Rachel Held Evans has been doing a “ask a….” question series and this weeks’ response is related to “ask a Pentecostal…” question. The Pentecostal pastor and blogger selected for this was Jonathan Martin (MA, Duke), pastor of Renovatus: A Church for People Under Renovation (love the name!), which is part of the Church of God, Cleveland, TN. He has taken several of the many questions asked last week and given substantial answers today! If you want to get his perspective on Pentecostalism this will be the best way to do it. Here a couple of quotes, among many, that stood out to me:
Pentecostals are not fundamentalists who speak in tongues. Pentecostal spirituality is a distinct way of being in the world with God, a distinct understanding of the kingdom of God. Pentecostals are people with an apocalyptic sense of urgency, because they believe the Holy Spirit is empowering the Church in dynamic ways in preparation for the return of Christ. But we are not just a people anticipating the consummation of the kingdom, we are participating in the kingdom already being established on the earth. This apocalyptic expectation is hardly a pie-in-the-sky, detached, other-worldly escapism. Pentecost is about the Spirit falling to the earth to particular people in particular places—and where the Spirit touches ground, the kingdom does too.
People aren’t Pentecostal just because they speak in tongues, they are Pentecostal because the trajectory of their entire lives has been re-oriented by the power of the Spirit. As Steven J. Land contends in his landmark Pentecostal Spirituality: A Passion for the Kingdom, “There may be Pentecostal-like experiences, but Pentecostal spirituality is another matter.” So you can see how Pentecostal spirituality is not garden variety evangelicalism with spiritual gifts clumsily added in an eccliesial game of pin-the-tail-on-the- donkey. It’s a whole way of life, a whole perspective on being the church in the world, a whole vision of being human….
Read on here for more really really good stuff!