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Knowing A Pentecostal Helps Clarify Misunderstandings

From some of the things I have been reading from Twitter and a few blog posts, you would think that, according to cessationists, that Pentecostals and Charismatics are out right weird, chase experiences, are hardly saved, lack theological discernment, and frankly, should be branded as heretics.  All of them are the same, they all accept the false teachings of various false teachers who are charismatics.  Their main problem is their belief in the continuation of the revelatory gifts of the Spirit.  If they would just denounce their charismatic theology, embrace Reformed theology and start reading the Bible, all would be well.

As I noted in a previous post, one would be hard pressed to find charismatic congruency.  With over 500 million people now claiming to be Pentecostal or charismatic, one would be hard to label what they all believe.  They are not all one and the same.  We are not talking here about Arminians (who can unite around Arminius) or Calvinists (who unite around Calvin).  We are talking here about millions of people who believe in the continuation of the revelatory gifts.  Some hold to the baptism in the Spirit as subsequent to salvation but some do not.  Some hold to entire sanctification as subsequent to salvation while many do not.  Some believe in infant baptism while others do not.  Some hold to singing contemporary songs in praise to God while others hold to hymns.  Pentecostals and Charismatics are not all the same.  Not all of them endorse what Kenneth Hagin has said and not all of them like Joel Osteen.

Let me describe to you what I think of when I think of a Pentecostal.  His name was Brother Eugene Stewart.  He is now with the Lord but his life is what I think of when I think of Pentecostals.  While many picture snake handlers or people running around laughing or howling like dogs, I think of Eugene.  Eugene was a man of prayer.  He would spend hours in prayer, laboring for the lost, interceding for his family (many of who were missionaries including his own sons).  Brother Stewart would take out his King James Bible and would read for hours.  He would talk to me about revival, about how we needed a move of God to turn the tide of sin.  Brother Eugene would open his old black KJV Bible to the Old Testament and he would talk to me about the tabernacle in the wilderness and how God said that Moses was to build the tabernacle just as God wanted him to build it.  If Moses built the tabernacle as God told him to, God Himself would inhabit the tabernacle.  Eugene would then get tears in his eyes and plead with me, “Son, build the house of God as He called us to build it.  Don’t build it like men want you to build it.  Build the kingdom as Jesus told us to build it, by preaching and praying and pleading for sinners to repent.”

It was Eugene who taught me to pray.  His knees were worn.  His Bible was old and full of writing inside.  Yet this man of God would get on his knees and have me next to him while he cried out to God.  He would often weep as he prayed.  Yes he would speak in tongues but his life was matched with a life of holiness, surrendered to the Spirit.  This was not a man who chased visions or prophets.  This man of God loved Jesus and longed to see Him face to face.  Eventually, with his missionary family by his side, he took his last breath and went into the presence of his King.

Eugene Stewart is who I picture when I think of Pentecostals.  A servant of God who is not known now.  His grave lies undisturbed but his memory lives on.  Eugene will not be discussed at the conferences that would denounce him.  He will be ignored but he is who I think of.  A man of God.  A servant of God.  A man who longed for Jesus to be preached and exalted just as the Spirit would do (John 15:26-27; 16:14).

Perhaps if more people would get to know a Pentecostal like Eugene instead of watching TBN to access the movement, we would not have such confusion over whether these people are truly seeking Jesus.

Just my thoughts.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/18/2013 at 6:28 PM

3 Responses

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  1. We need more of this.

    Allen O'Brien

    10/18/2013 at 8:42 PM

  2. Amen.

    Kevin Jackson

    10/20/2013 at 11:54 AM

  3. This has been my experience as well.

    elderj

    10/22/2013 at 6:08 AM


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