WELL… maybe it’s because we modernist christians now perceive that the holy spirit primarily speaks/reveals via our individual emotions/feelings/subjective thoughts; ie stuff flitting around in our heads, dreams, gut instincts, emotions… our subjectivity. Or that God speaks primarily through the individual’s inner life. (how American is that!) If that’s the case, no wonder we’re mired in the things that could be broadly characterized under disunity. When it’s “everyone hearing/doing what is right in their own ‘individualized, subjective senses'”…. No wonder you get these: fragmentation, instability, chaos, shallowness, transience and other church life ills.
Emotionalism, the illogical/irrational, the reactionary, or the, “I Feel God telling me…” or the, “I sensed in MY spirit…” All of these individualistic, subjective ways of receiving revelation/direction seem to fuel most of the in-fighting. I think a study of church history with this in mind, could be revealing. Is it possible that we often or sometimes replace the “Spirit” with our own human “senses” and inclinations, corresponding with our american culture’s emphasis on privatized, individualistic habits? Maybe if we thought more of the Holy Spirit working through things outside of our subjectivity – things like Bible scholarship, church history/Tradition, older, seasoned saints, healthy, transparent, accountable denominational structures… Then maybe there would be more unity? (I’m NOT speaking of conformity, but diverse, yet not so fragmented…)
What if we paraphrased a famous Biblical passage this way:
“But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you [the group of people] all things, and bring to your [group/church] remembrance all that I said unto you.”
Is there anything in that passage or in other passages like it, that suggest all of the Holy Spirit’s work has to flow out of the interior, subjective recesses of individuals? I wonder, maybe not…