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Lee Grady: The Holy Spirit is Not For Sale

J. Lee Grady, The Holy Spirit is Not For Sale: Rekindling the Power of God in an Age of Compromise (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 2010), 235 pages, ISBN 9780800794873.

The name J. Lee Grady should be familiar to those who have been part of the Pentecostal or charismatic Movements for any length of time. For a number of years now he has served as editor of Charisma, which is perhaps the most well-known magazine given to the subject of Spirit-filled life and ministry. Grady is also the author of a number of books. His most recent offering, The Holy Spirit is Not For Sale, should be of particular interest to those who are part of churches that emphasize the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. In this volume the author calls for radical change; he calls for the church to deal with the sins in her midst. He demonstrates that there have been some serious moves away from scriptural standards among those who believe in the present-day gifts of the Holy Spirit, areas of particular concern are morality, finances, and ministry practice. This book is a clear call for reformation, a return to biblical foundations.

Grady is a firm believer in the anointing and gifts of the Holy Spirit and thus he urges the church not to settle for “strange fire,” for cheap imitations of the real anointing of the Holy Spirit, or for ministers who are seriously errant in life, ministry practice, or teaching. In short, the author calls for the church to “stop the funny business.” He urges the church to have real fire: the fire of supernatural anointing, the fire of boldness, the fire of purity, the fire of integrity, the fire of humility, the fire of truth, the fire of justice, the fire of spiritual liberty, the fire of prayer, and the fire of genuine love. In the course of his writing Grady draws from the Bible, church history, and the experience of the church overseas.

What may be disturbing to some readers is that in certain cases Grady names names as he addresses various types of abuse. While this may make some people uneasy what is truly disturbing are some of the things that are actually taking place in the church. For example, in chapter 6 he refers to a minister who had a list of requirements in order to be booked for a conference. The list included: a five-figure honorarium, a $10,000 gas deposit for a private plane, a hairstylist for the speaker, a suite in a five star hotel, a luxury car to drive him from the airport to the hotel (make and model of the car were specified), and room temperature Perrier water (pages 115-116). Another example concerns a large charismatic church in Georgia in which pastors participated in sexual immorality and were encouraged by the senior pastor to participate in wife-swapping (pages 83-84). While cases like these are not typical of the majority of charismatic churches or ministers they involve prominent people. Their prominence can cause some people, who lack discernment, to believe that because these ministers “have the anointing” that what they do must be okay. The examples that Grady cites are known cases: is the abuse and corruption more prevalent than we want to admit? As the author writes about various forms of failure and abuse he takes no pleasure in them, it is clear that he is pained by them.

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Category: Fall 2010, Pneuma Review, Spirit

About the Author: John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He has written for a number of publications and is the author of four books Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers Then and Now (Xulon Press, 2008), The Power and Practice of the Church: God, Discipleship, and Ministry (J. Timothy King, 2010), Answer the Prayer of Jesus: A Call for Biblical Unity (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Dreams & Visions: Divine Interventions in Human Experience (J. Timothy King, 2012). He also served as co-editor of the book Creative Ways to Build Christian Community (Wipf & Stock, 2013). Amazon Author page. Facebook

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