Http Www.All-About-Body-Language.Com Body-Language-Books.Html The Pentecostals – A Religion of Fools and Holy Rollers Or a Renaissance of Faith?

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The Pentecostals – A Religion of Fools and Holy Rollers Or a Renaissance of Faith?

Amy is cheerful, full of laughter and love, and always ready to tackle difficult discussions about religion, society, politics, literature or whatever the topic is. She reads a lot, stays informed, and enjoys intellectual sharing. She also listens with understanding and speaks warmly rather than arguing religious ideas and principles that may differ from others. Amy is from Virginia, the home of Thomas Jefferson, who advocates reason as the path to truth. How then can Amy follow a Pentecostal minister and church in Natchitoches, Louisiana? I went to find out.

First a bit of history. Many churches today, both Protestant and Catholic, have a charismatic arm, a segment that believes in a more demonstrative form of worship as opposed to the traditional ceremonies that many Christians are familiar with.

These charismatics can be seen shouting, clapping, clapping and talking loudly, in ways that would be considered crude or impolite in other circles, but for them they are ways to feel their faith and immerse themselves in the joy of it. These are people who take their faith seriously and show their joy openly. Indeed they are not afraid to “make a sound of joy”. They speak of miracles, physical and spiritual, of healing, hearing and seeing visions and the ability to literally heal the bodies of their sick. Some argue that these charismatics are too “extra-biblical” in that they go beyond the words to the individual reception and expression of the Holy Spirit. Others see them as an energizing force in facilitating a spiritual Renaissance. But what they are, they grow and make a difference in their various congregations.

Pentecostals are the “original” or “classic” charismatics in belief and behavior; and its historical development could be seen as the foundation of practices in mainstream groups. According to most authorities, “Classical Pentecostalism” began in the early 20th century. The movement emphasized the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The evidence of this baptism was speaking in tongues showing that spiritual gifts were received. This belief, and practice, caused the removal of Pentecostals from mainstream churches. Consequently, they founded their own churches which became known as the Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Assemblies of God, the United Pentecostal Church, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and the Church of God in Christ. Famous people like Aimee Semple McPherson and Sarah Palin were part of this religious group.

According to Reverend Whitehead of Natchitoches’ Fountain of Life Church, the Pentecostal movement of the early 20th century was a renewal of what had been recorded in the Book of Acts and what had been Christian belief and behavior. Speaking in tongues as a testimony of the infusion of the Holy Spirit was part of the response of worship through the centuries of Christian practice and simply became particularly pronounced, and recorded, in the beginning of 1900. Pentecostals believe in prayer, fasting and abstinence, but unlike some mainstream groups they have not given up a special time like Lent for these practices. They emphasize modesty of dress and behavior so women don’t wear pants just as men don’t wear dresses, according to Reverend Whitehead. No one, however, has to take a vow of poverty and give everything to the church. Pentecostals believe that people should be prosperous, be accountable in all things, and live the life of the gospel. I also believe in baptism by full immersion, which is like a death and therefore represents the rebirth of the Spirit.

Reverend Whitehead and I discussed the current controversy over religion and politics. He told me that he encourages his church members to vote, but does not tell them how to vote. Although he does not find a biblical admonition against preachers running for political office, he believes that it is very difficult for a preacher to be a politician because of the duties and responsibilities that are unique to each. He sees the ministry as a vocation as opposed to a profession, but observes that it is important to know and understand the Bible well, Reverend Whitehead is well-spoken and reads a lot, contrary to some stereotypes about Pentecostal ministers and their gang He had three years of education at the Bible School in Texas, but he talked about his continued learning through life experiences and being a pastor for 40 years.

Pentecostals are centered in Christ, they believe in reading the Bible and, according to Reverend Whitehead, their most important message would be: “Jesus is God, and you are not saved just by being sincere, even if this is the prevailing belief in the world. It is important to challenge on the basis of the Scriptures and recognize that sincerity is not the method of salvation.”

So this is the sum of Pentecostals: a style of worship that some might see as different, but consistent and coherent in its presentation and belief and worthy of consideration and respect. The style of worship may seem dramatic and different to some, but enter a Catholic church if you were raised Mormon, and you will find it so different. A lot depends on the culture and the set of beliefs that we come from when we look at another’s religion. Some people who come from religions that make others believe that they are stupid are themselves stupid for not allowing individual differences and not understanding that these people can be sincere, thoughtful and intelligent people. Like Amy — and her minister.

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