A few final thoughts for my Pentecostal friends …
I recommend that we continue to be unapologetic about our Pentecostal roots and its distinctive values, while clearly communicating the strengths and weaknesses we see in this movement and our response to them.
Referring to ourselves as “Pentecostal” can be helpful for those Christians who are seeking a tribe to identify us with. However, we should all take steps to clarify our uniqueness. In fact, why don't we all make efforts to seek to model what potentially could be a more balanced and biblical brand of Pentecostalism without some of the baggage this movement has accumulated over recent decades.
However, let's not get overly caught up with the label "Pentecostal" (it literally means "50" and I'm not that old yet!). It is interesting to note that most denominations are named after a single issue: Baptists (baptism), Presbyterians (eldership rule), Methodists (Wesley’s method), Salvation Army (evangelism), and Pentecostals (the baptism of the Holy Spirit). Maybe it's time we all modeled a broader and more balanced approach rather than be labeled by a single doctrine.
Finally, let's continue to seek to pattern our beliefs and practices after the teaching of Jesus and the apostles as recorded in the New Testament. May we all experience a fresh Pentecost as the Spirit empowers us once again for kingdom purpose!
P.S. For a copy of these posts on 'Pentecostalism' in WORD format, including references in footnotes, click here. Please feel free to pass this around as I hope it generates some good healthy dialogue and discussion.