I’ve often heard it said within Pentecostal circles that the Holy Spirit gets little recognition — even within our own Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. Of course, there’s some theological justification for this: According to Jesus’ promise in John 14:26, one of the Holy Spirit’s primary roles in the believer’s life is to direct our attention to Jesus:
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
As I was checking out a few of my unread feed subscriptions tonight, I came across a mention of the Google Trends service. This tool has been in service for quite some time, but since I was reminded of it, I thought I’d try a few comparisons out. The tool essentially shows you the trend-line for searches for the keywords you’re interested in. It doesn’t show you how many times the keyword shows up on Web pages, it shows you what the searchers on Google are looking for, over time.
The tool allows you to compare search terms on the same graph. So I plugged in “God, Jesus, Holy Spirit” to see what happened.
I was stunned.
You can see the graph under the image button in this post, or you can click through to do the search yourself.
Whatever happened to the Holy Spirit? Why are there so few people looking for information about the third member of the Godhead? Is he so uninteresting that nothing is being said, much less generating interest? It was God’s Spirit that moved on the face of the Earth to form it. It is by God’s Spirit that he works and moves in the world we see and live in. It is God’s Spirit that formed the Church. It is God’s Spirit that clothes us with power to witness and transform the world.
Why so little interest?
But, I thought, Google just shows us what people are searching for. What about references to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit in actual pages?
Okay, I thought, That’s probably consistent with the fact that the majority of web pages out there are written by non-believers and are probably commercial in nature. Maybe the blogosphere would have a different result-set? After all, Spirit-filled believers should be truly motivated to use this technology to communicate the Gospel, and surely they’ll have more thoughtfulness about the Holy Spirit?
So, I re-ran the search queries through the Google Blog Search tool:
As you can see, similar results, though Jesus fares a little less-well in the blogosphere compared to God. But, still, the Holy Spirit is getting short-shrift.
So, finally, I thought, let’s see how the PneumaBloggers fare. We’re Spirit-filled. We even identify ourselves as Pentecostal, Charismatic, or some blend of the two. Without a doubt, we’ll knock it outta the park when it comes to thinking and writing about the Holy Spirit. So I went to the PneumaSearch tool to run some queries against the PneumaBloggers in my list:
As fellow PneumaBlogger Dan Edelen recently noted:
[T]he mark of the Church must always be the Holy Spirit in us. Everything else can be copied by other religions. But they do not have the Holy Spirit. Heâ€™s the promise. Heâ€™s the seal. Heâ€™s the power!
PS: I didn’t know where the results would lead when I started my little trend analysis, and boy am I glad my fellow PneumaBloggers helped prove my assumptions true!
[tags]Assemblies-of-God, Assembly-of-God, Blog-Search, Charismatic, Christianity, Church, Counselor, God, Google-Blog-Search, Google-Trends, Holy-Ghost, Holy-Spirit, Jesus, John-14, Paraclete, Pentecostal, Pentecostalism, Pneuma, pneumatology, PneumaBloggers, PneumaBlogs, Protestant, Religion, Search-Results, Spirit, Spirit-Filled, The-Church, Trend-Analysis, Trends[/tags]