4/28/06

100 Years of Pentecostalism!

That's right, this week is the centennial of the Azusa Street Revival where at a small holiness church (remember them, Methodists? whoops!) in Los Angeles, something special happened. Many people experienced the outpouring of the Spirit of God in a new way and a new sort of revival broke out. Now, 100 years later, Pentecostals together represent one of the largest groups of Christians in the world, and by far the fastest growing. I guess it is somehow fitting that I, a United Methodist with Anglo-Catholic leanings, found myself at a house prayer and praise meeting last night with a bunch of Pentecostal Christians. And, of course, it was a wonderful atmosphere for worshiping our common Lord together.

And we all, no matter what our leanings, owe alot to the Pentecostal movement. Certainly we should rejoice that our Pentecostal brethren have led hundreds of millions to know and experience Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Whether we be Roman Catholic, Mainline/liturgical Protestant, or Evangelical Protestants, or whatever, we have all been profoundly influenced by this work of God and its many aftershocks:

There is a renewed intrest in spiritual gifts in many of our churches that brings with it greater involvement and greater sense of purpose among Christian people. There is an increased expectation, even in liturgical services, of really meeting with, and communing with the Spirit of God in our worship. In many of our denominations the Charismatic Movement, has taken hold and become a source of life for many. In my own denomination the Aldersgate Renewal ministries holds annual seminars and conferences on spiritual gifts and life in the Spirit, and serves as an officially sponsered (by the General Board of Discipleship) rallying point for Charismatic United Methodist Christians of all sorts. Movements like these will, in my estimations, be crucial for the re-invigoration of our churches.

So, while I realize "Pentecostalism" is easy for outsiders (and insiders) to criticize since there are so many different folks that go by that name, today is a day to "rejoice with those who rejoice" over a mighty work that God has wroght in our world.

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4 Comments:

Blogger John said...

I live a few miles away from one of the most charismatic UMC churches in the country. My wife and I go there occasionally to refuel. God lives in that place. Miraculous healings are commonplace. So are glossolalia and heavenly visions.

5:42 AM, May 01, 2006  
Blogger Daniel McLain Hixon said...

wow; I want to see this place.

9:44 AM, May 01, 2006  
Blogger James Fletcher Baxter said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:25 PM, May 07, 2006  
Blogger Daniel McLain Hixon said...

No completely unrelated-to-my-post or the subsequent commentary sermons disguised as comments, please! Other sermons are acceptable though...

6:03 PM, May 10, 2006  

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