LET US COME BACK TO PENTECOST
I posed a question on FB yesterday asking:
DID YOU KNOW THAT TODAY IS PENTECOST SUNDAY? WAS IT MENTIONED OR HIGHLIGHTED IN YOUR CHURCH YESTERDAY?
I was pleasantly surprised at the many positive replies I received, sadly I am equally aware that many Pentecostal/Charismatic churches did not even mention it. Of course denominations that follow a Liturgical calendar include it, but often sadly just as only an historic event.
I asked that question as I have been wondering “is the Pentecostal Movement at a crossroads”. My wife and I both became impacted by this movement when in our late teens (we did not know each other at that time). The movement in Australia was still quite young and vibrant in many ways. Since the late 50’s early 60″s I have seen so many changes since those days.
For example in the early 70″s we had to have a complete conference to discuss, “Demons, Dancing & Prostrations” as these things could have split the movement. The demonic issue quickly faded away, “Dancing” became a typical Charismatic phenomena ( in the places where it was encouraged) and prostrations (being slain in the Spirit) were a common thing for quite a few years.
In the 80’s there came a strong emphasis on Praise & Worship “in the Spirit” and the Restoration of David’s Tabernacle which had come through the North American Latter Rain movement, It was not many years before this was replaced by “excellence” in the musical ability of the musician & singer. I had actually seen this awesome phenomena in NZ, (in the 70″s) where we stood for 45 minutes worshipping in the Spirit, I cannot ever forget the National A/G Conference (I believe) in 1995 in Brisbane where we again worshipped for at least 45 minutes, heaven came down and glory filled our souls.
There have been a number of moves of the Holy Spirit particularly in North America such as The Toronto Revival (which despite some extremes) continues to this day. Then the Pensacola revival in Florida. We were booked to visit, but it “closed down” during the holiday period!!! Many Australian Pastors visited this revival and were asked to counsel on the altar calls at night, and many discovered they were counselling the same people every night, who had to come back to the altar to “repent” as they had messed up during the day. This mindset is the result of American revivalism and a poor understanding of the Word of God..
As a young person (in hindsight) I believe there was an over-emphasis on the public use of tongues, and no emphasis at all on the private use. In the Charismatic movement, if you spoke in tongues you had received your “tongues badge” and were therefore in the club. Although saying that many awesome things happened during this period, it was a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. I guess as so often happens there was an immaturity in many of the Leaders (in bot the Pentecostal & Charismatic) and thus they camped at the phenomena and not used them as stepping stones to maturity and holy living and revival.
When it comes to all the phenomena we have seen over the years, like “laughing”, “crying”, “shaking” “prostrations” etc, I have no problem with these, as when the Holy Spirit touches us, our bodies that are so full of emotions can be effected in some way, but we DO NOT BUILD A CHURCH ON SUCH THINGS, like Theology everything MUST BE KEPT IN BALANCE.
I totally agree that METHODS CHANGE,BUT THE MESSAGE DOESN’T. The movement we knew almost 60 years ago doesn’t exist today, IT HAS TOTALLY RE-INVENTED ITSELF, I am glad that some practices have disappeared, but is the result A HOLY SPIRIT ENERGISED CHURCH THAT IS TURNING THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN Acts 17:6 NKJV These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. The Pentecostals now have more people in worship on a given Sunday, than every other denomination except the Catholics, but is it like the church in the Book of Acts????
I have been greatly blessed and challenged by the recent writings of a recognised Prophet in our movement here in Australia, Steve Penny, (pray for him, he is undergoing treatment for cancer at this time). He wrote this in the last 2 days.
THE COST OF PENTECOST
A HEAVENLY UNITY (Acts 2:1) all in one accord,
A HEAVENLY POWER (Acts 1:8) in our services and in our witness
A HEAVENLY LANGUAGE, offensive to the natural mind, but so powerful to edify, to assist us in our Intercessions and our worship.
A HEAVENLY HARVEST 3000 saved in one day, and that was just the beginning
A HEAVENLY BOLDNESS may produce opposition, but also much fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Today’s post speaks about POST PENTECOSTALS
No longer practice speaking in tongues or the power of tongues taught
No longer believe in miracles, still prayed for, but not longer waited for, if marriage not working find a new wife,
No longer preach the second Coming, when the Holy Spirit moves the second coming of Christ always comes back into focus.
No longer led by Apostles, the movement has moved from Apostolic Leaders, to Pastoral or Administrative Leaders., the message is changed from conquest to kindness, from crusades to community care!!!!!
No longer have vision, when a movement loses the power of Pentecost it loses its ability to see the mighty hand if God for the future. Vision then becomes projects and programs.
SIGNS AND WONDERS ARE THE HALLMARK OF PENTECOST.
Some who read this will strongly disagree with me and Steve Penny, perhaps some of the statements are too general, but overall we need :
TO COME BACK TO PENTECOST
Please write and give me your comments and response please.