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.

14 thoughts on “Pentecostalism (Pt.4)

  1. If an entire denomination is named after a single issue [eg. Baptists > (adult) Baptism] … What happens if they got it wrong?
    Just a thought. 🙂

  2. Hey Richard (LF), no denomination can get salvation wrong, now can they? At least all agree that God’s saving grace is available to all those who repent & believe Christ Jesus for their salvation by being baptised in His name. We should not get so bogged down on doctrinal issues to miss God’s overall big picture & plan of salvation. I think that Mark has explained it all very well. Hope your Perth weather is being kind to you. Enjoy your week 🙂
    Mark, it’s so true… you are not 50 YET, but coming close. HaHa 🙂
    Thank you for shining the light on Penticostalism & placing things into God’s persective. How true. We need to employ the full counsel of Jesus Christ, according to His Word in the Bible, & not go off on a tangent to compromise our faith with a mixture based on worldview or paganism. We can learn alot from the mistakes made in the Old Testament, as we move forward, in the New Testament, by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, & grow in maturity through Jesus, to faithfully serve God by sharing His love to bless others, while holding onto our hope in Jesus, & looking toward that eternal city, the New Jerusalem… our real glorious home in Eternity. God’s work will continue till then… HMMmmm? No Christian is ever retired from serving God, until his very last breath. Hey? 🙂
    Mark, I totally agree with your wise and balanced view. Thank you.
    May we all learn and grow together in love and in unity to build God’s Kingdom, as we lift up Jesus, who is the only hope for mankind in this hurting, broken and fallen world.

  3. Thanks for this excellent blog Mark and for putting it in word format. I have forwarded it to a few friends already as I’m sure they will be interested in your balanced summary of the issues involved.

  4. Hi Mark,
    Your blog link has been on “Christians Tree of Life”, since the start, under the heading “City Life Bible Readings”, with regular updates on what’s the hot topic here to inform my friends worldwide 🙂
    Bottom line on this topic is: God is more interested in who we are becoming in Christ, than what brand of labels we use. What a powerful force we would become if all of us ‘Christians’ came together in love and in unity, without squabbling over trivialities that do not count for eternity.
    Isn’t it so comforting to know that God has no favourites and labels are not important to Him 🙂 May Jesus prayer in John 17 come to pass in our lifetime.
    Looking forward to your next blog article. Thanks Mark.

  5. Hi Mark,In regards to Pentecostalism, all I ask is that you read this Mark as I know you wont allow this to be posted for too long as you have deleted other challenging comments I have made recently. Cant you see that myself like countless other Christians have been chewed up and spat out by so-called Christian leaders and the like. People who call themselves Christians but are not Christ like at all. That is why we especially need MORE of the WORD OF GOD in the preaching to bring restoration and healing to Gods hurting people. Is there anything wrong with that? I believe we also need more than ever, the freedom of the GIFTS to be utilised WITHIN the corporate gatherings to enable people to be ministered to by the power of God. For example How long has it been since a prophecy has been shared up the front of the Church for people to be ministered to? You say, thats for lifecare groups, but what do you do when many lifecare leaders are not suffiently equipped and trained to be able to move in these gifts properly. I know that it just doesnt happen. Jesus Himself does really care about the lost, hurt and bleeding sheep. Why dont you care? I know you wont reply. from Pete Jones

  6. Hi Pete
    This blog is open to comments, as long as they abide by the blog’s guidelines clearly spelt out at the top right hand side of the blog. When comments don’t follow these guidelines, they are deleted. Thankfully, that happens rarely, as most people are here to engage in constructive dialogue.
    Thanks for your questions about the use of the Bible in preaching and also about prophecy. I’ll answer these later today when I am at home.

  7. One of our values at CityLife is the Bible. That’s why we’ve had our congregation read through the NT in 2007, the OT in 2008 and we’re following monthly readings and themes this year. Not sure when you last visited, Pete, but of late we’ve done weekend series on the Sermon on the Mount and now Ephesians.
    Our weekend meetings use a ‘pastoral teaching’ approach as we’re reaching both Christians and those who are searching. In addition we have more indepth teaching in our LIFETRAX courses as well as more theological training in our Ministry Trax ministry.
    Of course, the number of Bible verses quoted or mentionioned in a sermon aren’t the only indicator of the Biblical content.
    We aren’t a perfect church, that’s for sure … but we’re seeking to grow in our love for and obedience to God’s Word.

  8. Prophecy … an interesting topic. Unfortunately, for some Pentecostal churches it is tied to a liturgical tradition that includes words such as “Yea, verily and thus says the Lord.”
    Prophecy is essentially a revealing of the heart and mind of God by the Spirit. When spoken out, it is for the purpose of strengthening, encouraging and comforting (see 1 Cor.14).
    I believe that all we do should be ‘prophetic’. Jesus only said and did what he saw the Father doing. So in any gathering, a prayer could be prophetic, as could a song, a Scripture or a sermon. God can be at work through all these things and this is what we pray and believe for.
    Large gatherings aren’t easy places for everyone to contribute from the microphone. You don’t see it with Jesus and the 1000s he spoke to or in the book of Acts, where the church in Jerusalem quickly grew to over 5000 people. That’s why a small group environment is so important as it does create a context for mutual sharing, discussion and ministry – something important for our Christian faith.

  9. Pete, As you stated…you are a hurting Christian. There are so many of them around nowadays.It is good to see that you are not afraid to communicate with other Christians.Many Christians are getting hurt in this post modern age as many Shepherds within the Churches are not willing to take the time to really listen to their hurting sheep and therefore are mostly very quick to give theological answers to their statements, as they dont seem to have the compassionate heart to minister to them adequately.It is my suggestion that you dont look to any man, woman or Shepherd to heal and restore you….but look to the one who will give you the time, ears and compassionate heart to do so….The Lord Jesus Christ.

  10. i have really enjoyed reading your notes on the pentecostal church – am relieved,on your well balanced thoughts/ideas. I remember some years ago attending the richmond temple,when everyone was manic – speaking in tongues,and people were at the microphone – my children were frightened. it was not a place of peace and calm, it was not a place I could take a new christian to. (4 pete). I agree that life groups are places where the gifts can be used, should be used. God speaks to us individually – that needs to be checked out,agreed with – discernment is needed(is that how u spell it>?)
    Nicole a little while ago, said sorry on behalf of the churches that have hurt – it was then i decided to join city life, and leave my past church. I cannot tell you how liberated I feel. ( i have come to the conclusion that i was at a very sick church.)
    I also wouldnt want the services to go any longer than they do.
    I am so happy that I am at city life knox 🙂
    and I feel HOT for GOD.again.

  11. I am an editor for Christian.com which is a social network dedicated to the christian community. As I look through your web site I feel a collaboration is at hand. I would be inclined to acknowledge your website offering it to our users as I’m sure our Pentecostal audience would benefit from what your site has to offer. I look forward to your thoughts or questions regarding the matter.
    Vicky Silvers

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