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Pentecostalism is it biblical or just part of the Con?
July 5, 2008 – 1:39 am
The initial correspondence below arose from a reading of Philip Powell’s article which is also available as an hyperlinked Word Document on request from CWM.
Statement by Philip L. POWELL:
I have met a number of former Pentecostals who have turned away from the faith of their fathers or of their own youth and have renounced everything associated in any way with Pentecostal teaching and practice on account of the extremes of our time. The movements known as the “Toronto Blessing” and/or the “Pensacola Outpouring” with the outlandish manifestations plus the TV “con artists” such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others like them, have made major contributions to this state of affairs. We at Christian Witness Ministries (CWM) sympathise with the sentiments of those who have rejected everything associated with “Pentecost” so why then do we still hold fast to Pentecostal tenets of faith?
The following is an email which was mailed to our CWM site in late June 30, 2008 followed by responses. The author agreed to these being published in the hope that the paper trail would help other people in these confusing and faith denying days.
Response to A Different Movement with the Same Name
I read your article entitled The UK Assemblies of God – A Different Movement with the Same Name. I appreciated your honesty. In many ways I related to your frustration at the blindness of fellow Pentecostals. But I have taken my own journey one step beyond…I have renounced…
I was born and raised Pentecostal…I read every Word Faith book I could get my hands on, every new book about visions, people taking trips to heaven, every healing ministry and anything else in the supernatural realm. I could never quite reconcile many of these stories with the Bible, which I read very regularly.
And then one day a false prophet came to town. When he took my hand and prophesied over me, I felt ecstasy for about 2 hours… and then reason returned.
I started analysing the prophecies and realized that the man was totally blasphemous, and he was twisting and manipulating the Word to flatter everyone…oh and he charged for his prophecies…$5 per person, I believe, although someone else paid the bill.
Anyhow, I was astonished that the church elders were immovable in their acceptance of this man…their criteria? One of the elders said that he had told him something that not even his wife knew and that since only God can know our thoughts, he had to be of God. So in the end, humiliated, I left the church. But not Christ…
My life as I had known it went up in smoke. And after the smoke settled…there was only the Word of God which I could trust…still standing strong in the midst of it all.
I have put 10 years distance between me and that experience, and ten years of unlearning so many erroneous teachings. I have decided that I was just a product of what the Pentecostal Assemblies taught me…very little Word and very much mysticism. I didn’t even really understand mysticism until I got away from it.
And one mystical experience is no different from another. I had to face the hard fact that I had to give up ALL that false teaching because we now have a more sure word of prophecy…in Christ…I determined to know nothing but Christ crucified… No more tongues, prophecies, visions, dreams, 5 fold ministries, Word Faith nonsense, Morning Star occult practices, falling under the power and you name it, I read it, I’ve done it…stuff…and yes I have also read all the Azusa Street beginnings and followed Oral Roberts, Morris Cerullo, William Branham and a hundred others. I am not a young chick…but much wiser now.
My point? In my book, Pentecostalism is as much a cult as Todd Bentley’s charismatic movement… and yes there are Christians among us…but God is not in these movements…he is in his Word.
Whatever we discern, we discern by the Holy Spirit speaking through His Word and that gives a stability and confidence that no vision or supernatural experience could ever give. For what it’s worth…I give you my conclusions.
Sincerely, CG – USA.