So I’ve not written anything for awhile. That’s because I’ve been reading…a lot. In the last six months, I’ve read two works composed of Smith Wigglesworth’s sermons, several essays and pieces by Bp. Lesslie Newbigin, Concerning Spiritual Gifts by Donald Gee, and have been working through Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies: a Reader.
One of aspersions cast toward the Pentecostal tradition is that it doesn’t value education or prize teaching received from spiritual forefathers. I don’t think that first one is true at all. Pentecostals were starting schools and colleges very nearly from the beginning of the movement, and have been at the front lines of campus ministries all over the world.
But there’s some credence to that second one. While many Pentecostals might recognize the names of Charles Parham, William Seymour, and Aimee Semple-McPherson (and in all of this, I betray the fact that my Pentecostal roots are Assemblies of God, not Church of God — so we can mention Tomlinson and Spurling). We might even talk about people we know who were touched by the ministries of Kathryn Kuhlman or David Du Plessis. But rarely have we ever read a word they wrote, or listened to a sermon they preached or a lecture they gave.
We have a Pentecostal tradition, and I remain convinced that it is part of our apostolic heritage as Christians. It’s what Jesus wanted us to have. But if we forget our roots and just work from our experience, we will break up the Pentecostal movement and not have the anointing to bless the Church in the way that God has called the Pentecostal movement to do so. So, I’ll read…and I’ll share what I think we need to remember from our spiritual fathers and mothers…but it’s up to all of us to do so.
Now…back to reading!