I just started reading a book and it opened with a topic that I have heard many sermons on. The author describes one group of people who ignore the Holy Spirit and are focused on doctrine, proclaiming their interpretation on all points as correct. He characterizes the other group as people who ignore the Word and seek to experience the full range of supernatural experience in every gathering. He concludes that balance between these two extremes is the best. I have heard versions of this sermon many times. Balance is always recommended as the wise conclusion. A balanced diet might make sense, unless ones diet includes poison, then no amount of poison would be acceptable. The reasoning is that if we move away from extreme positions we will find a proper balance in the middle. This is only true where both extreme positions are equally amiss and in the same proportion, e.g 2+2=5 and 2+2=3 could agree correctly that 2+2=4. However, this would be a very rare situation indeed, and is not even close to contrasting the Word and the Spirit.
Others modify their presentation on balance to suggest we need both the Word and the Spirit, but they usually go on to explain how one cancels out the other or how one is really more important. I believe this makes for a pleasant sermon, that which sounds good, makes the speaker seem wise, calls for unity, but ignores the truth altogether. Yeshua’s words are not “balanced”, they are bold and extreme, they do not trade off the truth for a false unity, and they are not politically correct, but the Word is not contradictory or in conflict with itself. Those who try to divide the Word of God himself, fall into error. God is one, the Holy Trinity is one. Yeshua is the Word just as the Holy Spirit is and both are in Father God. To separate a person from his body or spirit or soul is death, even though these are distinct elements of the one person.
Rather than attempt to strike a balance it is best to call out error where it exists. For example, it is wrong to reject the supernatural presence of God; make the Word of God into a law book subject to mental assent alone, or limit the Holy Spirit. (2 Tim. 3:5; John 3:34). Significant “excesses” have more in common with apostasy than mere exaggeration. We should have nothing to do with charlatans who fake or attempt to manufacture spiritual gifts apart from the Spirit; false prophets (not just erroneous prophecies), denying the clear plain truth of the full word of God, and those who promote or exalt themselves. However, we are not to judge, but to extend grace especially in matters that have to do with our level of faith. (Rom. 13: 6-8; 1 Cor. 12: 1-30). Many people have faith in God, but it is very small and we don’t want to crush their weak faith. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.” (Matt. 12:20). That’s not to say that we should not fan the flames and spur one another on toward love and good deeds, but for the one who is weak we must do so gently.
Lord Yeshua, bring your children together in love. (Col. 3:14). Give us your heart to cry out and embrace all the promptings of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 2:29; Gal. 5:25). Let us hold firm your Word knowing that not the smallest punctuation will ever pass away until your word is accomplished. (Matt. 5:18). Let us love and seek you with all our heart, soul and mind. (Matt. 22:37).