Pure Pentecostalis for Lutheran

Posted by Henry Volk in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

John Kissinger wanted me to smack the bees’ nest, so I am. This was a blog post I wrote on the “Divine encounter” as it is understood differently in Lutheranism than in Pentecostalism. Discuss.

 

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 4:02 AM]
I don’t think my sins are forgiven because I speak in tongues or sense God’s presence in some tangible way. I don’t see that as Biblical. But why would participating in a liturgy make one think his sins are forgiven? Where does the Bible teach that?

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 5:53 AM]
It’s not whether tongues conveys the forgiveness of sins, because I don’t know anyone who believes that. However, it can be (functionally) viewed as a sign of God’s forgiveness, per the retention of one’s entire sanctification and thus one’s justification or forgiveness. Participation in the liturgy does not necessarily convey the forgiveness of sins. Only if one has faith, which alone justifies, is one able to appropriate the forgiveness offered in the preaching of the gospel and the sacraments, which have the promise of forgiveness attached to them.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 6:26 AM]
Link I think Volk may be right that there may be some sense of confirmation among Pentecostals that tongue speaking expresses a good relationship with God (or even being saved) but I agree with you that the article is poorly written (at least) from a Pentecostal view point

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 6:52 AM]
Henry Volk, do you believe that participation in Divine Service leads to forgiveness of sins?

John Kissinger I’ve heard of people, even people in sin, thinking they are all right with God because they spoke in tongues. But I think most preachers would think that’s faulty reasoning. I have never really gotten into the mindset of the Holiness side of the Pentecostal movement (three step, I mean, saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost, as three sequential distinct steps) on this issue though. There may be some people who think tongues only operates if they are living a sanctified life, which, IMO, could be a potentially dangerous viewpoint. Balaam and Caiaphas prophesied.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 6:55 AM]
hm – people in sin speaking in tongues Charles Page

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 6:56 AM]
This view of tongues can even be found in Parham.

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 6:57 AM]
Link, yes.

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 7:01 AM]
Henry Volk, where does the Bible teach that participation in Divine Service results in or leads to forgivenes of sins?

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 7:51 AM]
“26Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:26-28).

“38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

“17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

All these things happen in the Divine Service, therefore it leads us to the forgiveness of sins.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 7:58 AM]
Volk you’re familiar with books on Pentecostal liturgy, right?

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 8:00 AM]
I know Simon Chan wrote one, and I have Dan Tomberlin’s book, ‘Pentecostal Sacraments.’

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 8:01 AM]
I was asking specifically about liturgy and/or liturgies

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 8:02 AM]
No I haven’t. Once again, I believe Chan wrote a a book called Liturgical Theology, but I haven’t read it.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 8:06 AM]
Asking specifically about (1) Pentecostal denominations writing on liturgy and (2) many non-Pentecostal charismatics coming from other traditions and incorporating their liturgy into a charismatic service http://ag.org/top/church_workers/wrshp_gen_pente_liturgy.cfm

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 8:10 AM]
There are some like the Charismatic Episcopal Church, there’s one Lutheran charismatic group, of course the Catholics have a large Charismatic Movement.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 8:11 AM]
yes – orthodox too John Ruffle can speak to that

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 2:42 PM]
I know a couple of Missouri synod folks out here in Hawaii, and both are Charismatic.

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 2:58 PM]
Link: Ask them if they’re 5’2. They’ll know what you’re talking about.

Link Hudson [10/21/2015 6:23 PM]
Henry Volk, I’d see getting assurance of salvation from speaking in tongues as bad theology. I think the same way about thinking that participation in liturgy saves. Do Lutherans believe the Lord’s Supper saves? I know they associate baptism with salvation.

Henry Volk [10/21/2015 6:24 PM]
Yes. The difference Christ has promised us forgiveness of sins in His Supper. The Scriptures say no such thing concerning tongues.

Link Hudson [10/21/2015 6:32 PM]
Henry Volk, the way some people define sacrament, any exercise of spiritual gifts should be considered a sacrament, since they are signs of God’s grace. We are saved by grace, but I don’t see how one can say receiving some measure of grace in one area guarantees salvation. If spiritual gifts like prophecy happens by grace, as we see in Romans 12, and Balaam and Caiaphas prophesied, then can we really say they weren’t operating in some measure of grace? Grace, but probably not eternal salvation by grace in those cases. Judas also had authority to do miracles. I’d think that was grace. He didn’t earn the right to do miracles by being super holy.

But Lutheranism associates sacraments with forgiveness of sins, doesn’t it? My guess is that you are probably thinking of John 6 in regard to Communion and salvation. But other scripture shows that participating in the Lord’s Supper alone doesn’t save everyone. There are those who eat and bring judgment on themselves, but receive chastisement that they might not be condemned by the world. They may receive eternal salvation, but participation in the Lord’s Supper brought judgment on themselves. But there were also those who were to be condemned who were spots and blemishes on the love feasts. Participation in the love feast did not save them.

Henry Volk [10/21/2015 6:39 PM]
I think you are conflating the Lutheran view with the Roman Catholic view. Rome teaches that the sacraments work salvation ex opere operato—by the working of the work. However, Scripture states we are saved my faith alone. Therefore, one can approach the sacrament without faith and eat to one’s damnation. The sacraments are means of grace, channels whereby God believers his grace to us. We define grace as God’s unmerited favor. It is not a habitual substance in the soul, as Rome teaches. Therefore, we limit the number of Sacraments to two—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper—and sometimes three—Confession.
The preaching of the Gospel is also a means of grace.

Link Hudson [10/21/2015 6:43 PM]
Something else I’d disagree with about your perspective as a Pentecostal, Henry Volk, was that you thought of going to church as being about experiencing God. I’d definitely say that should be a part of it. I’d imagine it is a part of it in Lutheran philosophy.

As far as overarching purposes for gathering together as believers, I see two verses of scripture that state a purpose. One is from Acts 20 and it says they gathered together ‘to break bread.’ Another is from Hebrews 10:24-25 where it says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together, but to ‘exhort one another.’ Along with that second point, I’d add from I Corinthians 14:26, ‘let all things be done unto edifying.

We are to gather to break bread. We are to gather to exhort and edify one another. We are to use whatever spiritual gifts the Lord has given us to exhort one another within the parameters of the commandments of the Lord given to the church. Both could be done at the same gathering, though I don’t know that it is clear from scripture that this must be the case or that this was the case in the early church.

Henry Volk [10/21/2015 6:47 PM]
Perhaps this distinction would be helpful. Ideally yes, you’re correct. I believe there are many theologically astute Pentecostals that feel the same. However, phenomenologically, I think many if not most Pentecostals go to Church to “get a touch from the Holy Ghost.”

John Kissinger [10/22/2015 6:49 AM]
I think a the term Pentecostal Lutheran is an oxymoron. A Charismatic Lutheran may be more in play. What do you think?

1 Comment

  • Reply December 30, 2016

    Varnel Watson

    Peter Christian This consolidation of both views was done by Henry Volk sometimes back. He also offers a brief Pentecostal Catechism for beginners but not sure if it follows Westminster or independent

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Pure Pentecostalis for Lutheran

Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

John Kissinger wanted me to smack the bees’ nest, so I am. This was a blog post I wrote on the “Divine encounter” as it is understood differently in Lutheranism than in Pentecostalism. Discuss.

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 4:02 AM]
I don’t think my sins are forgiven because I speak in tongues or sense God’s presence in some tangible way. I don’t see that as Biblical. But why would participating in a liturgy make one think his sins are forgiven? Where does the Bible teach that?

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 5:53 AM]
It’s not whether tongues conveys the forgiveness of sins, because I don’t know anyone who believes that. However, it can be (functionally) viewed as a sign of God’s forgiveness, per the retention of one’s entire sanctification and thus one’s justification or forgiveness. Participation in the liturgy does not necessarily convey the forgiveness of sins. Only if one has faith, which alone justifies, is one able to appropriate the forgiveness offered in the preaching of the gospel and the sacraments, which have the promise of forgiveness attached to them.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 6:26 AM]
Link I think Volk may be right that there may be some sense of confirmation among Pentecostals that tongue speaking expresses a good relationship with God (or even being saved) but I agree with you that the article is poorly written (at least) from a Pentecostal view point

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 6:52 AM]
Henry Volk, do you believe that participation in Divine Service leads to forgiveness of sins?

John Kissinger I’ve heard of people, even people in sin, thinking they are all right with God because they spoke in tongues. But I think most preachers would think that’s faulty reasoning. I have never really gotten into the mindset of the Holiness side of the Pentecostal movement (three step, I mean, saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost, as three sequential distinct steps) on this issue though. There may be some people who think tongues only operates if they are living a sanctified life, which, IMO, could be a potentially dangerous viewpoint. Balaam and Caiaphas prophesied.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 6:55 AM]
hm – people in sin speaking in tongues Charles Page

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 6:56 AM]
This view of tongues can even be found in Parham.

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 6:57 AM]
Link, yes.

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 7:01 AM]
Henry Volk, where does the Bible teach that participation in Divine Service results in or leads to forgivenes of sins?

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 7:51 AM]
“26Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt 26:26-28).

“38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

“17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

All these things happen in the Divine Service, therefore it leads us to the forgiveness of sins.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 7:58 AM]
Volk you’re familiar with books on Pentecostal liturgy, right?

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 8:00 AM]
I know Simon Chan wrote one, and I have Dan Tomberlin’s book, ‘Pentecostal Sacraments.’

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 8:01 AM]
I was asking specifically about liturgy and/or liturgies

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 8:02 AM]
No I haven’t. Once again, I believe Chan wrote a a book called Liturgical Theology, but I haven’t read it.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 8:06 AM]
Asking specifically about (1) Pentecostal denominations writing on liturgy and (2) many non-Pentecostal charismatics coming from other traditions and incorporating their liturgy into a charismatic service http://ag.org/top/church_workers/wrshp_gen_pente_liturgy.cfm

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 8:10 AM]
There are some like the Charismatic Episcopal Church, there’s one Lutheran charismatic group, of course the Catholics have a large Charismatic Movement.

John Kissinger [10/20/2015 8:11 AM]
yes – orthodox too John Ruffle can speak to that

Link Hudson [10/20/2015 2:42 PM]
I know a couple of Missouri synod folks out here in Hawaii, and both are Charismatic.

Henry Volk [10/20/2015 2:58 PM]
Link: Ask them if they’re 5’2. They’ll know what you’re talking about.

Link Hudson [10/21/2015 6:23 PM]
Henry Volk, I’d see getting assurance of salvation from speaking in tongues as bad theology. I think the same way about thinking that participation in liturgy saves. Do Lutherans believe the Lord’s Supper saves? I know they associate baptism with salvation.

Henry Volk [10/21/2015 6:24 PM]
Yes. The difference Christ has promised us forgiveness of sins in His Supper. The Scriptures say no such thing concerning tongues.

Link Hudson [10/21/2015 6:32 PM]
Henry Volk, the way some people define sacrament, any exercise of spiritual gifts should be considered a sacrament, since they are signs of God’s grace. We are saved by grace, but I don’t see how one can say receiving some measure of grace in one area guarantees salvation. If spiritual gifts like prophecy happens by grace, as we see in Romans 12, and Balaam and Caiaphas prophesied, then can we really say they weren’t operating in some measure of grace? Grace, but probably not eternal salvation by grace in those cases. Judas also had authority to do miracles. I’d think that was grace. He didn’t earn the right to do miracles by being super holy.

But Lutheranism associates sacraments with forgiveness of sins, doesn’t it? My guess is that you are probably thinking of John 6 in regard to Communion and salvation. But other scripture shows that participating in the Lord’s Supper alone doesn’t save everyone. There are those who eat and bring judgment on themselves, but receive chastisement that they might not be condemned by the world. They may receive eternal salvation, but participation in the Lord’s Supper brought judgment on themselves. But there were also those who were to be condemned who were spots and blemishes on the love feasts. Participation in the love feast did not save them.

Henry Volk [10/21/2015 6:39 PM]
I think you are conflating the Lutheran view with the Roman Catholic view. Rome teaches that the sacraments work salvation ex opere operato—by the working of the work. However, Scripture states we are saved my faith alone. Therefore, one can approach the sacrament without faith and eat to one’s damnation. The sacraments are means of grace, channels whereby God believers his grace to us. We define grace as God’s unmerited favor. It is not a habitual substance in the soul, as Rome teaches. Therefore, we limit the number of Sacraments to two—Baptism and the Lord’s Supper—and sometimes three—Confession.
The preaching of the Gospel is also a means of grace.

Link Hudson [10/21/2015 6:43 PM]
Something else I’d disagree with about your perspective as a Pentecostal, Henry Volk, was that you thought of going to church as being about experiencing God. I’d definitely say that should be a part of it. I’d imagine it is a part of it in Lutheran philosophy.

As far as overarching purposes for gathering together as believers, I see two verses of scripture that state a purpose. One is from Acts 20 and it says they gathered together ‘to break bread.’ Another is from Hebrews 10:24-25 where it says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together, but to ‘exhort one another.’ Along with that second point, I’d add from I Corinthians 14:26, ‘let all things be done unto edifying.

We are to gather to break bread. We are to gather to exhort and edify one another. We are to use whatever spiritual gifts the Lord has given us to exhort one another within the parameters of the commandments of the Lord given to the church. Both could be done at the same gathering, though I don’t know that it is clear from scripture that this must be the case or that this was the case in the early church.

Henry Volk [10/21/2015 6:47 PM]
Perhaps this distinction would be helpful. Ideally yes, you’re correct. I believe there are many theologically astute Pentecostals that feel the same. However, phenomenologically, I think many if not most Pentecostals go to Church to “get a touch from the Holy Ghost.”

John Kissinger [10/22/2015 6:49 AM]
I think a the term Pentecostal Lutheran is an oxymoron. A Charismatic Lutheran may be more in play. What do you think?

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