Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Penta 5

Mark 16: 16-18, "He who believes and is baptized will (shall) be saved; but he who does not believe will  (shall) be condemned. And these signs will (shall) follow those who believe: In My name they will (shall) cast out demons; they will (shall) speak with new tongues; they will (shall) take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will (shall) lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Luke 10:19, (Jesus said) "Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

I have roots coming from a very conservative, stoic, Mennonite Church. This background has never adequately prepared me when confronted with Pentecostal beliefs and experiences. I find this type of religious experience to be hyper-emotional, misusing of Scripture and having lost focus on Christ by overemphasizing the Holy Spirit. To borrow from another's thoughts I am astounded, surprised, even somewhat offended as "... they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall on the floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. They pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit."
Ecstatic experiences have always been a part of Christianity. Dancing in the aisles, speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit have all been topics of conversation with men that I admire and respect. Their experiences have been real.  

In their defense I don't speak in tongues. Which is curious. With due respect the commitment made to hermeneutical consistency is exemplary, and with due regard for a prevalent, at least in my opinion, lack of common-sense, they have not shyed away from answering the question of faith and belief in action. Holding fast to the inerrant Word of God they 'practice what they preach'.

In reality their core beliefs are the same as mine: Salvation by Faith; Sanctification (or Holiness) of the believer; Tongues as evidence of Baptism with the Holy Spirit (this is questionable though not exceptional); Faith healing as part of God's redemption; The "very soon" return of Christ.

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