For four years I was an Assemblies of God minister and a monk with the Brothers and Sisters of Charity at the Little Portion Hermitage. This is an excerpt from my book,Taking Off My Comfortable Clothes: Removing Religion to Find Relationship.
As an Assemblies of God minister who was also a monk in a Catholic-based monastic community, I had to do quite a bit of soul searching during my time at the Little Portion, reconciling what I have always believed and practiced with those things I was seeing practiced at the community. Our Christian principles were the same, but the practices of those principles were different. My conclusion, therefore, (and you may disagree – just be agreeable when you do so) was this: The Spirit of truth guides us into those truths that pertain to the principles of salvation. Everything else is icing on the religious cake.
At one time, I saw “truth” as if it were the period at the end of this sentence; complete, precise, and unalterably the same across the board. And naturally, my truth and the Spirit of truth were one and the same! However, after living at the Little Portion, I began to see truth more like a rainbow and less like a period. There were different colors and gradations to truth, especially when that “truth” did not have anything to do with our salvation.
Ecumenism is defined as a movement promoting union between religions, especially between Christian churches. Our unity as Christians is centered completely and solely upon Jesus and His place in our life. The purpose of the Spirit of truth is stated in John 16:14: “He will bring glory to me [Jesus] by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” The mission of the Spirit of truth is stated in John 16:8: “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” By putting these verses together, we see that the Spirit of truth comes to convict us of our sin and point us to righteousness through the judgment of our sin (i.e., Calvary), and to glorify Jesus. Anything we do in the Church that does not fall into these areas is that which does not fall under the ministry of the Spirit of truth. Continue Reading