Lisa Robinson over at Theologica has written a great post as a former Pentecostal I appreciate, considering my last post on conversionism, how she approached this with grace and tact. (I have posted this without her knowledge, but she is a friend and I am sure she wouldn’t mind.)
I am not a Pentecostal/Charismatic. I used to be though. But I dove into a course of study that had me re-examining some things I believed, particularly related to the sign gifts, speaking in tongues and validity of modern day prophets and apostles. I also discovered that extreme fringes of this movement have promoted some things that I don’t believe correspond to biblical truth, i.e. word of faith, new revelations, etc.
Given the direction my biblical studying has brought me thus far, the natural tendency is to vehemently oppose any vestiges of this movement. The tendency, I think, is to regret that time was wasted in a movement that I no longer am in alignment with. However, I have discovered that while I have come to reject some of the pentecostal/charismatic teachings, I do welcome and embrace others. I do cherish and appreciate the time and experiences I have gained. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. I also think it’s interesting that God keeps bringing pentecostal folks into my life. It is humbling.
So I thought I would express my ode to Pentecostalism, those characteristics about the movement and its people that I have come to respect, appreciate and maintain in my heart as I continue on this journey.
1) Pentecostals know how to pray: It’s not that non-pentecostals don’t but I have found an affinity towards prayer that pentecostals have, all night if need be. Pray without ceasing, pray for governing authorities, pray for perseverance, pray for each other…that is what we are commended to do.
2) Pentecostals know how to praise: These folks are not ashamed to lift up hands, shout and dance. Praising God is what we were designed to do. David danced before the Lord and maybe so should we, considering the Spirit that dwells within us. No need to be boring or rigid.
3) Pentecostals expect things to happen: Sure this is part and parcel of the full continuation of gifts as represented in the early church. But I have to admire the heart behind it, which says we will not limit God and how He wants to move. Its a heart that says we expect great things from God. Considering the transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent, holy, righteous and sovereign God whom we serve, who has demonstrated His mindfulness and love for us through the cross, who has communicated His power to us through His word, should we not expect Him to move in mighty ways? I know I do.
Yes, these are characteristics worth pondering and worth appreciating.