have another Fundamental Belief — #18, the Gift of Prophecy — that is extremely difficult for non-Adventists — and even for some church members — to accept. In order to even begin talking about that, a foundation needs to be laid whereby we can talk about what spiritual gifts are and how they are used. So belief #17 is setting a context for belief #18 and I’ll be back next week to talk about that — with visual aids! It’ll be fun, I promise. Controversial, but fun.