Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pentecostalism Rubs Off

Ecclesiology was one of my postgraduate subjects: the doctrine of the Church. It was very interesting to me to discover how much my minstr(ies) have shared with Pentecostalism, or how much Pentecostalism has rubbed off. One may easily overlook it. The Pentecostal stereotype is those who speak in tongues, make a loud noise, and so on. Actually the movement is characterised by a whole raft of features:
• Beliefs re justification, sanctification, and the last days
• Policy re autonomy of the local Church, the priority of the Body, the priesthood of believers
• Praxis re the divine Presence, an emphasis on lived experience, a flexible liturgy, maximum participation, and indigenous principles.
Yet my own ministr(ies) have contrasted with Pentecostalism through de-emphasising tongues, healing, and the dramatic. OBSERVATION: Most "Pentecostal" features, as here described, were in fact Congregational Church features before Pentecostalism came along, but some of these features were lost along the way. I think we have a lot to thank the Pentecostal Church for, even if we can't follow them all the way.

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