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Saturday, July 25, 2009, 3:45 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008, 10:26 PM
The Pentecostal Report
December 7, 2008
The Pentecostal Soul
(TPR -- Detroit) As an individual that has been "in Pentecost" for several years, I am just about blown-away when I see first hand or hear of what the Lord is accomplishing today in the Movement. At the risk of sounding like a broken record to many that have heard me say this before, the prophecy the Lord gave to Joel concerning the pouring out of His Spirit in these Last Days is certainly a reality! Things I only heard preached by old-time visionary preachers or excited missionaries on furlough when I was a kid, things about what the Holy Ghost would accomplish before Jesus came back for the Church, are now commonplace in Pentecost!
People in my age group have an interesting position in the Pentecostal Movement. We remember what it was like being "pointed and laughed at" when we were in public. When the term "Holy Roller" was a slam against us used by others instead of a joke we Pentecostals laugh about. When the police would try to "shut down" our revival services, for the neighbours claimed they were "too loud." When our church buildings really were little shacks next to the (wrong side) of the railroad tracks. Being slapped around by those of "respectable" churches, and no Charismatics being around to pick up the slack.
And today, many of our age group are members of mega-assemblies: the most modern and largest building in town is the Pentecostal church. Most of the folks in our midst were not raised Pentecostal, but desirous of a deeper walk with Him, they were led to our churches. As far as "church music" is concerned, Pentecostals have a monopoly upon it. 96% of all Christian television and radio is broadcast by Pentecostals. But at what price? Has that what originally brought folks, wealth, and fame, into Pentecostal circles been lost?
The desire to spread the Gospel Message of new life in Jesus Christ and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to a lost world by any means possible can certainly be described as "pentecostal". But why, after a few years, do many good, godly, Spirit-driven saints of God that appear on mediums such as radio and television turn to sin and extreme materialism? Why does what beins as a "good Gospel broadcast" wind up sounding like a real-estate seminar or get-rich-quick scheme?
What about personal Holiness?
What about shunning the world and the appearance of evil?
What about the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which washes away all sin -- as far as the East is from the West?
The other night, I tuned in to TBN (which I rarely do these days) ~~ the Trash Broadcast Network ~~ and the Guest Preacher, when asked, announced on "Praise the Lord" that his sermon that night was going to be on "how to become materially wealthy." I changed the channel.
We that are known as "classic" Pentecostals need to rid ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh, perfect holiness in the fear of God, and pray through to a new refreshing in the Holy Ghost.
Sunday, November 9, 2008, 10:04 PM
The Pentecostal Report
(TPR - DETROIT, MI) November 9, 2008. This is the first Pentecostal Report Blog since the electon last week. It sure was an exciting thing to follow now and then on television. I had no idea I had become so enwrapped in the proceedings until a friend brought it to my attention a couple week ago. I had to agree that this election season was very dear to me.
I think one of the reasons I became so involved was that "one of our own", a Pentecostal believer, was running on the GOP ticket as Vice-Presidential hopeful. I honestly thought I would never live to see a day in which there would be "so many Pentecostals" in the United States where we would have them run for political office.
Having Mrs. Palin run for Political office, DID upset the Pentecostal Apple Cart, and it thrust the microphone and spotlight upon Holiness people who usually "run the other direction" when the media shows up.
I do not know about the Pentecostal Movements that insist on being as private as possible, but with Pentecostal people in general this election season, our true colors were shown, and some of those colors were not pretty!
It's imperative that we find and sincerely make things right with Brothers and Sisters that may have been injured or offended by some thing we said or did during our "excitedness" for the candidates opposite of hers/his.
Just because we may not personally be wild about that individual in the good-sized house on Pennsylvania Avenue, but I will do for him what I can to make his load a tad easier by lifting him up to the Lord daily in prayer.
Monday, October 13, 2008, 1:49 PM
(TPR - Detroit) Most Sunday night evangelistic services have "wrapped up" at the local evangelical/fundamentalist/holiness/Charismatic/Pentecostal churchs. One thing I found at the Reconciling Oneness Pentecostal Holiness assembly to which I belong, is that I was - and still am - in tremendous need of Holy Ghost prayer. Duringthis very long campaign season, as an evangelical Christian, I (or, should I say "we" to also mean my bothers and sisters) have been bombarded with information from the Right that attempts to explain why we should be "On the Right."
I know I am not the only person in the Pentecostal Movement (2nd in size only to the Roman Catholic Church) that is sick of this!
We're horrified to hear of guests at GOP capaign rallies, breathe out, "Obama must be killed!", while Sarah Palin, the darling daughter of Pentecost does nor says anything to stop such behaviour!
We want to vomit when flying the American flag is on the same par as having a replica of the Cross of Christ on our church buildings.
The U.S. President and his cohort (or cohortess) do NOT make up a duo known as "God".
God does not grant special, magical blessings to U.S. citizens, because "we're really His only true people."
And a "Poppin" issue for us is abortion as we evangelicals join with other Bible-believing Christians about this (so also does the Christian Pentecostal Church International). What is disturbing is that while the life of an unborn child ("the fetus") is of utmost importance to keep alive, other forms of life are not: Homosexuals, Criminals, those deemed "too old" to be of any "worth", the "brain dead", illegal aliens, and so on.
And the list of hypocricies goes on!
The GOP and the Evangelical movement are NOT one and same!371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
Sunday, October 12, 2008, 12:49 PM
(TPR - Detroit) Since our "modern inception" (circa. 1901), "Apostolic Faith," or better known as Modern Pentecostalism has been a "wrong side of the railroad tracks religion". Though not pretending it hasn't happened to them at times, our Charismatic friends have not lived with the derision and scorn (mostly from other "christian" people) we "classic" holiness Pentecostals have.
One "feature" well-known of classic holiness Pentecostals is our "other-worldliness", or seeming lack of interest in current events (this world is not our home...we are pilgrims in a strange land...Jesus is on His way!). For the average Pentecostal, there was complete shock when Sen. John McCain named Ms. Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential running mate. It's not because she's a woman (Historically, Pentecostals have been known for ordaining and credentialing women when no other Christian organizations did), but shocking because of the fact that we tend to "go the opposite direction" when it comes to the spotlight.
She uses language holiness Pentecostals do not use, among other "sins". Plus, it seems that the more popular she beomes, the less "Pentecostal" she gets. Hmmmmm.
Another area of concern for Pentecostals is that her affiliation had been with the General Council of the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God is the largest Pentecostal group in the world, with over 51-million adherents globally. Without the Assemblies of God, much of the attention that has been given to the Pentecostal Movement would be nill. However, it seems that if there's a Pentecostal church that gets carried away with following some "cult leader", a televangelist comes under investigation, a church board has absconded with social ministry funds, or ushers pull pistols on choir members, it tends to happen in an Assemblies of God church. One tends NOT to hear such stories from churches of other Pentecostal groups.
What also makes one fearful is that her claim to international relations is, "I can see Russia from my house." Are you kidding me? As an evangelical, I've done missionary work in the Ukraine and Mexico. So that means I'm a specialist in foreign policy? Right?
"He hath shown thee, O man, what is good. And what doth the Lord require of thee? But to love mercy, and to do justly, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 12:08 PM
The Pentecostal Report
September 13, 2008
"I will pour out of my Spirit..."
Yesterday, I read a blog here on Beliefnet about Megachurches: How in the year 2008 there are now more megachurches than ever, more are using satellite technology, and many are spnsoring things like "So You're Now A Pastor" type seminars, and megachurches are growing at phenomenal rates.
Although Pentecostals do not have a monopoly upon the megachurch idea, most megachurches in the United States are Pentecostal/Charismatic. Those megachurhes that aren't tend to be evangelistic or fundamental, and the Pentecostal experience (evidential tongues-speech and the Charismata), though not fully encouraged, is not fully dismissed either.
Pentecostal people in my age group hold an interesting position in the Movement. We are old enough to remember the days before the "Charismatics" were around, the days when Pentecostals were the butt of jokes ("Holy Rollers"), when Pentecostal church buildings were really nothing but "shacks" next to the (wrong side of) the railroad tracks, and the only thing Pentecostal folks had the education to be was gardeners or maids. We thought we were "hot stuff" if we had more than 30 in Sunday School! But yet, here we are today, witnesses of God pouring His Spirit out upon all flesh! Blessings we only DREAMT about as kids are now commonplace in Pentecost! Millions upon millions now claim the Pentecostal experience. The Book of Joel has turned out to not be a pipe dream, but reality unfolded before our very eyes!
My mind goes back to my childhood church. The Lord was blessing it, and it had no where to build further and grow ... so ..(appearing like fools to the remainder of the neighbourhood) we performed what is known in Pentecostal circles as a "Victory" or "Jericho" march seven times around the block that the then present church building was upon. Over the years, one by one, the church bought up all the property of that city block, built a large building, and became the largest congregation in the organization it belonged to.
Now, that congregation has moved to different property and erected a different building, with a K-12 Christian school attached to it. Membership has increased from 9 to 3200.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 6:26 PM
(TPR-Detroit) Internet blog leader, the Apostolic Report, stunned readers by announcing that the Library books banned by then-Mayor of Alaska in 1996, Pentecostal Christian and Republican Vice-Presidential hopeful Ms. Sarah Palin is FALSE and a HOAX!!
According to Snopes.com, the leader in defining internet pranks, the list of library books banned from the Wasilla, Alaska, Public Library by then Mayor Sarah Palin is False.
While there are many rumors swirling around the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, this one is apparently easy to disprove.
The claim is that Governor Palin, then Mayor Palin, in 1996 gave a list of books to be banned from the library, and then threatened to fire the librarian when the list was not removed.
The main disproving point is that some of the books that were listed were not even in print when the Governor was in the Mayors office!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 1:42 AM
The Pentecostal Report/September 09, 2008/Survey Claims Pentecostals Most Ardent Bible Readers In Austrailia (TPR - Sept, 9, 2008 - DETROIT)
CONFESSION: fewer know their Bible
- IT MIGHT be the greatest story ever told, but Bible literacy is slipping and not just among atheists. Devout churchgoers, especially Catholics, are losing touch with the scriptures of their faith,onfession research shows.
Of those Australians who go to church, 21 per cent read their Bible daily, 14 per cent open it a few times a week and 6 per cent once a week.
But 24 per cent said they read their Bibles only occasionally, 18 per cent hardly ever and 17 per cent said they never read the Bible on their own as a private devotional activity, according to the research, which is based on the 2006 National Church Life Survey of 500,000 people who attended church from 22 denominations.
The most diligent Bible readers are Pentecostals, with 72 per cent saying they read the holy book daily or a few times a week, followed by Baptists (62 per cent), Anglicans (46 per cent), Lutherans (41 per cent) and Uniting (43 per cent). Dragging down the other denominations are Catholics, of whom 59 per cent confess they rarely consult their Bibles.
"This is a private devotional activity that some faith traditions strongly affirm," said the survey's director, Ruth Powell. "Personal Bible reading is seen by many churchgoers, particularly Protestants, as part of a core set of devotional practices including prayer and personal reflection … The Catholic Church traditionally has had a greater role in interpreting the scriptures for individual believers."
The research has prompted Bible Society NSW to consider a self-help guided reading program for the Bible over the next three years on the back of its forthcoming media campaign, which is to focus on the figure of Jesus to resurrect interest in Christianity.
The Jesus, All about Life campaign has the backing of 15 churches and organisations including the Salvation Army, Baptist churches and Hillsong and is to run next September. Negotiations are under way with the Catholic Church.
The campaign was begun in 2005 in Adelaide and has since been to Canberra and Tasmania. Plans are under way for Western Australia and Newcastle.
The four- to six-week campaign next September will feature TV and billboard advertising, and have a budget of about $2 million.
Sydney Anglicans plan to distribute 850,000 editions of the Gospel of St Luke next year during their multimillion-dollar mass evangelisation campaign, called Connect09.
The trend away from Bible reading can be attributed in part to the busyness of people's lives, according to the society, which commissioned the research.
Its chief executive, the Reverend Daniel Willis, said people were not only spending less time studying the word of God, they were generally not reading at all. Instead, they were taking their information from other sources.
Mr Willis said the ramifications went beyond Christians. Without biblical references, many phrases would never have made it into the language and students of Shakespeare needed a good grasp of the Bible to appreciate the playwright.
Monday, September 8, 2008, 2:47 PM
September 4, 2008 in Top Religion News
By Eric Gorski and Rachel Zoll
St. Paul, Minnesota - Sarah Palin often identifies herself simply as Christian.
Yet John McCain's running mate has deep roots in Pentecostalism, a spirit-filled Christian tradition that is one of the fastest growing in the world. It's often derided by outsiders and Bible-believers alike.
Palin was baptized Roman Catholic as a newborn. She was then baptized in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God church as a teen and attended that church until six years ago, when she and her family adopted a different home church, an independent evangelical church.
Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign, has said Palin attends different churches and does not consider herself Pentecostal.
Details of Palin's religious background and its influence on her public policy are still emerging. As Alaska governor, she signed a proclamation as Alaska's governor honoring Christian Heritage Week and said creationism shouldn't be barred from classroom discussions.
She used traditional evangelical language in praying that a natural gas pipeline be built in Alaska and that the U.S. mission in Iraq was a "task that is from God." Yet she's also said she would not force her views on others.
Palin identifies herself only as Christian in her biography on the National Governors' Association Web site. In an Aug. 14 interview with Time magazine, she once again described herself as Christian. When pressed, she said she attended a "nondenominational Bible church."
"I was baptized Catholic as a newborn and then my family started going to nondenominational churches throughout our life," she said. She did not mention her longtime association with the Assemblies of God, which claims nearly 3 million members and is one of the biggest Pentecostal groups in the U.S.
Grant Wacker, an expert in Pentecostalism at Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, said he can understand why. He said the McCain campaign likely doesn't want Palin associated with the best-known Pentecostal to ever hold public office, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, an active member of the Assemblies of God.
"Though Pentecostals are diverse and rapidly mainstreaming themselves, the public still perceives them as sectarian and uncompromising, and those traits will not help Palin's image," Wacker said.
Palin was baptized as a teenager in Alaska at the Wasilla Assembly of God, which she and her family attended until 2002.
"The fact is she has grown up and has associated with one of our Assemblies of God churches, which is a Pentecostal church, for years," said the Rev. Bill Welch, superintendent of the denomination's Alaska District. "Pentecostalism is bound to have some kind of impact and influence on her."
Pentecostals are conservative in their reading of the Bible and, often, culture.
The Rev. Ed Kalnins, senior pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God since 1999, once questioned in a sermon whether people who voted for Democratic Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election would get into heaven.
Unlike most other Christians - including most evangelicals - Pentecostals believe in "baptism in the Holy Spirit." That can manifest itself through speaking in tongues, modern-day prophesy and faith healing.
The Assemblies of God teaches that spirit baptism must be accompanied by speaking in tongues. Still, some churchgoers never have the experience.
Before running for Alaska governor, Palin also frequented Wasilla's Church on the Rock, an independent Pentecostal church, senior pastor David Pepper said in a statement.
About six years ago, the Palins began attending their current church home, Wasilla Bible Church, an independent evangelical congregation of truck drivers, executives and teachers, pastor Larry Kroon said.
It's a "simple community church," Kroon said, that is not Pentecostal. Still, Palin has remained close to the Pentecostal community.
Her pastor for most of her time at Wasilla Assembly of God, Paul Riley, said he gave the invocation at Palin's inauguration. As governor, she renamed the church's street "Riley Avenue" for him.
She sometimes worships at Juneau Christian Center, another Assemblies of God church, said Brad Kesler of the Alaska District of the Assemblies of God.
Palin used mostly traditional evangelical language when she spoke at a June ceremony for future mission workers at the Wasilla Assembly of God. A video of her talk was posted on the church Web site, then turned up elsewhere on the Internet.
Noting that her oldest son, Track, an Army private, is being sent to Iraq this month, Palin asked the audience to pray for military men and women. She also asked for prayer "that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending them out on a task that is from God."
"That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for - that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan," she said.
She spoke about her responsibilities as governor, including job creation, and said she was trying to win support for a multibillion-dollar pipeline that would bring natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48 states.
"I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built," she said. "So pray for that."
Still, she said the state needed more than just economic development.
"Really, all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God," she said. "Your job is going to be to be out there reaching the people - hurting people - throughout Alaska and we can work together to make sure God's will be done here."
Her current church, Wasilla Bible Church, stresses the inerrancy of Scripture.
Last Sunday's church bulletin advertised an upcoming Focus on the Family "Love Won Out Conference" in Anchorage. The conferences promise to "help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome."
Palin opposes abortion and gay marriage. But in December 2006, she told The Associated Press that her stances on certain lightning-rod issues would not necessarily translate into public policy.
"I've honestly answered the questions on what my personal views are on things like abortion and a lot of controversial issues," she said. "I won't hesitate to answer those questions about what my personal views are, but I am not one to be out there preaching and forcing my views on anyone else."
Rachel Zoll reported from New York.