Why do not Christians celebrate pentecost?

Why do modern Christians deny the presence of the spirit of truth that Jesus promised in John 14:17, 15:26 and 16:13? The spirits that taught the apostles starting on this day as described in Acts 2 was not a one-time promise. Why is it so hard to believe that this promise does not continue in modern times?

The moderators summarily deleted my post yesterday on this subject without reading the referenced source material. I have posted the same on Quora if any one is interested to see my opinion of this subject.

I don’t. The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian.

That would be Holy Spirit, singular not plural. And while Pentecost was the first day the Holy Spirit was given it wasn’t the last so why celebrate that?

Probably because that violated the forum rules. From the FAQ

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What Christians do this?

That’s a bit of sleight-of-hand there, Shawn. Suddenly “Spirit” changed to “Spirits”. As Bill says above, perhaps Christians accept the former, but do not follow you into the latter?

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Dear Mervin,
I am an engineer and biblical scholar so I try to be precise. Acts 2:3-4 says the following.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Since each one was filled with a holy spirit, therefore there was more than one holy spirit present, making it plural. A single spirit manifesting in each person, and speaking independently is illogical for me and violates all the laws of physics.

Reading too much in there. If God communicated with several of us at the same time (as He can) would you say He was not one, but many gods?

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Acts 2:4 says they (plural) were all filled with the pneumatos which my concordance says is singular. There is probably a plural form if God intended to say “spirits” so I will go with just the one.

Since when did the Holy Spirit become bound to the laws of physics?

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1 Corinthians 12:4: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are many varieties of services, but the same Lord …

…and this is just after Paul writes that, “…no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” [my own emphasis added to the word ‘the’]. That’s all quite ‘non-plural’ as it speaks of the Spirit.

Now I know you can find other passages where spirits may be mentioned in plural, such as in 1 John 4 where we are told to “test the spirits”, but spirits can be read in other more ordinary senses up to and including the more traditional understandings of angels / demons / principalities / powers. Nobody here that I know of is following you when you attempt to take it into the world of disembodied souls or spirits of the dead communicating back to us. Scriptures do not support you in those pursuits.

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Christians certainly do celebrate Pentecost. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentecost. There are lots of traditions.

But it’s clear from the Bible that “when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.”

John 16:13. This is singular.

Thanks.

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So these spirits are subject to the natural laws of physics? They are not supernatural?

Dear Daniel,
The laws of physics do not cease to exist after death. Supernatural does not mean “without logic” as many religious types would have you believe. A “miracle” or manifestation both follow laws - spiritual laws. Otherwise you are defining a chaotic God, and there is no evidence that God is lawless or chaotic or schizophrenic.

For me, a miracle is evidence that we do yet know all the laws of nature, not evidence of a chaotic God who can do anything He wants to, including violating His own laws.

Okay Randy, I will not debate the plurality or singularity of the spirit of truth. My question is, where is the spirit of truth teaching today, who fulfills: “He will guide you into all truth”?

There would be no confusion today in Christianity if this promise was true. Thoughts?

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Excellent question! Mr Murphy, would you say it’s more like Jesus saying that our Heavenly Father will give us all things that we ask for in His name; and James saying that if we lack wisdom, we should ask of God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault? We never get more than what we need to do the task at hand, that God would have us to do–so the “all” refers to specific things. In the “Till We Have Faces” thread, there’s a lot that the protagonist doesn’t know–but with repentance and seeking the mirror of God’s face, we learn more about ourselves and allow Him to destroy the dross and rebuild us from scratch, till we want to learn and do what only He wants us to do. What do you think?

As far as confusion–it depends on what you mean by that.

I read of a book once that summarized the reason for church splits to be excessively strong personalities in one of three directions:

  1. excessively legalistic
  2. excessively evangelistic
  3. excessively kind/loving

Each one of these was to the detriment of the others, which could be balanced.

in Orual’s case in the “Faces” thread, she thought she was right, and railed against others and the gods–then realized that she was wrong. It’s sort of a myth of repentance; but a counterplay in the book, I think, is that not only was she wrong, but the gods were kind and patient to her till she could look at herself in the mirror. It’s easy enough for us to point out the speck in our brother’s eye, but when we realize that we’ve got a plank (or that God has forgiven us more than we could ever forgive others), that we can have God’s grace to deal with our foibles. So maybe it’s not wisdom or materials we lack, but primarily actually God’s grace and patience to deal with the learning phase of this earthly toil–and that’s the foundation for becoming more like Him. Thanks for your patience (and that of others) with me.

He is in the same place He has always been, in the hearts of the believers. He is not in any human organization. Which, in case you were going there, explains why there are so many different flavors of Christianity.

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Dear Bill,
When you combine Acts 2 with the promise of John 16:13 and the test in 1 John 4, you find that the spirit of truth makes itself known to the listeners, with the image of a dove or flame above the their head. This is how the spirit of truth taught the early Christians, not just residing in each believers’ heart. When the church turned away from the spirit of truth, the “bishops” disguised themselves as being filled with the Holy Spirit by wearing garments which replicate the flame. So, again, where is this happening today?

Your premise is flawed. Many Christians celebrate Pentecost.

You run the risk of conflating Johannine/Pauline pneumatology (emphasis on identity/presence with empowerment as secondary) with Lukan pneumatology (emphasis on empowerment with identity/presence as secondary).

The two perspectives are complementary rather than contradictory. I think Luke’s theology might be better communicated through the language of “infilling” rather than “baptism.” He uses “filling” terminology throughout Acts except for his first reference (Acts 1:8), which primes us to see subsequent “fillings” through the filter of “baptism” (i.e., initiation, etc.). It’s also helpful to note that even after Pentecost, people are “filled with the Spirit.” It’s not necessarily a one-time experience, despite the claims of some pentecostals.

With a “holy spirit”? Methinks you’re heavily reading your own agenda into the text.

Here’s an extra-biblical thought-experiment.

God is not limited by time. Imagine he “plays through the timeline of the universe” uniquely for every living individual–it’s not like he doesn’t have the time to do it.

At Pentecost, he fills one individual. Then he plays through the entire universe again, and fills another individual. Etc.

It’s kind of the same answer to “how can God answer everybody’s prayers” or “give attention to every individual.” God is not limited by human constraints and the logic you are imposing does not apply.

Given that there is a completely different source for the origin of the mitre (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitre#Byzantine_empire), do you have any evidence to support your claim that this headgear is a disguise designed to mimic the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence? Where did this information come from?

How could there possibly be an excess of kindness or love? You can distort love excessively, but true love and true kindness is never something there is “too much of.” An example: it is not “kind” or “loving” to protect your child from harm to detriment of his/her development. That simply isn’t “love.” It’s a distortion or parody of love that has more to do with the hidden self-interest of the parent than the well-being of the child.

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So, GOD himself is likewise subject to the laws of physics?

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Funny, but 1 John 3:24 says, “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”

And you might want to do a little research on the Bishop’s mitre as it didn’t start out in this shape.

that was a question I wondered about too–I think that the author argued that it’s being so nice to someone that they didn’t care about the rules and included ignoring something that would be detrimental to them (eg bad heresy). I don’t recall what I read on that frankly.