Pentecost: Nothing Like a Newbie

It goes without saying that USA Today’s article on Pentecostalism was intensely interesting.  But the real shocker came with the cover photo.

The Earnests–whom my wife and I know very well–have only been members of our church, the North Cleveland Church of God, for about a year.  Before that they were at a Baptist church.  The children are home schooled and they are delights.  Not all of the children are in the photo: there are two older ones as well.

The quote from David Roebuck (whom I also know well) deserves some comment.  He stated the following:

There is tension between people who emphasize gifts of the spirit and the people who emphasize church authority…

In an earlier piece, I mentioned that one of the great failures of the Charismatic Renewal in the 1960’s and 1970’s was the a) lack of leadership and b) the lack of assistance in the development of that leadership from classical Pentecostal churches.  The experience of the latter was that, without some authority present, the exercise of the gifts can lead to difficulties, as the Charismatics found out the hard way.  The New Testament tells us that things need to be done in good order, and the presence of some kind of authority is necessary for that.  So we need both.

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