Pentecostalism’s Dark Side

By Roger R Olson

 

I was raised in a tiny Pentecostal denomination, the Open Bible Standard Churches, founded in part by disillusioned followers of 1930s revivalist Aimee Semple McPherson. My parents were Open Bible pastors, many of my uncles and aunts were missionaries, and one uncle served as the denomination’s president.

During my late teens and early 20s I was the quintessential Pentecostal preacher-boy. I first spoke in tongues at age 14, raised my hands in exuberant worship at revivals and camp meetings, witnessed to my friends at school and tried to convince Christian friends that they needed the “sign gift” of speaking in tongues to be fully Spirit-filled.

https://i2.wp.com/tidwellstudios.com/images/PreacherMan_lg_web.jpg

But in my high school years I began to be bothered by some Pentecostal teachings and practices. Eventually my doubts and questions led to a difficult departure from the spiritual movement of my youth; I became a Baptist immediately after graduating from a Baptist seminary at age 26. I recall breathing a great sigh of relief when I finally exited the Full Gospel movement, as we liked to call Pentecostalism. And yet, my heart was heavy because it meant leaving my spiritual home. And I knew my loved ones were all praying for me to recover my spiritual fervor.

Over the years I’ve met many other men and women who grew up in the thick of North American Pentecostalism and left it under similar circumstances and for similar reasons. Although the movement has matured since I turned in my Pentecostal credentials, it has a ways to go before it becomes a fully healthy and health-giving part of the Christian community.

I say this without rancor or bitterness, and I do not intend any harm to Pentecostal churches or individuals. The movement is still relatively young as religious movements go; I have confidence it will continue to mature. Some of my dearest friends are Pentecostals; I admire them for their passion and self-denial in the face of subtle persecution. In many places being Pentecostal is still wrongly considered tantamount to being a “hillbilly Holy Roller.” People who think that way should take a look at the parking lots of many suburban Assemblies of God churches.

In this centennial year of American Pentecostalism’s founding, however, I feel compelled to register some concerns about its enduring immaturity as a movement. Some non-Pentecostal religious scholars, such as Harvey Cox (Fire from Heaven) and Philip Jenkins (The Next Christendom), have succumbed to “Pentecostal chic” — a kind of romantic view of Pentecostalism as a much-needed spiritual movement of the poor and oppressed that fills the Western world’s “ecstasy deficit.” Missing in some of these accounts is an awareness of the movement’s dark side.

Endemic to Pentecostalism is a profoundly anti-intellectual ethos. It is manifested in a deep suspicion of scholars and educators and especially biblical scholars and theologians. Yes, there are some Pentecostal scholars who are respected outside the movement: Russell Spittler served as a dean at Fuller Theological Seminary for years; Gordon Fee taught New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver and produced highly regarded volumes in biblical studies; Amos Yong holds a Ph.D. from Boston University and teaches in the doctoral program at Regent University Graduate School of Divinity. Yet too many Pentecostal leaders hold even their own scholars at arms length and view them with suspicion. Merely being a member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies often brings a Pentecostal scholar’s commitment to the movement into question.

This is without doubt the main reason I drifted away from the movement and eventually broke from it. I was not satisfied with the pat answers I was given by my mentors and teachers to questions I had about Pentecostal doctrines and practices.

For example: Billy Graham was and is a great hero to most Pentecostals, but he says he has never spoken in tongues. Is he not Spirit-filled? My questions on this issue were deftly turned aside, and subtle aspersions were cast on my spirituality merely for asking such questions. In the end, I was told that Graham is fully Spirit-filled even if he has never spoken in tongues. He’s the one exception. But were I to take up a career teaching theology in a Pentecostal college (I was told), I couldn’t teach that there might be exceptions to that distinctive doctrine. The cognitive dissonance wrought by this and other answers boggled my mind.

Not all Pentecostals are anti-intellectual or revel in incoherence. But a deep antipathy to critical rationality applied to theology is a hallmark of the movement. Too often spiritual abuse in the form of shame is directed at those, especially young people, who dare to question the teachings of highly placed Pentecostal ministers and evangelists.

I was one of the first Open Bible members to attend seminary and, like most Pentecostals who did that, I left the movement. I felt pushed out for wasting my time on intellectual pursuits rather than becoming a missionary or evangelist. Today evangelical seminaries are full of Pentecostal youths. Many of them still find doors closed when they return to their home denominations for ordination or for leadership positions in churches. Pentecostal scholars too often have to work outside Pentecostal institutions and live in the shadows and on the margins of the movement.

Shaking off this anti-intellectual attitude won’t be easy for the movement; it is part of Pentecostalism’s DNA. A good beginning would be to draw those Pentecostal scholars who work on the margins into the movement’s centers of power and leadership. Honest and open dialogue between Pentecostal leaders and the movement’s own intellectuals — with promises there will be no negative consequences — could help shake off some of the mutual suspicion and fear that haunts their relationships. And Pentecostal leaders need to pledge never again to subject eager, faithful and intellectually inclined young people to shame merely for asking tough questions about Pentecostal distinctives.

Another part of Pentecostalism’s dark side is rampant sexual and financial scandals. From early Pentecostal leader Charles Parham to Aimee Semple McPherson to Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, the movement has been wracked by charges of misconduct, many of which have been substantiated by investigators.

In recent days a new scandal has been brewing over the conduct of Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Earl Paulk. Allegedly the Pentecostal bishop-pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit engaged in sex with several parishioners over a period of years. One accuser claims that he told her sex with him was necessary to revitalize his ministry and that he also lured her to engage in sex with a visiting pastor. Another woman brought a lawsuit claiming Paulk had sex with her when she was a teenager. Although Paulk has denied such charges and so far no verdicts have been delivered, the number and weight of the accusations add to the impression that not only Paulk but Pentecostalism has a problem with scandals.

Other Christian movements have suffered similar scandals, but Pentecostalism seems particularly rife with them. Insiders know some of the reasons. Deeply embedded within the Pentecostal movement’s ethos is a cult of personality; charismatic leaders are put on pedestals above accountability and are often virtually worshiped by many of their followers.

Too few courses in basic ethics are required in Pentecostal colleges (perhaps because many Pentecostals, especially older ones, assume that being Spirit-filled guarantees right behavior), and too many pastors handle the churches’ money and travel alone without having to account for their whereabouts or activities. It’s the movement’s own dirty little secret: sexual promiscuity and financial misconduct are rampant within its ranks, and little is done about this unless a scandal becomes public.

Several Pentecostal denominations have instituted policies to handle cases of pastoral moral turpitude and financial misconduct, but they have found those policies hard to enforce. At least one Pentecostal denomination has a policy that forbids investigation of charges that are more than five years old. One can only wonder why the leaders decided on that limit.

There is no body that regulates independent churches and ministers, but Pentecostal leaders could work harder to expose their colleagues who transgress and to warn their flocks (and others) against them. Far too much nervousness about powerful television and radio preachers infects well-intentioned and ethically sensitive Pentecostal leaders. It’s time for the movement to own up to its sometimes sleazy history and go the extra mile in cleaning house in the cases of ministers and evangelists who are less than honest and chaste. It should not be left to publications like Christianity Today and Charisma to reveal scandals involving Pentecostal ministers, evangelists and denominational executives.

Still another aspect of Pentecostalism’s dark side is its tendency to condone dishonesty on the part of influential and popular evangelists and ministers. One day I was browsing through the books at a publishers’ overstock sale and came across the autobiography of a Pentecostal evangelist who held tent revival meetings in the small Midwestern city where I grew up. I remembered his rather farfetched sermon illustrations of miraculous occurrences in his life and ministry. The book contained a chapter on a miracle that supposedly happened during his revival in our town.

When I read his account of the incident I was shocked but not surprised; I had encountered enough similar evangelistic stretchings of truth to know they are rampant in revivalist and perhaps especially in Pentecostal circles. According to the evangelist, a high wind caused by a tornado reduced buildings around his revival tent to rubble but left his tent undamaged. He even claimed that local television crews filmed the aftermath of the storm and his intact tent.

What I vividly recall is a windstorm that sent men from our church to the tent in the middle of the night; they held it down as the winds whipped its sides. But no tornado touched down near it and no buildings around it were destroyed. I would have remembered if they had been. That evangelist is probably still traveling around telling his tall tales and whipping up fervor and offerings. Denominational leaders to whom he is accountable need to challenge his exaggerations and insist on honesty. To the best of my knowledge they have not done so.

Playing fast and loose with truth is rampant in Pentecostal circles, and is excused and even joked about as “speaking evangelistically.” Numbers are inflated and stories of healings exaggerated if not invented. To be sure, many Pentecostal ministers are honest and truthful. One thinks of noted Full Gospel pastor, speaker and writer Jack Hayford, who was labeled “The Pentecostal Gold Standard” by Christianity Today. Would that all Pentecostal ministers were as squeaky clean and honest as Hayford. The movement’s leaders could do more to ensure that.

As a former insider, I know that Pentecostal leaders reading this article are defensively bristling at what they know is true about their movement. Telling it publicly either inside the movement or to outsiders is considered traitorous behavior. As one denominational leader told me, “If you see a problem among the leaders you should pray to God about it and keep it to yourself, you have no business challenging them or making it public.” This is a common attitude among Pentecostals.

A favorite Pentecostal saying is “Touch not God’s anointed” (a paraphrase of Psalm 105:15). The saying is meant to forbid criticism of the movement’s leaders. When I was a boy the worst label my parents and Pentecostal relatives could put on a person within the movement was “critical” or “negative.” Too often Full Gospel leaders insist on total, abject loyalty and uncritical acceptance of whatever they say. Too many Pentecostal organizations lack any structure for safe criticism of dysfunctional behavior, aberrant teaching or abusive practices on the part of leaders and powerful ministers.

Pentecostal leaders need to take the next step in the movement’s maturation process and institute safe means of criticism and correction within their organizations. They need to become more self-critical and less defensive of leaders’ positions and pronouncements. A hallmark of spiritual abuse is treating the person who dares to point out a problem as the problem. Such behavior is widespread in Pentecostal circles. Full Gospel leaders can prove that their movement is coming of age in its second century by establishing means by which their denominations and organizations can nurture healthy self-examination, allowing constructive criticism with impunity even by younger members.

One example of this happening is the “Memphis Miracle.” Some Pentecostal leaders knew that racism plagued their movement and determined to do something about it. They did little while the older guard was still alive, but once the senior leaders who practiced racism (e.g. by excluding black denominations from the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America) died or went into retirement they exposed the problem and proposed a radical solution: disband the PFNA and ask African-American Pentecostal leaders to start a new umbrella association for Pentecostal cooperation and, if they wanted to, to invite white Pentecostals into it. That is what happened. The new group founded in Memphis in 1994, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America, includes approximately 40 denominations and networks of churches. It was started by black Pentecostals, who graciously invited their white brothers and sisters into it. This is a model of the kind of self-criticism that should characterize a maturing Pentecostal movement to a greater extent.

In spite of exposing the continuing dark side of the movement born on Azusa Street a century ago, I love Pentecostalism. They say you can take the boy out of Pentecostalism but you can’t take Pentecostalism out of the boy. Most of the formerly Full Gospel men and women I know still remember fondly the excitement and passion of the movement. Some of us listen to Pentecostal music on CDs and occasionally raise our hands or clap to its ecstatic words and beat. But I long to see the movement that taught me to love Jesus and the Bible mature further in the ways I’ve outlined here. It is happening, but too slowly.

 

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3338


81 thoughts on “Pentecostalism’s Dark Side

  1. Fairly heavy shepherding and leadership pyramid structures are default settings too. In fact encouraging prospective leaders so that they might exercise control over others is the start of a pente journey that combines these 2 attributes.

  2. Gosh, the poor old US intellectuals do get a bum wrap, don’t they? They think, being whatever it is they think they are, they’re the only intellectuals and there can’t be intelligent, rational Pentecosts, because…?

    But notice how he has a few bad experiences in his own world, and all of a sudden that has to reflect the experience of the rest of us. I have had mostly enjoyable experiences amongst Christians in general, not just Pentecostals. Most of us feel this way.

    But, notice, not a single Biblical explanation for his concerns. Only pseudo intellectual complaints from some who has developed a superiority complex to compensate for his disappointments with Pentecost. And those disappointments do not reflect the general teaching of Pentecostals at all.

    But, look, to cheer up the unintellectual Pentecostals who might be looking in, God seems to have a way of choosing and using those who are less well equipped emotionally, intellectually and financially.

    1 Corinthians 1:26-31
    For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

    So I’ll stay down here with the base, foolish and despised. We may not have much going for us, but we do know how to work together with God.

  3. Good point. Basically most of the church growth in the world is pentecostal/charismatic.

    Look at Africa and Asia, and then the big churches in the West.

    There are some disgruntled ex-pentecostals just like there are with any group, and just like there no doubt were in the early church.

    I’m sure there were some in the book of Acts days who left the church and if the internet were around, would have written bad stuff about Peter, James, John and Paul too.

    But in the end, you see that this guy still has fondness for his pentecostal days.

    Except for the hardline Calvinists, and the bitter ex-pentecostals who are into gay marriage and liberal theology, there is actually so much more acceptance of pentecostals and charismatic expression among the wider body of Christ than at any other time.

    The last big conference I went to which was not pentecostal but rather evangelical was full of pentecostal speakers, and the worship was not hymns buy basically hillsong and contemporary.

    Of course it was a missions conference so maybe that had something to do with it. Most of the people in missions are either pentecostal or so passionate about missions that they have no time to bag pentecostals and realize that most of their friends in ministry are pentecostals.

    As opposed to many of the liberal commentators here who basically don’t have a message worth taking overseas. And most of them seem to think the Muslims and Buddhists etc are happy and good enough the way they are.

    This last thought is because I never really got an answer from the peanut gallery about what message they have that they would go into all the world and preach.

    The silence was deafening. Why? Because they think all the Catholics are born again, and love posting videos about Muslims and Christians getting together and being happy about being gay etc etc.

    btw, yes I realize that there are non-pentecostal thriving churches like Saddleback……but they are the type to get attacked on sites like this too.

    Pentecostals and those who are happy to be their friends are the ones who are leading all the Christian growth in the world. The rest?

    They’re basically dying out and trying to maintain some kind of relevance by having anti-pentecostal websites. But what is the result? Just a bit more ammunition for those who want reasons to not go to church or come to Christ.

    As for this guy, why is post-graduate education in theology such a great thing anyway? Doesn’t seem to be having much good effect on the church or the world anyway.

    The first disciples, apostles and Christians were more interested in doing than getting their PhDs in theology.

  4. But, notice, not a single Biblical explanation for his concerns.

    The Bible doesn’t say anything about paedaphilia but we know it’s bad.

    Do you need a Bible verse to tell you rape is evil?

  5. btw. on the subject of Pentecostals, I was listening to the Hillsong Podcast recently, and Brian was talking about marriage and family.

    If any of you want to hear some tips from a wonderfully, balanced, loving Christian family, go check it out. Probably wouldn’t pass the “intellectual” standards of some here – but that isn’t the point. The Houstons are leading a fantastic growing church, but still raised three kids who love their parents, their God, their church,each other.

    Really encouraging to listen to.

    And the podcast was free before you all start baring your fangs and spitting about DVD sales…..lol

  6. Doesn’t seem to be having much good effect on the church or the world anyway.

    The first disciples, apostles and Christians were more interested in doing than getting their PhDs in theology.

    Better pass that on to Drs Phil and Kong Hee.

  7. This guy sites examples that are old anyway – he hasn’t been in the pentecostal world for long time.

    And his evidence for the case that the pentecostal church needs to mature?

    Not broadcasting the sins of ministers?

    Okay, so the Catholic Church, the evangelicals, and many schools, and universities need to mature too.

    Maybe everyone needs to be more mature.

    Maybe even Roger Mature Olsen.

    Roger, go back to loving Jesus and clapping to ecstatic praise and worship.

    The pentecostals are doing fine without you. In fact, they have exploded with growth since you left!!! lol

    Well maybe not your old denomination. (which comes back to Steve’s point) There are pentecostals and there are pentecostals.

    Seriously, there are young kids saved three months ago handing out coffee or parking cars in Hillsong churches who are doing more for the Kingdom of God than dozens of know-it-all liberal internet warrior/theologians…

    Okay, off to love my kids, and have my best life now.

  8. Actually the Bible doesn’t say that genocide is evil.

    You could say it encourages it.

    If you read it that way.

    But we know it’s evil anyway.

    Even an atheist can see that.

    But some people need a Bible verse to do anything except fart.

  9. A question for true believers, Q and Steve :

    What would be the point at which you would start to question whether Pentecostalism had some fault or dark-side to it, so that it did not reflect exactly what Jesus had intended?

    Lets say if there was a Jonestown massacre-type situation, would that cause you to question? What about if it occurred twice, or say up to five times in different Pentecostal churches in Australia?

    If there were constant financial, sexual and other scandals, would that cause you to question that there might be some fault with the way things are done?

    Or is it the case that if you can say that they are following the Bible and spreading Jesus’ Word then that makes them Kosher?

  10. How come the comments are closed off for Catholic Coup for HillSong? The “Hunger for God” thing – is that anything like: .

    Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness
    for they shall be satisfied.

    Or:

    13. Jesus replied and told her, “Whoever drinks of these waters will
    thirst again.
    14. “Whoever drinks of the waters that I have will never thirst again,
    except that the waters which I give them, will become a well of waters
    inside them, that will well out [and lead] to eternal life.”

    Or:

    34. They said, “Our Lord, give us this bread always.”
    35. Jesus told them, “I am the bread of Life. Whoever comes to me shall
    not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall not thirst to the end of the
    universe.

    Or:

    8. Since when did you eat your fill and become satisfied, and so accustomed to rule? Come, share your reign with us, so we too can rule with you.
    9. I suppose, however, that we were destined to become apostles, God having consecrated us to be last, to die as a universal theater, for angels and for humanity.
    10*. We struggled because of Christ, so you could be wise in Christ. We became poor in health, you became strong. You receive praise, we were cursed.
    11. We hungered and thirsted for this very hour, and went naked and beaten and we have no place to stand,
    12. And we lamented as we had to work with our bare hands; they cursed us and we blessed them. They cast us out, and we preached the Hope [of the Kingdom.]
    13. They spat on us and we begged them. We have become the treading ground of the whole world, and the object of everyone’s blasphemy until now.
    14. It is not like I want to embarrass you that I write you these things, except it is like a warning to wise children.

    ’nuff said…

  11. “Q, you use big words like ‘ecstatic’ – are you really a pentecostal?”

    Who said I was pentecostal?

    And I just used the word that he used in the article. I don’t know many big words. Or if I did, I’ve forgotten most of them.

  12. Re your question Wazza.

    I realize that people sin. Go back and read Genesis.

    If you are trying to say that there is a lot of sin in pentecostal churches ..?
    then I’d just say that now with the internet there bad news from all over the world is aggregated and dredged up.

    Esp on certain sites.

    BUt yeah okay, if there were 5 Jonestown suicides in Australia one after another, I would be concerned.

    But probably if the Pope or Bieber told people to suicide tomorrow some people would do it.

    But, no, I don’t think pentecostalism is dangerous. LIberal Christians who tell people it’s okay to have sex changes or have gay sex are far more dangerous.

    So, how is your church going Wazza?

  13. Wazza, my life is full enough to not have to speculate about hypotheticals. None of the things you mention are particular to Pentecostals, and we are all part of the same Body, whatever our denomination or movement. If there is error it should be exposed, but blaming the message of Pentecost for the excesses of individuals within it is immature and naive.

    For instance, there a few Pentecostals who claim speaking in tongues is necessary to salvation, but the author’s denomination, which he admits was small, obviously made a similar claim. That is error. I only know of one denomination in Australia which made this claim, and that was the Revival Centres, in their early days, who, since, have revised this, so it’s not an issue in Australia as far as I know, apart from one church which left the Revival Centres, whose pastor I had many discussions with over the issue because he taught that you must speak in tongues to be a Christian amongst other things. I spoke to him face to face on the issue to confront this error. He has never changed, so remains wrong on this.

    Each error must be confronted on its own issues, and to banded about as this groups error or that groups error, unless it is a denominational standard, as with the Marian dogma, or transubstantiation of the RC churches.

    As far as I know, for instance, tithing is not a standard in all Pentecostal churches, which, in Australia, at least, have autonomy within their movements, and are only asked to agree to the basic statements of belief, which, to my memory, say nothing about how giving is to take place, and is down to the doctrinal policies of the individual church. Each local church has its own constitution with its own modus operandi agreed with its State or Territory government, so churches are more linked to State or Territoy standards for not-for-profits than with their movements.

    Local churches are also more likely to be subject to their own board structures than their overseeing movement, so the local church itself would have to call in their denominational oversight to make an adjudication if there was an issue. Autonomy is important to Pentecostal church set ups, although the can be some problems at times.

    So lumping them all into one box and taking pot shots is extremely naive.

    But why not focus more on the strengths of local churches than their weaknesses? What is stopping you from looking for the good stuff rather than something to take aim at?

  14. Actually Q, don’t mean to be picky, but it is SIN that SINS. People either cooperate with sin or with righteousness.

    19. For it was not that which is good that I wanted to do, that I did it. Except, the evil that I did not wish to do, that is what I did.
    20. And if I did what I did not want to do, it was not I that did it, except [it was] the sin that abides in me that did it.

    It is like that icky sticky piece of Pente poo, “Die to Self”. How can you die to self if it is no longer your self that lives but Christ, your New Self, which lives in you?

    It is not what people do so much as what they do not do. Jesus did not bag the goats for being sinners, for we suffer in the flesh that which is sown in the flesh, but we reap in the Spirit, that which is sown in the Spirit.

    A harvest for righteousness was sown for us in the SEED, which is One.

    I think any ‘ism is inherently dangerous as it automatically involves codes and requirements of law which are contrary to grace, which are of the letter and not of the Spirit, and which generate death, and sin,taking advantage of the Law, makes us slaves, prisoners to sin, and so we are imprisoned in disobedience.

    I had this choice little morsel of living bread the other day: “As long as any of you have hell as an option, then you have an excuse not to forgive all, as YOU have decided in YOUR heart that God does not forgive all at all.”

    Even folk I know who think that they are quite evolved as Christians still cling to the hope of hell for their enemies, who they presume to be God’s enemies, but as it is they who are being as gods, then they are really meaning those that they disapprove of. Hence the last time I preached at a church, it was on forgiveness 101, and these folks all got blasted by God with an amazing blessing and time of correction, yet most reverted to type within a day or two. Until the foundation is set, the builder labours in vain.

    Tell me, when the Hill$songs folks took communion with the Catholics, did the Priest pronounce “The Body of Christ” when and as they took the communion wafer? Did they share the cup of the Lord or only the Priest? Did they use Cranberry Juice or wine? Did they use leavened or unleavened bread?

    In other words, was it a Catholic Communion or merely a play within a play? Can one of our Hill singers please tell me? I am fascinated.

    I will tell you what the dark little secret of Pentecostalism is – it is merely the evolution of Catholicism – or “Roman Light”, where you drink sanctified Cranberry juice or Cool Aid instead of wine which becomes blood, and of course the reason why only the Priest may drink it is to perpetuate the illusion that it is simply red wine in a fancy goblet.

    Oh and Greg, did you drop Ken a line? He is a lovely chap, one of the most Christian men I have ever met – a real heart of gold.

    11. Because we thus understand our submission to the Lord, He permits us [to live] as human beings, while (however) revealing us to God. I expect that He also reveals us to your consciousness.
    12. We are not once again glorifying ourselves, except it is the reason why we are proffering Him to you, so you may be proud of us [in the presence] of those who [show us] pride with their face, but not in their heart.
    13. For if we are aggressive, it is toward God. And if we are constructive, it is to your benefit.
    14. For the love of Christ forces us to think that way, that one person should die on behalf of another,* since everyone dies anyway.*
    15. And he died for the sake of every human being, so as those who Live, they live not for their own self, except for the sake of the one who died and rose on their behalf.
    16. Therefore, we do not know people in the flesh henceforth, and if we knew Christ in the flesh, we do not know him such now.
    17. Whoever is of Christ, is new creation henceforth. His old self has passed away.
    18. And everything that is renewed is from God, He who herded us to Himself through Christ, and who gave us the pastoral service.
    19. For God is in Christ, who tends the universe with his Omnipotence, and who did not regard their sins and who consecrated in us the pastoral Manifestation.
    20. Thus we are representatives on behalf of Christ, and as the God wants of you to be in our hand, for the sake of Christ He wants this, that you become God’s flock.
    21. For He that did not know sin, because of you committed sin, so that we may become in him God’s holiness.
    __________
    *5:14.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “One for the sake of every human being die.”
    *5:14.2 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: “Since every human being dies himself.”
    *5:21 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction retained: …”committed sin” : rhetorical.

  15. By the way, it was not being a blasphemer that got Jesus nailed, it was contradicting the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians – aka the hypocritters, the snakes.

    He was quite respectful to The Empire in their over-arching governance of Judea as He understood the dynamic whereby Israel had become servant to Rome instead of God by reason of their disobedience and harlotry with the love of money, and as Paul said, the Pharisees simply ADORE MONEY.

  16. For instance, there a few Pentecostals who claim speaking in tongues is necessary to salvation, but the author’s denomination, which he admits was small, obviously made a similar claim. That is error.

    That’s certainly a belief that Pentecostal movements begin with.

    The Christian Outreach Centre certainly had that belief in the 70s as well as the AOGs.

    It’s now mellowed to if you don’t speak in tongues you’re just an imperfect Christian.

  17. Steve, you said “If there is error, it should be exposed”. Yes my brother, and whats more EXPUNGED! And there is a very simple way to do it. Simply say in your heart of hearts, in your inner chamber, where you receive you own personal Communion with Christ Jesus as HE prepares a table for you in the midst of YOUR enemies, which are your your inner issues, that He please drive out all which offends and prevents.

    It is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out him, and once it is out, it no longer defiles him.

    These errors and omissions are accepted to the extent that He is introducing us to God and that we recognize our need for correction, and the cleansing of our heart and hands, so that we may ascend into the mountain of the Lord instead of being confounded and prevented by the mountains of our own unbelief.

    We are to invite correction on an ongoing basis, that He should drive out all that offends (prevents Him) from knowing us an we knowing Him as He really is. This is why Xian folk are constantly bagging each other and banging on about issues.

    His WORD is the instrument of His Power – if you have His Word, then you should have the evidence of His Power – other wise you might just as well be Muslims and explain away your own Power-less-ness by rationalizing it to be somehow according to the Will of God (Allah). But here is the hoot, the rub even, it is! As long as you are in unforgiveness, you are in jail, and no prisoner has any Power, except a prisoner of Christ.

    But if you choose this ever narrowing Way, this confinement in Christ, then expect persecution as it goes with the territory – Jesus said so – “For if they hate the Master, they will hate surely hate the servant”, and vice versa….

  18. Wazza is being a child again.

    I know it says we should have a childlike attitude in regard to malice, but we do have to grow up in Christ as mature believers. Being facetious doesn’t help anything.

    I was actually referring to the use if ‘ecstatic state’ as a reference to speaking in tongues, which Pentecosals would never use, because they know they are not having to ‘work up’ anything. As it says in Acts 2, ‘they began to speak, as the Spirit gave utterance’ so there was no forcing anything.

    Perhaps you only read what you want to.

    So, Bones, you give an example which confirms that a Pentecosal group has changed it’s stance on what it teaches, in other words, grown up in understanding and doctrine, and yet you still hold them to their past in accuracy as a reference, by adding a snarly remark about imperfection. I have many friends in the movement and I have never heard them speak like this. Maybe you have had a bad run in your life. Maybe you just look for the worse in people and miss the best.

    Children.

  19. Here’s what I actually said,

    By the way, Bones, the give away is your use of the word ‘ecstatic’ which is never used by Pentecostals to describe speaking in tongues, only by critics, theologians, or cessationists.

    So I was being specific, whereas you are generalising. I am amazed at the levels of immaturity you and Bones are displaying these days.

    If Q wants to use ‘ecstatic’ to describe anything joyful or aesthetically expressive, that is fine, but the use of it to describe a state of being worked up by people speaking in tongues is usually a dead giveaway that the person either doesn’t speak in tongues, doesn’t believe in speaking in tongues, or has read the works of people who express these ideas.

    Anyone who actually speaks in tongues would know that this doesn’t describe what is taking place when thy actually do speak in tongues.

    In fact, I used the word ‘ecstatic’ myself to describe some forms of experience in worship, but I guess you either missed that or decided to disregard it.

    What’s new?

    But I don’t think the theologians even use the word to describe the same thing Bones is attempting. Like many other words, the meaning has shifted over times and its modern meaning is different to that used by theologians over 100 years ago.

    The original meaning was more akin to a mystical or transcendent experience. These days it means something more earthly like a joyful or overwhelmingly happy feeling.

    In fact, it is perfectly natural to speak in tongues as a believer, as I described on the other thread, just like talking to another person, which, in fact, is what is taking place, where the person speaking in tongues is talking to God. Maybe you have to work yourself up to speak to God. I don’t.

  20. Pentecostal churches have certainly changed. Gone are the tarrying meetings where people would wait for hours and hours upon the Holy Ghost.

    Now the Holy Spirit arrives during the fourth song.

  21. It’s really difficult to connect modern Pentecostalism to it’s earlier, simpler carnation.

    Who’d a thought Pentecostals were pacifists which they certainly were during WWI.

    Now they justify war.

  22. It’s really difficult to connect modern Pentecostalism to it’s earlier, simpler carnation.

    Who’d a thought Pentecostals were pacifists which they certainly were during WWI.

    Now they justify war.

  23. Yes, after a few years, Pentecostals discovered that they no longer had to ‘tarry’, since the tarrying had ben done on the day of Pentecost! Now we simply receive the Spirit by faith.

    They grew up, and their doctrine with them. Which is completely the opposite to what the author of the post is saying. That must be the second or third thing we have shown to have changed for the better in a few comments.

    Now the Holy Spirit arrives during the fourth song.

    What the dickens does that mean? Are you saying the Holy Spirit has to be summoned into meetings? You know, like the Christ has to be called down into wafers in the mass? “Oh, I think I’ll wait for the fourth song this week to make my appearance!”

    I think you’re mixing your theologies there, Bones!

    The Holy Spirit is with us, in us and upon us! That means he arrives with the people. We don’t call down the Hoy Spirit. He’s right there with the Church from the get-go! He goes home with us. He rides the bus with us. He’s present in our homes, at work, everywhere, constantly. We are filled with the Spirit! Church is a gathering of Christians – people with the Spirit.

    I’m starting to worry about what they are teaching you in that Pentecostal church of yours if that’s what you believe. Or maybe you don’t receive what they teach to such an extent that you either refuse to listen, or obliquely question everything fastidiously, measuring it against anything but the Scriptures, and never learn a thing.
    ____________________________

    Conscientious objection isn’t peculiar to Pentecostals, nor did all Pentecostals object to defending their country against an aggressor. It was a conscientious decision made by Christian men over a difficult choice between standing for their families against oppressors or refusing to fight at all costs, and all power to them.

    Interesting though it is, and important as a moral issue, it is a completely separate subject to the one on this thread, and demands a dedicated post.
    ____________________________

    But, then again, since when did Bones every stick to one subject for more than a couple of comments? he’s switched to at least five different subjects on this thread alone.

    No powers of concentration or ability to stay focused, or to make a concerted effort to stay on track and fill out his argument with substance over innuendo. But I guarantee he’s heard that for most of his life.

    Bones, as usual, is using google-sourcery to suit his anti-pentecostal stance. Seek and you will find – something to slap a Pentecostal with. But I don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind when he told us about seeking and finding.

    And Bones says he loves Pentecostals! Yeah, right! He loves them to death!

  24. But it seems that Roger R Olson has misjudged his own former denomination, or they have changed since his days with them. Here is their statement of faith on the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

    Baptism in the Holy Spirit

    We believe the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in every believer at the moment of salvation. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is distinct from salvation, releasing the power of the Holy Spirit through faith. Consistent with biblical accounts, believers should anticipate Spirit-baptism to be accompanied by speaking in tongues and other biblical manifestations. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is given to endue the believer with power from God, to offer an inspired witness for Christ, to lead the believer in a life of holiness, and to equip for a Spirit-filled life of service. (John 7:37-39, 14:16; Acts 1:8, 2:4, 2:38-39, 8:14-17, 10:44-46, 19:6; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16.)

    Spirit-Filled Life

    We believe every Christian should walk and abide in daily fellowship with the Holy Spirit and experience continual renewing of God’s power to live a Spirit-filled life in attitudes, thoughts, speech, and conduct. In order to build up and equip both individual believers and the Church of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts that are to be earnestly desired and exercised in the spirit of love. The fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in the life of every believer is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (John 15:4, 15:8; Acts 4:31; Romans 8:1, 8:5, 12:1-2, 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 3:17, 12:7-11, 12:31; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:11, 4:30-32, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 Peter 1:15, 4:10-11; 1 John 2:6.)

    So, contrary to Olson’s claims, they do not teach that speaking in tongues is a necessity to salvation, but subsequent to it, which is standard for most Pentecostal denominations and movements, and accurate to Scripture.

    Now scriptural accuracy is the key and function of theology, being by intellectuals or by studious Christians.

    The idea that a person must be an intellectual to be theologically sound is completely unfounded. Intellect or intelligence quota is not a prerequisite to accuracy of doctrine or theological accuracy.

    In act, Jesus’ disciples were known as ‘ignorant men’, or ‘unlearned men, and it was this lack of intellectual background which confounded their critics when they were so able to expound Scripture on their preaching and in the epistles.

    Paul was the only New Testament writer known to have any kind of credentials, and he considered them a waste of time when it came to expounding Scripture or announcing he gospel.

    I am not decrying the need for intellect or the quality of scholarship intellectuals can bring to the table when it comes to theology. But if intellectuals are unable to cope with the gifts, manifestations and theology of the Spirit, and confuse the issue with compromise theology because they cannot enter into a relationship with the Spirit via the Baptism with the Spirit, then they should leave that area of study to those who are able to enter in whether they are regarded as intellectuals or not.

    If Mr Olson is wrong about his perception of his own denomination, and that would not be the first time someone has seen things from an incorrect perspective, then what else is he wrong about?

    I do however agree that if a supposedly Christian group, be they Pentecostal or whatever, ministers error, then they should be exposed, but the overarching doctrine of Pentecostal theology may be the vessel which exposes error within its camp, which would make the individual wrong and not the denomination, or its doctrine.

  25. Aye but there’s the rub. Any success, especially in terms of numbers, is a success for the whole movement ans is a validation of the approach.

    Any failure, error or scandal reflects only on that individual and not the theology or culture of the movement.

    The approach is unfalsifiable, it rests purely on an interpretation of the Bible. If experience dosent match up with the interpretation of the Bible, then it is experience that must go. One is left then only with the experiences ( testimonies ) that match the theology..

    But what if the interpretation is wrong? How would one know?

    —————

    Olsen never claimed that his denomination taught that speaking in tongues is necessary for salvation. Only to be ‘Spirit filled’

    Nice try at poking a small hole in the argument, and then trying to rip it apart frome there -” what else is he wrong about?” It is the opposite approach to your defence of Pentecostalism – ie. If Olsen is wrong in any one, even minor point then it invalidates his whole approach.

    Try to argue against the points on their merits instead of trying to discredit the author. I can hear your furious googling from here, but you havent come up with any scandalous background or dodgy association in Olsen’s life so this is the best you can do.

  26. So, like Greg, you play the interpretation card. But the teaching on tongues, prophecy and the manifestations of the Spirit is as clear as the teaching on the fruit of the Spirit.

    What has happened is the cessationists ‘interpreting’ the gifts out.

    I have no problem with Mr Olson. If he is serving God then good for him. I am merely commenting on his perspective. But why wouldn’t I research a person who makes such a commentary on Pentecostalism in general? I have not discredited him.

    I have challenged his attitude. It is abject snobbery form a proud man who had deserted his own and made a mockery of them from an ivory tower. It is grossly unfair, and equally unkind of you to have published it during a discussion we were having on another thread.

    I am questioning that all of Pentecost is as dark as he claims. It is not. He is mostly looking at things from a US perspective, for a start, as most US critics do, and, consequently, as most other critics do. His is a blinkered view of a vast grouping with many aspects.

    If you are correct and he is not dismissing his denomination’s stance on being Spirit filled, then his only argument is a strawman and has nothing to do with whether a person is filled with the Spirit and doesn’t speak in tongues or not.

    Who can tell whether a person is filled or not simply because they do not speak in tongues? Perhaps they did not know they could, or should. Or were taught that it had ceased and was unnecessary. That is why I am so opposed to the cessationist view, which has no place in Scripture.

    But the doctrinal stance Olson’s former denomination takes is still correct to Scripture. It also confirms that salvation is not dependent on speaking in tongues. You can’t use one individual, famous or not, as a standard by which all are to be assessed. The criteria is Scripture, not a man, however great their ministry. God uses the foolish to confound the wise. He can use a donkey to bring about his purposes, why not a man who doesn’t speak in tongues?

    I’m sure you could say the same of any number of ministers. Spurgeon. Wesley. Whitfield. Did any speak in tongues? Not that I know of. They certainly didn’t teach it as a standard for believers. Does this negate tongues from the Church? No. Not at all.

    The truth is that the Baptism with the Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues is available to all. If it is not taught accurately how can the person, in ignorance of truth, be called to account? Does this prevent God from using people in ministry? Of course not.

    There is your Pentecostal answer. God uses each of us who believes according to our understanding and the measure of faith we have. It is His grace, His anointing, and His call, not ours. We are vessels. His is the glory.

    That is what makes Olson’s criticisms so ungracious.

    And the hoary chestnut of ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’ has been mostly bandied about by opponents of Pentecost rather than Pentecostals. I’m sure it might have happened in the old days, but I have never heard it preached from the pulpit, nor written, except by people like Olson who make the claim it is said. maybe he heard it once, somewhere, by someone. Another strawman.

  27. Pentecostalisms

    Article, Research Centers, Bibliographies and Selected Literature
    by Walter J. Hollenweger

    History
    A number of historical roots played a significant role in the formation of Pentecostalism. The most important one is the Afro-American Culture and Religion. The key person is William Joseph Seymour (1870-1922), child of former slaves from Centerville, Louisiana, raised in a Roman Catholic family , self-taught, originally greatly influenced by Charles Fox Parham (1873-1929) but refusing in later life Parham’s racist and sectarian theology. Seymour was at the center of the revival of Los Angeles, Azusa Street (1907) in which blacks and whites, men and women, Latinos and US Americans, aristocrats and working class people came together to celebrate Pentecost as an atoning even. That happened at a time when practically all Christians in the US were open racists.8
    .
    This Christian testimony against the trend did not last long and Pentecostalism became as segregated as the rest of Christianity in the US. The main black Pentecostal church in the US is the Church of God in Christ. Allan Anderson records a similar development in South Africa, where Pentecostalism started as an integrated movement but became soon an agent of the South African Apartheid policy up to the publication of A Relevant Penteostal Testimony in the nineties of the last century – a remarkable document of public repentance.

    From these black roots Pentecostalism received its music and its oral culture. Today this
    black culture has been transformed in white Pentecostalism to a kind of post-modernism. It is believed: That which works, is also true. Newer Pentecostal churches look more like a TV studio than like a church. The modern Pentecostal pastor is more a TV moderator than a theologian or a liturgist. That is responsible for Pentecostalism’s attraction and its weaknesses. The original reconciling ministry has been relegated to Pentecostal churches for the poor.Pentecostals consider themselves to be heirs of the reformation. They do not realize that many of their deeply felt convictions belong to catholic popular religion These elements are the doctrine of “free will”, the position of the pastor who not only can forgive but also withhold sins, a dualistic world view (supernatural and natural) an ordo salutis with clearly distinguishable steps (1.conversion, 2. baptism in the Spirit, see also below 4.). Much of this owes more to Thomas Aquinas than to the Reformation. It is about the contrary of that which the reformers taught.

    One sees therefore in Pentecostalism not just the radical wing of protestantism, but also a kind of popular catholicism minus the juridicial frame-work of the Vatican which Pentecostals replace with their own rules and regulations. These vary from culture to culture (alcohol, smoking, dancing, divorce). There are a number of indicators which strengthen this view, for Pentecostalism is strongest in catholic cultures (Latin America, France, Italy, Rumania, Russia). The Vatican was also the first church authority who engaged in a long and intensive dialogue with Pentecostalism (Sandidge, Karkkainen).

    Another root of Pentecostalism is its evangelical heritage. However much of the initial revolutionary, pacifist and political drive of early evangelicalism (anti-slavery movement, female pastors, social conscience) was lost in later years. This becomes very obvious when comparing the first editions of the works of the Holiness movement’s pioneers with posthumous editions, where all political and social texts have been eliminated, without even mentioning this mutilation! The impression is created that sanctification is a purely religious and personal experience. Although the Holiness and early Pentecostal movement stood at the cradle of pacifist and emancipatory movements.9

    Pentecostals and their antagonists, the evangelicals, are united in forgetting their past.

    Early Pentecostals were pacifists (Beaman). Mention must be made in particular of Arthur
    Booth-Clibborn, an influential British Pentecostal leader at the beginning of 20th Century. His book Blood Against Blood was highly praised by US Pentecostal periodicals. Booth-Clibborn states: “The Scripture shows us that organized sin (today we would speak of structural injustice) is much worse in the sight of God than are sins of the individuals” The church, to its shame has compromised itself at times by legitimizing “the organized slaying of millions in the wars” through an “ unholy alliance” with emperors and governments. The reason for wars is not the fight for justice or democracy but greed and the will to dominate markets. The result is that “the rich man’s dog gets more meat than the poor man’s family.”

    The capitalists view war as a commercial enterprise in order to make a profit. The profits,
    however, come from exploiting the misfortune of others. The irony is that politicians who have enough power to “commandeer a nation” into war do nothing about this “handful of exploiters”14.

    This early Pentecostal position is today forgotten.

    http://www.epcra.ch/articles_pdf/Pentecostalisms.PDF

  28. @Steve. Like I said, I only used the word ecstatic because Olsen did.

    @Bones, I’m also fascinated by the way pentecostals have changed. The pacifist position is interesting. So is the old tarrying idea. And for as much as people might have problems with Azusa Street, It’s amazing the way races mixed in the very early days.

    As for YNWA, I’ve watched that a few times now. Amazing!

  29. I actually think ,modern Pentecostalism has degenerated from it’s origins. It hasn’t grown up. It has become infatuated with itself and the world. I don’t think it could be more opposite from it’s beginnings.

    The Pentecostal Charismatic Peace Fellowship, which changed its name to Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice (PCPJ) in 2007, [1] is a multicultural, gender inclusive, and ecumenical organization that promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation work among Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians. Members and adherents in over twenty denominations, fifteen countries, and forty universities and seminaries participate.

    A Pentecostal peace fellowship was first suggested in a paper presented in July 2001 at the European Pentecostal Charismatic Research Association [1] conference at the Catholic University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium by Paul Alexander, now Professor of Social Ethics at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University (St Davids, Pennsylvania). By March 2002 about thirty Pentecostals and Charismatics had signed on after another version of the original paper was presented at the Society for Pentecostal Studies conference in Lakeland, Florida.

    Later that year Marlon Millner penned “Send Judah First: An Open Letter to President George W. Bush,” encouraging the USA not to invade Iraq. This letter, which was signed by many Pentecostal and Charismatic pastors, students, and teachers, helped launch PCPJ and brought together the leadership team. The “Send Judah First” letter and the list of signatories is included as chapter 9 of Pentecostals and Nonviolence: Reclaiming a Heritage.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentecostal_Charismatic_Peace_Fellowship

  30. Again you chose a US perspective of Pentecostalism when there were many other influences. The US tends to be parochial and self-absorbed. It is a problem when attempting to sift through some of the unwritten history of movements.

    Even Azusa Street was influenced by the Welsh revival, but there have always been pockets of resistance to mainstream Christianity which eliminated the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church for centuries, and really needed a revival of Acts 2 to bring the Church into the fullness of the gospel. I do not think we have arrived there yet. Perhaps we never will, or not before Christ comes again for the Church.

    What Bones and others are doing here is researching the net and coming up with the plethora of US opinion and history which only gives a partial picture of the events which lead up to the recovery of the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit in the Church.

    It should also be obvious that the Holy Spirit himself never changed. His gifts never changed. His manifestations never changed.

    The Holy Spirit is not an American!

    It is we who must change to adapt to God’s will, not attempt to manipulate the Word to suit our worldview.

    I am in no way anti-American, but if our focus is always on the excesses of US ministries, influential though they can be, we will miss the point of what it is we can do to bring about a purer version of the gospel, of the New Testament and of our true purpose as believers.

    Americans, unfortunately for us, are obsessed with themselves, their perspective, their solutions, their law, their social interaction and their world. The rest of us are external to their vision for the future, even in the Church.

    The were major movements in Europe and in UK which have Pentecostal roots, and which continue to this day. There were movements in South Africa, and this led to movements in Australia and New Zealand.

    God has always moved amongst those who seek His Face. But it has taken some major events to break us free of the dark ages apostasy.

  31. The origins of both revivals stem from Holiness movements. Although its interesting the way that the Holy Spirit was limited to Wales. Also when looking at other outpourings of the Holy Spirit it always involved someone coming into the community to spread it. Yet I find the early revivals have little in common with modern Pentecostalism which is much more into marketing, image, building an atmosphere. If the ubeaut band wasn’t playing how many people would really turn up.

    It’s also interesting the way that prosperity and right wing militarism has managed to permeate nearly the whole Pentecostal church wherever it is.

    The Holy Spirit is not an American!

    Interesting that studies in tongues have shown that certain sounds are limited to cultural dialects.

    Eg African tongues with its repertoire of clicks are fund only in Africans…

  32. You can’t tell me this is the same as modern Pentecostalism. Very sad ending though. I wouldn’t be surprised if Roberts’s breakdown and voices he was hearing in his head wasn’t related to his lack of sleep.

    Evan Roberts – 1878-1951

    The story of Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival of 1904-5 is the most thrilling, but also the most sad and sobering in all revival history. On the one hand we see one hundred thousand souls in Wales coming to Christ in just nine months, from November 1904 to August 1905. This was the beginning of a world-wide revival that ushered hundreds of thousands more into the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, we see Evan Roberts, the principle revivalist of this move of God, becoming deceived, deluded and finally suffering a nervous breakdown which took him out of the public limelight to live the life of a recluse. Furthermore, the fruits of the revival in Wales (but not world-wide) were soon lost through criticism, fears of deception and a Welsh theology which suppressed the assurance of salvation. Within a generation there were no signs that a revival had ever occurred. Surely there are some important lessons for 21st Century Christians to learn here?

    Evan Roberts was born and raised in a Welsh Calvinist Methodist family in Loughor, on the Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire border. As a boy he was unusually serious and very diligent in his Christian life. He memorised verses of the Bible and was a daily attender of Moriah Chapel, a church about a mile from his home. Even at 13 years of age he began to develop a heart for a visitation from God. He later wrote “I said to myself: I will have the Spirit. And through all weathers and in spite of all difficulties I went to the meetings… for ten or eleven years I have prayed for revival. I could sit up all night to read or talk about revivals. It was the Spirit who moved me to think about revival.”

    After working in the coal mines and then as a smithy, he entered a preparatory college at Newcastle Emlyn, as a candidate for the ministry. It was 1903 and he was 25 years old.

    It was at this time that he sought the Lord for more of His Spirit. He believed that he would be baptised in the Holy Spirit and sometimes his bed shook as his prayers were answered. The Lord began to wake him at 1.00 am for divine fellowship, when he would pray for four hours, returning to bed at 5.00 am for another four hours sleep.

    He visited a meeting where Seth Joshua was preaching and heard the evangelist pray “Lord, bend us”. The Holy Spirit said to Evan, “That’s what you need”. At the following meeting Evan experienced a powerful filling with the Holy Spirit. “I felt a living power pervading my bosom. It took my breath away and my legs trembled exceedingly. This living power became stronger and stronger as each one prayed, until I felt it would tear me apart. My whole bosom was a turmoil and if I had not prayed it would have burst…. I fell on my knees with my arms over the seat in front of me. My face was bathed in perspiration, and the tears flowed in streams. I cried out “Bend me, bend me!!” It was God’s commending love which bent me… what a wave of peace flooded my bosom…. I was filled with compassion for those who must bend at the judgement, and I wept. Following that, the salvation of the human soul was solemnly impressed on me. I felt ablaze with the desire to go through the length and breadth of Wales to tell of the saviour”.

    Needless to say, his studies began to take second place! He began praying for a hundred thousand souls and had two visions which encouraged him to believe it would happen. He saw a lighted candle and behind it the rising sun. He felt the interpretation was that the present blessings were only as a lighted candle compared with the blazing glory of the sun. Later all Wales would be flooded with revival glory.

    The other vision occurred when Evan saw his close friend Sydney Evans staring at the moon. Evan asked what he was looking at and, to his great surprise, he saw it too! It was an arm that seemed to be outstretched from the moon down to Wales. He was in no doubt that revival was on its way.

    He then felt led to return to his home town and conduct meetings with the young people of Loughor. With permission from the minister, he began the meetings, encouraging prayer for the outpouring of the Spirit on Moriah. The meetings slowly increased in numbers and powerful waves of intercession swept over those gathered.

    During those meetings the Holy Spirit gave Evan four requirements that were later to be used throughout the coming revival:

    1. Confession of all known sin
    2. Repentance and restitution
    3. Obedience and surrender to the Holy Spirit
    4. Public confession of Christ

    The Spirit began to be outpoured. There was weeping, shouting, crying out, joy and brokeness. Some would shout out, “No more, Lord Jesus, or I’ll die”. This was the beginning of the Welsh Revival.

    The meetings then moved to wherever Evan felt led to go. Those travelling with him were predominately female and the young girls would often begin meetings with intense intercession, urging surrender to God and by giving testimony. Evan would often be seen on his knees pleading for God’s mercy, with tears. The crowds would come and be moved upon by wave after wave of the Spirit’s presence. Spontaneous prayer, confession, testimony and song erupted in all the meetings. Evan, or his helpers , would approach those in spiritual distress and urge them to surrender to Christ. No musical instruments were played and, often, there would be no preaching. Yet the crowds continued to come and thousands professed conversion.

    The meetings often went on until the early hours of the morning. Evan and his team would go home, sleep for 2–3 hours and be back at the pit-head by 5 am, urging the miners coming off night duty to come to chapel meetings.

    The revival spread like wildfire all over Wales. Other leaders also experienced the presence of God. Hundreds of overseas visitors flocked to Wales to witness the revival and many took revival fire back to their own land. But the intense presence began to take its toll on Evan. He became nervous and would sometimes be abrupt or rude to people in public meetings. He openly rebuked leaders and congregations alike.

    Though he was clearly exercising spiritual gifts and was sensitive to the Holy Spirit , he became unsure of the “voices” he was hearing. The he broke down and withdrew from public meetings. Accusation and criticism followed and further physical and emotional breakdown ensued.

    Understandably, converts were confused. Was this God? Was Evan Roberts God’s man or was he satanically motivated? He fell into a deep depression and in the spring of 1906 he was invited to convalesce at Jessie Penn-Lewis’ home at Woodlands in Leicester.

    It is claimed that Mrs Penn Lewis used Evan’s name to propagate her own ministry and message. She supposedly convinced him he was deceived by evil spirits and, over the next few years co-authorised with Evan “War on the Saints”, which was published in 1913. This book clearly delineates the confusion she had drawn Evan into. It left its readers totally wary of any spiritual phenomena of any kind or degree. Rather than giving clear guidelines regarding discerning satanic powers, it brought into question anything that may be considered, or that might be described, as Holy Spirit activity. Within a year of its publication, Evan Roberts denounced it, telling friends that it had been a failed weapon which had confused and divided the Lord’s people.

    Evan stayed at the Penn-Lewis’ home for eight years, giving himself to intercession and private group counselling. Around 1920 Evan moved to Brighton and lived alone until he returned to his beloved Wales, when his father fell ill in 1926. He began to visit Wales again and eventually moved there in 1928 when his father died.

    Nothing much is known of the years that followed. Evan finally died at the age of 72 and was buried behind Moriah Chapel on Jan 29th 1951.

    May his life be both an example and a warning to all those who participate in revival to maintain humility; keep submissive to the Spirit; be accountable to godly men and women; remain true to their calling; use the gifts God has given, but be wise in the stewardship of their body.

    http://www.revival-library.org/pensketches/revivalists/robertse.html

  33. “I actually think ,modern Pentecostalism has degenerated from it’s origins. It hasn’t grown up. It has become infatuated with itself and the world. I don’t think it could be more opposite …..”

    Now that’s an interesting viewpoint.

  34. The AoGs were pacifists up until 1967. Which was a strange time to abandon pacifism when objection to the Vietnam War was gaining momentum. What happened with them? (Fear of Communism?)

    Stanley M. Horton – WWII Pacifist

    Stanley Horton, along with hundreds of other World War II era Assemblies of God members, was a conscientious objector. He shared this information with us at the PCPJ display table at the Society for Pentecostal Studies conference in 2007, explaining that it was the official position of the Assemblies of God and what he believed. Horton is a widely renowned Assemblies of God theologian and one of the first Pentecostals to complete graduate theological education at Harvard.

    Marty Mittelstadt and Matthew Paugh have written an excellent article for the 2009 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage, “The Social Conscience of Stanley Horton.” Their article is based in part on an oral history interview of Horton concerning his views on race and war.
    Also included on the above webpage are a lengthier article on Horton by Lois E. Olena (based on her forthcoming biography of Horton) and a 1983 interview of Horton by William Menzies.

    The official position of the Assemblies of God from 1917-1967 concluded with this statement:

    “Therefore we, as a body of Christians, while purposing to fulfill all the obligations of loyal citizenship, are nevertheless constrained to declare we cannot conscientiously participate in war and armed resistance which involves the actual destruction of human life, since this is contrary to our view of the clear teachings of the inspired Word of God, which is the sole basis of our faith.”

    http://pcpj.org/blog/conscientious-objection/stanley-horton-pentecostal-conscientious-objector/

  35. And while we’re at it.

    Have Pentecostals actually ever asked Arab and Palestinian Pentecostals about what they think about Israel and the Zionist theology which is rampant in Pentecostal churches?

    Pentecostals are quietly thriving in Jerusalem

    The Alliance Pentecostal church is acquiring new converts each month

    The Alliance Church rings no bells in the backstreets of the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. But the joyful singing of hymns by its congregation, accompanied by a drum and a guitar, echoes through the narrow alleys on Sundays and Thursdays. Inside, Arab Christians, mostly young families, pray fervently. They have turned from being Catholic, Greek Orthodox or members of other older Christian denominations. So far, this Pentecostal church has around 120 to 150 members, but, as in Brazil and other countries, converts grow each month. “We are born-again Christians,” says Pastor Jack Sara. “We believe in changing the heart so that people are renewed by God himself.”

    As a member of the Christian Missionary Alliance, the Alliance Church has to keep within Palestinian political boundaries and Israeli legal boundaries. As its members are Palestinian and Arab it does not compare biblical Israel to modern Israel or support settlements – unlike most Pentecostal churches. And although it is a missionary church it cannot seek to convert. In Israel any inducements to change religion and give material benefits such as offering a job or an apartment are an offence. Under the Enticement to Change Religion law of 1977 – the “anti-missionary” law – attempts to proselytise are punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to £50,000.

    Paradoxically, although Evangelicals here must refrain from recruiting new members, Israel benefits enormously from Evangelical communities around the world. In the past 12 months one stream of evangelical Christians in the United States gave over $100million (£63million) to Israel. Donations stay high because in spite of the recession there is a worldwide explosion in the number of converts.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/02/08/pentecostals-are-quietly-thriving-in-jerusalem/

  36. Well, you’re all over the place with this, Bones, and producing some of your pet agendas, most of which are based on opinion and political ideology.

    I’m not sure why you are so keen to continually discredit Pentecostal movements, of which there are many, with a variety of perspectives.

    It could be said that the movements as a whole are becoming far more mainstream, and that there is a rapid amount of growth amongst Pentecostals. They certainly are mission minded and incredibly involved in church planting, evangelism and cross-cultural ministry.

    They are also financial in many places, too, which gives them a greater access to contemporary media tools with which to advance the message. In some ways the rest of the mainstream churches were left behind, but, as we see from the pope’s twitter purgatory deal, the other mainstream bodies are starting to catch on.

    But your thrust is against the concepts of prosperity, tongues and war, which are, effectively, separate subjects, and should be dealt with as such.

    Prosperity
    There is no doubt in my mind that most people, whether rich or poor, would like to live in an environment whereby poverty is eradicated. Prosperity is related to increase, therefore the poor would mostly aspire to being better off, for their won sakes and especially for the sake of their children.

    As far as I can make out, God has a desire to see people free from poverty, but also free from dependence on riches. Better to be poor than entrapped by wealth. But the key to the eradication of poverty is increased wealth. Catch 22.

    On the other hand if we are able to become good stewards of all God entrusts us with, including with finances and resources, he will, inevitably, trust us with more. It all depends on how we use prosperity, not on whether we have a desire for it. If our desire is corrupted into lust and leads to greed and avarice it is ungodly.

    If we use prosperity to advance the gospel, including reaching the poor with ideas, means and resources which change their lifestyle from poverty to provision, then we are being good stewards of God’s resources.

    There is a balanced doctrine of prosperity, and it is Biblical. Pentecostals, on the whole, advance this thinking, whereas critics abuse it by misrepresenting what is taught and producing their own version of prosperity doctrine based on their own wicked intentions to sow discord.

    Many of these critics live in developed nations on very good incomes and have never been poor in their lives, or have everything they need compared to those who genuinely live in poverty. It should be part of our life’s work to attempt to help people out of poverty, oppression and deprivation. We will never do this if we are ourselves in poverty.

    We need to be able to help people out of poverty by showing them how it is done, and were possible, giving the knowledge and resources to get them started.

    War
    As for war, well I have attended at least three different Pentecostal movements and visited several others in my time as a Christian and I have never, ever heard messages advocating war, or calling on congregants to support war, or pay for war, or go to war, or promote war. I have heard many, many messages on peace, godly lifestyles, loving our neighbours, loving our enemies, prayer for peace and similar.

    I know some have individually politically supported our nation’s call to arms at times, but this is each person’s choice, and there were many people in our congregations who were for a defence of liberty through action, and others who were against armed conflict of any kind, and no specific policy or preaching has been directed from the pulpit.

    I refute your claims that Pentecostals as a united front either support or reject war as an objective or as an option. There may be churches in various places which advocate armed struggle, but I am not familiar with them. Certainly not Hillsong or C3.

    Your perspective is misinformed and based, I believe, on some US promotion of US militarist strategy, not on anything you will hear pronounced in Australian churches. Yes, we support defence force personnel associated with our churches, but we do not call for war, nor do we consider war an ideal solution to anything, except to defend our families from an oppressor.

    My personal view is that we should defend the innocent from the oppressor wherever we have the means to do so, but there are any number of people in my local Pentecostal church who would strongly argue against this logic, and others who would support it. And, yes, we have had the discussions. There is no policy of any kind given from the pulpit.

    TonguesThirdly, you claim all sorts about speaking in tongues which is speculative and non-scriptural. It is what it is, and matches scripture. Paul encourages it, organises it, and admonishes the Church on it, says he prefers prophecy in the public setting, unless the tongue is interpreted, but encourages private prayer and worship in tongues, telling us not to forbid speaking in tongues, but to let all things be done decently and in order in the church setting.

    I can’t be bothered with your continually moaning about this or that to do with Pentecostals.

    You are just a grumble-mouth and a dissatisfied customer forced against your will to attend a Pentecostal church because your wife loves it there, according to previous testimony by you.

    Maybe you need to develop some character and tell her outright you want to go somewhere which gives you the satisfaction of being right about your world view instead of moaning and groaning about a wonderful, blessed, loving group of people who are making a difference in the world.

  37. I’m not sure why you are so keen to continually discredit Pentecostal movements, of which there are many, with a variety of perspectives.

    I’m not discrediting Pentecostal movements. Merely looking at their history and how they have become corrupted compared to their simpler early forms.

    They were decidedly pacifist. Yet you defend war in Iraq. Which doesn’t seem to have solved anything.

    Maybe they knew something, you don’t.

    As for your nonsense about prosperity. Having dreams about prosperity doesn’t mean you will be prosperous. It’s some nonsense which came about in the 1950s with the arrival of celebrity evangelists and later, televangelists.

    Can you tell me what good ideas Pentecostals have given to the poor to get them out of prosperity?

    Early Pentecostals were among the poor, the blacks and the working class. They did not embrace prosperity theology.

    It seems you don’t even know your own history.

    Or don’t want to know.

  38. Steve, my humblest apologies. Indignation got the better of me as to comments I thought incredibly valid being deleted by Mr Ed. Please excuse my temper, we are working on it! Its my fiery Celtic side, aka it is just my pride…I have to accept that what seems so clearly apparent to me is lost to others still bound in darkness…that the god of this world has blinded their eyes to the truth and that i was once there too and it is only by the grace and perseverance of God that I have come to know any better.

    I am not being arrogant – merely confident – and God confides in those He can trust.

    Greg, the word I got on the weekend was for another quake between 1 and 1:30 Monday morning. There was a “Severe” shallow 5.4 near Seddon at 1:07am – a rude awakening to folk already hammered bu over 2000 tremors including 6 or 7 major events in a little over two weeks. I anticipate more over the next few days and a significant quake for Wellington of around 7.2, followed by an hiatus of 7 weeks and then a really significant quake.

    http://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/region/nelsonwestcoast/2013p563639

    http://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/region/nelsonwestcoast/2013p565386

    The Great Quake will not be until around July 2015, when the world will be in the grip of the worst depression ever – such that even the living will envy the dead. Another date to watch is October 31st this year for the Amuri District. Amuri is derived from Latin and means love(d), as in AMORE. I have received two words on the matter – Jeremiah 6:1 and Amos 1:1. The buzz I am getting is that there will be a big quake in the district near Mt Tekoa of around 7.8, in late October, even Halloween.

    Bones, I know it is OT, but it would seem many of my brothers do not understand the Spirit of Prophecy and I too am still “getting” to know Her. (The Holy Spirit is rendered in the feminine in ancient Aramaic, the tongue of Eashoah m’Sheekah, aka Yeshuah ha Meshiach, aka Jesus Christ).

    There will be many more quakes, volcanoes, etc., especially when Syria is invaded. As to you guys picking over the bones of the Corpus Christi, I suggest you/we/me all take pause to consider our ways and the times we are in. Jesus wants to take us to meet Dad and then to marry us – the marriage supper of the Lamb is coming. Like any new Bride, he will give you a NEW name which only you will know. Its in the Bible.

    And for the record Steve, when Paul said bodily exercise avails little he was talking about the Law, not PE. Its is a sword Steve, not a prick. LOL.

  39. Ian,
    And for the record Steve, when Paul said bodily exercise avails little he was talking about the Law, not PE.

    In fact, the Greek states that it is somatikos gumnasia which literally means ‘bodily exercise’ referring to the human body.

    We get he word ‘gymnasium’ from the Greek gumnasia, which literal means ‘the exercise of the body in a palaestra or school of athletics’.

    The context is the comparison between bodily exercise and spiritual exercise, or godliness, which is preferable, and is exactly the context in which I used it.

  40. And your fake, backhanded apology is not accepted. It is as perverse as the original comments you made.

    If you’re going to apologise at least make an honest job of it, or just forget it. I don’t hold grudges.

  41. Nice of you to tell us about a word you got about an earthquake to happen…after the earth quake has already happened! Now if you get another word about an imminent EQ…come straight here, get your word time and date stamped and then if it occurs you’ll have a deeper footing for claiming you receive words from God.

    I had a word on Sunday that Monday was going to be a day to be followed by Tuesday…ad here we are Wednesday and it is exactly as I was told it would be

  42. That would be fine Greg if Jesus spoke Greek – but He spoke Aramaic which is why I posted the Aramaic which you dismissed.

    So, you prefer to do it “Greek” do you? That figures. And you don’t hold grudges? I would imagine that if you asked God to show you everyone you hold to account you would be aghast. besides, Jesus used to take a swipe at the Pharisees, and it got Him deleted too…

    The reason why I posted the text, which you deleted, was that it makes it plainly obvious what the context is the Law. Greek schmeek – it is a metaphor you geek!

    Sorry Greg, I thought that I had posted those predictions here – must have been somewhere else – contact Ken in Wellington – he will tell you how accurate I have been. Plus I posted some here as well so keep them tucked away in your little box of tricks.

    Besides, people like you will always find a criticism and and excuse for your unbelief which is why you have no Power, I will I ask God to send you a sign. OK? It will be with love….

  43. Ian, I was quoting Paul who spoke and wrote in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Plus, as we have already determined, your Aramaic version is a translation, not the original. And, no, I don’t usually take much notice of lone wolfs like you. I’d be more concerned if a Kiwi couldn’t predict earthquakes in NZ. Since Wellington was built on a fault line and the buildings are constructed for possible movement you’d have to think the whole community expects tremors.

    Bones, isn’t it interesting that, though the slaves in the US started in poverty, many have now risen out of it, and they even have a President. I think you’re missing the point of coming up from poverty. There is no reason why there should be any poverty or lack in the world except for the greed and hoarding of mammon corporations. Even the slaves of pre-Lincoln days could have been better looked after by the rich. Poverty is the curse of mammon, not God.

  44. What’s this nonsense about?

    Ian, go and ruin some other thread. I thought with all the posts it was comments on my brilliant dissection and analysis of Pentecostalism.

    How disappointing!

    There are other threads on inane prophecies and fortune telling.

  45. Poverty is the curse of mammon, not God.

    And the curse of poverty is not lifted by giving all your food and rent money to a preacher.

  46. Well that’s right, Bones, but don’t you think you’ve made your point on that over the years? I think we understand your angst about ministries which take offerings, so there’s no reason to continually remind us. Your name has become synonymous with anti-pastor derision and suspicion.

    But I don’t think the levels of poverty experienced in struggling nations are in any way linked to church offerings, unless you take the viw that there is a connection between predominantly Catholic populations and poverty. That is not a point I am raising to be in any way anti-catholic, but it seems to be a fact that many, although not all, religiously affiliated Catholic nations also have high levels of deprivation amongst the population.

    Other religions, also, apart from, perhaps, Judaism, seem to be connected with poverty and lack. It is democratic secularism which is helping bring people out of religious bondage, but mostly in nations which provide a democratic system linked to ideals which stemmed from Protestant Christian work ethics. The Magna Carta was the beginning of the end of Catholic dominionism.

    Contemporary Christianity, beit Pentecostal, Baptist, or Reformed, or similar, appears to raise a sense of aspiration amongst most adherents.

    Don’t you think that, if a denomination or movement promotes aspirational values rather than poverty mentality they will help empower people to become self-sufficient under God’s sufficiency. Isn’t it true that righteousness exalts a nation?

  47. Not that the Magna Carta was a Protestant ideal, of course, since it predates Luther, but it was really the first time the nobles, representing the people, took it on themselves to challenge the monarchy, which saw itself as having a divine right under papal jurisdiction, ultimately leading to the Westminster system of government and the demise of papal control.

    Within two monarchs of breaking free from Catholic domination, Britain began to become great. By the time it was run entirely by the people, albeit the aristocracy, it had become the greatest human run Empire ever known. He wealthiest commonwealth in history, capable of ending all poverty under pre-Pentecosal Church of England spiritual oversight. And yet the streets of the cities and the workhouses and the slave labour factories still kept the ordinary people below the poverty line, even in the heady days of the industrial revolution.

    Thee was more than enough for everyone, but the nobles took t he place of the monarchs and the poor remained poor.

    Only now are they seeing the truth that God wants the poor out of poverty and into equality and prosperity, not through the interim welfare systems which are cracking under the strain of entitlement, but though the divinity of jobs for all and encouragement for the aspirational, which was always the first intention of the move from feudalism to democracy.

    It is the elites which keep the people under, not Pentecostalism, which has always sought to help people see their potential as Christain human beings with the same rights and equality as those who have inheritances, or control vast empires of wealth provision.

    Christ came to make all men equal, not to create a class system.

    1 Corinthians 3:21-23
    Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come — all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

  48. The labour and union movements all have Catholic roots.

    Maybe you should study Dom Helder Camara, Oscar Romero of Latin America and even Lech Walesa in Poland to see the influence of Catholicism among the poor and the fight against corporate evil.

  49. Everything European has Catholic roots, Bones. They burned people who disagreed with them. Are the Poles out of poverty yet? As a nation? Are they more or less Catholic? I see them all over north London. Great workers. Family people. Very aspirational. Still poor, which is why they left Poland. Give them five years, though, and they’ll start buying property.

    There are similarities between the communist trap and Catholicism. They kept the people humble, but by different propaganda.

    Set the people free through the gospel.

  50. And yet the streets of the cities and the workhouses and the slave labour factories still kept the ordinary people below the poverty line, even in the heady days of the industrial revolution.

    Thee was more than enough for everyone, but the nobles took t he place of the monarchs and the poor remained poor.

    That’s a result of
    (a) the Church being concerned with people’s souls more than their lives. The goal was to get them to heaven.
    (b) the belief that your status or social class was God given and predestined
    (c) the Protestant work ethic “Work hard or you don’t eat’ 2 Thess 3:10,11

  51. Exactly, Bones, and all predating the contemporary Pentecostal teaching you so despise.

    Let’s lift people out of it, don’t you think, by letting them know there’s a better way.

  52. There are similarities between the communist trap and Catholicism. They kept the people humble, but by different propaganda.

    It wasn’t the Pentecostals who brought down Communism in Poland. It was the influence of the Catholic Church.

    Union and labour movements were organised by Catholics.

    If it hadn’t been for them, your middle class congregants would still be working 100 hour weeks for bugger all.

  53. I think you’ll find that entry into the EU did more to assist the Poles, but we’ll allow you to run the line that Catholics we better for Pol than communists.

    The graph below shows some clear trends in changing poverty levels in Poland. According to all the measurements of poverty, deployed by the Polish Statistics Agency, poverty grew sharply from 2000 until Poland entered the EU in 2004, it then steadily declined until the outbreak of the global economic crisis, before once again levelling out or slowly increasing.

    In spite of these changes, the levels of relative and absolute poverty remain similar in 2011, to what they had been in 2001 (we shall consider statutory poverty below). Poverty most affects those families in which at least one member is unemployed. In those families with one unemployed member, 11.5% were below the statutory poverty line, which rose to 1/3 of families with 2 or more members without work.

    http://beyondthetransition.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/some-notes-on-poverty-in-poland.html

    My main point is to demonstrate that it isn’t Pentecost or teaching about prosperity that is causing the world’s problems as you seem to suggest.

    In fact, teaching people how to fish and supplying the fishing rod is preferable to providing a tin of sardines. The sardines is a good option and provides welfare, but the fishing rod and training is giving the option of dignity, self-sufficiency and is prosperity in action.

  54. True, and its even better not to take away their fishing rods in the first place or to burn their boats. The good ol’ US has done that more than a few times and Pentecostalism has cheered it on.

  55. What a load of Bolshevik! You really need to grow out of your uni student red socialist angst and drink a dose of reality. Or get out more. Most of the US interventions took place where the poverty stricken peasants were driven by liberation theology of pretend priests and radical socialist terrorists like Che Guevara and Pol Pot.

    I bet you still have a poster of Che on the wall of your den. You probably think it is romantic that the Cubans have been held in a time warp since the fifties by a communist dictatorship.

    The people in the regions where the US and others tried to intervene were in poverty because of dictatorships mixed with catholicism so they tried communism and catholicism embraced that too, and they are still in poverty to this day, only now it’s the drug cartels which offer them narcotic riches, poverty or death.

    Pentecostalism in these nations has offered an alternative to manipulation of the masses by wealthy dictators, elites and religionists and started to teach aspirational concepts and avenues to self-sufficinecy and the possibility of prosperity, which has opened their eyes to their own potential.

    You don’t like it because you think poor people should remain poor. You see the only hope for them is social welfare and the dominion of the Catholic church to keep them bound in religious superstition. You must do, or you would be disgusted with the way the elites the religionists, the priests and the socialist dictatorships have controlled them into dependency, poverty and powerlessness.

    If you want to say the US has stuffed up and backed the wrong regime on many occasions I would agree with you, but don’t lump the average Pentecostal worshipper in with your accusative finger pointing. And before you point Pat Robertson or some other TV Evangelist at me, I have written to him and aired my disagreement at his politics, and I’m a Pentecostal and I know many agree with my distaste for some of his right wing ideology.

    We are not the US. We love them. We pray for them, but we don’t necessarily follow their political or religious ideals. And I’ve just about had it up to here with you and Bones using them as an example of what we believe.

  56. But, having said that, God bless America, because without them being around and powerful in the last 70 years we would all be under communist dictatorships by now, and religion as we know it would be either eradicated or underground, and you and I would not be having this conversation, freely conferencing over catholicism, which, when at its height would have burned me at the stake for saying what I say on here, or over communism, which shoots critics on the spot without question, trial or warning.

    You applaud both catholicism and socialism, so you’d be fine, but we ministers of the gospel and opponents of marianism would be the first to go.

    So God bless America, even though it has made errors of judgment at times, because, mostly, she got it right, and we are free today because God used a great nation with great power and authority to deliver us from fascism, communism and dictatorships.

    And God bless Pat Robertson, who often stuffs up, and is sometimes wrong, and certainly frowned upon by socialist, atheists and secularists, but has the balls to speak his mind against some of the greatest threats to freedom in our times.

    So now we merely have to out up with a socialist world, which is mostly under control from its far left tendencies to eliminate dissent. My only fear for the US is that it is veering too far to the left at present, and our security is being weakened.

  57. What a complete trite and simplistic white-wash. The US regime is a major cause of poverty – mainly in other countries but also within its own borders.

    “Teaching people how to fish” – guess what? Fishing is not that hard. Poor people aren’t somehow deficient in common sense. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in the slums of the world.

    50 per cent of Iraqis now live in slum conditions. The war produced 1 million refugees to Syria and 1.3 million internal refugees. Iraq has unquestionably increased in poverty due to the actions of the US.

  58. Ha Ha, yes, of course, you’re right, and Bones is right it’s all the US and Israel’s fault, and probably John Howard, George Bush and Benny Hinn’s fault. Poor old Saddam was a nice man! His people loved him – or else. El Qaeda are really just freedom fighters against US tyranny! Stalin was a loving leader! Castro a gentleman!

    So it wasn’t Brian Houston after all.

    Thank God for that!

  59. Gee Steve, I see that you are as familiar with politics as you are with scripture. With you on this one Wazza – the US are sooo good as Disneyfying their image when they are ravening wolves and warmongers plying their perfidious trade. The chain of command is quite simple – Germany owns England which owns the Commonwealth and UN which owns the IMF which owns America which owns much of the rest of the world, and at the top of the Pyramid is Rothschild, which owns half the world’s wealth. They own your Central Banks, most of the Banking, the BIS and they are 10 x Rockefeller and there American front is JP Moregain. They only have about 5 more hold-out Central Banks to snaffle and they will have the game complete – it is called Monopoly Capitalism. Marx was a Rothschild shill via Engels. The cavalry won’t be coming to save you this time, as this time we will be the Indians…God judge America…please…but never forget the Germans who “lost” the war but won the Peace.

    By the way, how do you know what Paul read and wrote? Aramaic as the scribal language, and besides, it would still be a metaphor, and as the Holy Spirit told me, do not make mechanisms out of metaphors or systems out of similes. Besides, I am not a lone wolf, I am a widdle lambykins. Oh and Greg, I found that story on the guy who go the miracle – and who his employer is, so just for you, I will contact them tomorrow. But for now, here it is.

    Publication: The Press
    Headline: Worker caught by car above manhole
    Print Run Date: 3/02/2004
    Page: A1
    Digital Run Date:
    Reporter: BOOKER Jarrod
    Caption:
    Source:
    Keywords: ROAD ACCIDENTS; INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS; CHRISTCHURCH CITY
    Column:
    Special Instructions:
    Restrict:
    Text: A workman suffered serious injuries when hit by a car as his head protruded from a street manhole in Christchurch yesterday.
    The construction worker, who had been working underground on a pressure main, was taken to Christchurch Hospital for urgent treatment just after 2pm, a St John Ambulance spokesman said.

    The accident happened on the corner of Hay Street and McGregors Road in Linwood.

    The Press understands a road cone was marking the area where the man was working.

    Witnesses said the driver of the car lived near the scene and appeared to have carried on home just after the accident, with the victim’s colleagues in pursuit.

    Police said those issues would be considered as part of a full investigation into what happened. “It’s not a cut and dried thing. It will take some careful examination of the facts to find out what caused it, ” Sergeant Gordon Spite said.

    The driver of the car had been spoken to, and her car seized for examination, but no charges had been laid.

    “It’s too early to say exactly what course of action will be taken, ” Spite said.

    The injured man, in his mid-20s, works for Belfast-based March Construction Ltd. March Construction chief executive Guy March said last night the man’s family and company workers were in “deep shock” and had been offered counselling.

    “The police and OSH are doing their own investigations and I have to wait for those findings before I can comment, but we will be conducting our own internal investigation.”

    Of course there was no follow up story about his miracle, but I am sure I can get to the bottom of it.

    Actually I have decided that no matter what I write or predict you will gain say it, you and Greg, so there is no point. For what it is worth I see the following dates as being key, 18-9-13, 31-10-13, 26-12-13 and July 2015. Sites to watch, Wairau Valley, Amuri Plain, Kairos Street Banks Peninsula, and Melbourne, Darwin, Singapore. That will do for a while.

    Oh of course Welly, which will get a 7 plus, and then 7 weeks later be destroyed by a 9.1, and of course then there is the Queensland Tsunami and the Taupo Caldera, Lyttelton volcano, and Hamner volcano. And that is just our neighborhood.

    There will be a time when the entire world’s communications systems will be fried and darkness will cover the land,as the Lord gathers His elect to the marriage supper of the Lamb.- so keep those lamps filled and wicks trimmed. It is going to be very dark for those who have no light.

    Cut and paste this somewhere, for safe keeping. The key word will be Tekoa.

  60. Does anyone think that the regional civil war between sunni and shia Muslims has anything to do with the displacement and unrest taking pace? Or the fact that moderate, secular Muslims have had it up to here with the militant sharia theocratic Muslims?

  61. The Brookings Institution :

    The Iraq War left behind five-million Iraqi orphans, took more than 100,000 Iraqi lives, forced four- to five-million Iraqis to flee their homes and communities, displaced ancient Iraqi minority groups, and devastated much of Iraq’s infrastructure and economy.

    These are the human and material costs of an unwarranted war. And they are not one-time losses. These costs will continue to accrue year after year, generation after generation. For what will be the life story of an Iraqi orphan who lost everything in the war? How will the traumas of her childhood impact her future relationships — to her spouse, her children, and her community? What will the refugee children who cannot remember a childhood in Iraq and have only the memories of extended family or strangers to use in building their own narrative, rely upon for a sense of identity and history? What will all the Iraqi Christians, Yazidis, and Mandaean parents tell their children when they ask about their homeland, knowing they will likely never return? These are not the costs and lessons of war that military strategists and political analysts emphasize, but they are painfully real to many Iraqis today.

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/03/20-human-cost-of-iraq-war-momani

    And yet you just laugh when I bring up these serious issues. Talk about calling evil good.

    Does anyone think that internal civil disturbances has nothing to do with the disruption caused by the Americans bombing the shit out of the place?

  62. And of course the war is estimated to cost the US over $3 trillion according to Brown Unis “Costs of War” project. Thats $3,000,000,000,000 that cant be spent on health, social security etc. contributing to poverty of US citizens.

  63. Well, no, it’s no laughing matter, but I was amused at the extremes you will go to to accuse Pentecosals of something nasty. The post is about the dark side of Pentecostalism, but I think you and Bones a stretching things somewhat. I laughed to hold myself back from getting into you for your disgraceful accusations.

  64. Early Pentecostals never justified war or the rape of another country.

    Why do Pentecostals justify it now?

    What changed?

  65. In fact, it’s been demonstrated by both your appeal to history and wazza’s that war, rape and pillage predate contemporary Pentecostalism. Wazza blames the US for everything. The rewriting of history to suit your own anti-Pentecostal agenda is extraordinary.

    I thought the accusation was that Hillsong and C3 were built on worship and prosperity – you know, promoting goodwill towards God and well being amongst congregants.

    Neither you nor wazza nor I have ever heard a sermon from Hillsong or C3, or any similar movement promoting war or rape. That is so absurd that I don’t think even you will attempt to lay down some connection.

    This thread is becoming absurd.

  66. Tongues was a Prophecy in. “Our Tongues” eg. Greek
    (Acts 2) “we hear them speak in our Tongues” eg Greek
    Sometimes there happened to be someone present with the Language as MOTHERTONGUE
    This was the Case “Interpretor present”
    Sometimes there was no one there with the Language as Mother-Tongue
    This was the Case “unknown Tongue”
    But even then the Speaker himself realised he spoke in a real Tongue,
    Because he saw on other days
    That sometimes someone had the particular Language
    As Mothrr Tongue
    And so he knew God had spoken a Prophecy through him
    And because he saw this very great Miracle
    Where he spoke in a Language that was not his Mothertongue
    His Faith was edified.
    And true Prophecy always occurred suddenly without Warnung
    When God chose to speak
    According to the sovereign Will of God
    It was just like King Saul in 1 Samuel 10:6
    Where God spoke prophetically through Saul
    And the people said “is Saul become a Prophet?”
    The false Gibberish of Pentecostal Cult is the exact opposite
    And occurs always exclusively according to the Will of Man
    The poor deceived Pentecostal can produce his Gibberish
    Whenever he feels like doing it,
    Because it comes from Man and not from God

    The biggest Lie of Pentecostal Cult is they speak about “Grace”
    But do the exact Opposite
    And trust in empty pointless Works of self-righteousness
    Like praising God for hours on End
    They claim praising God
    Makes you “stronger” in “Spirit”
    Or you receive “more” of the “spirit”
    But the only Strength that you can have
    Is simple childlike Faith in Grace without Works
    And he that truly believes the “Simplicity in Christ” (2 Cor 11:3)
    Of Faith in Grace alone without Works
    Has already hundred procent the true Spirit of Jesus Christ
    And every Blessing in Christ
    And in this true Grace are all the promises of God “Yes and Amen”
    He that trusts in his own heart and empty Works of praising God
    Is trusting in Works
    And thinks he is “Good”
    But he who thinks he is “Good”
    Is totally separated from the true Forgiveness of Faith in Grace alone and is still dead in his Sins (Gal 5:4)
    Abraham never killed Isaac
    Instead his “Work of Faith”
    Was that he believed (Romans 4)+Gal 3
    And that he was ready to sacrifice his Son is a Picture
    Of Gopds love to us
    And our only “Work” is to love others
    And clothe the Sinner who is naked in Sin
    And feed him with Bread of Word of Grace (James 2) Love your neighbour this is “Doer of engrafted Word of Faith from Liberty of Grace
    And this is love not in Word but in deed and truth
    We must only fear God believe in his Grace and love others
    True Prophecy was of Jesus and his Death on the Cross
    But after Jesus is risen
    All is fulfilled concerning Jesus
    So there can be no “new” messages concerning Jesus
    Because the next thing that Jesus will do is his Return
    Which no one can predict.
    So there can be no “new” Prophecies after the Resurrection
    And that is why John the true Elijah who came before Jesus died
    Said after the Lamb of God is come
    I (Jprophet) must decrease and Jesus must increase
    Because Jesus is God who came from Heaven
    And john was from the earth
    That is why God warns us after Jesus is come
    ALL who come later and claim to be “Prophets” are Liers
    (Zechariah 13:3)
    Jesus is the fountain of forgiveness and “smite the shepherd”
    Is death of jesus on the cross
    The true tongues was never a Gibberish
    I was only truly free after i separated myself from Lies of Pentecostal Cult
    ONLY Jesus Christ is God
    Therefore it was a very great Exception
    That God himself Jesus Christ allowed the Apostles to do great Miracles
    The only reason for this Exception
    Was that Jesus was not allowed to show his Resurrection
    Openly to the World
    Thats why he chose Apostles as Witnesses of Resurrection
    (Acts 10:41 and Acts 1
    And ALL the promised Signs in Mark 16
    Were “Signs of an Apostle” (2 Cor 12:12)
    To confirm the “Word” of Resurrection
    And this “Word” was the greater Works in John 14 of message that jesus is risen which God confirmed through Apostles (Heb 2:4) Separate yourself from this evil Pentecostal Cult
    In Love of the Truth
    Torsten Larsen
    And this true Elijah did no miracles (John 10:41)

  67. That’s one huge post there Torsten.

    Can I just point one think out. You talk about grace vs works, and cite the fact that Pentecostals saying that speaking in tongues making themselves “strong in spirit” is a “works” mentality and the opposite of grace.

    Pentecostals don’t believe that speaking in tongues is a way of earning their salvation. So it has nothing to do with works or grace.

    But there is nothing wrong with works. Many Pentecostals do indeed believe that speaking in tongue makes them stronger, or more edified, but in the same way they also believe that praying or reading the Bible or praising or giving thanks is beneficial.

    I’ve read any number of books by non-pentecostals who believe that praying in English or spending time reading the Bible and acting on it make them stronger. They also are not saying anything about works, or salvation in that regard.

    Anyway, there is nothing wrong with good works. We are called to do good works.
    You just can’t rely on doing good works to save you.

    As for the rest, there’s a little too much in there. And I wasn’t sure if it was an argument or a poem.

    But just one more, It seems to me that Paul could speak in tongues anytime he wanted.

    But not sure how your cessationist beliefs (and I respect you for them – it’s your right, and I know many Godly people who are cessationists) is a “dark side” of pentecostalism.

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