on Pentecostalism

Through Brian LePort’s blog, I learned of Ekaputra Tupamahu, a fellow blogger, who blogs at “εν χριστω,” and is an Assemblies of God minister from Indonesia.  He has left Indonesia and is a graduate student at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, CA.  

To start, consider reading his article on William Seymour and how he promoted a racially integrated church.   He is right, most Pentecostal churches in the US today (especially, the AG, Foursquare, PCG, Open Bible, etc) are among the most racially segregated churches in the US today, and this is a real shame. 

Strange, and sad, that a movement started among the poor and oppressed, and that was multicultural is now almost completely dominated by the white middle class segment of the US (not that the likes of Charles Parham, another major influence in early Pentecostalism, had anything to do with it – see article).  However, this may not be entirely true.  The Church of God in Christ is the one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the US and is overwhelmingly black in its constituency.   Also, the fastest growing segments of the Assemblies of God in the US are multicultural churches and ethnic based churches (ones that focus on a specific nationality or cultural group such as Samoan or Cambodian, Chinese, or Hispanic, Russian, etc).   The AG is flatlining, if not declining among middle classes whites.    It may be that Pentecostalism in the US is getting back to its roots of being significantly multicultural.

Anyways, give Ekaputra Tupamahu’s blog a look see.