World Religions Report: The Pentecostal Faith
Friday, October 18, 2013
World Religions Report: The Pentecostal Faith (ROUGH DRAFT)
The purpose of this paper is to give a summary of the Pentecostal Faith in the words of a woman who is both relatively newly sober and newly spiritual. Angela Harper is a fellow Alcoholics Anonymous member that I have known for almost three years now. I chose this denomination because I have never known very much about the Pentecostal faith, aside from the more obvious characteristics, as manifested by the women of that faith in their dress and decorum. I was very pleased to have taken part in a magical conversation ...view middle of the document...
Without a hesitation, she told me that it was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that drew her to the Pentecostal Church. According to the ("Living Faith Forum", 2013), the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is “an experience in which the believer yields control of himself to the Holy Spirit. Through this he comes to know Christ in a more intimate way, and receives power to witness and grow spiritually.” In Angela’s own words, “It basically means that you are so consumed with the Holy Spirit, that it isn’t even your actions, but the actions of God working through you.” This allows for different “gifts,” such as prophesizing, speaking in tongues, or the interpretation of the speaking of tongues.
I then asked her how she came to be a member of a Pentecostal church when she wasn’t raised as a Pentecostal. She said that when she decided to live her life for Christ, that she felt compelled to be absolutely uninhibited in her worship and her other experiences had been at a Baptist Church, where people are often much more staid and uptight. She mentioned it is, of course, a matter of preference, but for her, she needed to feel comfortable enough to throw her hands in the air in her rejoicing in the Lord’s presence and that wasn’t something that she felt as comfortable doing in a more rigid atmosphere of worship. What spoke so powerfully to me was that she says she not only worships this way in church, but also within the privacy of her own home. Her remark was that, being such an emotion driven person, it just seems to follow that she would be compelled to worship in a way that is full of emotion as well, in every sense of the word.
When I asked her if she had encountered any kind of prejudice when it came to her refusal to conform to the more traditional regulations of the church, as far as women’s attire and appearance are concerned, she said that it isn’t even an issue because the church she goes to is a contemporary Pentecostal church. Her explanation is that the more fundamentalist church members do that in order to more closely follow the Old Testament, she called these people, “legalists.” These people hold that it is necessary to follow the Letter of the Law in order to get to Heaven. She did point out, however, that when Jesus Christ came, in was no longer necessary to follow the Letter of the Law in order to experience God’s Grace. Not only that, she says, but that her congregation understands and accepts that God sees and loves us in all of our ugliness, so there is really no reason to try and dress up for church jus for the benefit of other people. She pointed out that there are some female members who do still hold to the old way of dress, but that is most likely because that is the way they were raised and that is all they know. By the same token, it is important to remember that she is representing Jesus and her Church in everything she says and does, so while it may not be necessary to dress in long skirts and dresses and...