I’ve been doing a lot of this writing on some assumptions that I haven’t really stated anywhere else. Some of that is because the goal is to redirect Pentecostalism in such a way that as a movement, we’re a benefit to the whole Church. But there’s also a lurking danger here, because a number of these groups in the rest of the Church have “charismatic” tribes or streams present. People in the Anglican Church are used to speaking of “catholic, evangelical, and charismatic” streams within the tradition. So, for the sake of clarity, I’m writing to say this is not that.
Some charismatics are more like Pentecostalism than others, so it’s actually difficult in some cases to see the difference in practice. But usually, most charismatics have tried to use their own home tradition to justify their new practices, and have not engaged or adopted the heritage of Pentecostal theology, which has left some significant gaps. So, let me lay out a few distinctives that set Pentecostalism apart in how we understand what it means to be Jesus’ people.
- Jesus’ people are Pentecost people. Trying to understand who we are apart from Pentecost is impossible.The outpouring of the Spirit applies the death and resurrection of Jesus to us, unites us with Him and sends us out into the world (with many languages and words) as the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus’ people take Spirit-baptism seriously. We should not assume that it comes with water baptism, or at the moment of conversion, but should earnestly together seek the empowering work of the Spirit in our lives.
- Jesus’ people recognize that the Word has immediate application to them. The Scriptures have context and exegetical work is important, but not to the neglect of realizing that the Scriptures are as close and authoritative over our individual and congregational lives as Jesus Himself is, since He is the Word.
- Jesus’ people recognize that all Christians are called and empowered for ministry. This is not something reserved for the ordained, the commissioned, and the obviously called, but every person in Christ has a role in the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus’ people know Jesus is coming back…soon! We live in the last days. We know it. We live like it. We preach it.
Am I missing anything?