Getting Pentecostal

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As many neophytes know, I grew up in the Pentecostal tradition. People often ask how I got so ‘far away’ from my Pentecostal roots, since now I am in the Anglican Tradition.

There are times when I look back at the days of my childhood with a bit of nostalgia for the passionate preaching and the unswerving confidence in God’s Word and in his Spirit; elements, sadly, that are (sometimes) missing in Anglicanism.

I know that millions in the Christian world claim Pentecostal or Charismatic identification and I certainly am still tinged by the fires of Pentecost myself. However, with the chaos and dis-ease that has plagued American Christianity, I wonder where the Spirit of God will blow next and if it is possible for Him to revive the Christian communities of the West, and our slice of the Kingdom here in the United States.

I find myself wondering where the Wesleys and the Whitfields are. If once in my recent theological past I had a disdain for the Great Awakening(s), I would sure love to see one now. I am not necessarily enamored by the glossolalia or drama that sometimes is overdone in Pentecostal contexts. But the passion, the ‘tarrying,’ the seeking of God’s Spirit–it is desperately needed in the Church, and in my own life.

7 thoughts on “Getting Pentecostal

  1. Hello. I’ve been silently following your blog for awhile. I must say that it’s quite syncretistic for a perspective so in keeping with standard Christian beliefs. Not that I really care, but it intrigues me for some odd reason. Even your recent blogs appear mutually exclusive at first blush. Star Wars, Pentecostal? I’m not sure what gives. Pardon my saying so, but you seem to imbue a running spirit. Running how or where or from or to or maybe even scared (scarred possibly?) I can’t figure out. The substance of your blog makes it difficult to discern exactly, but running you are, Mr. Neo. You remind me of Jaguar Paw. It’s not my intent to judge, but I’ve been told by some that I have a gift for seeing the true nature or character of people. I don’t think that is Pentecostal, as far as I know. Would you count yourself among those that believe being spirit-filled (as the usage of that phrase or term is most likely to be understood among contemporary Christians) as the most correct and full faith? You frequently use religious frescoes as an accompaniment to your comments. Is this part of the ancient Pentecostal tradition? I watched a show on TV not so long ago where all the church participants were laughing uncontrollably. The leader kept thanking God for this great gift. Is this also part of the ancient, Pentecostal faith?
    E.D.

  2. ed,
    I haven’t seen Apocalypto yet, so I’m not yet familiar with your reference to Jaguar Paw. Syncretistic? I’m been called many things before…

    Running? I think not. Longing for the Church to step up in this world? Yes. I could think of a power no greater than liturgical Christians getting the fire of the Spirit. History speaks of many times of this reality (Read the lives of the Desert Fathers). Holy Laughter and wild stuff does not appeal to me. The Holy Spirit in the Church Catholic, rousing and awakening the faithful? Yes.

    I’m not sure what you mean by the ‘ancient Pentecostal faith,’ please explain.

  3. By ancient Pentecostal, I mean the fresco that you have with this blog entry. It looks very old and your title refers to “Pentecostal.” I normally associate these kinds of pictures with the Catholics, not the Pentecostal types. They aren’t the same, are they? I’ve heard some people in my past that were not Catholic, but very religious, say that the Catholics are pagan and lost in the worse kind of way.

    What do you mean when you say: “is it possible for Him to revive the Christian communities of the West”? Are there other communities not in need of reviving?

    Why did you have “disdain for the Great Awakening(s)”? Why no longer?

  4. After I responded earlier, it came to me, that what you meant by “communities” not associated with the West, are the Orthodox in the East. Am I right? The one thing that I do know about them is that they are so very small. I think the Catholics are more prolific. I’m not sure how they compare to the Anglicans. Just as I read your blog, I also read a blog by someone of this kind of faith. The don’t blog much, but it’s interesting.

    Here’s the link: http://orthact.blogspot.com/

    thx
    E.D.

  5. E.D:
    According at least to this page, the percentage of Christians worldwide are like this for the three you mention:

    Catholic & Near Catholic
    Catholic – 53%
    Orthodox – 11%
    High Church Anglican – Some portion of 4% (4% are all the Anglicans in total)

    At least according to my understanding, there are about 70 million Anglicans, and interpolating that means there are about 200 million Orthodox worldwide and 928 million Roman Catholics. This fits with other reading I’ve done in the past, although it certainly is going to have a margin of error.

    As one of Fr. Neo’s former parisioners who converted to Orthodoxy, I assure that you are correct about ‘communities not associated with the West’ being the Orthodox.

    Also, they are called icons, not frescos.

  6. Hello Mr. John H,
    So it does appear the Catholic community is the most prolific. That must account for something, I would imagine. Exactly what, one could only guess.

    Did you undergo a conversion because as the blog’s author infers, the Orthodox are not in need of any reviving? As someone who is apart of this particular community, you might want to look at the link I provided in an earlier post that comes from the perspective of one of your own. The individual is quite passionate and proudly claims the Orthodox community as his own.

    Sorry about calling the pictures, frescos. I’ve seen them in my past in Catholic churches. I didn’t know they were so heavily associated with the Pentecostal. Live and learn, as they say!
    E.D.

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