Non Denominational Pentecostal Response

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ly recognizing their differences, explicitly assert the authority of Scripture from its divine inspiration. The chief value of the report stems from its great effort to pursue the common ground between Reformed and Pentecostals while genuine- particularly regarding spiritual gifts. It leads us to observe that the Pentecostal view of spiritual gifts could to the positive development contribute ship, mission, revival, and theology. Non-denominational Pentecostal Janet Everts Powers Introduction I consider myself an “expert” of Christian evangelism, wor- Response at Reformed/Pentecostal dialogue career answering ques- minister, am teaching at since I have spent most of my professional tions about why I, a Pentecostal/Charismatic a Reformed Church in America college. People I meet see almost no connection between the two traditions and want to know how I can together intellectually find myself explaining Pentecostals and the Pentecostal church to members of the Reformed possibly hold the two traditions ly. So I constantly tradition. I have even designed and personal- the Reformed tradition to a popular freshman course which seeks to explain various Christian traditions to those from different I have learned in my existential in my conversations with form the foundation of this course. especially at Hope College or my fellow Pentecostal min- isters, when I wonder if I will ever succeed in explaining religious traditions. The things Reformed/Pentecostal dialogue But there are many times, Reformed colleagues dition to the other. When I first heard of Reformed/Pentecostal knew first-hand either tra- the possibility of a official dialogue I had rather mixed feelings about the endeavor. On the one hand, I knew it was important ditions to discuss the many misunderstandings discover how much they really had in common. the cultural and theological two traditions and suspected that mutual understanding was going to be very difficult to achieve. I was very interested in the for the two tra- that divided them and On the other hand, I barriers that divided the and sympathy 68 1 ongoing dialogue and was eager to read the Final Report. As I read the Final Report, I was very encouraged signs that real progress toward mutual understanding I thought the focus on differing understandings two traditions showed the dialogue’s the commitment es is the highly disparaging when I saw had been made. of spirituality in the commitment to dealing with the I was not surprised that tools for helping one of the practical issues that often divide the them. of the dialogue teams to experience worship in both traditions proved “to be one of the most significant both teams understand one another.” In my experience, most divisive factors between Pentecostals and the Reformed church- remarks that are often made about each other’s worship styles. Pentecostals don’t like being accused of being fakes who are only interested in putting on a good show and Reformed Christians are quite offended when they are called boring and stiff. Both traditions value their own forms of worship and spirituality undignified “God’s frozen chosen”-cold, they are respected by the other. and need to know that The report acknowledges the need 41: the Spirit’s presence and should occur on the con- “The two communities action differently. crete reality of worship.” recommendation When I asked my colleagues to explore these differences further when it states in paragraph of faith express Much more conversation I sincerely hope the dialogue will take this seriously in future discussions. College to comment on this report they responded scholars ought to respond-they in the religion department at Hope as good Reformed concentrated on the theology pre- to be done. remarks which follow: Spirit 2) the differing conceptions Pentecostal traditions had in finding a common language. sented in the report and pointed out areas where there was still work So I will comment on several of these areas in the 1) the relationship 3) the problem the participants Word and Spirit between the Word and the of ministry in the Reformed and in the dialogue and impressive statement at the beginning regard the older conception The section on “Word and Spirit” was by far the most thorough section of the final report. of this section in paragraph of the contrast between the Reformed and I was relieved by the clear 16: “We 69 2 Pentecostal families as consisting between the Word (Reformed) of a difference in emphasis to be in and the Spirit (Pentecostal) need of correction. Both the Reformed and Pentecostal traditions consider Jesus Christ to be the criterion for the work of the Holy Spirit.” The “older conception” is really a caricature of both tradi- between the Reformed church and church Pentecostals to the Holy Spirit” (#17). tions and has caused many misunderstandings and Pentecostals. For both the Reformed “the yardstick of Christ must judge those things ascribed also clarifies long recognized Pentecostal understandings as the primary colleagues and myself have and Pentecostals see the church But the The report (#19-21, 92-95 and many other sections throughout) what both my Reformed as one of the real differences in the Reformed of the Spirit. locus of the Spirit’s work and believe that the Spirit works through the church to affect both culture and creation. Reformed tradition is far more open to the activity of the Spirit in both creation and culture apart from the church. ference the Reformed church is committed to the transformation of culture and open to human culture transforming Pentecostals are far more suspicious they see as negative Christianity Because of this dif- the church, of the interaction between while any around them. In American education and the Pentecostal education, culture and the church and tend to separate themselves from what cultural influences this contrast between the two traditions is most clearly seen in the Reformed tradition’s commitment to all forms of higher suspicion but the ministry training offered by seminaries forms of Christian higher education. In future dialogue, useful to explore the different attitudes towards faith and learning in the two traditions. not just of secular higher and other it might be between the two traditions. progress toward mutual Given the Reformed comes as no surprise “sharply differentiate were reluctant to the “concentrate natural gifts” (#32). The sections on spiritual gifts (#32 and 50-58) also showed real understanding openness to the work of the Spirit in creation, it that the Reformed ‘supernatural gifts’ one has been baptized Nor is it surprising speaking in tongues “enjoys a privileged position” with the Holy Spirit” (#56). participants could not from ‘natural gifts”‘ and attention on the so-called super- that Pentecostals affirm that as the “sign…that What is surpris- 70 3 traditions to the ing is the number of beliefs concerning the gifts of the Spirit that both were able to affirm: that the gifts are available church today, that spiritual gifts are essential to the life of the church and the ministry of the church, that such gifts work together for the good of the church, that “no single gift or set of gifts is normative every believer or every congregation” for (#54) and that both traditions of the gifts of the Spirit. This for greater need to broaden their understanding discussion understanding My only real disappointment of spiritual gifts lays significant groundwork between the two traditions. with this section was its failure to deal with hermeneutical issues in a way that allowed for areas of mutual agreement. In paragraphs Pentecostals and the Reformed described, involved in any discussion and confessions Pentecostal (#43) son, the Pentecostals 22 and 25-33, the different ways tradition read Scripture are clearly the way of the Word. The Reformed of Scripture; the and of the Spirit. When the dif- like polar opposites, scripture, defined as the accumulated tory.. Therefore, both traditions meaning of Scripture. “renewed but no real effort is made to relate the method of one tra- dition to the method of the other. However, one of the central issues of “Word and Spirit” is certainly that the Spirit informs the interpretation church places a high value on tradition as it is formulated in creeds in the interpretation tradition places a high value on personal experience testimony (# 45). The Reformed tradition places a high value on rea- on the inspiration ferences between the two traditions are stated in this way, they sound but in the actual practice of the interpretation they are not that far apart. experiences of After all, tradition can be of the church throughout his- use experience to illuminate the of a illumination that in future Reformed/Pentecostal hermeneutical agreement Pentecostals know the importance mind” in seeking to understand the things of God and the Reformed tradition has always affirmed the importance of the Holy Spirit” in the reading of the Word. can be delineated Ministry and Mission of the “inner I hope dialogue, these and other areas of more clearly. One of the very real differences between the Reformed and 71 4 Pentecostal qualifies two traditions of the document. Reformed colleagues icant underlying (usually ordained) the laity that this view implies. Although of who this issue is not the that this is the issue my of the Word in wor- are uncom- between the clergy and in the dia- traditions is the way they answer the question as a minister of the Word. focus of any one section of the final report, the different answers the give to this question influence many different sections It is highly significant at Hope College picked out as the most signif- issue in the dialogue. In the Reformed tradition the proclamation ship and the administration of the sacraments is limited to recognized ministers. Several of my colleagues fortable with this view of the ministry and two of them have chosen not to be ordained because of the separation The Reformed participants logue seem rather uncomfortable with this view as well and anxious (#58) to “affirm that God calls men and women and endows them with different gifts to exercise various forms of ministry in order to equip the whole people of God for mission in the world.” is not confined to “the ministry and that church members are often ordained or commis- sioned “to such ministries of the church as caring for the poor and the marginalized, teaching Sunday school, leading youth ministries, ministries, and more.” of Word and Sacrament” is usually restricted to recognized out that ministry Sacrament” thering women’s “ministry clergy in Reformed churches. Reformed can be seen in the following Pentecostal congregations God’s Word and to encourage alongside They point of Word and fur- But the fact remains that the It believers to speak for God (#25). “It The Pentecostal view of ministry stands in stark contrast to the view, but it is not clearly defined in the Final Report. statements: “There is a tendency in many to decentralize the communication of ordinary the preaching ministry of the ordained minister” is a Pentecostal conviction that the Spirit of God can speak through ordinary Christians in various ways that are consistent with the bibli- cal message… these inspired words aid the preached word in making the will of God revealed in Scripture dynamic and relevant to partic- “Whether gathered in worship or ular needs in the Church” (#29). dispersed ministry” (#49). “Pentecostals faith of believers, deepen their in society, all members are called to exercise their gifts in affirm that spiritual gifts enhance the fellowship with God, edify the 72 5 Church, and empower Pentecostals mission in the world” (#51). “Most believe the baptism in the Holy Spirit is for the empow- erment of believers to effective witnesses of the Gospel to the ends of the earth…This empowerment commissioning throughout mission” includes divine calling, equipping, of the Holy Spirit and the continuing presence (#66). In other words, Pentecostals affirm that any believer who has received the baptism with the Holy Spirit is a potential minister of the Word. It seems to me that this Pentecostal “the prophethood of all believers,” uncomfortable gy and other believers. view, which has been called could make a significant contri- for those who are between the ordained cler- ministry in its bution to the Reformed view of ministry, especially with too great a distinction Although the Reformed tradition is unlikely to accept the Pentecostal view of Spirit-empowered entirety, further dialogue about who is qualified to be a minister of the Word might enrich both traditions and produce mutual agreement to both churches. an issue that is important Language and Participants A significant omission that is both acknowledged on dialogue with and disagreement. of this Reformed/Pentecostal and reflected in the Final Report is a com- mon language with which the two traditions could communicate each other and clearly express areas of agreement This failure to find a common language is almost certainly the result of another problem in the way this dialogue was constituted from the The Final Report admits that “members of the teams beginning. lacked an adequate understanding “members of the Pentecostal Reformed community did not already Why were people chosen to participate of the other tradition and no close relations tle understanding members of the other community? of the other tradition” (#8) and that community and members of the have close relations” (#6). in the dialogue who had so lit- with Those who have no relationships it is clear that the Catholic ed in the Catholic/Pentecostal charismatic participants, both traditions, have contributed with the other tradition are unlikely to be deeply invested in the dia- logue. As I have listened to the reports of those who have participat- dialogue, who have a deep investment in aspects of to the success of the dialogue in 73 6 discussions of “spiritual Final Report. the term “spiritual that are found throughout the to building bridges between the two traditions. This failure to find a common language is most clearly seen in the discernment” I think that I understand what each tradition means by discernment.” The Reformed tradition believes that anything claiming to come from the Spirit must be judged by whether or not it conforms to Word. It is especially important “test the Spirit” of any doctrine to determine whether or not it is based on the word of God in order to protect the church from false This kind of discernment is the responsibility teaching. ordained ministry and theologians part of spiritual discernment, of the of the church. Pentecostals would many other discernment involves determining uals and congregations, recognizing spirits in people’s agree that testing doctrines and other words by the Word of God is but would also include activities under this term. For a Pentecostal, where the Spirit of God is leading both individ- spiritual the influence of evil or demonic judging any prophecy that is lives and ministries, given in a worship service and any other activity that involves deter- or acting in a given situation. report points out, the locus of Pentecostal mining if God is speaking often the entire congregation (#25). stand what each tradition means by spiritual discernment, oughly confused by the following trouble determining As the spiritual discernment is Despite the fact I think I under- I was thor- statement: “The Bible nourishes It discernment” really the people of God and enables them to discern the spirits” (#22). seemed that the attempt to find a common language had resulted in a statement that had no real meaning in either tradition. In fact, I had what the term “spiritual meant nearly every time I found it in this document. This language problem could have been at least partially solved if both traditions had made more of an effort to include participants who understood the other tradition and had close relations with mem- bers of the other tradition. But the criteria for the selection or partic- that this would not happen. ipants almost guaranteed ly approached about participating I didn’t qualify Pentecostal in this dialogue, I was original- but then was told because I was not a member of an “historic denomination.” Even though Church of America college, I couldn’t qualify as a Reformed pant because I was not a member of a Reformed church. In other I teach at a Reformed partici- 74 7 camp, I was disqualified the two camps! from diverse denominational words, because I had a foot in both camps and not both feet in one from participating The report acknowledges backgrounds dialogue to members of an “historic Pentecostal denomination” ty much eliminates those who come out of Reformed Most Reformed church members came into contact with Pentecostal teachings through the charismatic renewal and very few of them were comfortable denominations. Reformed with the Wesleyan effort to include Reformed in the dialogue between that Pentecostals come (#29), but restricting the pret- denominations. stance of the historic Pentecostal independent Charismatic/ in the dialogue. Yet charis- Instead most Reformed charismatics either stayed in churches or moved into Pentecostal churches. It also seemed that WARC made very little charismatics matics who stayed in the various Reformed churches are probably the ones who have the most to gain from the dialogue been the most invested in the process. think the criteria for the selection of participants ined and more people who have an investment in both traditions need to be included. Dutch Pentecostal Response Paul N. van der Laan Dutch connection and would have If the dialogue continues, I needs to be reexam- has been Churches is of particular marked by the dominance enteenth and eighteenth Church (Nederlands Hervormde reportl in which it acknowledged Pentecostal people a neglected The author of this response is Dutch and for this reason this dia- logue between the Pentecostal and World Alliance of Reformed interest to him. The Netherlands of the Reformed churches during the sev- centuries. In 1960 the Dutch Reformed and sometimes distorted Kerk) published a remarkable that “through the activities of many part of the I Herderlijk schrijven van de Generale Synode der Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk, De Kerk en de Pinkstergroepen (The Hague: Boekencentrum, 1960). See my analy- 75 8

13 Comments

  • Reply September 26, 2023

    Anonymous

    Perhaps it would help to write the vision and make it plain rather than just writing and letting God fill it with incomplete , words and sentences.

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Terry Wiles yeah good luck with that Link Hudson tried to create an ordo order back in the day for Peter Vandever Then deleted it or something to that extend And sill cannot agree with Charles Page on man made regeneration !

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day Lol. And check spelling after posting. Take time to edit.

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day you labeled a post of mine an ordo… post. That was your label.

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson what are you talking about ? Terry Wiles you think I wrote this 馃槈

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day You labeled my post as order something– order salutis or whatever you said. I didn’t call it that.

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson what post was that? The one you deleted or other?

    • Reply September 27, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day I deleted the gay Pentecostal thread because of your constant tagging and beating a dead horse so I wouldn’t get notifications about it.

      I don’t recall the leading any other threads but it’s possible I deleted something for the same reasons.

    • Reply September 28, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson well you deleted it like you deleted that video BUT gay Pentecostals are not are gay horse and they are taking over your denom. as Charles Page indicated. NOW why you jump back on that topic on every OP you can but the right one is another story

    • Reply September 28, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day I think you may have some issues with your memory, especially about videos. I am pretty sure I never made a decision to take down a video based on you, especially a video on a topic I never made a video about.

      Jumping on topics? You tag me, and I respond. If I’m on a phone it can be hard to even see the OP, but I see your digs at me.

      Neither Charles Page nor yourself have not given me enough information to let me know if or what something is going on with gays in the COG denomination. I’m hoping it’s a lot of hub-bub about an outreach ministry to win them to Christ. I have heard of gay students going to Lee. At a university, kids can have all kinds of trouble. I heard of gay groups going to Lee trying to stir up trouble from the outside. I’ve never even been on the Lee University campus. I’m not very connected to the denomination and you wouldn’t know the church I go to is COG if you just attend. There is no brand name or logo anywhere for the COG.

    • Reply September 28, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson dont have any issues with it Pls for the last time stop with your bewitching curses. You had a video about polygamic and beating wives that are not do well submissively to husbands. You got rid of it once we brought it in the group and we dropped the issue. Then you started claiming the video never existed – I found it in the archives and you admitted messing around with it. From that point on has been on and off – you say never existed. I clock you with it – you admit it existed but blah blah blah No one cares about your video as it carries NO theological weight and as most of your posts is just pure speculation. I do not know who Charles Page and why he needs to give you any explanation. The man is pretty straight forward from what I’ve seen THAT you speak of him without tagging him is just another manipulative speculation. If you’ve got something to tell him pls do not drag me into your emotional drama again. Thanks a bunch!

    • Reply September 28, 2023

      Anonymous

      Troy Day the video you describe never existed. I made a video where I pointed out the Twisted thinking of someone else who made a video quoting Paul about wife submitting to their husbands while showing beat up pictures of abused wives as if wife submitting to their husbands or the Bible’s teaching was responsible for wife beating. it is possible that I mentioned polygamy in that video or some other video saying that God regulated polygamy in the Old Testament or something along those lines but I have never endorsed polygamy. my video is still up and I also made a video what of your wife does not submit to you but none of these videos say to beat your wife or encourage polygamy. maybe you were trying to be sincere about this but you need to make sure that your inability to remember correctly doesn’t lead you to sin by falsely speaking ill of other brothers.

    • Reply September 28, 2023

      Anonymous

      Link Hudson lets talk about The Unknown Hebrew Story of Jacob

      We read the exact text of that second blessing (the one that was actually intended for Jacob by Isaac) in Genesis 28:3-4. All of these words came to full fruition. They promised Jacob that God the Provider will grant him a large number of offspring and that they will have their own Land (this blessing is very diferent from the one he stole from his brother Esau).

      讜职讗值诇 砖讈址讚旨址讬 讬职讘指专值讱职 讗止转职讱指 讜职讬址驻职专职讱指 讜职讬址专职讘旨侄讱指 讜职讛指讬执讬转指 诇执拽职讛址诇 注址诪旨执讬诐

      May El Shaddai bless you, make you fertile and numerous, so that you become an assembly of peoples. (Gen. 28:3)

      This particular blessing invokes the name of God as 讗值诇 砖讈址讚旨址讬 (El Shaddai). As mentioned above, the Hebrew etymology of this special name is not certain. Several theories have been put forward about its meaning. One explains that El Shaddai is 鈥淕od Almighty,鈥 a name connected with the Hebrew verb 砖讈指讚址讚, meaning 鈥渢o destroy, despoil.鈥 Another theory speaks of 鈥淕od of the Mountains鈥 鈥 a name connected with the Acadian word shadau. It is also quite possible that El Shaddai, instead, should be translated as 鈥淕od the Provider,鈥 鈥淕od who is Sufficient鈥 or 鈥淕od the Sufficient One.鈥 There are two basic reasons for such interpretations. The word 砖讈址讚旨址讬 (shaddai) may be connected with the Hebrew root word for 鈥渂reast鈥 砖讚 (shad). The female breast is one of the clear symbols of provision for the beginning and the very substance of human life and nourishment. Alternatively, the letter 砖 (shin) may be understood as a prefix that means 鈥渢hen.鈥 In this scenario, 讚讬 (dai) may be taken to mean 鈥渟ufficiency鈥 which in Hebrew literally means 鈥渆nough.鈥

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