Hello all! I’m new to learning about Pentecostalism, and I was wondering. What are the main differences between the major Pentecostal denominations? Such as Assembly of God, Church of God, United Pentecostal, ect? Thank you! God Bless you all brothers and sisters!!
William Lance Huget [01/29/2016 12:33 AM]
AOG is classical Pentecostal, one of the oldest and largest. It says that speaking in tongues is the initial, physical evidence of Spirit baptism. COG (Cleveland) is also a larger, older group.
UPCI is Oneness, anti-trinitarian, legalistic, etc. (wrong view of Acts 2:38). You can google each denomination’s websites, etc.
This 1300 page tome would trace history, beliefs, etc. There are no end to reasons why there are 1000s of denominations.
William Lance Huget [01/29/2016 12:36 AM]
The first issue is cessationism vs continuationism: http://www.amazon.com/Cessation-Charismata-Protestant-Post-biblical-Miracles-Revised/dp/0981952623
John Ruffle [01/29/2016 3:24 AM]
I question not asked but equally relevant is the difference between “classic ” penticostalism and new church (sometimes irroniously called ‘third wave’) and charismatic influences within liturgical churches.
John Kissinger [01/29/2016 6:26 AM]
John Ruffle Charismatic revival comes about full force in the 70s and Third wave in late 80s. Charismatics initially were people from other denominations who received the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Personally. I’ve never liked this distinction because as we’ve discussed with Charles Page before most Classic Pentecostals were at one time part of other denominations. Except in their case there were not Pentecostal churches to go do for they were the first ones. The 3rd wave are neither Pentecostal nor Charismatic. They follow practicing the gifts of the Spirit, power evangelism, casting out of demons etc., but do not have understanding of and in most cases do not pay much attention to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In our discussions it’s been often pointed out that our bretheren like Link Hudson and others in the group often show similar signs. It is also the difference why 3rd wave is disregarded differently by Classic Pentecostals for not paying much attention to the Spirit Baptism. At the same time, 3rd wavers call themselves both Pentecostals and Charismatics and being in most cases non-denominational completely distorts the whole picture. A lot of the progressive practices of 3rd wave are also disregarded as having nothing to do with Classic Pentecostalism. It is for this reason that the Pope is addressing mainly self-called Charismatics of the 3rd wave to his initiative for a Vatican meeting in 2017. Our brother Hunter McLain should know well the answer of his own question having gone to Lee University as part of the Church of God in prophecy. So it is strange why he would construct his question from lack of personal knowledge as he did in this post? http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/pope-invites-charismatics-into-the-vatican-in-2017/
John Kissinger [01/29/2016 10:47 AM]
Hunter McLain CHURCH OF GOD TIMELINES (since the late 1700s)
The Independent Sabbatarian Groups (c1800-c1860) Historic Church of God Fundamentals of Belief. Tracking the Development of Core Doctrines by C White Worldwide Church of God Pioneer Timelines by C White Pioneers of the Worldwide Church of God by C White Seven Restorations of the Work by C White Seven Eras of Ancient Israel. Type of the Eras of the Church Research Notes on the Eastern Churches Collection of Notes on Church of God Groups http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/church-of-god-timelines-since-the-late-1700s/
Melvin Harter [02/01/2016 12:34 AM]
The Church of God (Cleveland, TN) [oldest Pentecostal church started in 1886] believes in sanctification as a second, definite work of grace. They came out of the great Holiness Movement. The Assemblies of God do not believe a person can ever be sanctified in this life, only after they die. There were founded in 1914. They came out of the Baptist church. The UPC are a “Jesus Only” church who came out of the Assemblies of God in 1916.
Link Hudson [02/01/2016 3:17 AM]
Most Pentecostal churches are Trinitarian. The Oneness camp split off from the A/G around 1916, I think. The controversy caused the A/G to formulate a doctrinal statement. The largest Oneness group is the UPCI. Prior to the Oneness split, the Pentecostal movement was also known as ‘Apostolic.’ The Azusa Street mission issued a newsletter, ‘The Apostolic Times.’ In South Africa, ‘Apostolic’ is used for trinitarian Pentecostals because Pentecostal missionaries went there early on, but in the US, ‘Apostolic’ was a label the Oneness groups used.
Many of the Oneness Pentecostals believe you have to speak in tongues to be saved. Trinitarian Pentecostals generally do not believe that. Many of the early Pentecostal churches had strict ideas about clothing, cutting hair, women’s makeup and jewelry, etc. Most denominations have loosened up a bit about that. Oneness Pentecostals tend to be more ‘old fashioned’ in that regard.
Within the rest of Pentecostalism, there are those who believe in three ‘steps’ in a believers life, saved, sanctified,and filled with the Holy Ghost. Those who believe this way are typically from traditions that come from the Holiness movement, which grew out of Methodism. Some people in this movement will tell of going to a church altar or having an experience in prayer where they are instantly sanctified before being baptized with the Holy Ghost. The Church of God in Christ, Church of God (Cleveland), Pentecostal Holiness, Congregational Holiness and a lot of other Holiness groups are from this tradition. But these days, with all the interchange between different Pentecostal groups, access to other teachings through books and TV, and just from reading the Bible, a lot of people in these denominations don’t believe in a one-time experience of sanctification and in some churches the idea isn’t as actively promoted as it was in the past, apparently.
The Assemblies of God was formed early in the post-Azusa Pentecostal movement by people who did not believe in a one-time sanctification experience as a doctrine. The A/G had a lot of white Pentecostal ministers, when it was formed, who’d been ordained in Church of God in Christ to get minister discounts on railway tickets, but many of them didn’t agree with the form of church government or the doctrine on sanctification. There were also congregations from the Christian and Missionary Alliance and a number of preachers who had previously been in Zion, Illinois. Foursquare is another group that doesn’t teach sanctification as a one-time experience after salvation for all believers.
As far as church government goes, the COG is set up as rather top down with the denomination owning the church property and denominational officials appointing pastors. The A/G has a form of government more like the Southern Baptists, with church boards (sometimes called a board of deacons) hiring pastors. Pastors can be ordained by the denomination.
Melvin Harter [02/01/2016 4:44 AM]
Foursquare also came from the A/G. Simply spoken, the A/G and those who came out of the A/G, came out of the Baptist movement. The CoG, PH all came out of the Holiness movement of the 19th century. Azusa Street and all the other great revivals came out of the Holiness movement as well. The A/G, as a denomination, had no connection to the Azusa Revival. Furthermore, the UPC and other modern Apostolic denominations had no relationship to the Apostolic Faith Mission of Azusa Street, which was definitely not “Jesus Only.”